6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Kent Life today CLICK HERE

Spotlight on: Hythe & New Romney

PUBLISHED: 19:53 16 May 2015 | UPDATED: 19:53 16 May 2015

Wide open spaces at New Romney & Hythe

Wide open spaces at New Romney & Hythe

Archant

Explore this extraordinary part of Kent, made up of rolling fields, marshes and broad beaches, all under the wide open skies that have influenced creatives for centuries

1 Ride the rails

Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway (TN28 8PL) has its HQ in New Romney and from here you can explore all the area has to offer by hopping on board one of the one third full-size steam or diesel locomotives. Heading out across the Romney Marsh, there are stops at the Cinque Port of Hythe, where you can get off and potter along the beach, and at the National Nature Reserve at Dymchurch, www.rhdr.org.uk

2 Go trekking with alpacas

A unique way to see the landscape, alpaca trekking is a popular attraction at New Romney’s Alpaca Annie at Haguelands Farm (TN29 0JR). Bred here for their wool, which is turned into a range of wonderful products for sale in the onsite shop, and as pets, the gentle animals love a stroll with new human friends. Ideal as a special gift, treks for small groups run throughout the year on the farm, www.alpacaannie.com

3 Explore the canal Stretching 28 miles from Seabrook near Folkestone to Cliff End near Hastings and skirting the edge of the Romney Marsh, the Royal Military Canal is a man-made marvel.

Begun in 1804 as a barrier to ensure the French couldn’t use the marsh to invade, the waterways are now used by the Environment Agency to manage water levels on the marshes. Find walks and cycle routes at www.royalmilitarycanal.com. This summer sees the Hythe Venetian Fête (19 August) held on the Hythe stretch of the canal. Visit www.venetian-fete.com

4 Eat, drink and be merry

For those out walking or exploring the area by car, there are plenty of quality pubs and cafés to stop at along the way, many of which try to stock locally sourced products. The best known is tender Romney Marsh lamb, which has grazed on the naturally salty grass and samphire of the marshes. Great places to sample local food include Aboyne House restaurant (TN28 8AT, 01797 367113) and Deblyns Teashop (TN28 8BZ, 01797 369020) in New Romney; in Hythe, try Ginger’s Kitchen (CT21 5AN, 01303 230593) and seafood restaurant Griggs of Hythe (CT21 8HG, 01303 266410). Good pubs include the Cinque Ports Arms (TN28 8BU, 01797 361894) and The Warren Inn (TN28 8UF, 01797 362090) in New Romney. The Pilot Inn (TN29 9NJ, 01797 320314) in Dungeness is renowned for its fish and chips. Hamper specialist Spicers of Hythe is based here too, www.spicersofhythe.com.

5 Go wild on a safari

A hill near Hythe is the setting for the 600-acre Port Lympne Reserve (CT21 4PD), founded in 1973 by John Aspinall. It’s less of a zoo, more a wild animal reserve, where zebra, giraffe and black rhino can be seen roaming freely in the Africa Experience area, accessed by safari vehicles. With a range of on-site accommodation, including new glamping huts and, coming soon, a luxurious treehouse hotel, you can stay overnight, www.aspinallfoundation.org

6 Explore a special museum

Just across the Channel from France, it’s important to remember the pivotal role this area played during the war. Located 
at what is locally known as the Ivychurch airstrip, a wartime site that was once used by Spitfire squadrons, the Romney Marsh Wartime Collection in Brenzett (TN29 0EE) is a unique display of wartime equipment, remains recovered from aircraft crash sites and donated memorabilia. The exhibition is set up in the buildings used as a hostel 
by the Women’s Land Army during the war, www.brenzettaero.co.uk

7 Learn about the landscape

Romney Marsh visitor centre is one of the Kent Wildlife Trust’s finest. Located in the Romney Warren country park it has exhibitions and displays about the history and wildlife of the area and offers a shop and café. The centre is an award-winning eco building and there is a separate building called the Art Shack where local artists display their work in the summer. There are gentle walks and picnic areas around the grounds with a boardwalk over the seasonal ponds to the reconstructed Lookers Hut, and views across the Marsh, www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk

8 Experience a creepy crypt

One of only two ossuaries, or bone houses, in the UK, the crypt at St Leonard’s Church in Hythe (CT21 5DN) holds more than 1,000 skulls arranged neatly along the walls and thousands of bones stored in a great stack. The collection represents the remains of some 2,000 people and while 
it is not known when or why the bones were stored in the crypt, the earliest references to the ossuary were made in 1678, www.stleonardschurchhythekent.org

9 Enjoy a picnic in the park

Brockhill Country Park in Hythe (CT21 4HL) has it all; a lake, woods, meadows, picnic and play areas – plus an excellent café. Once part of an estate of a Norman manor, the park is rich in wildlife and is a Site of Nature Conservation Interest. Split into three areas – the deer paddock, the lake and the valley – the stream that runs through it leads down to the Royal Military Canal and it’s popular with walkers, with two sign posted trails around the park.

10 Relax on a sandy beach

Greatstone-on-Sea (TN28 8ST) 
near New Romney has an unspoilt gem 
of a sandy beach (although there are large stones here too, hence the name). Running for more than two miles and frequently ‘washed’ by the tide of the Channel, it’s popular with sunbathers and swimmers. With such an expanse of flat beach, the difference between high and low tide can be almost half a mile, so if you arrive at low tide you can expect quite a walk to the sea. nw

More from Out & About

Welcome to the second in our series of walking trails written and researched by Discovering Britain. Let’s explore Sandwich

Read more
February 2019

Oozing history and as charming as ever, we take a walk down the medieval streets of Sandwich

Read more
February 2019
Monday, February 4, 2019

The Rough Guides has released its eight top towns and cities to visit this year, and Dungeness has one of the top spots!

Read more
February 2019
Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Explore the wonderful Faversham with the ‘Footsteps of Romans and Royalty’ walk

Read more
Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Counteract all that festive over-indulgence with a winter walk through National Trust-owned Kentish countryside

Read more
Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The season of romance is in the air and with fairytale castles, literary tales and iconic White Cliffs, where better to pop the question than in the Garden of England? Here are 10 of Kent’s perfect places to propose

Read more

The oldest market town in Kent, Faversham is a perfect blend of pretty scenery, fascinating history and modern convenience

Read more
January 2019
Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Enjoy a delicious lunch or a few cosy drinks after one of these countryside strolls. Here are five great pub walks in Kent

Read more

With high-speed rail links, a rejuvenated high street and £590m worth of investment in new developments, Ashford’s expansion continues

Read more
January 2019
Thursday, January 10, 2019

The elusive snowdrop can be hard to find and before you know it, they’re gone again, so we saved you the trouble and found some beautiful spots in Kent to go for a walk among the snowdrops

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory
Kent Life Food & Drink awards 2016. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life