A little bit different from your usual seaside town
Where is Hythe? I hear you say, well, it’s a coastal market town in Kent, in the southeast of the UK. Charming location for a family day out or a lovely weekend break. On a clear day, you can even see France, but hey we’re not going there today, we're off to the English seaside.
Hythe had been on my list of places to visit for quite a while, not only as it’s on the coast and I love anywhere with a shoreline.
But Hythe has an ossuary, and if you’ve read some of my previous posts, you’ll know that I have a bit of thing for visiting cemeteries and churchyards.
This was going to be interesting!
Exploring HytheWhat no sand?
The seashore is awash with pebbles and is still used by the local fisherman to haul their daily catch across.
So, definitely, a place to visit for some fresh fish.
A bit of Hythe HistoryThe Martello Towers
Once there were 74 Martello Towers all along the coastline from Folkestone in Kent to Seaford in East Sussex.
They were originally built as a defence against an invasion by Napoleon and then later used to combat smuggling, a trade that was quite prevalent along this coast.
We have a new little book on our shelves that we delve into when we're heading to the coast.
Packed full of historical facts, and broken down into the different counties of England. It tells tales of the history of the shoreline that surrounds our country.
Available in Kindle & Hardback editions, it's an excellent addition to anyone's collection who loves the English seaside.
Discover HytheDifferent from the norm
The Royal Military Canal at HytheRow, row, row your boat
This 28 mile (45km) stretch of canal was also built as a defence against Napoleon.
It runs from Seabrook near Folkestone to just outside Hastings in the south.
Nowadays it has a tree-lined walkway along its edge, and you can hire a boat to enjoy the canal first-hand.
The best of HytheHead to the Old Town
Over the years the old town in Hythe has developed, although it has still managed to keep several of its charming Medieval and Georgian buildings.
It is interspersed with some of today’s modern stores, where possible the locals have tried to blend with the character of the town.
If you head up the lane to the side of the Town Hall, you’ll discover some of the lovely little streets, with beautiful cottages and manicured gardens.
Also, the 12th-century ragstone building ‘Centuries House’, which was the birthplace and home of the Bishop of Rochester. In 1336 he founded St Andrew’s hospital for the poor in this same building.
Where to stay in Hythe?
Visit some of Kent’s coastal towns
Something unusual about HytheOff to the Ossuary
The Crypt was created as the chancel was to be extended. Therefore, graves were dug up to accommodate for this.
The earliest written evidence of this collection is from 17th-century.
Ossuary “All you need to know”
It is the largest and best-preserved collection in Britain. Just within its four arched alcoves are 1,022 skulls. Go take a look is fascinating.
Additionally, there is a stack of bones and skulls measuring over 25 feet (7.8 metres) in length by around 6 feet (1.8 metres) in width and height. It is believed that the total number of individuals represented is about 2,000.
Things to do in HytheThere’s more
The train isn’t full size though, it’s a one-third size steam & diesel locomotive. It runs along a 13½ mile line, stopping at seven stations en-route.
Starting from Hythe and terminating at the very intriguing coastal Nature Reserve of Dungeness. The locomotive has been chugging through the countryside since 1927, today it is run by a very friendly and enthusiastic group of volunteers.
You can buy your tickets online in advance and save 10%. The prices vary depending on how far along the route you want to go.
Or if you just wanted to have platform pass and take a look at the locomotive, then it is only 25p.
If you're intrigued by Kent's weird and wonderful history, or all unusual stories around the county, then take a peek at "Kent's Strangest Tales".
You won't be able to put it down, you can pick it up for your Kindle or in good old paperback.
* This post may contain links to affiliated sites where we earn a small commission at no additional charge to you.