Walks And Walking – Kent Walks – Margate Walking Route
We were staying in Broadstairs for a long weekend so decided to walk to Margate one day. We waited until the tide went out so that we could walk along the beach from Viking Bay in Broadstairs to Joss Bay and enjoy the interesting geology of the white chalk cliffs and the flint nodules that scatter the beach like dinosaur bones.
From our apartment we walked down to the gardens to see the Victorian Bathing Pool that is revealed at low tide. We continued along the pathway to pass the many bars, pubs and restaurants to where the path narrows passed the amusements and gift shops to the bright blue and well signposted Viking Coastal Trail where we turned right and headed downhill towards the beach and Bleak House.
This walk is more commonly known as the Thanet Coastal Path but it looks as though the Viking Coastal Trail is a more recent addition as a well maintained cycle route. If the tide is in then you just follow the Viking Coastal Trail by turning left uphill and then right and continue to follow the signposts until you get to Joss Bay.
Walking along the sea wall until it came to an end we walked on to the sand and seaweed strewn coastline just passed the pathway up to the road cut in to the cliff face. Along this stretch of cliff there are many supports, secret doorways, tunnels and bricked up entrances that lead in to the cliff face. It might just be me but I thought that nodule of flint sticking out of the chalk cliff looked like a screaming mans face.
Maybe the spirit of a pirate smuggler embedded in to the cliff for all eternity as penance for all of his sins… or not.
Continuing along the beach walk we entered Joss Bay, a delightful beach area and a hidden treasure (He says continuing with the pirate theme). Joss Bay gets its name from Joss Snelling, the notorious local smuggler, who was born in 1741. He lived to 96 and in his time was once introduced to Princess Victoria in 1829 as “The Famous Broadstairs Smuggler”.
We then walked up the pathway to join the road at the Viking Coastal Trail sign and in full view of the North Foreland Lighthouse behind us on the left. We turned right to follow the Viking Coastal Trail signposts on the Thanet Coastal Path and after a while we then got a great view of the Kingsgate Castle by the sign for Kingsgate Bay which was built in 1760 and is now made up of privately owned residential housing.
We then passed the Captain Digby pub which actually fits in really well with the general ambience and architecture of the area. The pathway follows the edge of the car park and then alongside the golf course with the flint tower fort then coming in to view. As we made our way up we found a pathway to our right hand side whereby you can walk between the cliff edges down to the beach which, for me, made the best photograph of the day.
The tower is at the tip of White Ness on fort hill, just outside of Botany Bay and the gateway to Margate, England’s earliest seaside resort. Botany Bay is another beauty spot which leads on to Foreness Point. A Foreness is a geological term for when sand dunes form on top of the cliff which is then covered by soil and plant life to form an interesting seam in the cliffs. Well, I think that’s what the description is but vandals had scratched some of the words out so it’s only a (poorly) educated guess that’s what it actually means.
Palm Bay is the next bay on the trail and as we walked closer and closer to the sign Mary made a joke by saying “I really want a cup of tea, if only there was a cafe nearby” which made me laugh for a good few minutes. Check out the link to the photographs at the bottom of this article!
As we settled ourselves after such hilarity we then followed the trail to Walpole Bay and the much larger Victorian Bathing Pool set in to Walpole Rocks. We then entered Margate with the Lido sign was in full view but the bathing pool below was in a dire state of repair. We then walked by the Winter Gardens, passing the Lifeboat Station and the Turner Gallery until we found Peters Fish Factory.
We stopped here for some fantastic fish and chips before heading back to follow all of the Viking Coastal Trail signposts all the way back to Broadstairs which took us a total of 4 hours and 13 miles for the whole walk.
To view all 22 of the photographs from this walk please click here: Margate Walking Route