26 – Swale to Sittingbourne

As we waved goodbye to Kingsferry Bridge for the last time, we elected to do only a short walk today.

We were back on the Saxon Shore Way having finished our detour around the Isle of Sheppey.  The first part of our walk carried us along an embankment.  Trees to either side of our path protected us from the build up of industry.

Soon, though, we were out of the trees and the industry began to be ever-present.  It accompanied us for most of our walk.

Some of the industry, like this composting factory, was rather grim.

Some of the industry, like this water treatment plant, was quite interesting.

Some of the industry, like this paper mill jetty, was impressive.

And some of the industry, like this aggregate yard, was really rather beautiful.

We walked along the banks of the River Swale, heading towards Sittingbourne.  At times the industrial buildings were largely out of sight, although their hum was ever-present.

We found a secluded spit of land for lunch.  Can you see us?

While we ate, the River Swale showed off its beautiful views.

After lunch we continued on.  We passed the Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway, a steam train line with three stations and a museum, but it was closed and we could see little of it.  The path continued along Milton Creek, an embankment with an abundance of wild flowers.

We crossed Milton Creek via a new bypass, and finished at the ruins of a small church in Murston.  Although the church dated back to the 12th or 13th centuries, by the 1920’s it was in poor repair.  Worse than that, the fumes from the nearby industries caused breathing difficulties for the congregation.  The rector of the time started a fund to build a new church, and by 1930 the old church was no longer used.  It is a tranquil slice of dereliction today, but tainted by graffiti and vandalism here and there.  I hope those who wish to throw a brick or spray some paint leave it be in the future.  It offers a bit of quietude and a place for reflection in an otherwise industrial area.

Points on this walk (copy and paste the co-ordinates into Google Earth):

  • Kingsferry Bridge:  N 51° 23.438 E 000° 45.005
  • Beautiful Industry (Aggregate Yard):  N 51° 22.771 E 000° 45.600
  • Lunch on a Spit of Land:  N 51° 22.685 E 000° 45.760
  • Grim Industry (Composting Site):  N 51° 22.424 E 000° 45.589
  • Interesting Industry (Water Treatment Plant):  N 51° 22.253 E 000° 45.511
  • Impressive Industry (Jetty):  N 51° 22.244 E 000° 45.730
  • Sittingbourne & Kensley Light Railway:  N 51° 21.681 E 000° 45.422
  • New Bypass over Milton Creek:  N 51° 21.196 E 000° 45.372
  • Ruins of Murston Church:  N 51° 20.972 E 000° 45.420

Walk #26 Statistics:

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3 Responses to 26 – Swale to Sittingbourne

  1. Jill says:

    I could see you! What a great spot for lunch 🙂 I’m betting it wouldn’t be so fun there at night tho’ – the mosquitoes must be horrible!

  2. Hi Nic, you and your family are making good progress. It was great was great to read your write-up of this walk, which I remember well. Luckily, you didn’t end up walking down the middle of the railway line, like I did! I found the industrial area interesting – I just wished there were signs up on the fences telling me what the various structures and factories were. The paper mill was quite impressive, wasn’t it? Look forward to reading the next installment. Best wishes, Ruth

    • wingclipped says:

      Thanks Ruth – we always read your blog before setting off on our next leg so we know whether or not we are going to have any problems with dodgy signposts, mud, etc – I must thank you because your posts have helped us considerably. Nic

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