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

See the Sea through Sand Dunes in Camber SWC 154 - Rye to Dungeness and Lydd-on-Sea or Lydd or Circular

See the Sea through Sand Dunes in Camber

SWC 154 - Rye to Dungeness and Lydd-on-Sea or Lydd or Circular

11-Nov-17 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Camber Sands SWC 154 - Rye to Dungeness and Lydd-on-Sea or Lydd or Circular

Camber Sands

SWC 154 - Rye to Dungeness and Lydd-on-Sea or Lydd or Circular

11-Nov-17 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk154 walkicon 38805100072

The Path (the red/brown-ish strip), Dungeness NNR SWC 154 - Rye to Dungeness and Lydd-on-Sea or Lydd or Circular (Lydd Ending)

The Path (the red/brown-ish strip), Dungeness NNR

SWC 154 - Rye to Dungeness and Lydd-on-Sea or Lydd or Circular (Lydd Ending)

30-Nov-17 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk154 walkicon 23971082347

Sheep in Marsh SWC 154 - Rye to Dungeness and Lydd-on-Sea or Lydd or Circular (Rye Ending)

Sheep in Marsh

SWC 154 - Rye to Dungeness and Lydd-on-Sea or Lydd or Circular (Rye Ending)

20-Dec-17 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk154 walkicon 39371820551

Birdlife in Reed-Ringed Water-Filled Pit, Dungeness RSPB Nature Reserve SWC 154 - Rye to Dungeness and Lydd-on-Sea or Lydd or Circular (Long Lydd Ending)

Birdlife in Reed-Ringed Water-Filled Pit, Dungeness RSPB Nature Reserve

SWC 154 - Rye to Dungeness and Lydd-on-Sea or Lydd or Circular (Long Lydd Ending)

21-Dec-17 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk154 walkicon 39342328572

Big Sky and Cloud Scapes over Camber Sands SWC 154 - Rye to Dungeness and Lydd-on-Sea or Lydd or Circular [taken by Emma P]

Big Sky and Cloud Scapes over Camber Sands

SWC 154 - Rye to Dungeness and Lydd-on-Sea or Lydd or Circular [taken by Emma P]

04-Feb-18 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk154 walkicon 40178922602

Bonfire prepared (Fair and Bonfire Salts, Rye) SWC 154 - Rye to Dungeness and Lydd-on-Sea or Lydd or Circular

Bonfire prepared (Fair and Bonfire Salts, Rye)

SWC 154 - Rye to Dungeness and Lydd-on-Sea or Lydd or Circular

11-Nov-17 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk154 27059961109

Length

21.7 km (13.5 miles), with negligible ascent/descent. For a shorter or longer walk, or a circular option, see below Walk Options.

Toughness

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.

Walk Notes

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.
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.

Walk Options

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).
An extension of that Circular Route to Romney Marsh Windfarm adds 2.3 km/1.4 mi.
An extension of the main route to Lydd through the unique Dungeness National Nature Reserve and then through parts of the RSPB Dungeness Nature Reserve adds 5.6 km/3.5 mi.
A Variation of the Extension further through the RSPB Dungeness Nature Reserve adds a further 3.2 km/2.0 mi to that.
A Lydd-on-Sea – Dungeness – Lydd walk is between 10.3 km/6.4 mi and 20.1 km/12.5 mi long (the latter if first going all the way to the border of the military range (map-led), then back along the main walk to pick up the extension and then along the longer variation of the extension through the RSPB Nature Reserve and via the RSPB Visitor Centre).

Short walks by car
You could do two shorter walks either side of the firing range, which means you don't have to worry about the restricted opening times. A Camber Sands walk (the river estuary and sand dunes are the highlight, not the seaside resort village), and a Dungeness walk (the eerie Dungeness shingle landscape is the highlight). Camber Sands village has expensive parking (£12 summer/£6 winter). It's free at Dungeness

Maps

OS Explorer: 125 (Romney Marsh, Rye & Winchelsea)
OS Landranger Map: 189 (Ashford & Romney Marsh)

Travel

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.

To return:

  • From The Pilot Inn (south of Lydd-on-Sea), take bus 11 (hourly, takes 15 mins) to Ham Street station (cheaper but hourly train) or stay on the bus to Ashford International Station (longer bus ride but more trains)
  • From Lydd village, 1) on Dungeness Road take #11 bus to Ashford, or 2) from the High Street, take bus #100 back to Rye
  • From Dungeness or Lydd-on-Sea (north of the Pilot Inn), take the heritage railway to the last stop (£12, summer, shoulder weekend, check the timetable). Then it's 2 km inland to Sandling station, or 6 km along the coastpath to Folkestone station.
Lunch

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 Rye Bay Café/Bistro 1 Old Lydd Road, Camber, Rye TN31 7XR (07793 393 186). The Rye Bay is located 6.3 km/3.9 mi into the walk.
Coastal Café in Camber 15 Lydd Road, Camber, Rye TN31 7RJ (01797 227 777). The Coastal Café in Camber is located 6.4 km/4.0 mi into the walk.
Dunes Bar & Restaurant Old Lydd Road, Camber, Rye TN31 7RH (01797 224 567). The Dunes is located 6.4 km/4.0 mi into the walk.

Tea

In Dungeness:
The End of the Line Dungeness Road, Dungeness, Romney Marsh TN29 9NA (01797 362 353). Located near the old lighthouse in the former ticket office of the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway station at Dungeness, 19.5 km/12.1 mi into the walk, 200m after the split-off of the Lydd endings, and 2.3 km from the end of the walk.
The Britannia Dungeness Road, Dungeness, Romney Marsh TN29 9ND (01797 321 959). The Britannia is located 19.7 km/12.2 mi into the walk, 400m after the split-off of the Lydd endings, and 2.0 km from the end of the walk.
The Snack Shack at Dungeness Fish Hut Dungeness Road, Dungeness, Romney Marsh TN29 9NB (07825 598 921). The Snack Shack is located 1.3 km from the end of the walk.

In Lydd-on-Sea:
The Pilot Inn Battery Road, Lydd-on-Sea, Romney Marsh TN29 9NJ (01797 320 314). The Pilot Inn is located at the very end of the walk.

In Lydd:
The Dolphin 11 South Street, Lydd, Romney Marsh TN29 9DQ (01797 320 259).
The George Hotel 11 High Street, Lydd, Romney Marsh TN29 9AJ (01797 321 710).

In Rye:
Too numerous to list here. See the pdf for details.

Danger Area

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]

Shingle

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!

Camber Sands

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!

Coast Path

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.
North. 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.
West. 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 3 km inland to Rye and back again.

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.
Links
Tides
2-Dec : low: 03:33 high: 08:41 low: 16:00 high: 21:08
3-Dec : low: 04:28 high: 09:28 low: 16:55 high: 21:53
4-Dec : low: 05:20 high: 10:13 low: 17:49 high: 22:39
5-Dec : low: 06:11 high: 11:01 low: 18:39 high: 23:26
6-Dec : low: 07:00 high: 11:50 low: 19:26
7-Dec : high: 00:13 low: 07:48 high: 12:38 low: 20:13
8-Dec : high: 01:03 low: 08:36 high: 13:30 low: 20:59
Times for Dungerness. Corrected for BST if appropriate. Contains ADMIRALTY® tidal data: © Crown Copyright and database right.
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By Train

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By Car

Start TN31 7AB Map Directions

Finish The Pilot, Lydd-on-Sea, TN29 9NU Map Directions

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National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234

Version

Dec-19 Andrew Thomas G

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

Walk Directions  

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

Map 1 : Rye
Map 2 : Camber
Map 3 : Lydd Ranges West
Map 4 : Lydd Ranges East
Map 5 : Dungerness
Map 6 : Lydd Nature Reserve
© 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