The Saxon Shore and The White Cliffs of Dover (England)

The Saxon Shore and The White Cliffs of Dover (England)

The Saxon Shore Way is named after the line of historic fortifications that defended the Kent coast at the end of the Roman era from Saxon invaders and provides some of the finest coastal walking in England. An unrivalled diversity of scenery includes the White Cliffs of Dover, and panoramic views over Romney Marsh from the escarpment that marks the ancient coastline between Folkestone and Rye. The route is also rich in historical sites and literary associations. Here the Romans invaded Britain and, later, St. Augustine landed to bring the Gospel to the Anglo-Saxon kingdom which would later fall to the Normans who, in their turn, erected great fortresses like Dover Castle to defend their conquests. It follows the coastline of the South East as it was about 1500 years ago, long before the North Kent Marshes or the Romney Marsh came into existence, when the cliff lines to north and south extended further into the sea and when the Wantsum Channel provided a thoroughfare for boats between the Isle of Thanet and mainland England.  


Day 1. Sandwich 
Arrive and overnight in Sandwich - Sandwich is a historic town on the River Stour. It was one of the Cinque Ports and still has many original medieval buildings, including several listed public houses and gates in the old town walls, churches, almshouses and the White Mill. While once a major port, it is now two miles from the sea, its historic centre preserved. Evocatively sited amid the East Kent marshes, nearby Richborough fort is perhaps the most symbolically important of all Roman sites in Britain, witnessing both the beginning and almost the end of Roman rule here.

Day 2. Sandwich - White Cliffs of Dover - St. Margaret 
The tour flows into the English Channel below Sandwich and you follow the coast south and westward through Deal and Walmer, passing the place where the Romans first landed when they made their conquest of Britain. The path ascends onto the White Cliffs of Dover and then you spend the second night in the village of St. Margarets near South Foreland.
Walking: 18 km

Day 3. St. Margaret - Dover - Folkestone 
The trail continues across the White Cliffs passing through Dover and along the top of the North Downs above Folkestone. Overnight near Folkestone.
Walking: 20 km

Day 4. Folkestone - Dymchurch 
The Saxon Shore descends from the North Downs and crosses the neighbouring Greensand ridge to reach the vast flat expanse of Romney Marsh. The forth night is spent in Woodchurch, near the seaside town Dymchurch, much associated with smuggling.
Walking: 18 km

Day 5. Dymchurch - Appledore 
The trail follows the former coastline on the northern edge of the marsh, ascending and descending the line of low cliffs and passing some remote villages. Overnight in Woodchurch
Walking: 18 km

Day 6. Appledore - Rye 
Beyond Appledore the path crosses the former sea bed to reach the Isle of Oxney. On the far side of this former island it descends the cliffs and follows the Royal Military Canal into the ancient town of Rye, where you spend the sixth night. 
Walking: 18 km

Day 7. Rye - Hastings 
Continue your walk through Winchelsea and across the Fire Hills to the end of the Saxon Shore in Hastings. Overnight Hastings.
Walking: 18 km

Day 8. Departure
The tour ends after breakfast

Practical information: ► This is a mainly easy walk but moderate over the White cliffs and Greensand, where there are some steep ascents and descents. ►Please note that it's difficult to book accommodation during the UK national holidays unless booked well in advance ►London Airports all have good train connections to Sandwich. London Gatwick is the closest and involves a train from Gatwick to St.Pancras station and then a train from there to Sandwich. Journey time approx. 3 hrs. From London Heathrow again a train can be taken to St. Pancras and a train taken to Sandwich, journey is also about 3 hrs. There are direct trains from Hastings to Gatwick airport approx. every hour. To get back to London Heathrow from Hastings is not so straightforward and there are several options which can be seen on Train table and prices can be checked here:

Recommended travel period of the year: April - October

Nessesary equipment: sturdy walking boots and walking socks (with a change of socks in rucksack), small rucksack/day pack, 1 x water bottle with 1 litre capacity, insect repellent, sun glasses, sun hat, sun block/cream, compass, torch, first-aid kit

Price Includes:
7 overnights at small hotels and guesthouses with private bathroom (but not always guaranteed) and with breakfast
Luggage transfer
Map and road book in English (delivered at the first hotel)
24-hour telephone service

Not Included:
flight tickets
personal insurance
transport from/to airport
beverages and meals,not mentioned in the program
personal expenses,entrance fees

Additional Services:
Solo traveler supplement: 380 EUR


The Saxon Shore and The White Cliffs of Dover (England) (Rated 4.78 / 5 Based on 377 Reviews.)

No special experience is needed; everyone who is in condition to cope with long Saturday walks in the forest can also cope with these tours. As a rule, the trips are short and at a low altitude. Often, it is your choice to join or skip a day-tour. The routes follow a hilly terrain without steep ascents and descents. Normally we walk 3/5h a day.

Most of you, who are used to walking/cycling during a long weekend, will be in condition to cope with a tour of this level. You should be in a good health condition. We have successive days of longer and more difficult walking and days of lighter walking/cycling. Some parts of the day routes are done at a higher altitude. The paths are in good condition. We walk/cycle for 5/7h a day.

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