Since losing our beloved dog Chloe a few months ago at the age of 15 we have missed having our four-legged friend with us on our daily walk. However being dog-free has given us the opportunity to explore the paths through the mashes and sheep fields more as we always felt it was a shame to walk Chloe on the lead.
This 7km walk starts and finishes at the Western Car Park or of course, from our holiday cottages – The Salty Dog and Rock Lobster! We like to follow the route in an anti-clockwise direction with the beach at the end to clean our boots!
Begin by taking Farm Lane which is opposite the Rye end of the Western Car Park, walk right to the end of the lane and go through the gate onto a concrete track. Keep on this track until you reach the pill box on the left – a relic from the second world war defences. Over 18,000 concrete pillboxes were built in the 1940’s as part of Britain’s biggest military building program in an attempt to make the country an impenetrable fortress against a potential/ feared German invasion.
Here you will leave the concrete track and head diagonally across the field behind the pill box. The path crosses a fence at the point where there is a wooden hurdle but there is a gate which may be open a few meters to the right of this (it can be a bit muddy here). Once over the fence, continue in the same direction until you join a raised footpath running alongside a dyke towards Rye. This is the Wainway Wall which was built in 1598 to protect land that had been previously reclaimed from Walland Marsh. This is one of my favourite parts of the walk, there are views across the marsh in every direction, the ancient town of Rye, the wind turbines and the back of the dunes. The grassland is dotted with sheep and there are often a couple of swans on or near the water.
Continue along the Wainway Wall path until you reach a footpath marker post. Here we take the footpath diagonally off to the left away from the dyke and heading towards Rye as you can see Pete doing in the photo below on the right … remember you are heading for the citadel of Rye at this stage.
Continue along this path until you reach the footpath marker where you turn left and start heading across the sheep field towards the Rye Golf Club on the coast (a low white building). This path can be easily missed as the yellow footpath marker sign has come off the post leaving only the bridlepath marker. Cross another dyke via a bridge with a metal gate on it shown in the second photo below.
Turn left immediately after the gate and follow the ridge along towards the Golf Club and dunes in the distance. You will need to climb over a low fence (as you can see Pete doing in the first photo below) and continue following the track taking the first gate on the left where you see a footpath sign. Follow the route of the electric power lines to the Golf Club and Camber Road. Cross over the road with care and head to the right side of the Golf Club building as shown in the third photo below. If accompanied by a four-legged friend please note that dogs should be on leads at all times in the golf course.
Follow the footpath across the golf course taking care when crossing the fairways. The path leads you to the Old Tram Station (a teal coloured corrugated shed with a red roof).
The tramway was constructed between Rye ad Camber in 1895. It mainly served to take golfers from Rye to the Golf Links station here and was extended in 1908 to take holiday makers and day trippers to Camber Sands. You can find out more about the tramway here.
Keeping the sailing club on your right follow the path to the left of the house leading to the harbour mouth and the beach. It’s worth keeping a look out as you walk beside the river to the beach as we have often seen seals here and even once a kingfisher.
Once you reach the beach turn left and walk along the shoreline to the lifeguard’s cabin at marker C where you will find the footpath back over the dunes to the Western Car Park.
We advise using OS App on your phone as they paths across the fields are very unclear and there are several dykes which need to be crossed.