“The World, according to the best geographers, is divided into Europe, Asia, Africa, America, and Romney Marsh…”
Romney Marsh, home of JAM on the Marsh, is easily accessed by road and rail. Just 20 minutes from Ashford International Station, serving London in less than 40 minutes, and Europe via the Eurostar. Junction 10 of the M20 (for Ashford) is also approximately 20 minutes away, enabling road access from central London in under 2 hours.
“The World, according to the best geographers, is divided into Europe, Asia, Africa, America, and Romney Marsh…”, according to the 19th century author and cleric Richard Harris Barham in The Ingoldsby Legends. Romney Marsh is an amazing and remote part of the UK, yet can be found less than 2 hours from London. It is a sparsely populated wetland area in Kent, fitting between the towns of Hythe and Rye, incorporating Dungeness – one of the largest shingle landscapes in the world – and covering about 100 square miles. It is known for its natural beauty, its fascinating history, its 14 mediaeval churches and its vast skies.
Top things to do on the Romney Marsh
For the past 90 years the RH&DR has been an integral part of the landscape of the Romney Marsh. Known as “Kent’s Mainline in Miniature”, the world wamous one-third full size steam locomotives have powered their way along the 13½ miles of track from the Cinque Port town of Hythe, terminating in Dungeness. With 4 stations in between, all within walking distance of a beach, the railway provides a unique opportunity to explore this unique corner of Kent.
There are 14 mediaeval churches scattered across the Marsh. They were built by the lords of the manor on the Marsh to serve the communities. Nearly all the churches were in existence by 1100. All of the Marsh churches are wonderful and worth a visit. The most iconic are: St Thomas à Becket at Fairfield, St Mary the Virgin at St Mary in the Marsh, St Augustine at Brookland, St Clement at Old Romney and the two largest Marsh churches St Nicholas at New Romney and All Saints at Lydd.
Romney Marsh is an excellent place for seeing and watching birds. The Marsh attracts a large variety of birds. Dungeness’s position, jutting into the English Channel, makes it ideally placed to watch for migrant birds arriving or departing, with wheatears, swallows, martins and warblers regularly seen.
As part of Kent Wildlife Trust, the centre’s vision is to ensure that 30% of Kent and Medway – land and sea – is managed to create a healthy place for wildlife to flourish. Their mission is to work with people to restore, save and enhance our natural heritage. The centre has a vibrant café and regularly hosts education days and art exhibitions by the local community and from further afield.
Dungeness is one of the largest expanses of shingle in Europe. It is of international conservation importance for its geomorphology, plant and invertebrate communities and birdlife. This is recognised and protected mostly through its conservation designations as a national nature reserve (NNR), a Special Protection Area (SPA), a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and part of the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) of Dungeness, Romney Marsh and Rye Bay. There is a remarkable variety of wildlife living at Dungeness, with over 600 different types of plant: a third of all those found in Britain.
Electricity has been produced at Dungeness since 1965, when Dungeness A was connected to the national grid. Dungeness B came online in 1983. Run by EDF, Dungeness has a fascinating Visitor Centre where visitors can learn about the energy mix and nuclear power in general. The centre is interactive with touch screens and information panels explaining how electricity is generated. The centre also offers tours of Dungeness B, which must be pre-booked.
Littlestone Golf Club Boasts two unique courses, The Championship Links and The Warren, Littlestone offers members and visitors the chance to play their golf on superbly presented and managed links courses. Littlestone is recognised as being one of the top 100 courses in England. A recent report by Alistair Beggs, STRI Agronomist and advisor to the R & A, states that the greens are ‘magnificent and they are some of the best examples of firm, true and well-paced putting greens in the UK’.
The Marsh has five of the finest beaches in Kent with sandy beaches at Dymchurch, Greatstone and St Mary’s Bay, and the shingle beaches at Dungeness and LIttlestone. Greatstone beach is one of the finest land yachting sites in the UK, with a long, wide stretch of beautiful flat sand.
Experience a great day out in Kent by visiting an award-winning safari park, Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve! The only authentic Safari experience in the county! Home to over 700 rare and endangered animals including Lion cubs! Get up-close with life size prehistoric creatures in the Dinosaur Forest and wander on foot to discover where the wild things are. Extend your adventure and stay overnight (or for as long as you like!) in one of our unique accommodations. Just off Junction 11 of the M20.
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Romney Marsh Sheperds Huts
With spectacular open skies and views out across the beautiful Romney Marsh, The Lookerer & Rumwold Huts at Romney Marsh Shepherds Huts give you a chance to escape the hustle & bustle of everyday life and spend some time getting close to nature.
Situated on the family farm, each hut is fully equipped with all you need, whether staying a night or a week. The huts also have their own small flock of sheep who live in the surrounding field, allowing you to get a real feel for life on the farm, which is sits within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with diverse habitats, extensive coastline and rich history.
Where To Stay
There are many places to stay on and around Romney Marsh, including B&Bs, pubs and hotels. You can choose from a quiet, rural farm setting, to the beautiful Camber Sands, to a former HM Coastguard station on the beach at Dungeness. The variety is huge and varied!