Section 1 Out
Dymchurch to Newchurch
|OS Explorer 125 Romney Marsh
|4 miles/ 2 hours
|Main car park off A259 in Dymchurch town centre
|The pub at Newchurch has closed so take a picnic. There is a restaurant open Wednesday to Sunday lunchtimes. The pub at St. Mary-in-the-Marsh is on the return route. There are many stiles on Romney Marsh often in poor condition. Much of the pasture land is now cultivated and paths may not be reinstated. In early summer rape and pea crops often fall across paths making progress slow. Always allow plenty of time for the walk; always take an OS map. A stick or walking pole is recommended. This first section makes the point from the start of calling this a robust ramble. Splendid churches at Dymchurch, Newchurch and St. Mary-in-the-Marsh where E Nesbit the author is buried; the famous narrow gauge railway and the traditional resort of Dymchurch
From the main car park in the centre of Dymchurch cross the main road and go up by the side of the City of London pub to reach a narrow backroad. Turn left on this and walk along above the main road down on the left. Keep forward passing houses and cottages on the left. The sea defence wall is up on the right (this may be walked along instead of the backroad if preferred). Soon reach a private green down on the left surrounded by Edwardian houses.
Turn left here through a little wooden gate, down a slope across the green to an access road beyond called Sycamore Gardens. Go up this to reach a main road. Turn right for a few paces, then cross to go by a war memorial and on past the church on the right and a cannon and Old Rectory on the left. Soon pass a school on the left and keep forward, weaving left then right to cross a bridge into a grassy area. Several paths go off here. Bear diagonally left across the grass to a stile at the far side by railway lines.
Cross the stile and the lines with care and continue over a metal stile into a field. Bear diagonally left towards a wide gap in the hedge ahead with a glimpse of a double wooden pole pylon beyond. On reaching the gap, cross a footbridge and go straight on across the field to reach an enclosed path between houses. Go along this to a road.
Cross the road to find a long footbridge over a river. Over the bridge two paths go off although neither may be marked. Take the righthand path which goes diagonally right over the corner of the field to the end of a line of bushes. Walk forward, now along the field edge, with the line of bushes and a ditch on the right. Aim for a small brick hut with a chimney.
On reaching the hut bear diagonally right across to the far right corner of the field by a road. Head well left of a row of houses off on the right. In the far corner is a stile by a metal fieldgate. Cross into a pasture and keep going on by a fence on the right to reach and cross a second stile by another metal fieldgate. It is not easy to see where to go now. Bear diagonally left up to the very top lefthand corner of the field. Here find an old footbridge into the field beyond. Go on now following the ditch on the left for ¼ mile.
Look out for the green barn of Chapel Cottage Farm way over on the right. Just before drawing level with the farm the ditch on the left swings sharply right. Just before this bend the path swings away to the right to cut off the corner and reach a footbridge. If the path is marked follow it off right otherwise follow the ditch around to the footbridge.
Cross the footbridge and continue bearing left across a large field towards a long footbridge which can be seen in the distance. Leave the field and turn left on a grassy farm track, still heading towards the obvious footbridge.
On reaching it, do not cross, but pass it on the left and keep forward with a ditch on the left. Where the ditch swings away left, go on in the same direction across the field aiming to the corner just left of bushes (do not drift off to the right). In the corner, by the bushes, there is a junction of ditches. Carefully find the path over an overgrown old farm bridge into the field on the right.
Go forward in the same direction as before along the field edge with a drainage ditch down on the left. Simply keep going now along this field edge (it can be slow going through crops), on in a straight line to eventually reach a stile by double metal fieldgates and out onto a road.
Ignore the path opposite and turn right on the road for half a mile. On reaching Gammon’s Farm look for a footpath going off left opposite the main farm entrance.
Go up this path along the field edge directly away from the road with a hedge and ditch on the right. At the top corner of the field find and cross a footbridge into a further field.
Turn immediately right along the field edge. Soon enter a pasture and keep on along the edge with a line of mature trees on the right. Keep a careful eye for the treeline swinging sharply off to the right. Here there is a gap before a hedge of bushes begins. Go carefully right through this gap over a footbridge.
In the adjoining field, go on in the same direction, now with a hedge on the left. Again look out for another gap in the hedge on the left with a footbridge leading into a further field. Still keep forward, now with the hedge on the right.
At the next corner turn right out of the field into a wide path enclosed by bushes. Cross a stile and keep on for 100 metres. Look carefully for a footpath going off through a gap in the hedge on the left, over a footbridge and stile into a pasture. Cross the pasture diagonally right. The tower of Newchurch church is in the distance. In the middle of the fence on the right is a high stile with a piece of rope across it into a horse paddock. Cross the paddock in the same direction to a further stile hidden behind a bank of earth. Go on again to another stile, then over a rough piece of ground, to an old footbridge into a sheep pasture.
Cross this quite sharply diagonally right, aiming for a white painted double fronted house. There is a hidden footbridge which leads to a road in front of the house which is called Black Bull House and is presumably the former village pub.
Turn left along the road and follow it round to pass the church on the left. Immediately past the church go left over a stile by a fieldgate into a small pasture. Turn right across the pasture to another stile and on over more pasture to a stile and footbridge out to a road.
Turn left on the road and soon reach the Village Hall car park and playing field and the end of the section.