Breaking Up for Christmas 2017
Apart from the ongoing north-westerly wind, walking to Whitstable presented a further challenge – weaving between numerous dog owners who, in many cases, failed to control their menagerie of dogs. While I tried to move forward I was often thwarted by different dog families chasing one another. I was glad to reach Whitstable but learned that relying only on council-provided way marked signs was unwise: to avoid getting ‘lost’ always read signs in conjuncton with your map. Guess who didn’t?!
More dyked sea walls to walk on as I passed Seasalter and the Isle of Sheppey gradually came into view. Marshland and Nature Reserves were a constant feature as I made my way up into Faversham along unkempt paths which bordered an untidy creek. The historic town, full of wooden buildings and wide streets, was just packing up a Christmas market as I made my way along its brightly lit streets.
White frosty conditions saw me head off down the Oare Creek bound for Sittingbourne. Much of the walk was beside the flat calm Swale Channel where the derelict munitions factory on Uplees Marshes was clearly visible. Old wooden hulks had been left to rot by the riverbanks and ahead, the Sheppey Crossing loomed out of the mist, and the distant whistle of the Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway could be heard. Turning up Milton Creek, I passed disused oyster beds; it wouldn’t take long to head into Sittingbourne and a Christmas break.