Today’s statistics: 9 miles, ascent 956′, descent 960′
Having tucked away a yummy waffle breakfast at the Brambles B&B, we began our last day on the North Downs Way en route to Dover. We stopped by the beautifully restored East Kent Railway station in Lower Eythorne. There is a little café which is located in an old train car that was used by a circus to transport their elephants.
We were only about 1 mile from the NDW and rejoined it at Waldershare Park. Waldershare House was just across a field and rather impressive due to its size. The property was purchased in 1705 by Sir Henry
Walking through the park was most pleasant.
We found a swing in the park and could not resist!
We were soon back into the massive agricultural fields.
Rain was clearly in the clouds and we were glad to walk these fields before they became a slippery, muddy path.
This old, sunken path through the woods began the descent into Dover.
Coming upon the Victorian Charlton Cemetery, we knew that Dover was not far away.
As we had been hiking for the past several days, we noticed vintage WWII aircraft occasionally flying overhead. It turned out that the day after our arrival in Dover was the 75th anniversary of D-Day, to be accompanied by extensive celebrations. As we entered the town we passed several moving memorials, including the one in the picture below. Once in Dover, we met many people that were in town for the celebration.
Continuing down to the water’s edge, we finally arrived at the English Channel in Dover! Dover’s huge, active ferry port, Dover Castle and the white cliffs are all in the background.
Depending on which direction Channel swimmers traveled, the official start or finish line of the English Channel swim was marked by these two blocks on the same beach.
Success! Crossing the Finish Line of the North Downs Way, near the swimmers’ marker!
Our B&B, Castle Guest House, was situated down the hill below medieval
The White Horse is a pub that until just a few years ago was the place that successful English Channel swimmers would come to sign the walls to record their accomplishments.
The pub has run out of wall space so this practice has stopped, but the signatures provide a history of that challenge. We enjoyed a delicious dinner there and were thoroughly entertained by reading the swimmers’ accounts.
We spent a couple days in Dover, at one point strolling along the edge of the famous white cliffs. What a tremendous two weeks we have had exploring this beautiful part of England!