Appledore in Kent is somewhere in between Tenterden and Rye close to the Sussex border and within sight of Dungeness and Camber.
Running close below the village is the Royal Military Canal and east is Hythe and west is Rye and the Iden Lock where the canal spills into the river Rother. We wanted to explore the village and then take a walk up of the Saxon Shore Way and down to the canal and walk along it back to Appledore.
Appledore is a pretty village with a pub and an excellent cafe – we had a tasty lunch with good, friendly service after enjoying a walk from the car park to the bridge across the canal where we saw a WWII pillbox and got a good view of the village with the church tower poking above the trees. This day it was quiet and eating lunch outside close to the road was a pleasant experience instead of a noisy trial.
We watched the House Martins catching insects in flight and dashing to their nests in the eaves of a large house – parts of the eaves were blocked off with wire to protect the windows from bird poo but otherwise the place was a home for the little birds.
We enjoyed the prolific roses and display of Hollyhocks that added their color to village along with the gardens and the hanging baskets in the summer sun. It was windy, some rain threatened but the day was beautiful and naturally the village of Appledore rose to the occasion. We didn’t go into the Black Lion pub because we considered it was a day for coffee and a light meal before setting off on a longish walk but the place looked good and from its web-site its menu is impressive.
For the walk we started off well heading for the recreation ground and took the path we thought was the right one and ended up on the canal instead.
We decided to do the mapped walk the opposite way around and so walked along the canal under the trees as much as possible to the road at Higham farm. We met a couple of middle age cyclists from London and had a pleasant chat before setting off up the hill to St Mary’s church that straddles the Saxon Shore Way. The views across the Romney Marsh were fantastic. From the church we could see Camber, Dungeness and catch glimpses of Hythe.
The sights to see along the way are the vineyard – in the Saxon Shore Way – with the rose bushes as companions to the grapevines, St Mary’s Church and ancient farm buildings as well as the hump that sets on the top of the hill and dominates the view. The hump can be seen from the canal.
Travelling the opposite way was a good idea because instead of waiting for the village to appear from the canal we watched it from the slopes above and enjoyed the views as we approached the end of our journey.
In all the walk was enjoyable and there was potential for a longer walk started perhaps in the morning and perhaps take a walk along to Iden Lock, return to Appledore and have lunch and do the walk we did in the afternoon. Suggest we start the walk from Old Way to the canal and then follow the canal route above to St Mary’s. Whatever you do the countryside around Appledore has some wonderful views.
Looking across from the slopes to the misty sea was an experience worth the effort and even with Zoid who simply loves to walk and wants to get going in any direction the chance to stop and look is a treat.
The modern tends to intrude but not as intrusive perhaps as a motorway noise: at least we could still hear the birds and we sure we may have seen and heard skylarks.
Of course one of the most common sounds and sights on the Romney Marshes are the bleating of sheep and flocks of the animals – as well as their droppings, Meeting a nervous flock on the canal bank was pleasant.
We hope to follow up the canal a little later. If the sun is too hot my sister, a wilting violet in the heat, will prefer an autumn trip.