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Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Walk 8 Circular walk around Chetney Marshes

Walk 8  Circular walk around Chetney Marshes (Kent)

Map: L/R 178
Distance: About 6 miles
Difficulty: easy – flat - can be windy
Terrain: easy but can be muddy, earth/grassed paths, some road.
Access: Parking in Iwade ( on 90 Easting)
Public transport: The walk could be started a bit further along at Swale Station

I parked in Iwade. Its is worth stopping for a while to admire the medieval All Saints Church in Iwade  Walk north out of Iwade then follow the footpath north eastwards to rejoin the road which is also a cycle path. On reaching the Swale follow the path north-west along the waterside.

This can be a very lonely walk. Looking back towards the bridges crossing to the Isle of Sheppey gives a firm reminder that the noise and bustle of modern life is never far away.The other way, the Isle of Grain can be seen with power station dominant.  (Update - much of this landmark was demolished in 2015). On the west bank at the far end of the Swale is Deadmans Island. Sailors who died from deadly diseases while in quarantine were buried here.

The path crosses inland and arrives near Chetney Hill. An isolation hospital (lazaret) for potential plague carriers from abroad was started here in the 18th century but not finished. The soft mud put paid to it although around £200,000 had been spent! Foreign vessels were also held in nearby Stangate Creek under quarantine restrictions.

Just before the path heads inland you will see the several rotting hulks in Bedlams Bottom. Across the water are the strangely named Barksore marshes.   

Snaps show: All Saints Church, Iwade; looking north from the Swale in the direction of Deadman's Island; rotting hulks; looking west from Chetney Marshes;


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