Day 6 Whitstable to Sittingbourne

Having been given a room at the very top of the B&B I had half expected to be woken in the night by the wind, and perhaps have made it to France. The weather forecast on the morning news did not provide much to look forward to, much of the country seemed to have been hit with severe weather, roads were closed, trees were down, electricity supplies had failed.

As I walked back towards the shore it was breezy but while it had been raining there were only a few spots of rain in the air. I soon found that I was being sheltered from most of the bad weather by the town, walking along the beach I soon found I was walking into gale force winds and driving rain. The sky was almost black and the sea was churning violently.

I made very slow progress, with little shelter from the wind. When I could I tried to walk in the lee of the sea wall but this soon became impractical with access barred on one side by a nature reserve. I eventually made it to a footpath that cut across the marshes and could provide a shortcut to Faversham.

This section of the walk was always going to be fairly challenging as the inlets, marshes and creeks would add many additional miles to the walk, as they forced the path inland to find suitable crossing points.

I paused a while and refuelled on tea and cake. Looking at the map I decided progress would be too slow along the coast and a way through further inland could provide a good solution – though it also meandered round and through numerous orchards and small villages.

I set off again and headed towards the old Gunpowder Works, they were fascinating and I added to my walk by weaving my way through the woods and around the remains of the old buildings. At least the woodland provided some shelter.

After passing through the woodland I headed up hill through the village of Oare – to follow along the Swale Heritage Trail that I had first picked up at the Gunpowder Works. It was at the top of the small hill, at the end of the village, that I was hit again by the full force of the wind and rain.

It was a miserable day and these desperate times called for a desperate measure – the bus to Sittingbourne. I had walked almost half way (about 10 miles) but I was glad to be sitting down out of the wind. The hot shower at the B&B was most welcoming.

While the weather was due to improve slightly tomorrow I decided to forego the walk round the Isle of Sheppey and head for Rochester instead. My decision felt vindicated when the local evening news included an item on the new bridge across to Sheppey having been closed.

Center of map
View the map in Google Maps, or here is the Google Earth KML file.

See all the pictures from all the days walking here in this gallery.

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