Day 82: English Coastal Path

D82: DUNGENESS to HASTINGS

Saturday 3rd September 2022

Today miles: 22.6 Total miles: 1350.3

After a reasonable sleep I woke around 6 and after coffee and porridge I was walking well before 7am. To start off there’s a short walk along Dengemarsh Road into Lydd passing the adventures activity centre. It was still reasonably early when I passed through Lydd so there’s no chance of any shops or cafes being open just yet. I continued on the ECP which actually shares this section of the route with the National Cycling Network (No 2). This track helped to avoid walking along the minor road which skirts around the military range. Today the blister on my left foot is feeling particularly sore and I needed to stop several times to rest . At the end of this route at Jury’s Gap there’s two men conducting a survey on behalf of Sustrans. I stopped to chat and participate in their survey which was very detailed, long winded and ended up taking me almost twenty minutes to complete. On the way into Camber I saw several people on the sandy beach wind surfing, it looked like good fun.

My next target was Rye some two miles away. I took my time and arrived in Rye around 10am and decided to have a long refreshment break. I found a nice comfortable bench and after brewing another coffee I chilled and napped for about an hour. Rye is a pretty little town on the River Brede and I particularly enjoyed walking along its Southern bank. I had intended stopping in Rye and having some lunch at a cafe/pub however everywhere was really busy and I didn’t feel comfortable being that close to lots of people with my heavy backpack and probably smelling really bad. Eventually the path moved away from the rivers edge and took me through an industrial estate towards Rye Harbour. I managed to pick up some fizzy pop from the small general store and a little further down the route I grabbed a hot coffee and a slice of cake from the Rye Harbour discovery centre. This was also very busy, over the next four miles I was passed by literally hundreds of cyclists and even more pedestrians. I stayed off the shingle beach and instead walked along the adjacent road through Winchelsea Beach and then into Cliff End where I took yet another long break.

At Cliff End I filled up my 500ml bottle with water from the public toilets before diverting inland for a couple of hundred metres and climbing up towards Fairlight. It was nice to climb up through the trees and I got some decent views as I climbed higher. There’s some nice big houses who also have some great views across the English Channel. It was close to 5pm and I hadn’t eaten much today. I checked with Google to see what my options were nearby and it suggested there was a pub only a few minutes away. A few minutes later I spoke to a lady walking her dog and when I mentioned the pub she told me that it had closed down a few years ago. Despite this disappointment I made it to ‘The Cove’ and found that it had reopened a few months ago. I ate some food, had a couple of pints of beers and stuck some sticky bandage on to my painful left foot. Now I wasn’t exactly sure how much further I was walking today but my foot felt much better after the rest and the alcohol was acting as an anaesthetic and numbing any further pain.

I managed to walk on for a further two miles, with a few easy ascents and descents before I set up camp on the edge of Covehurst Wood. There was a perfect area of flat grass near to a wooden bench and I pitched around 8pm as the sun was going below the horizon.

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