The walk to Nelson’s Seat

The White Cliffs Walking Festival in Kent offers 42 walks this year.  I went on a short one from Walmer on Thursday, immediately after the launch, to visit Nelson’s Seat.

There were about 40 of us, led by Diana Backwell.

4 setting off

Setting off along Walmer seafront

We walked along the seafront on the new England Coast Path (which is also the Saxon Shore Way), and turned right past Walmer Castle.

15 Walmer castle

Walmer Castle

We visited Upper Walmer and the Norman Blessed St Mary’s church,

5 church

and then crossed fields which had been threatened with development, but the planning application was about to expire so they should be safe.

7 threatened but safe now

We carried on through woods which I was told had until recently been fenced off by a hostile landowner but now were open again.

8 woods

We emerged at grid reference TR 359491 with a view ahead to fields where Hugh Craddock has applied for the addition to the definitive map of a four-metre-wide restricted byway.  Part of the route follows a definitive footpath, with an extension which connects with a public highway.  If his application succeeds there will no longer be a dead-end route on the definitive map, and there will be recorded rights for riders, cyclists and carriage drivers in addition to walkers—wins all round.

9 Hugh's path

From TR 359491 looking south-west, the application route runs from the hedge midway across the picture to the right of the wood

We followed a footpath close to Hugh’s route, which had been marked out over the recently-ploughed field, up to Nelson’s Seat at grid reference TR 360488.  There is a good view from here (65 metres above sea level) over Sandwich Bay—allegedly the one enjoyed by Nelson as he surveyed his fleet.

10 Nelson's seat

View from Nelson’s Seat

We crossed the same field again, this time on a path which had not been reinstated (needs checking after 14 days!) to Ripple Windmill.  This a grade II-listed smock mill and quite a landmark.

11 crossfield

This footpath must be reinstated 14 days after ploughing

We descended to the Dover Road and climbed the other side to Hawkshill open space, the former Walmer aerodrome.

14 open space

Hawkshill open space, the sea is to the right

It is owned by Walmer Parish Council.  I was pleased to see on the notice board that it had received support from the Countryside Agency’s Local Heritage Initiative, an excellent Heritage Lottery funded project with which I was involved when I was an agency board member.

12 Hawkshill Down sign

An interpretation board about the aerodrome had been installed earlier this month.  it was an aerodrome during World War I and a radar station in World War II.

13 aerodrome

We returned to the town for lunch on Walmer Green.  I walked north along the front to Deal, passing the bandstand.

17 bandstand

Deal bandstand

An information board explained that it had been constructed in 1993, as a memorial to the 11 members of the Royal Marines School of Music from Deal barracks who died in the IRA bombing on 22 September 1989.  The most famous verse of Laurence Binyon’s poem For the Fallen is reproduced, but unfortunately, as so often happens, the words ‘grow’ and ‘not’ are transposed, which gives a different, less elegant, meaning.

16 Deal bandstand sign trs


I arrived at Deal station and caught the train home, glad to have had the opportunity to look in on the festival.


About campaignerkate

I am the general secretary of the Open Spaces Society and I campaign for public access, paths and open spaces in town and country.
This entry was posted in Access, Public paths, Ramblers, walking and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The walk to Nelson’s Seat

  1. keithbadger says:

    Well done! It makes us dream about doing the whole coast path once finished with the SW path! 😊

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