Last weekend I discovered a stretch of shoreline, a short drive down the coast from Folkestone, called Samphire Hoe.
As a Whitstable native, I’m relatively new to the south coast of Kent but as it happens so is the 35 hectare stretch of coast, having been created in the early 1990s from some 4.9 million cubic metres of chalk dug to create the Channel Tunnel. It made me wonder what the French did with their half!
Apparently it was given it’s name by a retired English teacher and refers to Rock Samphire, a plant which is lovely to cook up with some fresh fish and ‘hoe’ meaning a spur of land.
After taking a walk through the nature trail, I arrived at a stretch of beach hoping to find some samphire to fill my bag with but all I could find at the rock pools were barnacles and seaweed. I also passed a bloke who was sitting rather proudly on the seawall with a perfectly spiraled ammonite fossil while his offspring bashed away as a clump of chalk with a claw hammer.
Despite being a sunny day, there was a thick fog hanging over the sea and the cliffs, giving Samphire Hoe an eerie, magical feel – although the lighthouse’s fog horn rather spoiled the peace and serenity!
I’ll definitely be going back sometime soon, hopefully on a clear day, but I’ll forget about finding elusive salty plants next time and focus on finding some fossils.