The Saxon Shore Way is a 163 mile walk which starts at Gravesend in Kent and finishes at Hastings in Sussex. The path which was opened in 1980 roughly follows the coastline as it was one thousand five hundred years ago. The path is named after the line of fortifications built along the coastline by the Romans in the third and fourth century AD to counter Saxon raids.
Four Roman forts lie along the route, at Reculver, Richborough, Dover and Lympne. This was the abandoned defensive line through which Hengest and the rest of the Germanic tribes came in the fifth century.
The Saxon Shore Way passes many sites of historic interest, which include: Cooling Castle, Cooling Church (made famous by Charles Dickens in Great Expectations), Chatham Historic Dockyard, the town of Rochester, Upnor Castle, and several Roman forts.
On the approach to Hoo, the view of Upnor Castle in the distance is the view that JMW Turner used in his painting of Upnor Castle in 1831, now on display at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester.
At Rye, the Saxon Shore Way links with the 1066 Country Walk. From Rye, the Saxon Shore Way follows the Royal Military Canal as far as Winchelsea and then on to Hastings.