Birchington to Herne Bay

SWC Walk 28 Birchington to Herne Bay

This flat stretch of coast could be pretty bleak in bad weather, but on a sunny day offers calm swimming and vast areas of shallow water at middle states of the tide. Beaches at Birchington, Reculver and Herne Bay are all topped by gently sloping shingle, but at lower tide large expanses of sand (Birchington) and sandy mud (Herne Bay) are revealed. This means that when the tide is about a third to a half up, both places allow you to stay in your depth while swimming well out to sea.

  • Herne Bay's eastern beach is backed by sandy cliffs and is rather romantic in the late afternoon light. From the seafront in the town centre you get a wonderful sunset over the sea in summer

  • Herne Bay's railway station is some way from the sea front. Birchington's is much nearer, but the nearest section of coast is rocky and unswimmable. Head west along the promenade to find the town's beach

  • On sunny summer days, trains can be hugely crowded to both Herne Bay and Birchington due to day trippers going to Margate.

  • Reculver, half way between Herne Bay and Birchington was the site of a Roman fort. Beyond the romantic ruin of a medieval abbey, there is not much to see at the site, but it is still an atmospheric spot, somehow.

  • Food and drink: Herne Bay's seafront has the usual seaside cafes and chip shops. Birchington's beach has a cafe-pub

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