Canterbury to Whitstable (36952)
A linear walk from Canterbury Cathedral to the beach at Whitstable.
We'll meet in the centre of Canterbury and follow the river Great Stour out of the city to the west and the village of Chartham. Leaving the valley we will climb up through woodland and orchards towards Blean, stopping at the church of St Cosmus and St Damian in the Blean for lunch.
From here we'll continue north through Clowes Wood, gradually dropping down to Whitstable, where we will walk along the beach past the harbour to the Old Neptune pub. If it's a nice day, bring your swimmers for a post-walk pre-pint dip in the sea.
Meet at the war memorial in the Buttermarket in Canterbury at 10:30. We should be in Whitstable by 4 and people can decide whether to have a look round, stop for a few drinks or get the train straight home or back to Canterbury.
There are two stations in Canterbury - West and East - hence why we will meet at the Buttermarket, equidistant between the two. Why not arrive a bit earlier and have a look around beautiful Canterbury before meeting at 10:30?
What to bring
For your comfort and safety please be prepared for the anticipated weather and the terrain of the walk - keep in mind the following:
Boots: Hiking boots that are both waterproof and breathable, and provide good ankle support, are important as soon as you encounter any mud. Cross trainers may suffice in good weather and flat routes.
Socks: Proper walking socks keep your feet dry, and help prevent blisters.
Walking Trousers: (ideally water resistant) will be more comfortable than Jeans which are heavy and cold when wet. From April to October shorts are usually a better bet.
Waterproof Over-Trousers: essential in any significant rainfall. Breathable ones are best.
Layered clothing: allows you to quickly adapt to changes in the weather as well as body temperature. E.g. a base layer or a cotton T-Shirt; a mid layer like a micro fleece, or a rugby type thick shirt, and in cooler weather an outer layer consisting of a windproof jacket or a thick fleece.
Waterproof Jacket: essential when hiking in all but the calmest of weather. You get what you pay for with these. Breathable fabrics are advisable.
Hat: essential both in mid winter to preserve heat and in summer to prevent sunburn and heatstroke.
Gloves: essential in frosty weather.
Small Rucksack: One that is comfortable to wear is essential so that you can use your arms freely. Place valuables in water proof bags inside.
Sunglassses: April- Sept: comfortable sunglasses enhance your pleasure and keep insects out of the eye
Water: even in winter one can loose a litre or more of fluid by perspiration. If you fail to make this up you'll get dehydrated which can lead to headaches and other problems. A hydration bladder is easier to use than bottled water, but higher maintenance.
Food: a packed lunch will be required unless otherwise stated. In addition carry energy bars or similar to counter 'sugar lows'.
Medicines: If you have allergies, are diabetic, or have minor ailments don't forget these!
Food & Drink
Please bring a packed lunch and enough water for the day.
Meeting & Times
This is a linear walk, and there is an hourly train back to Canterbury from Whitstable, changing in Faversham and taking half an hour. If you are coming from London, you might be best to take the train from Victoria to Canterbury East, as this goes through Faversham, making the return journey more straightforward. The high speed train from St Pancras to Canterbury West is much faster, but the total travel time might not work out any quicker given the need to return to Canterbury, and switch Canterbury stations, at the end of the day.
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