Home UK Travel Scenic coastal walk from Hampton to Herne Bay

Scenic coastal walk from Hampton to Herne Bay


I love walking from the Hamptons. The Hamptons is one of my favorite waterfront walks. It has a wide promenade with an amazing bay, especially at sunrise or sunset. It is also full of historical interest.

This walk from Hampton to Herne Bay and back is shorter, but offers great views of the Thames Estuary. This walk is about 2.5 miles from Hampton to Herne Bay Marina and back.

Hampton Round Rock Beach
We start at the top of Hampton Bays and walk all the way to Herne Bay. There is plenty of free parking on the Hampton waterfront, so this is a good starting point.

I liked the view from the top of Hampton Bays because you can see a small group of houses and hotels in the corner of the bay.

There are some cute painted beach huts along the way and when you get to Herne Bay you can stop for hot fries or ice cream on the pier and then head back.

Sunset in the Hamptons
Where is the Hamptons?
Hampton History
Hampton Pier
Herne Bay History
Clock Tower
Herne Bay Pier and Recital Stage
Waltrip Gardens
Amy Johnson
What else is Herne Bay famous for?
The Bride in the Bath Murders
TV shows and famous residents
Basic information
Where is Hampton?
Hampton is a small coastal village located west of Herne Bay. It was renamed “Hampton on Sea” in the 1800s when an attempt was made to make the area a seaside resort, but due to coastal erosion, much of this old tourist area is now underwater.

The only remaining building in Hampton on Sea is the Hampton Inn across from the pier, said to have been built in the 1860s.

View of the Hampton Coast
Hampton is primarily a pebble beach with mud flats visible at low tide. It is a beautiful bay perfect for walking and perfect for crabbing and fishing from the end of the pier.

There is nowhere to stop for a snack along the waterfront, but there is a lovely bar, the Hampton Inn, that serves hot and cold meals by the pier and has a breathtaking view of the coast.

There is also a small store near the waterfront if you need a drink along the way.

Shark Beach Hut
Hampton History
In the 1860s, Hampton was home to a small village of oyster fishermen. The oyster company was known as the Herne Bay, Hampton and Reculver Oyster Fishery Company.

There they built a 300-meter dock for the company’s boats and 12 row houses for their employees. They also created four freshwater ponds for oyster farming.

Unfortunately, the company closed down in the early 1870s due to bad weather, which affected oyster propagation, competition from the Whitstable Oyster Company, and the cost of the dock, which was beyond their bargaining power.

Hampton was then purchased for development in 1879 by Thomas Freeman, owner of the Herne Bay Argus, a local newspaper, with plans to make it a new seaside resort.

A recital stand was built and plans were made for tennis courts, a reading room and a golf course, and the name was changed to “Hampton-on-Sea”. Unfortunately, Mr. Freeman died of a stroke in 1880, and the development was taken over by Frederick Francis Ramuz, the mayor of Southend.

He had grand designs for the area and wanted to build many houses, hotels, churches, taverns, croquet lawns, tennis courts and some stores. He held 4 land auctions and sold a lot of them, but after 3 years there was hardly any development and the tide was slowly spreading inland.

In the 1901 census, the population of Hampton Shores was only 42 people.

Hampton was known for its resident Edmund Reid, the retired head of the CID who was involved in the high-profile Jack the Ripper case.

Apparently, he often complained to the council about encroachment in Hampton and campaigned for the residents there, but inaction brought the sea closer to his home and he was eventually forced to move to Herne Bay in 1916. He was the last resident of Addington Gardens and Hampton by the Sea.

The town was sadly abandoned in 1916 and by 1921 had disappeared due to coastal erosion. All that remains of Old Hampton on Sea is the amusement park and the Hampton Inn.

The amusement park was built on top of oyster ponds that had previously been drained.

Beach view of the Hamptons and the ocean
Hampton Pier
Hampton Pier was built in 1865 by the Herne Bay, Hampton and Reculver Oyster Fishery Company and was originally made of wood and concrete. It is apparently 320 meters long and curves slightly so that fishing boats can moor safely at its end without being affected by the tides.

It was designed for three purposes, to allow smacks (traditional fishing boats) to moor and to provide them with a shelter and a fishing breakwater. It was opened on September 15, 1866 by Thomas Gabriel, the Mayor of London.

When the Oyster Company collapsed, the pier became unattended and was severely damaged in the Great Storm of 1897. They demolished part of the pier in 1898, and then in 1901, when Hampton on Sea had about 42 residents, it was bought by the council and partially rebuilt.

Unfortunately, by 1916, the sea had eroded not only the pier but also the waterfront and the houses in Addington Gardens. The only remaining building is the Hampton Inn, which still stands today as a reminder of that old hamlet, and the remains of the old pier can still be seen at low tide.

Seaview of the Hamptons
The new small pier in the Hamptons is now a great place to fish. In the summer you can catch big bass, eels and flounder, and in the winter cod and flounder. It’s also a great place to catch crabs.

We walked along Hampton Bay, past the Hampton Inn, around the corner and headed to Herne Bay. We thought we would walk along the shore and then walk to the end of the pier for some fresh fries before heading back.

Beach Hut
When you walk into Herne Bay, you feel like you’ve stepped back into a typical Victorian seaside resort. There are arcades, ice cream parlors, crazy golf courses, a recital stand and a pier with a playground at the end of it.

It is so vibrant and full of life. It’s clean and tidy and there are some beautiful gardens on the waterfront to stroll through that take you to the majestic clock tower which dominates the bay.

You’ll smell the hot dogs, fries and sunscreen. This is the ideal place to spend a fun day with the family and enjoy freshly made ice cream at the recital stand or just stroll along the pier and browse the many retail cottages lined up on either side.

Herne Bay History
Herne Bay is a charming seaside town in southeast Kent, just off the coast of Whitstable. It was the site of the world’s first freestanding purpose-built clock tower and, until 1978, the second longest pier in Britain. The town takes its name from the neighboring village of Herne, meaning a corner of the land.

Herne Bay is primarily a seaside resort, expanded by a number of London investors in the 19th century and built in the Victorian era.

It is a traditional seaside town with arcades and crazy golf courses along the waterfront. There are bouncy castles and children’s play areas. It has a really fun and traditional feel to it.

There is so much to see and do, plenty of places to stop and eat and enjoy the views, be sure to go to the end of the pier where there is a playground including a traditional carousel and many huts where you can buy handmade local goods and freshly cooked snacks.

The Clock Tower
The most prominent feature of Herne Bay is the clock tower. It towers above the waterfront and can be seen from miles away.

Built in 1837, the clock tower is considered one of the earliest freestanding clock towers in England. It was largely financed by Mrs. Ann Thwaytes, the wife of a wealthy grocer who inherited his fortune upon his death.

Legend has it that she once came to Herne Bay on a ship that docked at the end of the pier, and she asked for the clock to be built so that she would know what time it was when she arrived in Herne Bay.

Daytime Clock Tower

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