This week the start of our walk was along the busy Leysdown Road, a narrow route with no verge. Cars travelled at speed. One look at this dangerous road persuaded my wife that a hi-viz jacket was required. She put it on and I was dazzled by her radiance (or radiated by her dazzlement – one or the other).
As we walked along we weren’t hit by cars. Maybe their drivers were also blinded by the hi-viz. It was with some relief that we turned off the road after half a mile and walked down a quiet lane towards New Rides Farm.
We came across signs telling us the land was private. On our last walk we came across similar private signs when in fact we were on the public footpath. On that occasion we heeded the signs, making a long and tiring detour, before realising we had been on the correct route all along. We weren’t going to make the same mistake here, so ignored these signs. It was only later, when we looked back the way we had come, that we saw this one:
Oops! By this time we had already crossed the private farmland and were now on the official right of way beyond. It was lucky no-one saw us. Eastchurch Prison (actually three prisons known as the Sheppey Cluster) was just over the next hedge. I’m sure they could have made room for a few trespassers…
We continued into Elmley Marshes Nature Reserve. So began 6 miles of trudge along gravel tracks snaking their way through marshland.
At points on this walk the view was stunningly beautiful.
We saw quite a lot of cattle, and quite a lot of birds, sometimes together.
We didn’t see many people at all. We came across a lonely tractor. Its driver was nowhere to be seen.
Most of the walk followed streams which ran through the marshes, full of reeds and lined with thistle.
We reached Kings Hill Farm (now the home of the Elmley National Nature Reserve), where the sparrows allowed us to get quite close to them.
Then, after another two miles, we finally reached the Sheppey Road. We turned south and walked over the Kingsferry Bridge, off the Isle of Sheppey and back to the mainland.
We stopped at Swale Station and waited for a taxi to take us back to our car. Jet skiers raced around beneath the bridge. I think I quite fancy a go on one of those one day…
Points on this walk (copy and paste the co-ordinates into Google Earth):
- Leysdown Road: N 51° 23.904 E 000° 53.003
- New Rides Farm: N 51° 23.704 E 000° 51.806
- Eastchurch Prison: N 51° 23.525 E 000° 51.167
- Elmley Marshes Nature Reserve: N 51° 22.135 E 000° 49.799
- Kings Hill Farm: N 51° 22.635 E 000° 47.051
- Re-joining the Sheppey Road: N 51° 24.059 E 000° 46.032
- Kingsferry Bridge: N 51° 23.438 E 000° 45.005
Walk #25 Statistics:
- Date of Walk: 22 July 2012
- Walk #25 total distance covered: 10.95 miles
- Coast of Britain Walk Total Distance Covered: 196.18 miles
- CLICK HERE FOR LINK TO INTERACTIVE MAP!!!
Jet skis do look like a lot of fun – you’ll have to let me know if they are when you on one!