Whilst our Canterbury holiday cottage sits quietly empty and awaiting her first visitors once the lockdown has ended, we feel very fortunate to have been locked down close to the cliffs and downs of Herne Bay and Reculver Kent. During my 6.00am walks I have witnessed some beautiful sunrises and can understand the obvious attraction that J.M.W. TURNER felt for the East Kent coastline.
The delightful and varied walk from Herne Bay takes you along the flat sea front promenade or meandering Bishopstone downs, where you then cross a deep and narrow gorge. Following through Bishopstone glen you emerge onto the cliff top path which undulates its way to the RECLUVER country park and the famous twin towers of its ancient medieval church.
The imposing medieval church at Reculver once acted as a navigation marker for ships at sea. Originally built as a Roman fort to protect against Saxon raids and then later became an Anglo-Saxon monastery and finally the site of Reculver parish church. Over the years coastal erosion has reclaimed much of the site but some of the early Roman fort can still be seen and the ancient Roman wall surrounding the site remains partly intact.
Fossil hunting in Kent!
The shoreline between Herne Bay and Reculver is a great marine fossil hunting destination.! As you can see from my photo below, we have discovered a number of different treasures over the past few months, including fossilised twigs, coral, bivalves and some smashing 55 million year old sharks teeth! (Spotted the World War ll bullet.???)
It takes some persistence, but you need to be on the lookout for anything dark black and once you have the shape of them in your minds eye then you’ll be surprised at how easily you can spot them. After an extremely high or low tide and after a storm is the best time to hunt. But please do not dig into the fragile sandstone cliffs as you won’t find anything there and we don’t want to lose any more land here!
The Reculver country park is easy to access by foot, bicycle, bus or car, there is a large car park close to the towers and also a new play park with picnic benches. For refreshments there’s a nice cafe, HatHats for good coffee and cakes and a great pub The King Ethelbert, which lies at the foot of the iconic towers. All in all we highly recommend a day trip from Canterbury (20 mins) to visit this relatively unknown gem of the Kent coastline.