Rye to Dungeness and Lydd walk

Interesting coastal walk past sand dunes, an army range, and a nuclear power station to a unique shingle desert. Travel by bus

Danger Area

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 225518 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 its 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 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!


13 miles / 21 km


4 out of 10 (no hills - shingle)


OS Explorer 125


This is a very intersting if not classically pretty walk, along the south coast of Kent has much to explore. It starts in historic Rye (a Cinque port), and follows a river down to the sea. Then it passes Camber Sands, a quiet sandy beach backed by sand dunes. The seas goes out a long way at low tide here, uncovering sandbars. Next is Camber, a holiday camp village, Then the walk enters into the Lydd Ranges, which is now a nature reserve.

The most interesting part of the walk is Dungeness - a huge nuclear power station (helping to save the world from Global Warming), a pub, a village of chalets with driftwood gardens, a heritage railway with miniture steam trains, 2 light houses (the power station was built in the way of the first...). Its Britain's biggest expanse of shingle (small pebbles) - leading to a strange, unique and desolate landscape - a chalet village on pebbles, with unique beach vegetation, not soil and grass.

Either continue along the coast to The Pilot (pub) for a bus, or walk inland through the nature reserve (and a RSPB site) to Lydd village for a bus. Lydd's church is worth a visit.

The England Coast Path opened in 2016 from Camber onwards past Dungerness to The Pilot (pub). However, the route detours inland around the Lydd Ranges. This section is not recommended, as its a very long detour, and much of it is a slog along the Range's perimeter road. On the plus side, there should now be an waymarked coast path in front of Dungerness Power Station, and onwards through the shingle area towards The Pilot (pub).

The England Coast Path carries on north for 20km towards Folkestone (which has a train station). This section of the coast is flat, backed by a '1 street' strip of bungalows and occasional carvan parks. Its 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 Dymchurch to (near) Folkestone, with many stops along the way.

Tide Times Tide Times - Dungerness
Lydd Ranges Lydd Range 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 not be very long and not fun.

Take the train to Rye. Buy a return to Rye, which is valid for all the (non-heritage) stations mentioned below.

To return:

  • From The Pilot pub (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 many 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 Dungerness or Lydd-on-Sea (north of the Pilot), take the heritage railway to the last stop (£12, summer, shoulder weekend, check the timetable). Then its 2km inland to Sandling station, or 6km along the coastpath to Folkestone station.

By car, you could do 2 short walks either side of the ranges - the sand dunes near Camber (expensive parking), and around Dungeness

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Out: (not a train station)

By Car

Start: TN31 7AB Directions

Finish: Dungeness Directions

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.

Start walking Large print Using GPS data

National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (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

Walk Directions  

The directions for this walk are also in a PDF (link above) which you can download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.

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