Dover Priory – Folkestone Walk – 03.05.2010

This week our walk was to take us through Dover and onto the port of Folkestone – some great cliff walking – on a windy and in some very troublesome weather…

The first thing that struck me about Dover was not the famous White Cliffs but the Castle which dominated its skyline. Dover Castle was mainly due King Henry II who began work on the castle in C12th and is now one of the largest castles still remaining England – it has a varied history from Napoleonic times, to the tunnels beneath used during World War II, and modern history using the castle for Film & TV – Hamlet, Poirot, Dr Who, Wind in the Willows, I could go on!

Trying to find the Long Distance Path which actually finishes in Dover, (we needed to find the end to start!) was a bit tricky because as usual the North Downs Way signs were not in abundance. (if you have read other blogs you will know my opinions on the lack of Public Footpath signs already!) We decided made our way to the SeaFront. It was here we could see the cliffs of Dover very clearly

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From 2010 – 03.05.2010 – Dover Priory – Folkestone Walk

Since we had little success a locating the North Downs way, we decided to use the Cycle Path (National Cycle Route 2) – which has always given us great success in navigating most of our walks in the past!) Walking around the Harbour – which was under “Regeneration” – meant most of it was behind fencing sadly, so it was quite difficult to appreciate. Although this did mean Historic Dover would be looking good in time for the Summer.

Following the cycle route, we had to follow the A20, which took as past the “Archcliffe Fort” – which looked like it contained a group of shops behind it. However, I have since learned that this fort has been this area since 1370! Henry VIII was the first to request that this fort be heavily strengthened when the Spanish Armada threatened, James 1 repaired it during the war with the Netherlands!

As we walked further on the path finally met up with the North Downs Way. It was also noticeable that the path was starting to climb. It was then we could see a very steep cliff in the distance. We soon discovered that this was Shakespeare Cliff. It seems that the Shakespeare Company visited Dover and performed King Lear, which includes a scene on this very cliff! (King Lear Act IV Scene 1 – should you want to look it up!)

We climbed to the top of the cliff, but due to high winds, and no fences, came back down again…. but here is a partial view over Dover

From 2010 – 03.05.2010 – Dover Priory – Folkestone Walk

Because we took a different route around the cliff, we ended up crossing the A20 (via a subway) to the Old Folkestone road, which took us of our track slightly, crossing back over to the cycle track again, we were back on our way to Folkestone. I noted all the way along the cycle track various artists had left sculptures (you will see them in my photos) to admire.

Passing Samphire Hoe, which was intriguing, one way traffic and a tiny tunnel. A Eurotunnel sign was partly confusing… It is in fact an area of Outstanding Beauty (created by all things by the digging of the Channel Tunnel!!), and such a shame that it was under tunnel and our walk did not allow time to see it… May be next time so we can have photos!

Our walk continued along the cycle track, which ran parallel to the cliffs, which we were not to worried about as we still felt the climb, but missed some of the lovely scenery, but we are willing to return on a less windy and less rainy day (which you probably are unable tell from the photos!)

From 2010 – 03.05.2010 – Dover Priory – Folkestone Walk

Continuing our walk along the track, the rain, then wind, then sun did not put us off… Many relics of the wartime history of Dover seemed to be around… I dont think they could ever be removed… We did try to cross over the North Downs Way at one point to the cliff but the winds were too strong for us! But the path and cycle track did collide… and we eventually saw Folkestone in the distance

From 2010 – 03.05.2010 – Dover Priory – Folkestone Walk

The path eventually led us out onto the Road Side and onto Capel-Le-Ferne. As we walked on we came across the famous Channel Swimmers Club – Which had a great set of benches which gave a amazing view across the English channel! As we meandered our way on, we were leaving the views behind, but found another memorial. The Battle of Britian Memorial. Sadly this memorail was shut and we unable to see it on this occasion.

It was then we realised we had made Folkestone. Folkestone one of the original Cinque Ports in England (Which was made up of 5 towns Folkestone, Hastings, New Romney, Hythe, Dover and Sandwich) which were traditionally the original defences for England!

We didn’t get much time to explore the extremely large port of Folkestone, so maybe we will get another chance, as there was so many hidden streets, and abandoned railway to the harbour, and a tram road with no tram…

Unfortunately the route this week would not be accurately reflected if I used Google maps as it was a cross between public footpath (North Downs Way) and the National Cycle Route 2 so please feel free to check out their websites instead National Cycle Route 2 and the North Downs Way All My photos are –

2010 – 03.05.2010 – Dover Priory – Folkestone Walk

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One response to “Dover Priory – Folkestone Walk – 03.05.2010

  1. Pingback: Woolwich Arsenal – Belvedere Walk – 02.10.2011 « Karen's Sponsored Walks

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