Egypt Bay and St Mary's Bay from High Halstow

This Kent walk takes you onto the southern shores of the Thames Estuary. The route is easy to follow (apart from the start). The area visited during the walk provided Dickens with the perfect scene for his prison huls in his novel 'Great Expectations'.

Technical sheet
No. 293263
A High Halstow walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Update : 26/07/16
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h40[?]
Distance Distance : 11.95km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 75m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 68m
Highest point Highest point : 65m
Lowest point Lowest point : 0m
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : High Halstow
Starting point Starting point : N 51.452259° / E 0.561975°
Download : -


(D/A) The start is the parking are at Woodside on the north-western edge of the village of High Halstow (grid ref. TQ781757). High Halstow is just to the north of the A228 which leads to the Isle of Grain. From the car park return along Woodside and turn left into Northwood Avenue. After just under 200 metres take the footpath on your left between houses to reach a field. Continue half right to the edge of the woodland (grid ref. TQ782760). Turn right onto the Saxon Shore Way and after 400 metres and a yellow waymark turn left. The path initially runs along the side of a field before entering woodland and continues to Decoy Hill Road (grid ref. TQ786765).

(1) Turn left along the road and go right in front of Decoy Farm and continue on the lane until you reach Swigshole (grid ref. TQ788775) where the surfaced lane ends. Continue ahead on a clear track (manor Way) in a northerly direction for approximately 1.5 km to reach Egypt Bay (grid ref. TQ777790) and the southern shore of the Thames Estuary. Turn right (with the estuary on your left) and follow the shoreline path along the sea wall to St Mary's Bay and a clear path junction (grid ref. TQ795787).

(2) Turn right here and continue south to St Mary Hoo, a pretty hamlet with its own church. Bear left around Ross Farm and follow the road as it bends to the right. The road soon bends left. Here take the track on your right and continue in a westerly direction to Newlands farm (grid ref. TQ796763). From here take the track continuing in a westerly direction (ignoring the tarmac lane heading south). This track continues along the field edges towards Decoy Hill Road (grid ref. TQ789762). (The final section of this path is Saxon Shore Way). Bear right along the road and take the first signed path on your left just after the lane bends right. This is a continuation of the Saxon Shore Way and this is followed to the edge of the woods first encountered at the beginning of the walk. Bear left across the field to the enclosed path leading onto Northwood Avenue. Turn right and retrace your steps back to the parking area(D/A).

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 46m - Parking are at Woodside
1 : km 1.3 - alt. 23m - Turn left along the road
2 : km 6.83 - alt. 2m - Turn right
D/A : km 11.95 - alt. 45m

Useful Information

The Thames estuary is often seen as a desolate area despite being close to many large centres of population. This may be true but it is also home to a variety of sea birds who thrive on the mud banks. It is also an area that offers some peace and quiet and this walk does offer solitude and wide open skies.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Opinions and comments


Global average : 4.67/5
Number of opinions : 2
Description quality : 4.5/5
Routemap quality : 5/5
Walk interest : 4.5/5

on Mon 24 Aug 2020 09:36:47 CEST

Global average : 4.67 / 5

Date of walk : 23/08/20
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

Lovely walk. Very few people along the way. Nice views of the river

on Sat 16 Dec 2017 15:17:21 CET

Thanks your for your feedback on this walk!

If you have any photos, please feel free to post them

Hikideas Moderator

on Mon 11 Dec 2017 10:53:16 CET

Global average : 4.67 / 5

Date of walk : 11/12/17
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Good

Easy to follow route directions - also sign posted in parts (Curlew / Smugglers trail). Free parking RSPB Northwood Hill where there are also toilets. Very good walk when conditions are dry - suggest avoid if wet as much of the walk is on flat, exposed ground. Recommend for all levels of fitness - can lengthen or shorten the walk if required.

For birdwatchers there are spotting hides in Northwood Hill RSPB nature reserve. On arriving at the Thames you will also see many wading birds if you are lucky!

When we did the walk there were sheep and cows on the fields approaching Egypt and St Mary's Bay. No problem for us but be aware and keep dogs on leads at all times.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.