Ham Street to Appledore walk

A walk full of historical interest in the low hills around Romney Marsh.

History

This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Date Post # Weather
Wed, 01-Sep-21 Wednesday walk: Ham Street to Appledore 13 dry overcast
Sun, 05-May-19 Sunday Walk: Ham Street to Appledore, (Wye Circ substituted).. 4 sunny turning colder
Sun, 08-Apr-18 Sunday walk: Ham Street to Appledore /Appledore Circular 9 warm humid
Sat, 29-Jul-17 Ham Street to Appledore or back to Ham Street 6
Sat, 19-Mar-16 Saturday Second Walk - Gentle hills on the edge of Romney Marsh 18 cold and grey
Wed, 19-Aug-15 Midweek day walk Ham - Street to Appledore 14 mostly sunny with some high cloud
Sat, 20-Jun-15 Walk 3-106b: Ham Street Circular Gloomy
Sat, 11-Jan-14 Appledore Circular 18
Sat, 13-Jul-13 Ham Street to Appledore 12
Sat, 13-Jul-13 Ham Street Circular
Sun, 24-Feb-13 Appledore Circular 0
Sun, 16-Oct-11 Ham Street to Appledore
Sun, 16-Oct-11 Appledore Circular
Sat, 23-Apr-11 Ham Street to Appledore
Wed, 01-Sep-21
Wednesday walk: Ham Street to Appledore

A sortie through Romney Marsh, which isn't as boggy as it sounds, at least not if you keep to the footpaths.
We’re doing the main walk, with a rating of 3/10 and length of 14¼ km (8.8 miles). Longer options are available. The main walk takes you on a circuit of Ham Street Woods and along the inland Saxon Shore Way (the sea shifted). If you get the impression the locals are laughing at you, they probably are. But don’t worry, they’re just the European marsh frogs that have made this area their home. Sarcastic little devils.
Trains take the 10:37 HiSpeed Dover Priory train from St Pancras (Stratford International (10:44) and change at Ashford International for the Marshlink line (arr 11:14 dep 11:25) arriving Hamstreet at 11:33.
If you are able to get to Charing Cross for 9:40 (London Bridge 9:49), you could get the cheaper non-hi-speed Ramsgate train to Ashford and change onto the same Marshlink train (arr 11:00, dep 11:25). (This option might be too tight for some Freedom pass holders etc.).
Return from Appledore at xx:57, changing again at Ashford International.
Get a return to Appledore.
Lunch The Woolpack Inn (01233-732900) in Warehorne.

Tea
There are two nice places in Appledore village. The Black Lion (01233-758206) and Miss Mollett's High Class Tea Room (01233-758555), open to 5pm.
You need to allow at least half an hour to reach Appledore Station, 2¼ km away.
Directions here Click option M for the main walk (or keep all options open by not clicking nothing). n.b.The directions have been re-jigged recently.
T=swc.106

  • 01-Sep-21

    12 gathered at the station on a dry overcast day. First stop, Ham Street Woods. I don’t like to use the L-word, as you well know, but some of us got a more than a little disoriented in Ham Street Woods. A very nice wood, a lovely wood, even, but we saw a bit too much of it. We did eventually escape and, despite SSW being both a compass bearing and short for the Saxon Shore Way*, it was not long before we reached the Woolpack and were banging on the door for sustenance and hearty fare.

    And, guess what, who should be waiting there for us but the walk’s author, bringing the total up to 13

    The food was good and the locally produced perry was out of this world. (As was I after a mere pint of it). After a protracted stay (short–staffed, service slow) we were off across large fields on sometimes indistinct paths. I hate to use the L-word but we went off-piste once or twice. This had the walk’s author scribbling furiously in a huge ledger kept for just such a purpose.

    And so to Appledore and Miss Mollett’s High Class Tearoom. A recommended stop. The cakes, mmmm, the cakes. A final stretch across some more fields and we were on the train. A nifty change at Ashford (seconds to spare) and we were on our way to London. No frogs were heard.

    *It’s all in the font. Bold for compass bearings.

Sun, 05-May-19
Sunday Walk: Ham Street to Appledore, (Wye Circ substituted)..
A sortie into Romney Marsh.
The main walk, with a rating of 3/10 and length of 19¼ km (12 miles), takes you on a circuit of Ham Street Woods (hopefully with bluebells) and along the (inland) Saxon Shore Way. Listen out for the chatter of the marsh frogs, European interlopers that have settled in these parts. They sound a bit like they're laughing......maybe someone's told them a good croak?
You have a short morning and a long afternoon but options 1 & 2 let you skip sections of that. One favours the Royal Military Canal (total walk length 13½ km, 8.4 miles), the other Gusborne Vineyard (total 12¾ km, 7.9 miles). Both rated 2/10.
From what I remember of Romney Marsh footpaths, they seek out the higher ground, so your tootsies should stay dry.
Trains: Take the 10:37 Hi-Speed Ramsgate train from St Pancras (Stratford International (10:44) and change at Ashford International for the Marshlink line (arr 11:15 dep 11:25) arriving Ham Street at 11:33.
Trains return from Appledore at xx:54, changing again at Ashford International.
Get a return to Appledore.
A cheaper, slower, journey is possible from Victoria but it includes a ½ hour wait at Ashford. The 9:25 Canterbury West train would get you to Ashford Int. for 10:58 (if taking this route, ask for a ticket without the Hi-Speed supplement). The journey is an hour longer each way. Don't even think about travelling from Charing Cross - the re-jigged timetable just misses the connection.
Lunch: The Woolpack Inn (01233-732900) in Warehorne comes up fairly early in the walk after 5 km. Note that there's no further refreshment stop till Appledore is reached.
Tea: There are two nice places in Appledore village. The Black Lion (01233-758206), and Miss Mollett's High Class Tea Room (01233-758555), open to 5pm.
You need to allow at least half an hour to reach Appledore Station, 2¼ km away.
Directions here. Click option M for the main walk, 1 or 2 for the short versions (or keep all options open by not clicking nothing).
T=swc.106
  • 05-May-19

    At least 5 arrived on the Hi Speed to discover that the 11:25 to Ham Street had been “cancelled due to lack of train crew”. Thanks, Southern. There was supposedly a bus replacement but also a huge crowd waiting for it.

    One of us returned home and 4 decided to switch to the Wye Circular. (This, strangely, was the traditional emergency walk in days of yore). The other 3 will have to tell their story. The slow guy at the back, your correspondent, (who thought he had successfully downloaded the Wye directions to his phone but hadn’t) found they disappeared along with the internet after the first hill. (Should know the route by heart by now but obviously doesn’t). Anyway he forsook the route for a magical mystery tour, taking in Wye NNR and the Devils Kneading Trough. One spectacular discovery – while still officially on the Wye Circular - was an impressive display of wild garlic in the wood coming down the other side of the “Crown” down. If anyone DID make it to Romney Marsh, were the frogs laughing for you? Weather, sunny turning colder

  • Anonymous
    06-May-19

    Three forged ahead and ate sandwiches on a sunny bench in front of Crundale church. We walked on to the lunchtime pub but eschewed a lunchtime libation in favour of three delicious pints at the Tickled Trout back at Wye Station. Indoors as the sunny garden was a degree or two on the chilly side.

    The return high speed train was every bit as rammed as the morning one, pointing perhaps to an upsurge in staycations, or a Brexit related fall in foreign weekend trips. It looked like we'd have to stand all the way as we had in the morning until one of us worked out that if a single bicycle was moved, three jump seats would become available. Well done, that woman!

    In all, a lovely day salvaged from the jaws of the railway goblins. Joe.

  • Anonymous
    08-May-19

    4

Sun, 08-Apr-18
Sunday walk: Ham Street to Appledore /Appledore Circular
SWC 106
A choice of not one, not two, but three walks, exploring Romney Marsh. With a bit of luck you might hear the not-so-dulcet tones of the area's "laughing" frogs - an established colony of European invaders.
  • The shortest version, suitable for softies, is the Appledore Circular. Length 13¾ km (8.5 miles), difficulty 2/10. Get off and on the train at Appledore. This takes a more direct route to the lunch pub in Warehorne.
  • Walk-hardened regulars can do the main walk, with its rating of 3/10, length 18¼ km (11.3 miles), taking them through Ham St Woods and along the (inland) Saxon Shore Way. They get off the train at Ham St, and get back on again at Appledore.
  • Superhumans and god-like beings could extend the main walk even further, starting and finishing at Ham Street. Length 23½ km (14.6 miles), difficulty 4/10.
Trains You can take either:
  • the 10:08 Hi-Speed Margate train from St Pancras (Stratford International 10:15), changing at Ashford International for the Hastings train (arr. 10:46 dep. 11:21) arriving Ham Street at 11:27 and Appledore at 11:33, (Overall, this route is quicker, particularly returning, but, outbound, there's a long wait at Ashford,)
  • or, the slower, cheaper, 9:42 Ashford International train from Victoria, changing at Ashford onto the same Hastings train (arr. 11.02, dep. 11:21).
Trains return from Appledore at xx:52 (Ham St xx:57), changing again at Ashford International.
Get a return to Appledore.
Lunch The lunchtime stop is the Woolpack Inn (01233-732900) in Warehorne. This attractive pub is open all day and serves excellent home cooked food made from local ingredients. (Hopefully not mud pies!) It can get busy at weekends so good idea to phone. The World's Wonder, mentioned as an alternative appears to have closed.
Tea As well as the Black Lion (01233-758206), Appledore offers “the quintessential English tea time experience” at the delightfully-named Miss Mollett's High Class Tea Room (01233-758555), open to 5pm. You'll need to allow at least half an hour to reach Appledore Station, 2¼ km away.
If you finish in Ham Street, you've got the Duke's Head pub (01233-732210).
Directions here. Click option (M) for the main walk, (a) for the short walk, (b) for the long (or keep all options open by not clicking nothing).
T=swc.106

  • 09-Apr-18

    Here we go again. The peripatetic comment has come back here. Lets hope to stay this time .

    "I moved this comment from here to the Ham Street walk but then I realised there is a Woolpack Inn on both walks so moved it back here again :( ....Mr M "

    tartanrug, Sun 08 Apr 18, 17:43

    9 warm humid , going was squelchy and muddy underfoot, acres of wood anemones after superb lunch in the Woolpack Inn followed by afternoon tea en plein aire before the train.

  • 09-Apr-18

    Were the frogs laughing for you?

Sat, 29-Jul-17
Ham Street to Appledore or back to Ham Street
SWC Walk 106 - Ham Street to Appledore or Ham Street Circular
Ham Street to Appledore: 18.3km / 11.3 miles
Ham Street Circular: 23.5km / 14.6 miles - an extension to the above returning to Ham Street along the canal
Gentle hills, the Royal Military Canal, historic buildings and the edges of Romney Marsh

Trains: take the 9:34 train from London St Pancras, change at Ashford (arr 10:11, dep 10:33), arriving at Ham Street at 10:41. Alternatively take the 8:49 from London Bridge or the 8:52 from London Victoria to Ashford, changing onto the same train to Ham Street. Return trains: Appledore: xx06, Ham Street: xx10. Buy a day return to Appledore, or Ham Street for the circular walk.

Lunch: The Woolpack Inn, Warehorne (01233-732900) is 9km into the walk, an attractive setting opposite the church, the food has good reviews so phoning ahead is advised.
Appledore has several choices for refreshments - the Black Lion, Miss Mollett's High Class Team Room (open til 5pm). The station is a further 2km.
If finishing in Hamstreet, the Dukes Head pub has a beer garden and is close to the station.
T=swc.106
  • Anonymous
    28-Jul-17

    Doing Appledore walk.

  • Anonymous
    29-Jul-17

    6

    w = sunny then wet

    A happy band of six on this one, including one making a comeback after too long an absence. Easy walking, frequently in sunshine, up to lunch in the highly characterful Woolpack Inn. Five diners: the two ladies were very pleased with their plaice; two gents found the lamb burgers tasty but overpriced, and the chips too easy to count; another gent's demolition of his dessert was so swift that I barely glimpsed it. Rain set in thereafter and did not relent as we churned through many a wheat field. Three had tea at Miss Mollett's in Appledore while the enterprising Comeback Kid charmed a kindly local so much that he drove us - in the manner of a getaway driver - to the outlying Appledore station. Recognising a distinguished group when he saw one, the ticket inspector then directed us to First Class and there we luxuriated for all 10 minutes of our trip to Ashford before a wait for the St Pancras-bound service that was enlivened by a sample of a Bee Gees classic extracted from one of our six, and more. Thanks to Bridie2 for putting the walk on and to my five genial companions.

Sat, 19-Mar-16
Saturday Second Walk - Gentle hills on the edge of Romney Marsh
SWC walk 106 - Ham Street to Appledore
Length: 18.3km (11.3 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10

9.34 train from St Pancras International to Ashford International (arriving 10.11) changing there for the 10.33 to Ham Street, arriving 10.41

Or catch the 9.01 from Victoria (9.26 Bromley South) to Ashford International, arriving 10.28 to connect (be quick, as you have to cross from platform 6 to platform 1) with the above train.

(There is also an 8.52 from Victoria, calling at 9.09 at Bromley South, arriving 10.21 at Ashford, which gives you more time to change)

Buy a day return to Appledore.

For walk directions click here.

Before anyone starts moaning, it has been harder to pick a walk this week than at any time in the twelve years I have been doing this task. A southern choice was clearly wanted to balance out the other two, but all trains out of Waterloo and all out of Charing Cross are affected by engineering works and the Uckfield line is closed south of Oxted.

One other promising idea had already been nabbed by another walking group (I always try to check to avoid clashes). In addition I had a special request to pick a walk suitable for a possible moonlight walk, this being the last opportunity for such on a Saturday before the clocks go forward. While I admit this is a very minority interest, some pity for its adherents might be prompted by the fact that every other moonlight Saturday since October has been cloudy, an amazing run of bad luck.

So yes, it is quite a way to go to Ham Street and it requires an early train for those for whom St Pancras is not convenient. On the plus side, this could make a very nice spring walk, with gentle fields, pleasant views, and a lovely village for tea. I also read that the characterful Woolpack Inn in Warhorne, the lunch stop, has reopened, and as such deserves our support.

For those worried about mud on a relatively low lying walk, I offer no guarantees, but a week of dry sunny weather in March does wonders to the firmness of the ground.

Appledore is an isolated station and there are no refreshment opportunities in its vicinity, so time your arrival there carefully. Trains back are at 05 past the hour, arriving at Ashford at 18 past, changing there for the Victoria train at 35 past and the High Speed to St Pancras at 43 past.
  • 16-Mar-16

    I went on this walk with the Wednesday group last summer. Very worthwhile with some surprising gems and a great pub. Probably can't join you but have a good time.

  • Anonymous
    18-Mar-16

    Does the train call at Stratford International (just kidding!)

    East London Folk can catch it there at 9:41am

  • 20-Mar-16

    18 on this walk, all but two or three on the high speed train. The weather was sadly cold and grey with just an occasional hint of blue sky - such a contrast with the warm sun of last week. But there were signs of spring in the woods with a few wood anemones out and lots more to come. In just three weeks this walk would be ablaze with these flowers, plus bluebells and some good fields of oilseed rape. Already in evidence, however, were lots and lots of lambs - cheering to see them.

    Lambs were also in evidence in the Woolpack Inn, but this time in a vast pie - supposed to be for two but enough for four (and I speak as one legendary for his big appetite). This is a lovely pub and the food is excellent, but oh dear, another one falling victim to "We will take your order at the table"-itis, which pointlessly added half an hour to the meal time. For tea, the better-mannered among us gained admittance to Mrs Mollet's High Class Tea Rooms: the rest had to make do with the pub.

    Most got the 6.06 train. Five of us lingered in the hope of moonlight but were thwarted for the umpteenth time this winter by leaden skies. We consoled ourselves with a train ride to Rye and a nice convivial curry.

Wed, 19-Aug-15
Midweek day walk Ham - Street to Appledore

Ham Street to Appledore

A walk full of historical interest in the low hills around Romney Marsh

Book 3* Walk 106

* Online only

Length : 18 km or 11 miles

Toughness : 3 out of 10

Getting there : Catch the 10:37 am train from London St. Pancras (10:44 Stratford) to Ham Street changing at Ashford to Platform 1 to catch the 11:33 to Ham Street.

The HST train fares are now just shy of £20, but those of you with suitable rail cards may get a better deal on the 9:52 from Victoria.

Meeting point : Ham Street Station at 11:41

Tickets : Buy a day return to Appledore

Brief Description

With the re-opening of the Woolpack Inn, I thought it would be a good opportunity to visit there for lunch and also enjoy a fairly flat walk to complement the Hangers romp last week.

You may find full details of the walk here and kindlers may download a mobi here

Suggested Lunch stops

The Woolpack Inn t: 01233 732900

Suggested Tea stops

Miss Mollett's High Class Tea Room, a quintessential English tea room where, I seem to remember, not a single piece of bone china matches - open to five.
(Do allow 35-40 mins to get to Appledore station from here)

Maps

OS Explorer : 125

Return train times

Trains return from Appledore to London St. Pancras and depart at the following times :
16:05 | 17:05 | 17:40 | 18:05 | 18:40 | 19:05
Change at Ashford (20-25 min wait) - Journey time about an hour and a quarter.
  • Anonymous
    17-Aug-15

    Is booking necc. for Woolpack?

  • Anonymous
    17-Aug-15

    Will call them tomorrow. A new one for me. Looking forward to it. LM

  • Anonymous
    18-Aug-15

    Well done LM. I suspect walkers will arrive about twoish

    AA

  • Marion
    18-Aug-15

    The 10.13 train from Waterloo East is the direct train to Ham St which the Ashford fast connects with to arrive at 1141.

  • 18-Aug-15

    Not so, Marion. The 1010 from Charing X (1013 W/East) gets to Ashford at 1128, giving you 5 minutes to nip across to Platform 1 for the 2-coach chugger to Ham Street. I've done that a few times but the CHX train is often a few minutes late and I've been lucky to make the connection. Up to you whether you take the risk.

  • Anonymous
    18-Aug-15

    As always well done Sean for accurate information

  • Marion
    19-Aug-15

    Thanks Sean as this is my only train option from West London and I'm not prepared to travel one hour to St Pancras i'l give this one a miss and do a Ramblers walk nearer home in the Chilterns.

  • Anonymous
    20-Aug-15

    14 on this walk with weather mostly sunny with some high cloud .

    A slightly undulating walk with woods, meadowland and wheat fields (some being harvested) and two interesting churches. The section on the military canal was pleasant with water lilies,rushes wild fowl and swans adding interest.

    Most agreed lunch at the newly re-opened Woolpack Inn was excellent and not expensive.

    Five eager folk set off early after lunch with the lunchtime dawdlers following later.

    AD

Sat, 20-Jun-15
Walk 3-106b: Ham Street Circular
Length: 23.5km (14.6 miles), Toughness: 4/10 T=3.106.b

Trains: High speed 9:34 from St. Pancras International changing at Ashford International (arr. 10:11, dep. 10:33) to Ham Street arriving at 10:41. Alternatively catch the 8:52 from Victoria (Bromley South 9:09) arriving at Ashford 10:21 to transfer to the 10:33. Buy a day return to Ham Street.
Return trains from Ham Street are at xx:10 changing at Ashford for the high speed at xx:43 or slow at xx:35.

Options: It is possible to reduce the walk by 5km by finishing at Appledore.

Lunch: The suggested lunch stop is the newly reopened Woolpack Inn (01233 732 900) in Warehorne about 9.5km into the walk. An earlier stop is possible at the Blue Anchor in Ruckinge after 4km but that leaves nearly 20km to complete after lunch.

Tea: The Dukes Head pub in Ham Street.

Directions: For more information including directions, maps, GPS etc. see SWC.106

  • 21-Jun-15

    SWC Inspector's Report 2015/06/20/3/106b/Ham Street Circular. 0 walkers. Gloomy .

    Full marks to Mark R for spotting that Warehorne's Woolpack Inn had reopened in May (the previous landlord having allegedly decamped with the Christmas money in 2013), making this walk on the fringes of Romney Marsh viable once again.

    Not for the first time, this inspector failed to make it up in time to do the full walk but belatedly made his way to Warehorne, arriving at 12.40. Hopes were briefly raised at the cheering sight of 20+ walkers milling about, but all seemed to be on a local outing and inquiries about the Saturday Walkers elicited only blank stares of non-recognition. Were any hiding away in a back room?

    In the interests of research I diligently sampled the craft beers and a couple of courses (excellent food, freshly prepared, promptly served), but no-one else appeared in the next hour. A desultory stroll across the marshes to Kennardington church and back alongside the canal almost tempted me to do some further research, but I decided instead to head for the tea stop on the Tonbridge-Hadlow walk. I can confirm Walker's report of a healthy attendance on at least one SWC walk.

    PS. As one pub rises from the ashes, another bites the dust. Locals told me that the early lunch stop on this walk (the Blue Anchor in Ruckinge) is closed and up for sale.