Fruit farms, The Saxon Shore Way along the tidal River Swale, creeks, mudflats, and the stark but beautiful landscape of windswept grazing marshes. Oare Marshes NNR. Ends in historic Faversham.
|Length||24.7 km (15.4 mi), of which 5.8 km (3.6 mi) on tarmac or concrete.|
|Toughness||3 out of 10|
This is a flat walk leading initially through ‘The Larder of London’, or the ‘Fruit Bowl of England’, the area around Teynham, not only the home of English cherries, but also with plentiful orchards of apples, pears, plums, strawberries and raspberries, as well as foraging opportunities for cherry plums, elderberries and blackberries. The area also used to be a large exporter of timber, grain and oysters. The local brick earth and chalk make the area fertile for fruit, but also were the foundation for the many brickfields in Teynham, Conyer and Faversham, remnants of which are passed en route. The bricks were an important source in London’s Victorian building boom, and were transported to London by the famous sailing barges, ruined remnants of which can be seen on the walk’s Conyer Creek option.
From Conyer you follow the Saxon Shore Way along The River Swale, a tidal channel between mainland Kent and the Isle of Sheppey, and then along some creeks, with mudflats, salt marshes and fishing boats on the one side and the stark but beautiful landscape of drainage ditches and dykes, fertile meadows and windswept grazing marshes on the other, an unspoilt and tranquil haven for walkers, livestock and wildlife alike. Oare Marshes NR, passed late in the afternoon, is an internationally important birdlife sanctuary.
You finish in Faversham’s bustling streets past the stunning Market Place and its many cafés and eateries.
Plentiful options enable walk lengths from as short as 13.6 km/8.4 mi to as long as 29.2 km/18.1 mi.
Teynham station is on the London Victoria to Dover Priory Chatham Main Line. Journey time is 70 minutes Mondays to Saturdays and 83 minutes on Sundays (shorter if utilising the High Speed service from St. Pancras), with an hourly service all week. Return trains from Faversham are three an hour to Victoria and two to St. Pancras (from 67 to 88 minutes journey time). Buy a Faversham return. Saturday Walkers’ Club: Take the train closest to 9.00 hours, or a later one if taking one of the early morning shortcuts.
A couple of Early Morning Shortcuts cut out the southerly loop through fields, woods and orchards. They cut 8.3 km/5.1 mi or 7.5 km/4.7 mi respectively.
|Lunch and Tea||
The Black Lion The Street, Lynsted, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME9 9JJ (01795 521 229). Open 11.00-23.30 Mon-Sat and 12.00-22.30 Sun. Food served 12.00-14.00 and 18.00-21.00 Mon-Sat, 12.00-16.30 Sun. The Black Lion is located 150m off route of the main walk, along the morning extension, 3.4 km (2.1 mi) into the walk.
For the tea options please consult page 2 of the pdf.
After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
Out (not a train station)
Back (not a train station)
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