Canoe Days Out

Kent - Royal Military Canal - Appledore to Hamstreet (& return) or West Hythe

This page was submitted by David and Rhoda Wilson (E-mail this submitter)
How to get there - By the bridge on B2080 (New Romney - Tenterden) just south of Appledore village. For those with SatNav the postcode is TN26 2DA

Get a map with driving directions to start (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)

Suggested Launch Site - Easy bank from roadside

General Description - A calm and undisturbed stretch of canal, with the best scenery going east to Hamstreet. This makes a round trip of about 7 miles. It can be extended into a one-way trip to West Hythe, about 12 miles, where there is a sluice blocking navigation. Launch would also be possible at West Hythe.

A round trip of 7 miles in the other direction to Iden lock is also possble, but finding a launch site at Iden is difficult.

The canal was built at the time of the Napoleonic Wars, against the possibility of invasion. It has sharp turns, angled so that defenders could fire along the length of the canal while still protected by the parapet on the northern bank.

Best in early season before the weeds grow. For photos see web sites.

Environment Agency licence needed.

Comments on this trip

Stewart Long
13 Aug 2021
Please clear the weed on areas not covered by the Shepway council as this is no longer suitable for fishing or boating. Canal is completely covered

Brian Gallagher
24 Jul 2020
Paddled from Bonnington bridge to Ruckinge bridge yesterday and encountered fishermen who were clearing weed and tried to tell us that boats where not allowed on the canal. Told him he was wrong, he didnt reckon much on that, we were turning back at that point any way.

Chris Vinall
05 Aug 2017
Attempted the Appledore to Hamstreet route, unfortunately the access beside the bridge is too steep to launch the kayaks..So further towards Rye is Iden lock, where the River Rother meets the Milatary Canal.. Once launched from shallow bank my son I paddled our way as far as the Wittersham/ Rye roadbridge before returning to iden lock, quite a few miles round trip.. again sheltering under the road bridge at Iden lock from the rain, we found excellent shallow pebble gradient on the bank, pulling kayaks up from under to side of bridge straight onto roadside... A good few hours kayaking, apart from weather.

Dave Groves
28 Apr 2017
As 5 couples in Canadians we have just done the trip in reverse, mainly so that we could utilise the facilities at Wyevale next to the Hamstreet bridge. There are toilets in Appledore but they are through the village some 500 yards to the local playing field. Being people of a certain age, we have to consider these things. Environment Agency have recently completed dredging along there and thankfully have now restored the water level. A good trip but watch the lack of headroom under one of the bridges.sure

Dave Kent
16 Jul 2016
I phoned Environment Agency and was told that no licence is required between Appledore and West Hythe Dam. After WHD, a licence from Shepway Council is required. Starting out from Appledore today without licence. If I have been misinformed, probably end up in the stocks in Rye or fed to the marshbillies.

mary b
07 Jul 2014
sounds a great trip fancy the bit beyond the sluice, but as new to canoeing unsure about 'jumping the sluice' is it easy thanks!

P Stucken
22 Jul 2013
Paddled from Appledore to Warehorne 21/07/13. Weeds present but easily navigable. Put in as described by D Wilson. Many fish, lillies and enormous dragon flies. Made a pleasant environment on the hottest day of the summer!

26 Aug 2012
Jump over the sluice and continue down the canal. Scenery is absolutely stunning water crystal clear for first stretch. Doesn't break out into Hythe for a good mile or so where it's a short walk for a bite to eat, and then back into stunning countryside all the way to Sandgate. Best place to launch is here as far more accessible than sluice.


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