South East Coast Path

The English Channel Path

This page outlines the South East Coast Path. Please note that there is no official path of this name - but hopefully one day the promised English Coast Path will come this way and may well use this or a similar route. The path follows the coast between Eastbourne around the coast to Whitstable.

Walks: South East Coast Path

12 April 2014: Eastbourne: - beach replenishment - viewed from the pier

Description of the path

While there is not the same extent in terms of a peninsula as we have with Devon and Cornwall - it would be nice to have some symmetry as regards a coastal path in the east.

Since there is a natural change of direction east of Eastbourne to use this as a logical start point. The coast line moves first north east and then around Thanet and back on its self as far as Whitstable. Here a Thames Estuary path might then pick up the baton for the south and north coasts of the Thames estuary.

The Eastbourne to Whitstable coast echos with lot of history: from Roman and Norman invasion points through to the modern continental connections of Dover and the Channel Tunnel.

We travel through a clutch of well known popular holiday resorts in Eastbourne, Hastings, Folkestone; Deal; Ramsgate, Margate and Herne Bay.

Add to this the natural and mobile and sometimes desolate features of Dungeness to the chalk cliffs at Dover.

While England is much more than this, the route is nevertheless a rewarding coastline with a variety of topographies - like so many others in the British Isles.
Parts of the part are coincident with the Saxon Shore Way (see refs below) but this path is following todays coastline - therefore the connections are intermittent.

The stages walked to date are described in the supporting pages (see Table 2 below).

South East Coast Path Stats

1. Overall

Topic Info comment
Terminus Eastbourne Pier
Terminus Whitstable Harbour
Total Distance 165.1 km [estimated]
Lowest point Beaches 2m [amsl]
Highest point Dover Hill, Folkestone tbc 150m [amsl]

2. Stages Completed

The stages below are stages completed to date and follow a west to east direction along the coast. The distance is taken from the gps track data.

Stage Distance Type
Eastbourne-Hastings 25.1 km coast-flat
Hastings - Camber 26.7 km coast-moderate
New Romney - Folkestone 22.6 km coast-flat
Folkestone -Dover 13.0 km coast-hilly
Dover - Deal 15.8 km coast-hilly
Deal - Broadstairs 24.6 km coast-flat
Broadstairs - Birchington 15.4 km coast-flat
Birchington - Whitstable 21.9 km coast-flat

3. Percent and total distance walked to date

Completed Who Total distance to date
100% completed HM; KM 165.1 km

South East Coast Path Points of Interest

Pevensey coastline Pevensey Bay:The area where the Normans came ashore in 1066. However the sea drove a further kilometre inland at that time - as far as Pevensey castle.
Hastings Pier Hastings Pier:The pier was severely damaged in a fire in October 2010. Fortunately it is being rebuilt with £14m coming from some Heritage Lottery funding and a successful shares issue. It is planned to reopen at Easter 2015 [now summer 2015]. The pier's Pavilion Ballroom was the last outing of Syd Barrett as a member of Pink Floyd on 20 January 1968.

Getting there - access

Each stage includes a section regarding access to start/end points. In most cases this will be based on experience and where ever possible by using public transport.


Start: 12 April 2014
End: 22 January 2016

References & Links:

Date Title
20141207 Saxon Shore Way [LDP Association]
20141207 Saxon Shore Way [Kent Co Co]
20141207 Coasting Around Britain [Dave Higgins]


KJM 26 January 2016