Royal Military Road
|Royal Military Road|
|Location Map ( geo)|
|From:||Cliff End (TQ888132)|
|Via:||Winchelsea, Rye, Appledore|
|Distance:||28 miles (45.1 km)|
|Meets:||A259, A268, B2080, A2070, A261|
|Old route now:||A259, B2080, A261|
The Royal Military Road follows the path of the Royal Military Canal in East Sussex and Kent.
The canal, and its corresponding road were built in the early 19th century as part of a defence against Napoleon, and runs along what was once the coastline in Roman Britain, before the land to the south was reclaimed in the Middle Ages as Romney Marsh.
Today, the road is a combination of trunk road, B road, unclassified road and footpath.
The Royal Military Road starts at Cliff End, to the east of Hastings. At this point, it is little more than a simple towpath, with motor traffic being routed either along the coast, or further inland.
Things change dramatically, however, to the east of Winchelsea where the road picks up the mainline of the A259. From here to Rye, it is part of the main trunk road along the south coast, and is consequently busy and frequently jammed. The modern A259 splits off to run around the bottom of the hill, avoiding Rye itself.
The Royal Military Road, meanwhile, reasserts itself just north of the railway bridge on the A268 at a seemingly innocent turning. This turns into a fast and wide, though unclassified, road that sweeps alongside the canal with superb views of the old cliffs to the left. This section appears to have been upgraded from a near dirt track (? - need research) to provide an alternative route of the parallel A259, which has three level crossings and numerous 90 degree bends.
At Appledore, where we meet the B2080, the Royal Military Road crosses over the canal and briefly runs alongside it, before turning away from motor traffic and continuing as a footpath past Hamstreet, all the way up to Hythe. This section is particularly popular with walkers and cyclists, and is a favourite local tourist destination.
Finally, it meets the A261 in Hythe, and runs on the last few hundred yards of that road up to its junction with the A259. The last section of road is a footpath again, up to the end of the canal just before it reaches the seafront at Sangate Esplanade.
|Royal Military Road|