Pegwell Bay National Nature Reserve near Sandwich in Kent

It was a bit rainy but we fancied a trip out to somewhere different, that we hadn’t been to before and had heard great things about Pegwell Bay in Sandwich so we thought we would head on over to see what it was like. An area renowned for such a diversity of wildlife as well as some bracing coastal walking.

We stopped at the Salty Seal cafe first and had a freshly ground, roasted coffee and a bacon sandwich then headed out along the path.

There are a few walks to do around Pegwell Bay. All are individually signposted with coloured arrows – we didn’t bring our wellies so chose the driest route – there are plenty of places to stop and bird watch along the way and a bird observatory to find out the daily migrant sightings as it’s a very important habitat for bird species.

We bumped into some Highland cattle who were very friendly, grazing in the meadows. It is always a joy to see these creatures. They have such fantastic horns and long shaggy yet flowing coats 🙂

The scenery is just stunning and it’s a beautiful walk. You can see Sandwich and Deal cliffs to the west and Ramsgate cliffs on the East. You can walk around and see the mud flats, salt marshes and sand dunes.

The country park has totally been transformed over the last couple of hundred years and more. Once, in Victorian times it was actually a seaside holiday spot with a pleasure pier too! In the 20th Century it became a landfill site of all things. Then by the 80s it had been capped and landscaped before becoming a picnic site.

Apparently you can walk along the paths and see seals in the winter months but we didn’t see any on our visit as we didn’t have the right footwear. You need to walk along to Stonelees to see these and you will definitely need wellies. An excuse to come back for me for sure.

It’s a lovely nature walk and if you are a keen bird spotter it’s a must in Kent. It’s Kent’s largest wildlife reserve and it’s apparently internationally renowned for it’s bird populations along the salt marshes.

It is a haven in the Winter for thousands of birds especially Sanderlings and Dunlins. On the mudflats you can also find plenty of other wading birds such as Grey Plover plus there are great birds of prey such as Merlin. There is a hide so the public can watch without being seen.

I would advise a pair of waterproof footwear to do the walk, a sensible coat, certainly a pair of binoculars and some pennies for a hot cup of something at the cafe. It is one of those places that needs to be revisited and experienced in all forms of weather. Plus the varying wildlife visiting throughout the seasons.

A stunning walk and great views of the estuary- thoroughly enjoyed.

Written by Sally Laker

Sally Laker grew up on the Isle of Wight and studied music at Chichester University. She worked as a store manager and medical administration assistant before going full-time with her cake-making business, Sally4Cakes. In 2014, she was named Home-Based Businesswoman Of The Year at the Kent Women In Business awards and in 2017 won Home Based Business of the Year at the Independent Business Awards Kent .
In 2016 she made the wedding cake for Gregg Wallace's marriage to Anna, which was featured in Hello Magazine, along with all the major UK newspapers and even on the TV !!
In 2019 Sally retired from her cake business and now works for a local business, Interpreting Matters, who help to provide sign language interpreters for deaf adults. She still bakes for family and friends in her spare time and is enjoying having time to explore the beautiful Kent countryside for the Baldhiker

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