with tips for cycling & hiking
We chose this site as an alternative to the Folkestone Camping & Caravan Club site to explore the coastline from Dover to Rye. It is not in such a spectacular setting as the C& CC site but it has two distinct advantages. Firstly being situated on Romney Marsh near West Hythe it is ideal for exploring the marshes and the Western part of this area towards Rye. Secondly the site is on the flat which is a big plus if you have ever tackled the climb from the C&CC site at Folkestone. The Dalesacre site is definitely going to be on our itinerary as a result.
As you would expect the facilities are first rate and though it is a big site and we were worried that the one toilet block would not be sufficient, our fears proved to be unfounded.
It has a motorhome service point
The site is virtually situated on cycle route 2 and there are plenty of alternatives to explore the flat Romney Marsh.
You can also easily pick up the Royal Military Canal to take you into Hythe & Folkestone by following the road across Botolphs Bridge along cycle route 2, which is well signposted.
At the bridge there is a pub of the same name, which proved to be a welcome refreshment stop as we found that we always seemed to pass it on our way back to the site. We also had a Sunday roast here, which proved to be good value and they also do takeaway fish and chips.
A not too arduous cycle ride is to take the road to Dymchurch, which you pass as you come to the site. We would,however,suggest that when you reach the junction to Dymchurch and Burmarsh, then take the Burmarsh Road. Though this is a longer way around, you avoid the main road into Dymchurch .
Once you reach Dymchurch you can pick up the seawall and cycle all along St Mary’s Bay. You can also follow the coast around to Lydd on Sea and Dungeness and though not all off road, it is not a busy stretch with regard to traffic.
To return follow the seawall all the way around the bay to the Dymchurch Redoubt and you will know when you reach it as you can not go any further, as it now forms part of Hythe Ranges.
Drop down to the A259 and cross the road and pick up the footpath and follow this for about half a mile until you reach Botolphs Bridge Road and back to the campsite via the pub.
We always cycle along this path, on the basis that the police may prefer this, rather than scrapping us off the A259, our only proviso is that you dismount if you meet any pedestrians, which is unusual.
Alternatively you can do the reverse of this route, by taking the road, past the pub, down to the A259 and pick up the seawall. You then continue along the seawall to the end and then follow a mini seawall and or private road until you come to The Grand Parade. You then cycle on the road to Lydd on Sea and then to Dungeness. The road is not that busy and becasue it is straight, visibility is good.
To reach Dungeness RSPB bird reserve , take the Dungeness Road, towards Lydd before reaching the entrance to the reserve and the one mile gravel track, that leads you to the visitor centre. There are picnic tables at the reserve, where you can watch the garden birds on the feeders.
You can get a machine coffee at the centre
You will be virtually guaranted to see something exciting and unusual at the Reserve. It is one of the UK's premier bird reserves and the wardens and volunters are extremely helpful.
The other advantage of the site is that it is only about a 35 minute walk, past Botolphs Bridge to the A259 for the buses which take you to Folkestone in one direction and to Lydd and Rye in the other direction.
An alternative to cycling is to take the buses to visit Dungeness RSPB reserve and the plan of action was to get the 102 bus to Lydd on Sea and then take the footpath to the reserve and I am not ashamed to admit that this defeated us and we were forced to follow the road to the reserve entrance. We will try and sweet talk the bus driver to drop us off at the entrance next time , though it is not appear to be an official bus stop.
We then walked back to Lydd and though the first part of the path was well defined, the last part was not well trodden and we were virtually pioneers. Perhaps afterall it is better to cycle to the reserve.
The reserve is covered in wild flowers in July
The other main tourist attraction of the area, if you want a more sedate activity, is the Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway. The nearest stations are at Hythe and Dymchurch but Stagecoach do a combined bus and train ticket but unless you like miniature steam trains, our view is that the top of the bus offers a better alternative, better views and it follows the coast more closely.
For Cycling to and from Folkestone click on the link below.