Kent Ramblers

Walk 84

Walk 84: Hythe, Royal Military Canal, Romney Marsh and Dymchurch

Distance: 12.8 Miles (6 Hours) circular or 7 Miles (3.5 Hours) and a bus or train ride back from Dymchurch

OS Map: Explorer 138 (Start at grid reference TR154347)

Click to view larger map

Start at the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch railway station in Scanlons Bridge Road, Hythe.

Take the footpath between the station and the south bank of the Canal. After 1 mile cross at a footbridge over the Canal try out the model of the “Listening Ears”, an early form of radar. (Point A) Continue along the north bank and after 1 mile cross West Hythe Road and choose either the high level footpath or the wider bridle path. Look up to the right and see the ruined Roman Stutfall Castle, Point B, and mediaeval Lympne Castle high on the hill.  Further along, you may see exotic animals behind the fences of the Port Lympne Wild Animal Park. At Aldergate Bridge at the end of the zoo fencing (the 3.5-mile Point C), turn left down the lane to Lower Wall Road.  Turn left for 100 yards, then cross to a bridleway beside a canal across fields; follow signs to the right of Abbott’s Court farm then turn sharp left at the end of a paddock.  At the road, turn right along Shear Way into Burmarsh past the Shepherd and Crook pub.  Turn left at the pub, then cross the road and turn right into The Green. A path 2nd left leads into fields; the next part is tricky – you may have to go round field edges! Stay right of a pillbox then left over a bridge, right on the southbound path then cross another stile and bridge; follow the line of electricity poles to a bridge, bear slightly right to a marker, then slightly left across to a series of 2 bridges.  Bear right through a hedge across to a sheepfold and the RHDR line to reach Dymchurch Primary School. Go left into New Hall Close, on to the main A259 road and turn right for Dymchurch town Point D. Plenty of pubs, cafes, toilets, shops and a seaside funfair.  You have walked about 7 miles – if this is enough, there are plenty of buses, or for a rare treat, catch the famous miniature steam-driven RHDR train to take you back to Hythe.

If you have energy left, walk east along the sea wall to a Martello Tower.  Leave the wall, cross back over the A259 and turn right.  Take the left turn marked Tower Estate and walk to the end.  Turn left across a bridge and through a farm gate.  Keep right of the farm bungalow and straight across a paddock to a bridge on the right over a stream. The path leads diagonally ahead over fields to a 4-bar gate and back across the railway line; keep right of the sewage works.  Follow the stiles/gates through several fields, keeping a canal on the right, then over a stile to Lower Wall Road just left of Botolph’s Bridge Inn. Turn right and cross over the crossroads. After a few yards, climb a stile on the right into pasture; spot the tin wagon; then follow the hedge until it turns to the left.  You now bear right, crossing a canal down towards Nicholl’s Quarry Lake, watch the dinghies sailing on the lake, (Point E), and follow the railway line into a housing estate, the village of Palmarsh.  Thread up left through the estate and on to the Burmarsh Road.  Cross over and turn right; there are many gaps in the hedge to take you back onto the path beside the Canal leading to the station.

This walk was originally published on a calendar produced by White Cliffs Group.  Thanks to Rhona Hodges for originally devising this route, Rob Riddle for the photograph of Quarry Lake, Diana Blackwell for checking the directions and Andrew Boultbee for the idea.

Points of Interest

A “Listening Ears” model at Palmarsh Bridge

B Stutfall Castle

C Zoo Park Western Boundary

D Dymchurch – “Children’s Paradise”

E Nicholls Quarry Lake

F Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway

Our book of Ten Favourite Walks in the Kent Countryside has routes for ten more walks like this one.

Ramblers' volunteers in Kent work tirelessly to ensure that our paths are as well protected and maintained as possible.  Of course we also organise led walks but most of our members are independent walkers who simply want to support our footpath work.  Please join us and become a supporter too.  You need us and we really need you.

If you find that the directions and map for this walk are incorrect in any way, please report the problem to

Map based on Ordnance Survey mapping released into the public domain under the OpenData agreement.

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