The Faversham to Whitstable walk follows a part of the 160 mile Saxon Shore Way running from Gravesend to Hastings. Starting at Faversham Station the route passes through the historic town centre and out onto the marsh & reclaimed land beyond. The wide open skies dominate both the marshes and the coastal path.
This 8 ½ mile (13.5 km) walk is extremely flat. Much of the route is across reclaimed land behind a long sea wall that faces the Isle of Sheppey and along The Swale. There is a beauty in the sparseness of the lead up to the shore walk.
Our route began in the historic town of Faversham which has been settled since pre-Roman times. The town nestles along Faversham Creek and the creek has played a major part of the towns development. Ship building used to be a major industry in the town.
The town centre has plenty of architecture which reflects the past including the old market place.
The route arrives at the old industrial centre, originally an active port. Now much of the area has been redeveloped for retail and small businesses, but you’ll see plenty of examples of ship repairing here.
Out to open country
The route follows the Saxon Shore Way which in total runs for 160 miles from Gravesend to Hastings. This section takes you out into open country across the marsh lands.
The path tracks the creek as it makes its way towards the sea.
Head towards the houses on the horizon sheltered by the trees. This whole landscape reminded me of the beginning of ‘Great Expectations‘ and the description of the marshes by Dickens.
You’ll arrive at Nagden Cottages, a group of houses with some very attractive gardens set on their own in the middle of the marshes.
Shortly after passing the cottages watch out for a small sign to the left. This will take you across several wheat fields towards the coast.
If you love wide open skies then you will love this part of the journey. The clouds floated past high above and the breeze kept us cool while the sun shone down.
The shore line
After a kink in the trail to the left we made the short climb to the sea wall and the path. All the area we had passed through were below sea level protected by this wall.
The Isle of Sheppey is on the other side of the water, known as the Swale.
Looking down along the Swale towards London you can see a bridge in the distance.
The next section of the walk follows the sea wall.
While everything seems the same from a distance actually everything changes. The tide is either moving in and out as you proceed along the wall. The shore itself moves from salt marsh to gravel to stones with the groynes appearing and disappearing.
You have passed the half-way mark on the Faversham to Whitstable walk when you arrive at the outskirts of Seasalter you will see ‘The Sportsman’ gastropub beside the path. The pub has a wonderful reputation for the quality of its food, however if you want to eat there you’ll have to book 3 months ahead.
You will have had to walk along a section of road before returning to the path above. After awhile the shore path terminates and you need to climb to the quiet road above in order to cross the railway line. Don’t make our mistake and try to keep to the seaside of the railway.
There is a short walk along the main road before you see a small alley.
This alley leads back to the railway which you cross back towards the beach.
You have now arrived in the outskirts of Whitstable. Beach huts now line the trail.
The route continues and moves slightly away from the coast, but you can continue beside the beach by deviating from our map. We continued along Island Wall and stopped at the junction below
Here at The Windy Corner Cafe we enjoyed cold drinks and excellent sandwiches.
If you enjoyed the Faversham to Whitstable walk then you can find other great walks at Find a walk – Britain.
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