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Saturday17th April 2010
Walking from Herne Bay to Whitstable
(via the beach)

 For my fourth outing this year I originally decided to have a walk around Whitstable, but I ended up walking from Herne Bay to Whitstable mostly along the shoreline. It was a beautiful bright sunny day with an almost clear blue sky. The temperature was just high enough that I was able to do most of my walk quite comfortably without a coat on. It was a little cool when I first started to walk, but at the end I was warm enough to start sweating.

 The day out did not go that smoothly, and I have listed all the problems on my blog here. Most of these problems were minor inconveniences, but one really annoyed me. It was purely my own fault that I lost the record of my walk as recorded my the Cardio Trainer software on my Android smartphone. The last time I looked at the recording I had walked over five miles, but I have no idea exactly how far I really walked. I estimate it to have been around six miles. Instead of showing a real screenshot of my walk I have had to hand draw the route I took. My mouse work in painting in the route on the map below was a bit unsteady, but it gives a good idea of where I went.

route taken
The first thing I took a picture of when arriving at Herne Bay was the entrance to the pier. I have a certain fascination with piers even though I hate all the modern amusements that tend to be on piers.
Herne Bay pier entrance
I prefer to walk past all the bleepy amusements and walk to the end of the pier which is usually populated by quiet anglers - but not this one.
side view of Herne Bay pier
remains of the distant end of Herne Bay pier
Herne Bay pier has had a very complicated past, and many times has it been damaged by storms. In 1978 the middle section was finally damaged beyond repair and demolished. The end of the pier now sits out in the sea like an island inhabited only by seagulls and their droppings. Plans are being made to repair and renew the pier, but in these difficult financial times it will probably be a long way in the future before I will be able to walk to the end of the pier at Herne Bay.
Rowing at Herne Bay
The coastline between Herne Bay and Whitstable is very popular for marine sports. The rowers above had probably rowed several miles along the coast from Hampton Pier
Herne Bay West beach
This whole photographic record of my walk could almost have been just of signs along the coast. Canterbury City Council seem to have been very generous with all their signs apart from some more useful ones like "this way to the railway station" !
Hampton beach
This view is west towards Hampton Pier from where many boating activities seem to be placed.

boats near Hampton pier
Getting closer to the rather short Hampton pier, and a few boats in full sail while still on the beach
Hampton Pier
 There's not much of it, but this is Hampton Pier. It is set on the edge of a deep bay, and at high tide it is probable that the water at the far end is deep enough for larger boats to call at.
The Hampton Inn
Conveniently situated across the road from the end of the pier lies the Hampton Inn.
It was beginning to get thirsty work walking this far but I resisted the temptation to call in for a pint
 (but with hindsight I wish I had).
Jet Skis in Hampton Bay
Within Hampton Bay there is an area set aside for those mad fools who like mucking about with Jet Skis
Jest Skier
I must admit it did sort of look fun on their Lambretta motor scooter resembling craft.
Looking East across Hampton Bay
This is the view looking east across Hampton Bay with the glorious blue sky above.
Welcome to our coast
More signs along the way.
Dangers along the coast
Yet more signs along the way.
No nudes here
It seems that this bit of coastline is often used by naturists. The sign says naturism is not condoned, but that is not exactly the same as saying it is banned. Sadly I never saw any naked bodies, although I did see a head pop up from behind a small mound that might have had a naked body attached to it.
Beware of soft mud
Away from the gravelly paths across this little peninsular the sign warns of soft mud. I did see a boggy patch, but most of the ground seemed dry to me. It is around the beach here that the nudists presumably gather.
Running through the middle of this (sometimes) muddy peninsula is a small river that is crossed by this wooden bridge.
The river meets the sea
So far on all my coastal travels I have not passed the point where a river meets the sea in a natural way (not counting the River Thames). I have seen streams, or maybe drainage ditches piped into the sea, but this view above is the first for me, and it looks nice (although I have no idea why).
Sign for Tankerton
Another of Canterbury City Council's sign that I passed when I reached Tankerton.
safety point
I've included this picture because it shows just how georgeous the blue sky was.
Approaching Whitstable from the west
Approaching Whitstable Harbour - It was at about this point that I saw the last recorded mileage on my mobile phone. I am certain it was in the region of 5.2 miles, and this is still close to a mile away from the railway station. Despite some man made difficulties I enjoyed this walk. There were a couple of other natural problems that I have not mentioned. Of these the most significant was that it was high tide again and I did not bother to get close to the waters edge. A lesser problem, and one that everybody would disagree with, is that in many places the beach was too crowded for my liking. In practice this meant there was at least one person occupying the beach between adjacent breakwaters !

 My final three pictures that I will show without comment, are three establishments in the Whitstable Harbour area.
Hotel Continental Whitstable
The Savoy Whitstable
Waterfront Cafe Bar Whitstable