Walk The Invasion Coast of Romney Marsh
The closeness of Romney Marsh to the continent, its flat shores and hinterland and easily accessible beaches, has meant that the Marsh has been in the front line whenever invasion has threatened, particularly from across the English Channel.
This page provides information about a walk along part of this Invasion Coast, to view some of the heritage buildings that helped to defend this part of the Kent coast.
The walk follows the English Coast Path from the Dymchurch Redoubt, between Hythe and Dymchurch, and ends at Dungeness, some 12 miles away.
Martello Tower No.23
Martello Tower No.24
Martello Tower No.25
Dungeness Battery No.2
Dungeness Battery No.1
You can start and end your walk at any point along the route.
There are car parks adjacent to the walk at Dymchurch, St Mary's Bay, LIttlestone, Greatstone, Lydd-on-Sea and Dungeness: see Parking - Car and Coach.
Bus route 102 runs on the A259, which is alongside most of the walk, as far as Lydd-on-Sea in the south: see Bus Travel.
The coastal area of the Marsh from Hythe to Dungeness is served by the light railway Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway (RH&DR), with stations at Hythe, Dymchurch, St Mary's Bay, Romney Warren, New Romney, Romney Sands and Dungeness: see RH&DR
For convenience, we have taken the car park at Coast Drive, Greatstone as a staging point, which is approximately 6.5 miles south of Dymchurch Redoubt and 5.5 miles north of Dungeness - see map right.
Walk 1 - North from the Coast Drive Car Park View and Print the walk as a pdf
From the car park entrance, with the sea on your right, enter the large green area (Littlestone Greens), walk past the children's play areas and continue until you meet up with the start of the sea wall, which you can follow all the way through to Dymchurch Redoubt.
If you look ou the sea at this point, you will see part of the Mulberry Harbour. A Mulberry harbour was a portable temporary harbour developed by the British in World War II to facilitate rapid offloading of cargo onto the beaches during the Allied invasion of Normandy.
The harbour was built in 1943-4 from Phoenix caissons, floatable breakwater components which effectively created a mobile port facility, designed to sink or float as necessary. Two prefabricated or artificial military harbours were taken in sections across the English Channel from Britain with the invading army and assembled off the coast of Normandy.
As part of the D-Day invasion of France in 1944, and they were used by the Allies to land troops and arms at Normandy as part of Operation Overlord.
Part of one of the harbours is visible at low tide off Littlestone. It survives remarkably intact and is now an Ancient Scheduled Monument.
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About ½ mile further on your left-hand side you will see a 120ft tower, which was built as a 120ft water tower in 1890 by Henry Tubbs to supply water to his properties in Littlestone. The military used the Tower during World War Two as a lookout post and they made some changes to the structure, partly the reason for its slightly wobbly look. The Army also added a substantial concrete stairway inside.
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Martello Tower 26 was built on the eastern side of the Globsden Gut Sluice, which ran into the sea near Dunstall Lane.
Tower No. 27 was built approximately a quarter of a mile to the west; both were built to protect the Globsden Gut Sluice.
Neither tower stands today. Damaged by sea erosion, No. 27 was demolished in 1841 and No. 26 lasted until 1871.
The site of Tower 26 was on what is now the sea wall next to the car park opposite Dunstall Lane, roughly in front of where the toilet block now stands.