When we arrived in Lydd we stopped off very quickly at All Saints Church, for a quick rest on its wall. All Saints, at 199 feet in length, is Kent’s longest church. It’s tower stands at 132 feet, which also makes the church one of the tallest in the county. Thomas Wolsey, later Cardinal Wolsey and advisor to Henry VIII, was a one time rector here. Many of the graves in the churchyard are those of sailors and smugglers, drowned in the treacherous seas off this section of coast. The grave of Lieutenant Thomas Edgar, who accompanied Captain Cook on his round-the-world expedition, is also here.
The Church, known as “the Cathedral of the Marsh”, took a direct hit from a bomb on 15 October 1940. The bomb stopped the church clock at the exact time of the blast, 4:07pm, although it was later repaired and is now in full working order. The church was also repaired, using the original bricks.
After our short rest, we headed back to the road, to walk the 4½ miles out of Lydd and back to the coast. After having undertaken a 2 mile walk into Lydd, dodging cars and buses because there was no pavement, none of us were looking forward to this stretch. However, whilst we encountered lots of dead animals at the side of the road during our walk from Dungeness to Lydd, we encountered lots of alive animals at the side of the road during our walk from Lydd to Camber. The reason for this was because a cycle track runs parallel to the road, making for an easy and pleasant walk. The difference was really quite uplifting.
We saw sheep…
…and greylag geese…
…but best of all were three little piglets. They bounded over in a state of extreme excitement and joy as we approached to see if we had any food (we didn’t). They absolutely refused to stay still for photos, and when I attempted to get a close-up they attempted to eat my camera.
Aside from all the animal excitement, there was another exciting event on this stretch of the walk: we crossed from Kent into East Sussex. The occasion was marked by a signpost on the path. It was very noticeable that the path itself had one type of tarmac in Kent and another in East Sussex, a sure-fire sign that one council looked after one side and the other the other.
We crossed over the line. My son lingered back, proclaiming himself the last of our group to be in Kent. Whether this was because he wanted to stay in the comfort of a familiar place, or because he wanted to distance himself from us as far as possible, I do not know. We stood in East Sussex and looked at him. He stood in Kent and looked back at us. Then, with a smile, he took a deep breath, lingered for a split second more, and hopped into East Sussex, leaving Kent behind.
We will remember Kent with fondness:
- Walking amongst the ruins of the explosives factory at Cliffe
- Climbing Grain Tower, a third of a mile out at sea
- Standing 20 feet under microlights as they came in to land at Stoke
- Getting shot at by the Sheppey Militia
- Having an impromptu fossil hunting lesson at Warden from a friendly expert, and being given two sharks teeth in the process
- Seeing a solitary naked person on the nudist beach at Leysdown
- Encountering a golden eagle at Harty
- Watching my mother-in-law try her first oyster at Whitstable
- Misreading the price tag of a painting in a Margate gallery and having to extricate ourselves very delicately from re-mortgaging our house
- Seeing 4.6 million shells in the underground Shell Grotto
- Watching a stunt plane perform for us at Botany Bay
- Seeing a formation of Apache helicopters fly directly overhead at Kingsdown
- Seeing Dover harbour for the first time as we turned the corner of a cliff
- Observing Remembrance Sunday on the White Cliffs of Dover
- Managing to hitch a lift on Boxing Day after leaving our car keys 6 miles away from our car in New Romney – thank you again!
- Visiting Dungeness, Britain’s only desert
All this and so much more in only 250 miles of Kentish coastline. Goodbye Kent! Hello East Sussex!
Points on this part of the walk (copy and paste the co-ordinates into Google Earth):
- The Cathedral of the Marsh: N 50° 57.109 E 000° 54.413
- The Kent and East Sussex Border: N 50° 56.133 E 000° 51.819
Walk #42 Statistics (of which this post forms the second part):
- Date of Walk: 5 January 2013
- Walk #41 total distance covered: 12.42 miles
- Coast of Britain Walk Total Distance Covered: 339.59 miles
- CLICK HERE FOR LINK TO INTERACTIVE MAP!!!