As the days grow longer and warmer, there's no better time to lace up your walking shoes and explore the great outdoors. The summer months offer the perfect opportunity to stretch your legs and discover the beauty of Kent's coastline. This month's delightful circular walk takes you through the historic town of Hythe, where you'll encounter a captivating mix of coast, canal, and character.

Setting the scene:

With spring in full bloom and summer just around the corner, Kent's captivating coastline beckons you to embrace the great outdoors. As part of National Walking Month, this 5 km route invites ramblers to immerse themselves in the compelling history and picturesque landscapes of Hythe. From the shingled beach to the Royal Military Canal, this walk promises a feast for the senses and a chance to reconnect with nature.


Today’s route starts and ends along the seafront on West Parade, with uninterrupted sea views across the shingled beach in front. You can look forward to a well-earned rest on one of the benches perched along the promenade here on your return.

● When facing the beach turn right on West Parade and head straight until you reach the end of the promenade. As you walk you’ll see the structures of two Martello Towers up ahead. These small defensive forts were built in the 19th Century to resist a potential invasion by Napoleon. On a clear day you may even catch a glimpse of the French coastline on the horizon.

● When you reach the end of the promenade turn right to join St Leonards Road, and walk almost the full stretch of this residential street (approx. 500 metres).

● Towards the end of the road you’ll see a park opening up to your left (branching off of Cinque Ports Avenue), with a path leading diagonally across it. Follow this path through the middle of the park, and cross the road on the other side where you will find Hythe’s Royal Military Canal now running in front of you.

● Turn left, following the path round until you reach the main road. Here you’ll want to turn right, walking along Dymchurch Road until you are positioned outside The Red Lion pub. There is a zebra crossing in front of the pub which you will need to cross, before walking straight (past row of shop fronts to your right) until you reach the historic looking Malthouse Arcade which sits on the corner of the entrance to Hythe high street.

● Rather than entering the high street (you will walk along it later in this route), here you should ascend the road which runs between Malthouse Arcade and The Old Post Office building to your left. At the end of this short stretch of road turn right onto Bartholomew Street and continue straight making your way past the entrance to Upper Malthouse Hill (to your left), and past a building with the marking ‘Brewery Buildings’ painted on its curved corner (to your right), until you reach the base of Church Hill (to your left).

● A series of steps offer a helping hand as you start the steep incline up to the top of Church Hill. Take your time here, there is lots to take in! To your right enjoy your first sight of historic St Leonard’s Church as the route leads you up past the graveyard. Meanwhile to your left enjoy the row of picturesque cottages lining Church Hill, each with a satisfyingly quintessential name.

● Upon reaching the top of Church Hill turn right onto North Road and head straight, past a row of pastel-coloured houses. Here, be sure to stop and take a minute to admire the view which reaches wide across St Leonard’s Church, and Hythe town, out to the sea beyond. A spot worthy of a quick photo opportunity!

● Continue along North Hill until you reach the edge of the graveyard. Here (to your right), you’ll see a footpath running back down the hill, bringing you out at the front of St Leonard’s Church. Walk along the wall in front of the church before descending down another footpath opposite the main entrance, arriving in Hillside Street.

● Turn left and follow Hillside Street as it winds around to join Dental Street beneath it. Upon reaching Dental Street you’ll need to turn right and follow for approx. 100 metres before descending a final section of pathway (Great Conduit Street) to arrive into the main high street.

● Turn left and follow the high street right to its end. When you reach the main road and roundabout you will need to cross straight over, and follow the road ahead of you (Seabrook Road) for approx. 100 metres until The Bell Inn sits just in front of you.

● Turn right at The Bell Inn, crossing the main road to enter Twiss Road which starts opposite the pub. Follow Twiss Road until you reach a bridge which crosses over the Royal Military Canal. Here, just before the bridge, turn right and follow the towpath (with the canal sitting to your left) enjoying the quiet peace of this riverside stretch until you reach another bridge.

● Climb the steps leading back up the grass bank and cross the bridge to the other side of the canal. The entrance to Hythe Bowling Club will now be in front of you. Here, turn right and follow this

stretch of pathway to its end, passing Oaklands Park on your left.

● Turning left here, you will have now arrived onto Stade Street which marks the final stretch of this route. Follow Stade Street all the way to its end, where you will arrive back at West Parade to complete today's circular walk. It’s now time to take a seat on one of the benches along the promenade, and bask in those serene, seaside views!

Steps, stats & stiles:

At 5 km in length this circular route should take you just over one hour to complete at a steady pace. The route contains no stiles or obstructions, but does contain some steep steps and inclines.

A perfectly placed pit stop:

After working up an appetite on your scenic stroll, the Hythe Bay Bar & Grill is the perfect spot to refuel and replenish. Situated conveniently at the start and end of this route, it offers a delightful al fresco dining

experience with stunning sea views. Alternatively, if you prefer to break up the route with a midpoint pit-stop, Hythe's historic high street boasts a range of cosy cafes and coffee shops to satisfy your cravings.

Make a day of it:

Why not make the most of your time in Hythe? Hire a rowing boat and explore the Royal Military Canal from a unique vantage point, or simply bask in the warmth of Kent's spectacular shoreline on Hythe's shingled beach. This charming coastal town offers plenty of opportunities to create lasting memories this late spring.

Route followed:

For this month’s walk we followed the Historic Hythe Circular Walk map on the AllTrails app