Report by Jill Forgham

We had a wonderful day  yesterday. According to Alison’s app she did 23 km, oof! It was beautiful weather with a good breeze and there were 17 of us on the walk. We boarded a very packed HS1 train to Ashford International (full of people heading to the beach at Margate) and then all crammed onto a tiny train 3 stops to Rye (I had to sit in the luggage rack as there was no room left to stand in the aisles).

We did a quick tour of the quaint streets of Rye (very pretty) and up to the castle for a viewpoint and then dropped down to start our hike through fields of corn (scenes very reminiscent of Paul Nash, who had lived in the town), picking blackberries along the way as we headed across country to Winchelsea. We arrived at the New Inn in time for lunch and explored the gorgeous, partly ruined church (where Millais did two paintings) and in the churchyard, found the gravestone of Spike Milligan.

We headed out through one of the ancient town gates (13thc) and then crossed vibrant green fields with hundreds of pristine lambs grazing, heading no doubt to be salt marsh lamb fairly soon. With Camber Castle ruins on the horizon, it was glorious.

Finally we got to Rye Harbour, a good 40 minutes schlep beyond the town and now part of a nature reserve and bird sanctuary. We could see across to Camber Sands and the silhouette of Dungeness power station on the horizon, and we all collapsed into the Discovery Centre for a very welcome cup of tea and cake.

Jill.  Photos by Jill, Stuart and Lan