The day, was a good one, sunny with a cool breeze and the worry of rain gone for the time being, so we decided that going to the coast would be a good idea. We had bad news on the Friday, the not unexpected passing of our brother, and sitting at home brooding about it was not a good idea. We needed a place where we could exercise, walk and talk if we wanted to, and think about him, but also have the opportunity to explore and become a little distracted from our grief.
Also, we needed a place where we could walk untrammelled by the restrictions of town and crowds, so we guessed at Kingsdown along the coast from Deal and Walmer. We made the decision whilst driving along the A20 with the desire to avoid Ashford. Once planned we set off and arrived in Deal, drove through to Walmer, past the castle and eventually found a place to park opposite the public toilets – a bonus.
Our first impression was of a busy place but as it turned out there were many visitors but there was enough room for all sorts of activities, camping, beach huts, walking and using the cycling lanes, fishing and generally enjoying the day. We liked the place immediately.
We wandered onto the beach front and saw that much of the beach was a wild life and wild plant reserve, at this time of the year filled with yellow fennel flowers, that added to the view of the cliffs of St Margaret’s Bay. We explored a little, had a chat with a local resident of the area, and had a light lunch at the Rising Sun pub. The attraction of the Rising Sun over the other establishment was that it was off the beach front, seemed less gaudy and had a large ginger cat as a resident.
Afterwards we walked up the hill to the church and enjoyed the views from there. The church had a wonderful “God’s little acre” of wild flowers although it seemed that the rest of the church yard was well planted with wild plants. There is a path from the church leading down into the village that joins with a others. We took one that led out to a field that as we crossed opened out magnificent sea views.
The path led, so we learned from a person walking her dog, to Walmer Castle. What we didn’t realise until we arrived at the memorial, was that we were approaching the Hawkshill reserve, including the WWI airfield. Again, lovely sea views and a views of Walmer and finally a walk down to the castle, although by the time we arrived it was too late to enjoy a visit.
We settled for a quick chat, a brief look through the gates into the gardens and then a walk back along the beach front with an ice cream cone each. Walking past the castle we were impressed, remarking that its sole purpose was to shoot large lumps of metal at the French, which seems a bit nasty.
Later, back in the village we saw a cross channel ferry approaching Dover, lucky they avoided Walmer and Deal, thought I, with all those cannon sitting there waiting to be used. Of course, there is the cannon at Dover Castle to account for.
Anyway, it was a good day and allowed us to take some much needed exercise, gather thoughts together with a little pleasant distraction. As an exercise in mutual and self comforting it was a wise choice, and for us opened out a place to visit again and explore other walks, but also to visit the castle.