Last weekend I walked 18km in celebration and support of my friend's birthday, and her personal mission to get out of London and breathe in some seaside air. We rose from our beds at 'a ridiculous o'clock' on Saturday morning (7:30am) to catch a early morning train to Kent and hike along the shoreline of the South East of England - from Deal to Dover.
It was amazing! We stepped off the train, walked though Deal's idyllic town for a few minutes and then were greeted with this view...
There's nothing like being at the seaside to make you feel alive. Any thoughts I'd previously had of sleep and my bed back in London were instantly washed away and I was ready to partake in the walking business.
If you're interested interested here is a link to the walk we did in detail - TOCW2 Walk 30 - although we walked it in reverse on recommendation. And I will second that recommendation. Deal is a delightful little town and really got us energised, whereas Dover, where the walk finishes is much more industrial and felt a little down and out. We walked towards the sun, so had amazing vistas in front of us the whole day...
Our walk started along the coast of Deal. A lovely spot - with lots of locals out and about. Deal has a lovely calm feel and I'm quite tempted to return again soon for a night if I can find a B&B close by. Also worth noting - that we walked past two castles along this path!
local humour - sign on a boat shed
sign 30 minutes along - still over 9 miles to Dover...
Although it was clear day with blue sky most of the time it was still pretty cold. I was very glad I'd packed my wind breaker - and hubby had packed his beanie (which I wore).
After an hour we reached the outskirts of Deal Bay and the sun peaked out from behind the clouds. The landscape was stunning...
lone beach hut in Deal Bay
a few more beach huts
And it was at this time that we stumbled upon The Zetland Arms - with it's amazing seaside location. A small debate broke out - had we done enough walking yet to earn a pint? I personally was agreeable to a quick drink as it's not very often I get a seaside view at the pub. However the larger part of our group wanted to keep going - reasoning there would be time enough for a drink when we stopped for lunch. Sigh...
The Zetland Arms - beach front pub, Deal
view from The Zetland Arms
Soon after the pub our walking trail went road side, but thankfully only for about 15 minutes before we ended back up on the beach front...
... and then we started to climb. We climbed until we were up high, the sun was warming our faces and we were walking along the edge of the White Cliffs of Dover. Woop!
view from the top of the White Cliffs of Dover
The walk along the top of the White Cliffs was the coldest section of the day. It was gorgeous, but windy and freezing, so we hurried onwards towards our lunch destination - another seaside pub we'd heard good things about.
heading back down to the shore in search of our pub lunch
We arrived at The Coastguard Pub in St Margaret's Bay just short of 2pm and were ravenous! Thankfully my birthday celebrating friend had made a reservation - as for a lone pub by the sea this place was rather busy.
pub cat - enjoying some sunshine
The Coastguard had a great selection of beers and food. Being by the sea I went for the fish & chips. Very yummy and fresh.
Following lunch we set off again - as there were still a few hours of walking to be done before reaching Dover, and lots of beautiful scenery to take in...
looking back to St Margaret's Bay and the White Cliffs
We assumed this sign meant 'don't jump' - however it was missing a cross over the image, so thus started a heated debate.
Some final pics of the day as we headed down into Dover and the setting sun...
hubby walking along the cliff face
a very tired me
into the setting sun
Needless to say I slept on the train back to London and it was a very quiet Saturday night that included a hot bath, tea and movie.
Hope you've all had a lovely weekend!