The route in from Camber to Rye does not follow the coast. This part of the coastline, known as the Camber Sands, is a wide expanse of beach, however, when travelling west this beach ends abruptly at the mouth of the River Rother. The only way to cross the river (if you do not happen to carry a boat in your backpack) is to walk north, into Rye, and cross there. Google Earth shows a pathway running from Camber Sands along the east bank of the river, through Rye Golf Club. However, our map showed no right of way through what is clearly golf club land. Imagining the damage that could be done to trespassers by irate golfers, clad in gaudy trousers and armed with 9-irons, we decided to follow the more legal route. We left the sands and walked along Lydd Road, through Camber, until we could cut through another part of the club, where a right of way exists.
As we left the road, a golfer rushed up to us. “You shouldn’t go that way,” he told us authoritatively, “You’ll get hit by golf balls.”
“Oh, sorry,” I replied, “I thought this was a right of way. There’s a sign back there saying so.”
“Well, yes, it is,” he conceded. “I’m not saying you can’t go that way, just that it’s dangerous.” Hmmmmmm. Maybe. To both of his assertions. I got the impression he was keen to deter us if he could. However, he accepted that we had the right to proceed and proceed we did.
Under the watchful eye of the golf club, we decided to stick as rigidly to the correct path as possible, indistinct though it was. Thus, when it left a stoney track and went through an area of mudflats and marsh, we went with it. A group of local walkers using the track seemed a bit bemused as we headed off into the mire, particularly when we struggled our way around only to discover we were back at the same stoney track again a short distance on!
When we finally reached the bank of the River Rother, we were almost a mile inland. The village of Rye Harbour stood opposite. Moorings lined both sides of the river.
It had been a good 100 miles since we had encountered an estuary. Back then, the Thames, Medway and Swale estuaries had been lined with industrial structures, often more fascinating than ugly, and with the rotting hulks of barges. Soon enough we found similar sights on the Rother.
Rye stood elevated on its hilltop position, watching us as we approached. We could pick out a few historic-looking structures amongst the houses.
Points on this part of the walk (copy and paste the co-ordinates into Google Earth):
- Camber Sands: N 50° 55.968 E 000° 47.164
- Lydd Road: N 50° 56.215 E 000° 47.164
- Rye Golf Course: N 50° 56.400 E 000° 46.100
- Mud and Marsh: N 50° 56.500 E 000° 45.730
- The End of the Walk: N 50° 57.195 E 000° 44.382
Walk #42 Statistics (of which this post forms the third 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!!!