Lydd Ranges to Rye
Today I must get down to Lydd Ranges, Lydd by six o’clock. This will give me enough time to walk this section of the coastline before the Military shooting ranges open at 08:30. So it’s up at four, bath and straight out into a frosty morning. I have been waiting to do this section for sometime so I am really looking forward to it. Due to the early start and forecasted rain it will be a solo adventure. Within the hour I arrive at Lydd and eventually to the end of Dengemarsh Road where my walk will start.
As I step out of the car I realise my walk will be slightly slower with the wind heading straight at me, slowing my walk past the range, which is always a worry. However what will eventually slow me down is taking too many photos because I am about to be treated to one of the best sunrises I have ever seen. I also have the chance to walk out on the sand which is a welcome relief from walking the banked stone of Dengemarsh beach.
So I am standing there and my thoughts suddenly turn to Remembrance Sunday which will be in four days time. The size of the sacrifice by so many people not fortunate enough to be standing where I am right now. My head spins with thoughts of wars, I just can not comprehend the loses involved and imagine not seeing or feeling anything ever again. I know death comes to us all, but I would like to think I will get a good run at it. We do owe so much to our peoples of the past, both from here and around the world. Lest We Forget.
I have now slowed to a snail’s pace in front of the ranges, enthusiastically turning to photograph the sunrise every four hundred steps or so. The sun is rising behind me and I start to play with my camera phone to capture this amazing moment for posterity. It soon turns to a bit of fun and the urgency of the walk for a moment has completely slipped my mind.
After a few minutes with my thoughts the urgency of my walk suddenly brings me back to the now. It’s time to motor on and get a move on, before the reality of war does come to a small part of a beach in Kent. The tide is falling and more and more of the beach is appearing, so I decide to stick to the waters edge wherever possible. It’s now eight o’clock and Jury’s Gap the end of the ranges is in sight, disconcertedly by now it has a red flag up and I have noticed on top of the beach I am being trailed by Military personnel on a quad bike. Eventually I reach the expanse of open beach at Camber Sands and my pace can now slow down, job done.
At Camber Sands there is a shipwreck which looks like a trailer, so I take a closer look from the edge of the sands.
Another image from the sands shows a bait digger plying his trade. Using a bait pump he skillfully uses a long stainless pump which looks like a long bicycle pump to extract the Lugworm from the sand in one swift move. Having done this myself I can tell you it takes some skill especially at the rate he was doing it.
It’s now time to say goodbye to the sands as I have to navigate around the river Rother into Rye. In the distance you can see the sea cliffs at Fairlight Sussex.
Walking through the golf course I eventually arrive at Rye Harbour Masters office and sadly I am nearing the end of this section of my walk.
After another mile the end is in sight. It’s been a morning of rolling emotions and one of my favourite sections so far on the Kent coast, however I must say that was probably down to the sunrise. I would also like to thank David Harrington, who lives local, for his lift back to my car from Lydd Church to end of Dengemarsh road, you Sir are a Gent. 10.23 miles.