Dover to Deal
Sunday 2nd June 2019
This hike is another SWC route. It goes 17.7km from Dover and along the coast, to the seaside town of Deal.
After having done a few walks on the South coast, I feel some need now to attempt to collect all the possible walks. This is relatively easy as it is by far the most beautiful area to walk in within a few hours of London. Having done Folkestone to Dover, Dover to Deal seemed to be the next obvious walk.
The walk begins in Dover, and you must climb out along a strange path above the port. Nestled againts the cliff, it's heavily overgrown and passes under the elevated and curving A2. With the busy port below it's quite a novel place, with a dystopian, post apocalypse feel.
Next comes the White Cliffs of Dover with a variety of routes at different levels. We unfortunately picked the worst level, which narrowed to a single file track, and ended up trapped behind a slow walking guided group. I would pick the lowest route next time, as it seemed the quitest.
This portion of the walk, up until the lighthouse, is quite busy with walkers but it is pretty anyway. The paths are mostly wide, and the sea is always to your right offering a great blank space to stare out at.
At the lighthouse we stopped for ice cream before departing on the next section which was by the far the best bit of the walk. Normally once you go 5 or 10 minutes beyond a road or car park the number of people dramatically drops off and this was the case here. We had the next section of cliff walk practically to ourselves. It also offers good views of the farmland to the North as the cliffs here rise up above the land a bit, and in the gentle breeze the swaying grasses were very picturesque.
The final section of the walk is down off the cliff and along the promenade on the Deal coastline. The beach is extremely long (I imagine this is quite a good beach to come to in summer, I can't imagine it filling up) and the walk along it takes a surprising amount of time. The promenade is part residential street, and part weird walkway along scrublands. There are also a morbid amount of memorial benches along the path. There must be a hundred of various ages and in various states of decay.
Eventually Deal itself is reached. We wandered to the end of the pier before heading into the train station.