Paleolithic rock shelter.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Samphire Ho

Capel Court Park to Samphire Hoe
Todays walk started from the Cliff Top Cafe at Capel Court Park. Two members, having arrived early to savour a breakfast were dismayed to find that the cafe opened at 10.00 am. The weather was perfect and the wait for the cafe to open was spent gazing out to sea taking in views of Folkestone and Dungeness. The cafe opened and whilst enjoying a sausage baguette we were joined by a couple who were talking to someone on the phone out in the channel. They were the parents of Adrian Radford who were being advised by someone in the support boat that their son was at that time four hours away from Calais having started a cross channel swim at midnight. He was raising money for Bibic.  Bibic is a national children's charity which helps children with disabilities and learning difficulties. So far he has raised over £5600 through the Just Giving web site. His parents were from welsh valleys which went down well with our very own welsh mountain goat who had by then arrived and was taking a ‘snap’ for them.
Finishing our breakfast and leaving the proud parents at the cafe we descended the cliff via the Eagles Nest and crossed the railway onto the foreshore. The descent is steep and hard on the knees.  The path eastward towards Dover is now showing signs of serious decay and there were workmen making repairs. The path eventually peters out onto the beach where the shingle underfoot is difficult. The route is along the beach for about a mile. At the base of the cliff near to Lydden Spout is a shack which, somewhat surprisingly, is currently inhabited. It must be grim living there in the winter storms.  Reaching Samphire Hoe Country Park, a leisurely lunch was taken enhanced this week by a ginger cake.
Following the main foreland path we reached the Samphire Hoe car park where a further break was taken in order to enjoy an ice cream. As most would not consider Samphire Hoe the greatest British tourist attraction, it was therefore surprising to see that a coach of tourists had either taken a wrong turn or had come to see something on the Hoe we had all missed. Taking the tunnel uphill towards the A20 we emerged at the main road on Round Down. Turning back towards Folkestone we joined the North Downs Way at the base of the hill covering the railway line. The North Downs Way doubles up with the Saxon Shore Way.  It was at this point that a strong gust of wind blew the stylish, feathered hat off the head of our revered senior member. For those who avidly follow this blog, you will recall our speculating on what he might lose or forget on this week’s walk. The hat which rolled back down the hill might well have been lost forever but for the quick thinking and lightening speed of the youngest member of the group who chased back down the hill in pursuit. Having retrieved the offending hat and returned it to its owner it was observed that it was now devoid of feathers. Clearly this week’s loss was feathers!
At the top of the hill are a number of old dilapidated army buildings. Clambering up to survey the inside of one of the bunkers, one of our number missed his footing and hit is knee on the lip of a concrete slab. Great concern was shown by the members of the group. It was unclear which caused the greater concern – the blooded knee or the torn trousers. Either way no offers of first aid or running repairs on the trousers were forthcoming! Pressing on we passed the concrete parabolic mirror on the side of the path at Abbots Cliff. Sound mirrors were built in the 1920s to detect the sound of approaching enemy aircraft engines. Skirting the hotel at the top of the hill we eventually reached a series of benches where there are spectacular views of France – even the high rise buildings can be seen. We then returned to the cafe and a welcome cup of tea.
Six walkers covered the 6.5 miles

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:22 PM

    Have thoroughly enjoyed your treks. Ray sent me a link and have traveled your countryside with you. The pictures are fabulous. We plan on visiting from across the pond next year and because of your blogs we are going to include this area of GB to see. Hello to cousin Ray and Gordon! Carol