Walking the Royal Saxon Way

Day 4 of the Lyminge Anglo-Saxon Festival was a super day for a walk. A group led by veteran walker Andrew Swarbrick of White Cliffs Ramblers gathered in the Station Road carpark in the morning to begin a 13km circular walk out of Lyminge, taking in sections of the Royal Saxon Way Loop, but shorter than the full route. More details about the full loop route and the linear route from Folkestone to Minster-in-Thanet are available here.

The walk took us out of Lyminge through North Lyminge up to Great Shuttlesfield Farm. Then we walked across the fields to St Oswald’s, Paddlesworth, which is an ancient church. Its unique Northumbrian dedication (at least for southern England) may be due to the presence in Lyminge in the 7th Century of Queen Ethelburga of Northumbria, and her daughter Eanflaed who subsequently married Oswald’s brother King Oswiu of Northumbria. The current church building is not that old, but who knows what lies beneath?

Beyond Paddlesworth, we passed by Arpinge, and then deviated from the Royal Saxon Way to take a shortcut, descending the Downs to cross the line of the Elham Valley Railway, and then rejoining the Royal Saxon Way route to ascend Tolsford Hill with its magnificent views. There we had lunch.

The view south from Tolsford Hill

We descended Tolsford Hill to cross the Postling road, and then headed back to Lyminge coming in at the south end of Court Lodge Green (“the Bumpy Field”). This was an opportunity for Rob Baldwin to point out the new information panels and to give a brief introduction to the archaeology of the village.

The walk ended at the Coach and Horses where a stalwart few were able to sample a well-earned Queen Ethelburga’s Ale, our special festival ale.

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