Rye, Dungeness and Lydd-on-Sea walk
Interesting coastal walk past sand dune and an army range to an eerie shingle landscape with a nuclear power station. Travel by bus
21.7 km (13.5 miles), with negligible ascent/descent. For a shorter or longer walk, or a circular option, see below Walk Options.
3 out of 10 (if hitting low tide at Dungeness, else tougher due to the expanses of shingle), with 4 ½ hours walking time (longer if not hitting low tide at Dungeness). For the whole outing, including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 10 hours.
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 and the UK’s only desert) that is the Dungeness National Nature Reserve and then past the Dungeness Nuclear Power Station. 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.
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.
A Circular Walk back to Rye from Camber (from the easterly edge of the village through the marshes) is 17.6 km/11.0 mi long (1/10).
Short walks by car
OS Explorer: 125 (Romney Marsh, Rye & Winchelsea)
Rye Station, map reference TQ 919 205, is 86 km south east of Charing Cross, 4m above sea level and in East Sussex. Lydd-on-Sea (The Pilot Inn) bus stop, map reference TQ 090 186, is 17 km east of Rye and 6m above sea level. Lydd, map reference TR 043 209, is 5 km northwest of Lydd-on-Sea. Lydd and Lydd-on-Sea are in Kent. Rye Station is on the Marshlink Line from Hastings to Ashford with an hourly service, linking to High Speed 1 trains to Stratford and St. Pancras International (total journey time: from 68 mins). Lydd-on-Sea (The Pilot Inn) Bus Stop is served by buses from Lydd: line 102 to Folkestone and Dover and lines 11/11A/11B via Ham Street to Ashford. In the other direction, the buses usually connect at Lydd to Rye.
Saturday Walkers’ Club: Take a train no later than 10.40 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.
The Owl 11 Old Lydd Road, Camber, Rye TN31 7RH (01797 225 284). The Owl is located 6.1 km/3.8 mi into the walk.
The middle part of this walk goes through Lydd Firing Ranges which are only open for about 65 days a year. You MUST check the range opening times before doing the full walk. There are options to do shorter walks either side of the ranges.
Firing Times : S.E. Training Estate (then "Lydd"), Googling "Lydd Firing Times" or "CPTA Firing Times", or phone 01303 225 518 (Range Control) to get opening times. [May-20]
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!
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 Range's perimeter road.
|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.|
27-May : low: 04:45 high: 10:06 low: 17:04 high: 22:15
28-May : low: 05:38 high: 10:46 low: 17:52 high: 22:58
29-May : low: 06:21 high: 11:22 low: 18:33 high: 23:38
30-May : low: 06:58 high: 11:58 low: 19:08
31-May : high: 00:15 low: 07:29 high: 12:34 low: 19:40
1-Jun : high: 00:50 low: 07:56 high: 13:08 low: 20:08
2-Jun : high: 01:22 low: 08:23 high: 13:41 low: 20:37
Times for Dungerness. Corrected for BST if appropriate. Contains ADMIRALTY® tidal data: © Crown Copyright and database right.
After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
Out (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
|Copyright||© Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only. www.walkingclub.org.uk/site/license.shtml|
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