Two great winter walks from Camber Sands and Rye
Of course, these walks are wonderful any time of year, but they are particularly suited to winter because, when the weather’s not great, you want variety of scenery. And you get that in spades here.
Between them, these two circular routes give you the beach and dunes at Camber, the winding River Rother, Romney Marsh, and a ramble along the High Weald. Road walking is minimal.
Camber – Rye circular walk via beach and river (6 miles approx)
You can start in Camber or Rye, and go ether clockwise or anticlockwise.
I’ll describe the clockwise route starting at Camber and going clockwise. That route gives you the wonderful view (above) of your destination in Rye.
From Camber, walk west along the beach or dunes the half mile until you reach the point where the River Rother meets the sea. Turn inland (unless you fancy a swim) and follow the track along the riverbank that takes you to the Harbour Master’s office at Rye Harbour (below).
If you like industrial history, take a look at the green and red corrugated iron building on the concrete track just behind the harbour building (below)
This was once a station on the Rye-Camber tramway, which brought Edwardian golfers out for a round on the links. The trains stopped running at the time of World War Two, and the army concreted over the tracks to create a military road. They left some of the rails though, and you can still see them peaking through here.
Follow the road towards Rye and, where it bends sharp right, take the footpath that heads along the sea wall. Rye dominates the skyline ahead of you. If the tide’s out, you’ll see great swathes of samphire growing on the mudflats (below).
You come into the town on the opposite bank of the river from the quay where the fishing boats moor. The path takes you to the A259. Turn left if you want to go on into Rye for lunch or a drink.
The return journey begins where the path you have been following meets the A259. Here a second path, signposted Camber, heads back south east. This is the Rye-Camber cycle path, which runs over meadows, crosses the lane to Camber, and then shadows the road for the two miles back to the village.
Rye circular walk via the River Rother and High Weald Landscape Trail (8 miles approx)
The walk begins on the north eastern side of the bridge over the A259, opposite the Rye Bay Fisheries shop.
You are on the eastern bank of the River Rother, and you follow it for two miles, with misty Romney Marsh on your right (pictured below) and the old cliffs of the Saxon shore to your left.
When you reach the junction with the Royal Military Canal, use the bridge to cross left and stay with the Rother. There is off-road parking here, so this offers an alternative starting point.
Now you’re away from everything, strolling through the meadows until you reach Blackwall Bridge, which carries the lane from Peasmarsh to Wittersham across the water.
This is the second bridge you come to, and is about two and a half miles from the point where you passed the Royal Military Canal.
Turn left here and follow the lane the mile and a half towards Peasmarsh.
When you reach the A268, turn right and walk into the village. The Cock Inn is a good spot for lunch, and there’s a cafe in the Jempson’s supermarket you pass on the edge of the village.
After about half a mile you get to the only tricky navigational point. You need to turn right into School lane, which is on the right side of the A268, pass the Horse and Cart pub and then take the footpath on the left, which takes you straight up the hill to the High Weald Landscape Trail. The Ordnance Survey Explorer map 125 covers the whole walk.
You climb through a meadow, cross a lane, walk through an orchard and reach the trail at a T junction.
Turn left and you are headed south east on the best bit of the walk – the one mile descent towards Rye, with the town outlined against the marsh beneath you (pictured below)
The path is a farm track through fields grazed by sheep for much of the way, so heed the warnings (below).
Once you are on the outskirts of the town you bear left and skirt it along the left bank of the River Tilling until you reach the town, where you pick up a tarmacked footpath that brings you to the bottom of the town and the B2089. Take a left past the railway station and you can either head into the town or go back to the A259 and walk east back to your start point.