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Saxon Shore Way

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Subject: Saxon Shore forts, Shepway, Swale, Gravesham, Ramblers
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Saxon Shore Way

Saxon Shore Way
Length 163 mi (262 km)
Location South East England
Trailheads Gravesend
Use Hiking
Hiking details
Season All year
Kent 802AD
The Saxon Shore Way, and the other long-distance footpaths in Kent.

The Saxon Shore Way is a long-distance footpath in England. It starts at Gravesend, Kent, and traces the coast of South-East England as it was in Roman times (note the changed coastline around Romney Marsh) as far as Hastings, East Sussex, 163 miles (262 km) in total.[1]


The line of the Roman fortification that the route traces includes ancient forts, modern towns, nature reserves and coastline: four Roman forts built in the fourth century lie along the route, at Reculver, Richborough, Dover and Lympne.

At Seasalter there is an internationally important area for geese, ducks, and waders. The diversity of scenery along the route includes the wide expanses of marshland bordering the Thames and Medway estuaries, the White cliffs of Dover, and panoramic views over Romney Marsh from the escarpment that marks the ancient coastline between Folkestone and Rye.

The Saxon Shore Way was originally opened in 1980, but has since been re-established, and in parts re-routed and extended.[2] 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 the 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.[2] The Way takes its name, the Saxon Shore, from a line of fortifications built along the coastline as it was in the 3rd century AD, towards the end of the Roman period. In this time of crisis Saxon invaders came from the southern regions of modern Denmark and in response the Romans built a line of defensive forts along the coast to repel the newcomers.[2]

The route

Gravesend to Faversham

A saline fleet at Cliffe Creek
Sunset over The Swale


  • The Faversham area section is from Conyer Creek in the west alongside The Swale, passing through Harty Ferry; Oare; Faversham and on to north of Graveney in the east.[4] The Saxon Shore Way traces the coast as it was in Roman times and follows the line of the Roman fortifications.

Faversham to Deal

Deal to Dover

A view of the cliffs from the path.

Dover to Rye


Rye to Hastings

The Royal Military Canal near Rye

See also

Greensand Way South England flood of February 1287


  1. ^ James Kirby. "Saxon Shore Way". Long Distance Walkers Association. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  2. ^ a b c "The Saxon Shore Way". Walking Pages - Trails and Paths. p. 1. Archived from the original on 2008-02-16. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  3. ^ Martin Hall, Mark Loos and Medway Swale Estuary Partnership (2004). Walking the Saxon Shore Way through Medway. Medway Council Development and Environment Department in association with Medway Swale Estuary Partnership. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  4. ^ "Saxon Shore way and Swale Heritage Trail". The Faversham Website. 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  5. ^ Your County - Kent
  6. ^ "Saxon Shore, Kent". Saxon Shore, Kent. 2010-03-15. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  7. ^ "Saxon Shore Way 1 (Hastings to Rye)". EveryTrail. 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
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