Appledore Church - Stone-in-Oxney Church - Appledore

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Appledore Church - Stone-in-Oxney Church - Royal Military Canal - Appledore

Appledore, just on the edge of the Romney Marshes, is a long skein of village with a wide main street, where until the 13th Century the River Rother used to reach the sea. You’ll find it has had a chequered history (look at the board outside the church before you set off), including an incendiary sort of visit from the French in 1380, when they set fire to the church and pillaged the local residencies. The revolting peasants - sorry, that should read 'The Peasants' Revolt' - a year later attracted a group of young men from here to join its ranks. And 500 or so years later, they got around to building the Royal Military Canal (which you'll follow for a fair step), to discourage further French visitors of an unfriendly disposition. Now, I hasten to add, they are more than welcome!

This walk, which begins outside its ancient and beautiful church, is a gentle ramble over the flat levels to Stone-in-Oxney, a village set on a knoll which used to be an island! You'll pass by The Ferry Inn, still declaring on a board outside, the tolls which used to be charged to ferry travellers across to that island.

There's also a visit to the church in Stone, where the churchyard is carpeted in snowdrops in January and primroses in April. At other times of year this place is equally beautiful and entirely tranquil. (In fact, if you'd like to treat this walk as a sort of 'pilgrimage' between two delightful Marsh churches, there will shortly be a booklet available in both Appledore and Stone churches to accompany it).

Sheep outnumber people in this part of the world, so don't expect too much human company, unless you take it along with you. At one point you will pass what looks like a brick-built shed with windows and a chimney. This is a 'lookers' hut', used in the past by 'lookers' or shepherds, who spent days and nights out on the Marsh, caring for the sheep in their charge. They graze the fields around the villages and also the banks of the Royal Military Canal, where you may, on the return leg, spot large, open mussel shells, brought in by gulls or a flapping heron. Swans glide serenely (see the photo!) and the extraordinarily vocal marsh frog can often be heard on summer evenings.

Do not hurry, but take time to read the information board by the B2080 and imagine yourself among those who, centuries back, trod this same sward!

England - South England - Kent - Romney Marsh


Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Good for Kids, Great Views, Mostly Flat, Pub, Public Transport, River, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife
06/06/2014 - Alison and Clive Gilbert

Thank you, Peter, for your comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the walk. Walkers may enjoy the alternatives which you suggest. However, the path on the east side of the Royal Military Canal between Stone Bridge and Appledore goes over private land and is not a designated right-of-way. Walkers who decide to do this should take personal responsibility for their choice.

05/06/2014 - Peter Singleton

This was an enjoyable few hours walk.However I would suggest some changes. When you reach the church at Stone-in - Oxney, follow the footpath directly from the church towards the direction of Knock House. The reason for this ... you visit and enter a field full of alpacas!! Also once reaching the canal you can cross the bridge and walk on a less overgrown side. You won't have that chance if you stick with the original route. The 'official footpath along the canal' is very much overgrown, whilst the other side is clear. However I am not sure we are allowed on that side. The Black Lion in Appledore serve yummy lunches with big portions.

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4.4 Miles