7 January 2011

New Year’s Day Walk - Cliffe

On New Year’s Day, I headed for another RSPB Nature Reserve, this time at Cliffe Pools. I started out from Cliffe village on Pond Hill and then onto Pickles Way. Unsurprisingly, there were lots of people enjoying the fresh air and taking the opportunity for some exercise.

Although there are many trails to choose from, I opted for the Saxon Shore Way – heading through pools and lagoons towards Cliffe Creek.

When I arrived at Cliffe Creek, I had a look for Cliffe Fort, which was built in the mid-nineteenth century. Although derelict and closed to the public, it is still possible to view some of its exterior walls from the footpath. There are also the 100-year old remains of the Brennan Torpedo installation (on the shore side). Such a shame that these once important naval defences are now largely forgotten.

Within a couple of hundred yards of the fort rests the wreck of a Danish schooner, the ‘Hans Egede’. Although damaged by fire in 1955, she was used for many years as a coal and grain hulk on the Medway.

Heading back to Cliffe village, I took the less scenic, but more direct, route along Salt Lane, West Street, Higham Road and Church Street.

An excellent few hours spent exploring a small part of RSPB Cliffe Pools Nature Reserve, with some interesting local history along the way. I’ll certainly be back soon, as there are plenty more routes left to explore!

More information about RSPB Cliffe Pools Nature Reserve can be found by clicking here.