Engineering works on the South East Coast


We seem to have a hell of a lot of engineering works going on down the South East Coast line these days….They gotta do what they gotta do but as an escape route  it’s getting extremely complicated for a day down the coast.It’s only half an hour on the metro to the coast from Newcastle & Edinburgh, and even in NYC you can be in Coney or Long Island quicker than you get to the Kent Coast from London and cheaper.!

The dreaded rail replacement bus!

The dreaded rail replacement bus!

But Saying that..

I managed to see quite a lot of Kent in one day

Starting at Eltham we had to take a train to Gillingham change at  Gillingham – to get to Faversham.. so lunch in Faversham a little market town, then a Replacement  bus  to Herne Bay…This being somewhat painful & most comical .The driver decided to blast us with his Traditional Jazz CD ! Frankly it was just weird! I burst out laughing at first but looked round at my fellow passengers who were not amused!! What a drag…Perhaps he should have played the Sex Pistols or the Ramones or something. Eventually after a 45 minute bone breaking bus journey steering through steep and narrow bungalows in what seemed like vast estates on the edge of town I felt somewhat sick and couldn’t wait to get off .

At Herne Bay we caught the  Ramsgate train. We had intended to walk from there to Margate a good 7 mile walk with really lovely natural landscape in between including Broadstairs. Surrounded by youngsters on the train knocking back booze, We got off a few stops early & left them to it.The walk fromWestgate to Margate is brief, a flat promenade. As it was unseasonably hot for May there were plenty of people on the seafront sitting in deck chairs outside their huts. In  Margate we sampled some local cider from a couple of Micro-breweries; one  in The Harbour and another in the town. At this point were too jaded to bother with the Turner Gallery.


Returning on the slow route was a train from Margate to Canterbury West, as we had to get off there anyway to walk to Canterbury East to pick up the london train, we decided to eat there.We found a great place where the food was Half Italian & half Lebanese! We noted we would pop back for a day out another time.It was about 9pm at this time and still a couple of trains to get back. An all round 12 hour journey.

Newhaven to East Dean

Next Saturday I’m leading a walk down the coast and as far as I’m aware the trains are running properly.Although I have done this walk & variations on this walk several times, it always pay to do it before leading a group. Even in terms of checking that I’m fit enough to do it. The Seven Sisters Walk is a challenge for most people. Especially if you haven’t been out walking in a while.


Starting at Victoria changing at Lewes my favourite station, then down to Newhaven Harbour to walk to Seaford  over the cliffs down to Cuckmere Vally and up over the Seven Sisters, ending at East Dean. An 11 mile walk.Often on returning if we have to wait for more than 30 mins for a train back to Victoria we can pop out at Lewes and catch a half in The Lansdowne Arms five minutes up the Hill from station..


I love a sign!

I love a sign!


The walk starts at an old harbour area which is for jaded eyes is a fine start. We get walking, within 15 minutes we are at the sea front.



After an hour walking we are at the end of Seaford and it’s a steep ascent after that up to Seaford Head, this takes us down to the valley.

here we go again!

here we go again!

It’s always inspiring to walk along the cliffs

a welcoming site

a welcoming site- National Trust Cottage (sometimes for hire)

Funnily enough I re- watched a Nick Cave Film 20,000 Days on Earth last night. Some of the film was shot in this house. A very interesting conversation between Nick Cave and his fellow musician Warren Ellis discussing Nina Simones backstage behaviour at The Meltdown Festival held in  London’s Royal Festival Hall. This was  recalled while  Warren Ellis was cooking up eels for a not very hungry Nick Cave!  Entertaining. ***

Seaford Head Nature Reserve and the Cuckmere Valley is a haven for wild birds, flowers and sea life. We watched a crane bird or a heron? catch a fish as we strolled along the valley heading towards Seven Sisters cliffs.

a sign!!

A  Sign!! (I do love a Sign!)

A gate! I also do like a gate!

A gate! I also do like a gate!

Having managed the Seven Sisters, with tired legs I reach this gate with some sense of relief that the worst part is over.

At this point we are heading up towards East Dean Village for a well-earned drink. As we cut through the small woodland, we come across a slow-worm which is like a small snake. Or as described in Wikipedia

“The Anguis fragilis, or slow worm, is a limbless lizard native to Eurasia. It is sometimes called a blindworm.”

I’m not a fan of snakes or worms, so moving on, we leave the woods and lo and behold we see the light!  The Tiger Inn at East Dean, where a wide range of beers and ciders are waiting to be sampled.


In the meantime I will savour what’s left of the Bank Holiday Weekend and get myself down to The Tate at Blackfriars. Until them my fellow travellers ..

keep putting one foot in front of the other when you can.x