Appledore – Hastings Battleaxe explores Romney Marsh

What a bleak day Sunday was – dark grey clouds, bitter cold wind. Just the day to go for a trip across Romney Marsh.

Not a day for walking at Rye Harbour

     We didn’t intend to – we set out for Rye Harbour, hoping for nice coffee and cake at the Avocet Gallery before a bracing walk to the sea. But of course it was shut for their winter break.  We did go for a walk, but it was absolutely freezing and not pleasant at all.
     I suggested driving out to investigate Station Antiques in Appledore, which I had read about somewhere. Blimey, talk about the back of beyond – driving mile after mile beyond Rye alongside the Royal Military Canal, with the empty marsh spread out on one side and reed-edged dyke, sheep and the steep slopes of the old sea cliffs on the other. Occasionally, motorcyclists roared past us – they clearly use the quiet, and relatively straight Royal Military Road as a racetrack.
     I don’t think I’d like to live on Romney Marsh – a bit depressing. It feels so isolated. 
     Station Antiques was not bad, but nothing of interest, so then we explored the village. By this time Sunday lunch beckoned, so we tried the Black Lion pub. Not great to look at, but a very warm, friendly place with an unexpectedly long and classy looking menu – quite expensive too. We opted for the Sunday roasts, and I am not exaggerating when I say I have scarcely ever been faced with such a huge plate of food in my life. One portion would have done us both easily and still have had leftovers. And this is the Battleaxe who is supposed to be on a diet…. ugh, the agony of it. Have only lost 1.5 pounds so far.

Black Lion in Appledore

     The pub was decorated with brewery memorabilia and pub handle badges. The names reminded me of when I was married to my first husband, who was a real CAMRA buff. We used to be able to test each other on the ‘Good Beer Guide’. I was particularly good on where breweries were based…. Breakspears? Henley-on-Thames. Wadworths? Devizes. Everards? Leicester. Theakstons? Masham yawn scratch bore and so on.
     Appledore itself is quite a pretty village with some pretty old houses along its one wide main street.

Nice topiary at Appledore

It looked to have a nice church as well, although we didn’t look in it. Apparently the church was sacked and burnt by the French in 1380 – like Winchelsea. Looking at the history of the place, like many settlements round here Appledore was once a port – on the estuary of the River Rother, which apparently abruptly changed its course in the thirteenth century after a great storm. Clearly, whatever storms we have now are nothing….
     See also ‘The Knight whose armour didn’t squeak’ by AA Milne.
     What other nice places are there on Romney Marsh?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments from Google+