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Winchelsea and the Royal Military Canal

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Winchelsea and the Royal Military Canal
Author: East Sussex Walks, Published: 11 Oct 2017 Walk Rating:star1 Winchelsea and the Royal Military Canal Walking Guide star1 Winchelsea and the Royal Military Canal Walking Guide star1 Winchelsea and the Royal Military Canal Walking Guide star1 Winchelsea and the Royal Military Canal Walking Guide star0 Winchelsea and the Royal Military Canal Walking Guide
East Sussex, Winchelsea
Walk Type: Hills, valleys and dales
Winchelsea and the Royal Military Canal
Length: 6 miles,  Difficulty: boot Winchelsea and the Royal Military Canal Walking Guide boot Winchelsea and the Royal Military Canal Walking Guide boot Winchelsea and the Royal Military Canal Walking Guide
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16 °C, Light rain, Wind: 9 mph NNW
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A 10km (6 mile) circular walk from Winchelsea rail station in East Sussex. The walk enjoys the historic settlement of Winchelsea, passes through a nature reserve and leads you along the banks of the Royal Military Canal. This walk is one of a collection published through a collaboration between iFootpath and East Sussex County Council.

The terrain is moderate and includes a few gradients. The paths follow a mixture of pavements and lanes, woodland, grass pastures and nature reserve meadows, with some sections that can be muddy. You will be sharing some of the fields with cattle or other livestock. You will need to negotiate several footbridge and gates plus 22 stiles (several of which dogs may need a lift over). Remember, this number of stiles will make the walk slower and more tiring. Allow 3 hours.

The walk starts and finishes at Winchelsea rail station making it ideal for arriving by public transport. The station does NOT have a car park, so if you are coming by car, you will need to adjust the walk by parking in the village of Winchelsea instead, starting the walk near the church (just follow the optional directions with the narrative). Approximate post code for church, TN36 4EB.

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Walk Sections

Start to Southern Water
Start to Southern Water

Start point: 50.9337 lat, 0.7026 long
End point: 50.9283 lat, 0.7055 long

(NOTE: If you are starting at the church, skip ahead to the section called Church to Track Crossing).

Starting from Winchelsea Station, turn right and follow the road towards the village of Winchelsea. Continue to follow the road for a total distance of approximately 900 metres (990 yds) to reach the junction with the main A259. At the main road, turn immediately right, using the roadside verge for a few metres, and then right again onto the signed footpath. Cross a stile and follow the surfaced track, passing the Southern Water entrance.

Southern Water to Old Mill
Southern Water to Old Mill

Start point: 50.9283 lat, 0.7055 long
End point: 50.926 lat, 0.7038 long

After crossing a bridge, continue to follow the path through a gate, and then onwards to reach a pair of bridges. After crossing the second bridge, turn left and follow the field edge path. At the next signposted path junction, bear left to continue following the field edge path to reach a second path junction at a gate.

Follow the path beyond the gate, climbing the hill towards Winchelsea village, passing the site of the old mill, to reach another gate. At the top of the hill, the remains of the old mill can be seen, with great views across the Brede Valley.

Old Mill to Church
Old Mill to Church

Start point: 50.926 lat, 0.7038 long
End point: 50.9245 lat, 0.7083 long

After the next gate, continue ahead along the lane, cross the main A259 and follow Mill Road ahead, into the centre of Winchelsea. Turn right at the next junction into Hiham Green, and follow this road through Winchelsea. Continue to follow the road through the centre of Winchelsea, passing the church on your left.

Church to Track Crossing
Church to Track Crossing

Start point: 50.9245 lat, 0.7083 long
End point: 50.9187 lat, 0.7053 long

(If you are starting at the church, begin at the corner by the war memorial. Standing at the bench on the pavement, with your back to the war memorial and church and facing the pub opposite, turn left to head south along German Street. Pass the church on your left and follow the directions from this point).

Continue to follow the road for 0.3 miles to reach a sharp right-hand bend. Follow the route round the bend, with the ruins on your left, to reach a stile. Cross the stile into Chapel Field, and follow the path diagonally across the field, to reach a pair of stiles, either side of a track.

Track Crossing to Wickham Rock Lane
Track Crossing to Wickham Rock Lane

Start point: 50.9187 lat, 0.7053 long
End point: 50.9145 lat, 0.6943 long

Cross the track and follow the path across the next field, heading to the left of the small patch of woodland, to reach and take a stile beside a field gate. Continue to follow the waymarked path heading for a stile immediately to the left of the barn ahead. Cross the drive of Wickham Manor Farm and continue along the waymarked path across the field. After the next stile, continue along the edge of the next field to reach another stile and the lane, Wickham Rock Lane.

Wickham Rock Lane to Windmill Cottage
Wickham Rock Lane to Windmill Cottage

Start point: 50.9145 lat, 0.6943 long
End point: 50.9123 lat, 0.6858 long

Cross the lane to take the hand gate next to the field gate. From the gate, follow the footpath across the field towards the end of the line of trees. Bear right on reaching the corner of the copse, and follow the tree line (with the trees on your right), continuing over the next stile to a further stile in the field corner. Follow the well-defined path, crossing the next field in the direction of the windmill to reach a lane. On reaching the lane, turn left, and follow it for a short distance, passing Windmill Cottage on your left.

Windmill Cottage to Nature Reserve
Windmill Cottage to Nature Reserve

Start point: 50.9123 lat, 0.6858 long
End point: 50.911 lat, 0.688 long

Continue beyond the cottage to reach the next footpath junction on the right. Turn right and follow the footpath over the hill, passing the windmill, to reach Workhouse Lane. Turn left onto the lane and follow it to the road junction. Cross the junction, to take a stile. Follow the path across the field to a series of three stiles. Take these and continue to follow the route, crossing a drive, and then passing behind Ashes Farm to join a track heading downhill to the Pannel Valley Nature Reserve.

Nature Reserve to Royal Military Canal
Nature Reserve to Royal Military Canal

Start point: 50.911 lat, 0.688 long
End point: 50.9091 lat, 0.6948 long

The well-defined path leads through the Nature Reserve to reach a footbridge. After crossing the bridge, turn left, and follow the Pannel Sewer, passing the entrance to a bird hide on your right. There are lovely views from the hide if you wish to pause here. After crossing the second bridge, turn left, crossing a stile, and then follow the path along the banks of the Royal Military Canal.

Royal Military Canal to Sea Road
Royal Military Canal to Sea Road

Start point: 50.9091 lat, 0.6948 long
End point: 50.9253 lat, 0.715 long

Ignoring the path junction to your left, continue to follow the main, canal side path. Built as a Napoleonic Defence, the Royal Military Canal runs for a distance of 30 miles between Hythe and Cliff End, Pett, enclosing the area of Romney Marsh and Dungeness, an area of land thought vulnerable to French invasion. Continue to follow the canal to reach Sea Road.

Sea Road to End
Sea Road to End

Start point: 50.9253 lat, 0.715 long
End point: 50.934 lat, 0.7026 long

Turn left and follow the short distance to the road junction. Turn left and follow the main A259. If you are parked in Winchelsea, turn left into Strand Hill and follow this, through the old arch, and on to reach the church. For the main route, continue to follow the A259 to its junction with Station Road, before turning right and retracing the start of the route back to Winchelsea Station and the end of the walk.

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network Winchelsea and the Royal Military Canal Walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2017 by the author eastsussexwalks and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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1 gallery images for "Winchelsea and the Royal Military Canal"

9205_0eastsussexwalks1507649433 Winchelsea and the Royal Military Canal Walking Guide Image by: East Sussex Walks
Uploaded: 10 Oct 2017
From the old mill there are great views across the Brede Valley

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