Ritchie's Rambles - Lower Halstow (4km / 2.5 miles)
If you’re looking for a short circular walk in Swale, then you can’t go wrong with this stroll along the Saxon Shore Way taking in the old Eastwood’s brickworks and fruit tree orchards of Lower Halstow.
Park carefully at the end of Lapwing Drive (ME9 7DZ) taking care not to block access to the gate. Once parked, head to the wharf where the 'Edith May' is berthed. Now fully restored it is possible to hire this historic Thames barge.
The Grade 2 listed stone church next to the wharf is dedicated to St. Margaret of Antioch, and dates back to Saxon times in the 7th century. It is one of the oldest churches in England still in regular use. Click for more information.
From the wharf head west along the Saxon Shore Way keeping the Swale on your right hand side. If the tide is out, vast areas of exposed mud attract wading birds such as Oystercatcher, Black-tailed Godwit and Turnstone, as well as Black-headed Gull.
The footpath skirts the edge of the old brickfield site which has now been reclaimed by nature. Here the berry-laden bushes are usually full of small birds such as Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Robin, Wren, Blue Tit, Great Tit and Long-tailed Tit. In the ditches Kingfisher, Little Egret and Grey Heron hunt for a fishy meal. Listen out for the ‘yaffle’ call of Green Woodpecker, or the ‘mew’ of an overhead Buzzard.
Continue on the coastal footpath passing grazing meadows and a small wooded area that is home to the secluded Oak Grove outdoor wedding venue.
At Twinney Wharf bare right to keep on the Saxon Shore Way and follow the footpath past the apple and pear orchards. On the day of our walk a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew overhead. It won’t be long before any leftover fruit will attract the attention of winter thrushes such as Redwing, Fieldfare and possibly Waxwing.
When you reach the gravel track turn left at Callow’s Cottages. Turn left into Poot Lane and after a few hundred yards turn left again into Twinney Lane. Take care for oncoming traffic especially on the bends. You’re not on the road for long as you’ll soon reach a large house (Twinney Acre) with a swimming pool in the garden. Turn left here into Susan’s Lane and then take the gravel track back towards The Oak Grove outdoor wedding venue.
Once back at the coast, follow the Saxon Shore Way back to Lower Halstow wharf. Did you know? The wharf was used as a film set for the Hollywood blockbuster ‘Wonder Woman’, read the news article about it at.
Allow 1 hour to complete this walk which is on level ground with just a few metal styles.
Why not combine your walk with lunch at the Grade 2 listed Three Tuns pub which dates back to 1468.
More information about the author:
My name is Richard Hanman and I live on the Isle of Sheppey in the fabulous borough of Swale. I work full time for a national DIY & Garden retailer and in my spare time am a committee member for my local RSPB group in Medway. I also run a small company called ‘Bargain Birding Club’ offering value for money wildlife themed holidays. Further details can be found on my website or on Facebook.