Across the White Cliffs

Some weeks have passed since our last walk; basically life has gotten in the way. Amazingly for a Bank Holiday weekend, the weather started nicely, so we gave my parents a call and decided to try Walk 1: Across the White Cliffs, which basically runs from Dover to St. Margaret’s and back along the Saxon Shore Way, traversing the famous White Cliffs.

I must have misread the AA book as I was convinced this was an easy walk of 4 miles, but in fact it is 5.5 miles with a difficulty rating of 2 (of 3) and proved to be quite hilly. There are alternative paths that are away from the cliff edge and are less prone to peaks and troughs – this was vital on the way back as I hit the proverbial wall and nearly had a snooze to regain both energy and enthusiasm.

The walk starts at the National Trust car park at the start of Langdon Cliffs, which has a great view of Dover docks.

The cliffs were even visible in France as the weather was so nice.

The Coast Guard Station is interesting. From an architectural point of view it doesn’t exactly fit in with rolling fields and chalk cliffs, but I don’t mind the occasional futuristic building.

It is possible to go right to the cliff edge, if you so desire. Personally that sort of thing freaks me out…

… though some people are clearly insane.

The half way point is St.Margaret’s, but just before you reach the village the walk takes you past South Foreland Lighthouse. The National Trust has the following to say about it:

A striking landmark on the White Cliffs of Dover, this beautiful and historic building was the first to have an electrically powered signal and was used in experiments by Faraday and Marconi. Today, visitors can climb to the top of the lighthouse and enjoy views across east Kent and the Channel.

The National Trust continues to graze the chalk downland along the cliff top using Exmoor Ponies. In other areas, where grazing is not possible, a hay cut is taken for the benefit of the chalk downland. It was nice to see some, even if they were right at the end of the walk!

Another great walk all in all. The scenery is stunning (on a good day) and the area is well worth a visit even if you are not doing the full walk. It is a great location just to see how busy the English Channel is. Go, enjoy and look at boats.


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