St Margaret's Bay Ramble

The gang at the Lighthouse

The whole point of this photo was to get a big liner in the background. Unfortunately it was really misty so you can't really see it! But of course, the dogs stole the show!

Chris Amos writes:


After our summer ramble at Knole we discussed whether a mid week ramble was viable. The decision was made to try one out and so I suggested one that I had found in Lynn and Pete Frenchs' neck of the woods...St Margaret's Bay near Deal.

Lynn and Pete very kindly did a recce for us on what turned out to be one of the hottest days of the year and Chris and I did the walk about a month ago.

I checked the extended weather last week and it promised to be fine. However, Wednesday dawned overcast and drizzly.

But we're not put off that easily and by the time we set off it was dry but cloudy and 9 people and 8 dogs got into their stride to tackle the White Cliffs!

The walk starts off at beach level but climbs steeply up the lane then veers off up onto the cliff top where it levels out. Puffing and panting (some of us) we stopped to get our breath and wait for the “tail-end-charlies” before going through the gate to walk along the cliff top path. Now you have to take my word for it here, but on a good day you really CAN see France clearly...just not on this day!

We made our way to the South Foreland Lighthouse where we took the opportunity for a photo shoot and a sit down before the next leg of the ramble.

In the photo are Jan and Nigel with Willow and Izzy, Lynn and Pete with Sophie, Pat and David with Jack and Daisy, Morag and Nelson and myself with Tallie and Jasper. Mr Chris is behind the camera.

The next part of the ramble was along the headland and as the clouds lifted we had views of Dover Harbour with all the Ferries going in and out. We walked along an undulating and winding path until we reached Fan Bay Deep Shelter, an entrance to shelters used during the war now under the auspices of the National Trust.

From there , after another photo, we started our return journey along an inland path back towards the Lighthouse where we were met by Jenny and Ian with Eddie...(sorry, if I'd know you were joining us I'd have waited for you!)

The walk back was somewhat gentler and we stopped off at the Pines Cafe and Museum which I had previously booked. Well, what can I say? They were extremely welcoming and dog friendly. The food was delicious and SO much of it!!!

After lunch we made our way back down the hill to the car park where some of us couldn't resist an ice cream. Ian Flemings house is just along from the car park and I believe David strolled along to see it before leaving for home.

The walk although only about 4 miles was pretty strenuous but I think we all enjoyed it. Hopefully we can do another walk before the weather changes!

Chris Amos

Editor's note: This was a really enjoyable walk and lovely to meet Morag and Nelson for the first time. David and I would love to do this walk again. Thank you to all those involved in the organisation. Good job!

Jan Chamberlain writes:

I think our first mid-week ramble went well yesterday.A big welcome to Nelson and Morag on their 1st ramble with us. Hope you enjoyed it. Pity the sun didn't come out, but then it may have been too hot. The walk to the lighthouse and beyond was just right for little old Willow, plenty of grass for her to walk on. Better for her arthritis, which does seem better since I've been putting Turmeric in her food.

The cafe was very good letting dogs inside and the portions very generous. The staff couldn't do enough for us.We thank them for the plate of dog bikkies and wiping down the chairs for us so we could sit outside.

'Till we all meet up again


Jenny Carr writes:

Thank you Chris and the other members for arranging this ramble. It was unfortunate that but for a lorry unloading its content and blocking the very narrow road completely for 20mins and no phone signal we would have been there in plenty of time. Oh well better luck next time. Jenny

Stephen Warne writes:

Nice descriptive write up of the ramble by Chris. I could almost imagine being there.

Interesting about the Turmeric. (See Jan Chamberlain's input) Woody had recently started have this and it does seem to have helped his creaky joints too.