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1st April 2010
Walking East from Margate

 The 1st April 2010 started out bright and sunny, but cold in London. The forecast was that it would rain during the day, but at the same time sunny intervals were forecast for the Margate area. With a day's holiday booked off work it was time to see the sea, and go for a medium length walk. My plan was just to walk from Westgate On Sea to Birchington On Sea, but my plan was altered after a received a phone call while I was on the train approaching my destination. The new plan was to go one more stop on the train to Margate, and then to meet up with an old friend who I quite rarely see these days.

 He, like me, is attempting to lose weight, and currently is far more succesful than me. I suggested he might like to tag along, and we would walk for a couple of miles before going into a pub. In the end we walked closer to 5 miles.

route between Margate and Birchington
This is the route we took. It measures 4.7 miles from the start in Margate to the end at Birchington On Sea railway station. That was where I officially stopped recording the walk, but we actually walked to a pub on the A28 road just by the B of Birchington on the above map. My friend got the bus from there, and I walked back to Birchington On Sea railway station by myself.
Margate station
This is the rather imposing front of Margate railway station.
High tide at margate
My first view of the beach was just mainly water because it was high tide.
High tide at Margate
The tide was exceptionally high, and still coming in. A little further along and it seemed the sea was doing it's best to come up this ramp, and flood the promenade that stretches nearly all the way to Birchington.
Heavy water at Westgate On Sea
Not only was the tide high, but there was quite a stiff breeze blowing that was getting the sea quite choppy as pictured here at Westgate On Sea.
Birchington On Sea
For most of our walk we were walking on a promenade like this pictured very close to Birchington On Sea. Much of the landward side was chalk cliffs, and the white debris you can see in the foreground is from small falls of chalk from the crumbling cliffs.
The abrupt end of the promenade
The picture of the promenade with the chalk debris was taken from this point. The promenade comes to an abrupt halt here, and there was no place to go but to retrace our steps for a hundred yards, or so, to get to some steps that lead up onto the main road.

 Once we were on the main road we continued to walk into Birchington On Sea by road. Once we had located the railway station our first port of call was a nearby pub. At that point I stopped my tracker and it said we had walked 4.71 miles. The pub, whose name escapes me, was rather nice inside, but it had one major failing - it was due to close down in two days and had nothing to drink but bottled beer. After drinking a bottle of Becks we left that pub and walked up the high street to another pub. I didn't measure how far that was, but that extra distance must have taken my entire walk up to 5 miles (my friend didn't go back to the station, but caught a bus near the pub).

 Overall it was a very satisfying walk, and I guess that was mainly due to having some company on it. The weather was dry, and sometimes there was some sunshine, but it was cool in that wind. According to the Cardio Trainer software on my Android G1 phone, that walk burnt up over 700 calories, and that has to be good too. My only regret was that the sea was far too cold at this time of the year to have a paddle, but with the tide so high, and the water so choppy, it wasn't really an option anyway.

 Going to Margate takes nearly two hours from Catford by train, and coming home from Birchington On Sea was only slightly less. Such journeys are tiring in themselves, but I felt quite buzzy when I got home, and amazingly I didn't feel the need to eat a gigantic dinner (apart from 3 digestive biscuits on the train coming home I hadn't eaten anything all day). In fact what I did eat was fairly mild compared to some evenings after a day at work.

 One final picture below - my final destination at the end of the walk - Birchington On Sea railway station.
Birchington-On-Sea railway station