Saxon Shore Way
The Saxon Shore Way is a long-distance walking path following the south east coast of England for 257 kilometres from Gravesend in Kent to Hastings in East Sussex. The path follows the line of the coast as it existed in Saxon times, and one of the interesting things about the walk is discovering how the coastline has changed over the centuries. Some of the changes are due to natural events such as rivers silting up (causing several formerly important port towns to find themselves stranded several kilometres inland) and some of the changes are due to more modern events such as the new land reclaimed from the English Channel near Dover as a means of disposing of the massive amounts of earth excavated during construction of the Channel Tunnel. These changes mean that the trail frequently leads the walker out of sight of the coast, across farms and through villages.
While most of the Saxon Shore Way is fairly well waymarked, there are places where the fingerposts and waymarker discs are damaged, missing or, in a couple of cases, appear to have been deliberately interfered with. Therefore, it's wise to carry the relevant Ordnance Survey Explorer or Langranger maps and/or a reliable GPS receiver.
Just before this walk, I started using a Garmin Dakota 20 GPS, which I have loaded with the OpenStreetMap data for the UK. To my surprise, I found that several of the off-road sections of the Saxon Shore Way were included in the OSM data, though so far I haven't found a full set of GPS waypoints for the trail online.
I completed the walk over several visits to England, hence the stages are a little out of order, and one stage is shared with the North Downs Way National Trail, which I completed in the summer of 2010.
|Stage||Start and Finish||Date||Distance|
|1||Gravesend to High Halstow||29 Dec 2010||17km|
|2||High Halstow to Rochester Castle||30 Dec 2010||15.1km|
|3||Rochester Castle to Gillingham Station||31 Dec 2010||5.3km|
|4||Gillingham Station to Lower Halstow||01 Jan 2011||17.5km|
|5||Lower Halstow to Sittingbourne||02 Jan 2011||21.3km|
|6||Sittingbourne to Faversham||29 Jan 2011||26km|
|7||Faversham to Herne Bay||30 Jan 2011||23.5km|
|8||Herne Bay to Sandwich||12 Feb 2011||31.3km|
|9||Sandwich to Deal||19 Aug 2010||10km|
|10||Deal to Dover||27 Feb 2010||15km|
|11||Dover to Etchinghill||11 Aug 2010||21km|
|12||Etchinghill to Hamstreet Station||28 Feb 2011||24.5km|
|13||Hamstreet Station to Rye||02 Mar 2011||22km|
|14||Rye to Hastings||03 Mar 2011||19.6km|