A SELECTION OF PLACES TO VISIT FROM DYMCHURCH
Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway: This world-famous miniature railway runs for approximately 15 miles (24 km) across the Romney Marsh, from Hythe, via Dymchurch, St Mary's Bay, New Romney and Romney Sands to Dungeness. It opened in the late 1920s and still retains its fleet of one-third size steam locomotives, which have, in recent years, been joined by two diesels. A great day out for all the family.
St Mary's Bay (1.5 miles/2 km): St Mary's Bay is the next station on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, and shares the same sandy beach as Dymchurch. There are several small shops and a public house.
New Romney (4 miles/6 km): Ancient Cinque Port town, once by the sea, with its own harbour, until a terrific storm diverted the course of the River Rother to Rye in 1287. The town is now 1.5 miles (2 km) inland. The floor of the church of St Nicholas is below ground-level because of subsequent silting-up, and ancient tidemarks can be seen on its pillars. In and around the High Street are many interesting shops, pubs and other historic buildings. The headquarters of the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway are situated at New Romney station, on the road to Littlestone.
Hythe (5 miles/8 km): Hythe is a historic Cinque Port town. It can be reached from Dymchurch by car or bus along the A259, or by the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway. It has a long High Street with many specialist shops. The Royal Military Canal, built in Napoleonic times, runs through the town, and in the summer months, boats can be hired. The Church of St. Leonards' crypt, which an be visited on certain days for a small charge, contains the neatly-stacked bones of thousands of inhabitants from ancient times.
Dungeness (9 miles/15 km): The largest shingle promentory in the world, Dungeness is now a protected area. It has two lighthouses (one operative, the other open to visitors in the summer months), fishermen's shacks, a nuclear power station, a railway station (at the southern end of the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway), and a pub. It is particularly attractive to artists, bird lovers botanists and fishermen: because if its unique atmosphere; the many species of rare birds that can often be seen on their way to or from the continent particularly at the RSPB bird reserve; the wild flowers and plants of many varieties growing in wild profusion in the shingle; and the deep-sea fishing, which is unsurpassed on the south coast.
Folkestone and Ashford (both 10 miles/16 km): Larger towns with shopping centres and amenities.
Rye (16 miles/26 km): Ancient fortified Cinque Port built on a conical hill. The town is like a history book, illustrated on each page with living pictures. Just allow one's imagination a little scope and immediately one is back three hundred years as one turns the corners of the narrow streets, and wends one's way over the cobblestones. Each house abutts its neighbour and no two are precisely similar in design, and yet they all blend in together to make scenes such as one associates with old England and Christmas cards.
Dover Castle (17 miles/27 km): Set high above the famous white cliffs, Dover Castle boasts a colourful and fascinating history. Tour the impressive keep and walk the extensive battlements; see one of Europe’s best-preserved Roman lighthouses; explore the atmospheric medieval underground tunnels; or re-live the turbulent war years as you discover the labyrinth of Secret Wartime Tunnels built deep within the cliffs.
Winchelsea (19 miles/30 km): After the old town was swept away, the new town was planned, on high ground, and following a grid-like pattern, during the time of Edward I, in the late 13th century. Once a thriving port, it is now the most delightfully peaceful setting.
Canterbury (22 miles/35 km): Ancient Cathedral City, best reached by the Roman Road of Stone Street, across the North Downs. Well worth a day's visit.
France: Day-trips to France can be taken by ferry from Dover (with P&O, SeaFrance and Norfolk Line) or by Eurostar from Ashford International Station.
London: The fastest way to reach Central London is to travel by high-speed train from Ashford International to St Pancras (42 minutes).
"...this is Kent
Where the cornfields and the orchards
In sweet profusion lie,
And where the golden sands
Meet sun-kiss'd sea
Beneath the summer sky."