This walk goes through Lydd Ranges which are only open for about 65 days a year. You MUST check the range opening times on 01303 225 518 before doing this walk.
Nov-17. Lydd Council's website or Googling "FIRING TIMES CPTA RANGES" may turn up a link to the firing times.
The beach through the Lydd Ranges is shingle, which is hard to walk on. You can walk behind the beach, or on the sea wall in some places, but it's much better to do this part of the walk at low tide. Try and arrange to do the walk with low tide in early afternoon. Check the tide times!
The tide goes out a long way at Camber Sands beach uncovering sandbars. Explore these on a falling tide only! Beware that the tide comes in quickly and can cut you off. There have been fatalities here. Check the tide times!
21.7 km (13.5 miles)
4 out of 10 (if hitting low tide at Dungeness, else tougher due to the expanses of shingle)
OS Explorer 125
This is a fascinating and most unusual walk, initially leading from the historic Cinque Ports Town of Rye along the Rother River to Camber Sands with its shallow and wide sandy beach lined by magnificent sand dunes and with a selection of lunch stops. After lunch you follow the coast along the beach or the seawall through the Lydd Firing Ranges (only open for about 65 days a year) into the desolate, vast expanse of shingle (one of the largest in Europe) that is the Dungeness National Nature Reserve and then past the Dungeness Nuclear Power Station (helping to save the world from Global Warming). You pass a couple of lighthouses (old and new) and a few tea options in Dungeness and then continue past Derek Jarman’s famed garden to The Pilot Inn in Lydd-on-Sea, from where buses take you back to Rye or on to Ham Street or Ashford stations.
Note: to shorten the exposure to the shingle do the walk on days when low tide is around early afternoon.
A circular option from Camber back to Rye through grassy marsh land cuts out all shingly sections and makes this an interesting all-year walk, even when the military range is shut to the public.
An alternative ending from Dungeness leads through the shingly Denge Beach area and a large RSPB Reserve to Lydd.
The England Coast Path (ECP) opened in 2016 from Camber onwards past Dungeness to The Pilot Inn (and on towards Folkstone). However, the route detours inland around the Lydd Ranges. This section is not recommended, as it's a very long detour, and much of it is a slog along the Ranges' perimeter road. The ECP carries on north for 20 km towards Folkestone (which has a train station). This section of the coast is flat, backed by a '1 street' strip of bungalows and occasional caravan parks. It's all promenade, so would make a fine cycle ride, but would be a very monontonous walk. The Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway (a heritage 'toy train' railway) runs along this section of coast, from Dungeness to Dymchurch (near Folkestone), with many stops along the way.
If walking it in the other direction, be aware that you cannot cross the mouth of the River Rother at any state of the tide - you have to walk 3km inland to Rye and back again.
|Tide Times||Tide Times - Dungeness|
|Lydd Ranges||Lydd Ranges are only open for about 65 days a year. They are open for a 2 week period at Christmas, a period in August, and the rest of the 35 days are scattered throughout the year. Walking inland along roads around the ranges would be very long and not much fun.|
|Lunch and Tea||
Take the train to Rye. Buy a return to Rye, which is valid for all the (non-heritage) stations mentioned below.
Saturday Walkers’ Club: Take a train no later than 9.40 hours if planning to lunch in Camber. Take an earlier train for lunch in Dungeness and/or if walking a long version of the walk.
You could do 2 shorter walks either side of the ranges - a Rye Circular via Camber Sanda (the river estuary and sand dunes are the highlight, not the village), and a Lydd Circular via Dungeness (the eary Dungeness coastline is the highlight). Beware Camber Sands village has very expensive parking. Its free at Dungeness
After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
Out (not a train station)
|Map Walk||This walk requires an OS map and a compass or GPS for navigation. You can print out OS maps using the link above.|
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from wwww.walkingclub.org.uk