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Walk of the month: Royal Military Canal

PUBLISHED: 08:18 16 June 2016 | UPDATED: 08:18 16 June 2016

A lovely stroll beside Hythe & Romney Marsh Hythe Royal Military Canal

A lovely stroll beside Hythe & Romney Marsh Hythe Royal Military Canal

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The pretty town of Hythe is the starting point for this picturesque summer walk

Location: CT21 4NT

Distance: 1.9 miles (3.06 km) easy access route. Can be extended to 4 miles (6.4km)

Time: Allow up to 3 hours

OS Explorer Map: 138

Terrain: Surfaced byway easy access then some uneven terrain for the extended route.

Parking: West Hythe Road immediately on left after crossing the canal bridge.

Refreshments & facilities: Variety of pubs and cafes in Hythe

The pretty town of Hythe is the starting point of the picturesque Royal Military Canal walk. You can really make a day of it with fantastic attractions like the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch railway which holds lots of exciting events all year round. In May the steam and diesel gala returns for a weekend of nostalgia and steam so be sure to check it out! The canal path provides a tranquil setting where you’ll hear birds singing, see plant life springing into life and have the opportunity to take in the lively atmosphere of Hythe with its bustling seafront and quaint high street.

Beginning your walk

Before setting off you might want to visit a café in Hythe for a hearty breakfast. The “Truly Sumptuous” café in Hythe serves delicious home cooked food and you can be sure of a decent full English breakfast!

Once suitably fueled start from the car park by retracing your steps to the car park entrance. Take care crossing West Hythe Road to join the surfaced byway. The byway is suitable for buggies and people who need to take their walk at a slower pace.

Follow the path with the canal on your right and take time to explore your surroundings, listen to the birdsong and admire the spring wild flowers which grow alongside the canal side. You’re likely to see cow parsley growing in abundance!

Look out for the steam train on the railway that runs adjacent to the canal path – the nostalgia of the steam spilling out over the canal path, a remnant of a bygone era. The Royal Military Canal was built to defend the coast against invasion of Napoleon, thankfully, the canal was never brought into action and today is a listed monument providing outdoor fun to walkers, anglers, holidaymakers and bird watchers as well as providing a vital source of drainage for the surrounding marshland.

After 1 mile (1.6km) you will reach Palmarsh Bridge. If you wish to return to the start, cross the bridge and Continue ahead for another 1 mile (1.6km) to reach the road at West Hythe.

Beware of traffic accessing the Riverside Centre on West Hythe Road.

Turn right to re-cross the canal and find the access point to the car park on your left.

Extending your walk

Continue ahead for a further 1 mile (1.6km) until the path reaches a quiet road. Taking care as this road initially has no footpath - until you reach a junction with a set of traffic lights and turn right to cross Scalons Bridge.

After crossing the bridge turn right to follow the towpath back to West Hythe. Please note, the path narrows and runs immediately next to the canal. Continue on the towpath for 1 mile (1.6km) to reach Palmarsh Bridge. Beware of traffic accessing the Riverside Centre and on West Hythe Road.

Turn right to re-cross the canal and find the access point to the car park on your left.

You might like to explore more of Hythe following your walk. Hythe beach is well worth exploring, and Brockhill Country Park is just a short drive away. The crypt of St Leonard is also located in Hythe which is situated within the church, which is well worth a visit to learn about the fascinating history behind what you see.

What else to do in Hythe

After completion of the walk and having a well-earned pit stop at one of the many eateries located in Hythe you may want to explore the rest of the area. The Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch railway is well worth a visit and will transport you all the way to Dungeness, Britain’s only designated ‘desert’ housing some of the rarest birdlife and fauna in Kent. Romney is a delightful town which has its very own permanent funfair, indoor soft play area and amusement area. There are also numerous fresh fish stands and beach area.

Wherever you go in the Hythe area, you can be certain of the ‘holiday feel’ and a genuinely great day out!

For more information on walking month, spring events and outdoor ideas visit Explore Kent www.explorekent.org and discover the great Kentish countryside or follow Explore Kent on social media @explorekent on Twitter & Facebook

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