Walk of the month: Samphire Hoe
PUBLISHED: 15:39 11 July 2015 | UPDATED: 18:49 11 July 2015
Take a trip to Samphire Hoe and you may just end up questioning how this haven for wildlife could possibly have been created from material dug to create the Channel Tunnel. It’s fair to say that what was once essentially mud has had a miraculous transformation into the glorious spot you see today.
Location: Samphire Hoe (CT17 9EL)
Distance: 2 miles (3.2 km)
Time: Allow 1 hour
OS Explorer Map: 138
Terrain: Field paths and tracks
Parking: Pay and display
Refreshments & facilities: Small café on site
Public Transport: For local bus and train services in Kent, contact Traveline tel: 0870 6082608, www.traveline.org.uk
Start from the car park, take the path signposted “West Shore via the Hoe”, passing through a chicane.
Cross the bridge and climb the slope. Continue on this path, which can be steep in places, for another 800m until you descend to the sea wall. The walk has two distinct one-mile (1.6km) sections. This part follows the sea wall along smooth concrete, while the other passes through the middle of Hoe with good paths and some steep gradients. There are a number of resting points along this section. Turn left here and follow the sea wall, To get a better view of the sea, you can access a higher terrace on the sea wall via the ramp until another ramp allows you to descend back to the lower level.
When the sea is rough, waves can come curling over the sea wall. When it is too stormy, the sea wall may be closed to the public temporarily. Look east towards Dover for a good view of the dramatic outline of Shakespeare Cliff. It is this cliff which is thought to have inspired a passage in William Shakespeare’s tragedy, ‘King Lear’ – “there is a cliff, whose high and bending head looks fearfully in the confined deep…” think it’s a great view? Find us on Facebook and Twitter and send us your pics!
Samphire Hoe has been sympathetically landscaped and is already well established.
This summer the park will boast a mass of wildflowers which make for an idyllic seasonal walk by the sea. If you come in spring visitors in April and May can seek out the early spider orchids. Samphire Hoe has also become a key site for ground-nesting meadow pipits and skylarks, so keep your eyes peeled and see if you can spot any. Finally turn left and follow the ramp which zigzags back up to the car park.
Fishing, cycling, rock-pooling and walking can all be enjoyed and, with the vast range of wild flowers and birds in residence here, a lot of wildlife spotting too! The site is owned by Eurotunnel and managed by the White Cliffs Countryside Project who have lots of fantastic events at the park throughout the year, check out their website for more details.
If you’re looking for an inspiring walk to start you off, the 2 mile walk through the Country Park is a fantastic coastal trail. If you loved this walk then check out the White Cliffs Walking Festival from 27th August to 2nd September for further exploration for the area.
Samphire Hoe is owned by Eurotunnel and managed in partnership with White Cliffs Countryside Project.