On the great shores of New Romney, Kent

The perfect sign
 So, here is another post on a coastal trip to southern UK. This time it was a trip to the eastern coastal end of UK. This trip was actually a part of a week long holiday at the county of Kent organised by my kung fu club. Every year we travel to a coastal region for the easter break for such holidays, the last few years that I have attended were organised at the Isle of Wight and Devonshire. This time it was Romney Marsh, Kent, located just a few mins drive away from Greatstone beach. We were a group of 30 odd people, congrogating from London, Southampton, Salisbury and as far as Manchester for our annual Easter holiday break at a holiday park sharing chalets, socialising and learning kung fu every morning as a part of the holiday/seminar routine.

Beach huts at Greatstone-on-sea
The holiday was spent at one of the family holiday parks, Marlie, with a few group activities organised every day in and around the city. The general routine was to wake up by 8 AM, eat something light, train kung fu for 2 hours at the entertainment venue (because it had a large floor), come back to our individual chalets/caravans, freshen up, eat some more (second breakfast of course... everytime ;p), and then have the rest of the day to yourself to do whatever the hell we wanted or partake in one of the group activities.

We had a lot planned out for each day during the week. Everyday there was at least one fun, adventerous and exhilerating activity planned out for all to participate in. The activities were organised by the social secretary of the kung fu club itself, and we could either vote yes or no depending on our preferences.

Things we did:
Go ape
Go karting
Port Lympne animal reserve
Greatstone beach
 Big social dinner
Easter egg hunting
 The evenings were spent mostly merry making in the "party caravan" by either drinking the night away (especially centurian), singing karaoke, playing cards against humanity, or one of the many MANY board games (thanks to everyone's contribution). Seriously, you could miss out on a LOT if you miss the holiday, ask me, I know!

Although located more towards the countryside among various meadows, fields and farms, the holiday park was not too far from the beach (within 5 miles) and the town (less than a mile), so all the local amenities and supermarkets were also reachable by foot. The holiday park itself was quite generic with basic necessities all provided for within the chalets, with bar and restaurants by the reception at a walking distance from the chalets, and the holiday park well equipped with a communal indoor swimming pool, mini mart, launderette, entertainment venue, arcades, gamezones, and playgrounds for children. The park, being amidst farmlands was infested with a large colony of wild rabbits in the fields adjacent to the park. Not only that, there were also herds of sheep and even swans in the fields (probably lost :p), so quite a lovely place for nature watching too.

View of the park at dusk <3
 In all, it was a great location with quite and serene atmosphere, adding to the relaxation feel of the holiday with awe-inspiring natural beauty.

And now, for the adventure time... One of the most exciting activities that we did on site at the park was to go easter egg hunting on easter sunday, organised by the "party chalet." 
Our bounty
Followed by an evening of indulgence in a lavish home-made easter dinner at our own chalet, cooked by yours truly, complete with roast lamb, all the trimmings and onion gravy, AND an easter egg cheescake for dessert.

Easter dinner
As for the daily dose of adventure, apart from the 2 hours of kung-fu training scheduled every morning that was quite a physically demanding task in itself, there were also other outdoor adventure activities that were the cherries, icing and all kinds of crazy toppings on the cake for the holiday. 

Let's list them out:

1. Go Ape! By the Leeds Castle

 So, one of the first and most fun outdoors activities that we did was going bananas, I mean ape, at the Leeds castle ground where we swung like Tarzan, scaled the trees, climbed up rope ladders, and zip-lined quarter of a kilometer across the forest floor, making our way through some really exhilerating, "death-defying" (it's really fail-safe), adventerous obstacles and crossings, 20 m above the ground for 2-3 hours.

Zip linning
Off I go...

I was too busy having a GREAT time so not too many pics I'm afraid... Anyway, since the Go Ape grounds is located right by Leeds Castle, it is definitely something one could do. But since, we were scheduled to finish our tree-swining adventure by about 3 PM and the castle closes by 4 PM, it wasn't really an option for us, and so we kept it for some other day. However, given a chance, I would definitely love to visit what's claimed as "the loveliest castle" of UK, albiet the high ticket price (£24 for adults, ouch!).

2. Go Karting

Similar to the Go Ape! adventure was the karting race that we did the next day (sorry, no pictures... Poo!). 15 minutes of fast cars, tactically driving in circles and loops while racing with 7 other participants, go karting was just as enticing an activity as Go Ape! even though I was one of the slowest (lol! No surprise there)... Well, I'm just a careful driver I suppose :p Anyway, those were the two most high-paced fun activities we did. The rest were more of sight-seeing trips.

3. Port Lympne Wildlife National Park

My next best activity has to the trip to Port Lympne reserve, an award winning stunningly awesome 600 acres wide wildlife national park with wonderous natural beauty overlooking the sea in the horizon that harbours some of the most endangered animals. Undoubtedly one of the largest reserves in the UK, it has jump on-board safaris scheduled for every 10-15mins in open coaches that give a fantastic "African Experience" in the 100 acres of Kentish savannah  – alive with real African animals like the largest antelopes in the world, ostrich, meerkats, fossas, lemurs, etc. It also offers asian safari, big cats safari and dino safari too. There are also free roaming giraffes, baricaded black rhinos, encaged gorillas and a huge variety of primates, red pandas, cats of all types from dissappointingly normal looking scottish wildcats, to tufty eared lynx to majestically fierce tigers (all encaged thankfully), and many more. 

B2067, Lympne, Hythe, Kent CT21 4LR, UK

  Here are a few captures from my visit to the reserve. Of course the pictures are limited in quality as they were taken by my ipad to the best effect. 

Meerkat wants a cookie
Lone ostrich
Sleeping tree boa
Cute tiger
Fossa (largest carnivores from Madagascar) are from the mongoose family
Largest antelopes in the world
A male gorilla
Sea at the horizon
Natural flora

Apart from the afore mentioned activities there are various other things that can be done in kent such as:
  • Coastal walk along the beach
  • Leeds Castle tour
  • Biddenden vineyard and winery
  • Quad biking off road in the forest
  • Walk by the white Cliffs of Dover
  • Steam train ride
  • Dungeness nuclear power station tour
Now, I was quite intereseted to visit the Dungeness nuclear power station under Scientific Specialities Inc. (SSI), the only operational nuclear power plant in UK, tour the Leeds castle, and ride the steam train at the "smallest public railway in the world" but alas! There were just too many things to do and not enough time! But I guess, this just gives me a reason to come back here agai...

Greatstone beach


Finally, the biggest highlight of my trip! The sun, the sand and the sea of course!

New Romney has a massive sandy beach, Greatstone-on-sea, along the southern coast of Kent. Greatstone beach is one of the largest beaches in the county of Kent, stretching for over 2 miles from North to South. It is a popular tourist destination for folks all over the country to come and bask in the sun, swim in the English channel, play beach sports or make utmost use of the wind for recreational watersports and activities. And who can blame them? If you have a beach that puts a smile on your face, well then, by all means, come and beam away!

Anyway, we enjoyed the beach on more than one occasion and I can seriously say it is one of the loveliest beaches I have had the priviledge to be at this year. 

And so ends my account of the adventure at Kent. See you again with more trips down south... Until then, enjoy the views of the sea that I managed to capture at the golden hour before sun down...
Sandy sea-shells
The great beach
Beach huts
Sand dunes
Crab exoskeleton
Perfect view at the golden hour
Serenity encompassed
Lined up
Wavy wet sand landscape
Beach treasure
Until we meet again...