Hambrook Marshes is a beautiful 50 acre wetland site by the River Stour, close to Canterbury city. The site is about a mile long, with a flat tarmac main riverside path, and open to the public at all times. Whichever way you travel, it’s easy to reach.
There are entrances at Whitehall Road, the Railway Bridge, Wincheap Bridge (from Wincheap Retail Park / Park & Ride) and Tonford Bridge.
From Canterbury town centre
Use the riverside path through Westgate Gardens and Toddlers Cove (under a mile to the start of Hambrook Marshes).
From Wincheap Retail Park
A short footpath starts near the Park and Ride exit in front of b&m bargains takes you across the River Stour onto Hambrook Marshes.
Use the footbridge from Tonford Lane, which meets the Great Stour Way from Chartham.
Follow signs for Cycle Route 18 taking you from Westgate via Westgate Grove, Whitehall Road and Toddlers Cove.
There are bus stops on St. Dunstan’s Street and St. Peter’s Place in Canterbury town centre.
The nearest station is Canterbury East.
Toddlers Cove Car Park
Whitehall Road, CT2 8BG (Canterbury City Council Pay and Display Car Park)
Wincheap Retail Park
Ten Perch Rd, Canterbury CT1 3TQ
Whitehall Road level crossing
Free parking but very few spaces
Please check time limits, restrictions and charges on all local car parking as these are subject to change.
ACCESS AND FACILITIES
There is a shared use walking and cycle path, suitable for buggies and wheelchairs. Cyclists – please slow down near walkers. Walkers – please be aware that cyclists may ring their bell or call out as they approach!
There are no public toilets on site; the nearest are at Toddlers Cove playground.
There are picnic tables but no refreshment facilities on site; Toddlers Cove often has a snack van, and there are shops and cafes on Wincheap.
what to look out for in JANUARY
Not the easiest birds to see, but several little grebes overwinter on our stretch of the river. Usually in very small groups of two to four, these small, dumpy birds spend all their lives on the water, diving every few seconds for food. They are also very wary, tending to stay close to the riverbank and diving if disturbed. Your best chance of seeing them is to bring binoculars and scan the river from a point where you can see quite a long stretch.
Redwings are thrushes that nest in Scandinavia but spend winter in milder countries such as England. You never know when you’re going to see a flock, but the most likely place is the scrub on the old railway embankment.
If you get as far as the Tonford footbridge, take a look on the nearby lake for wintering duck. A flock of up to 20 tufted ducks arrives around now – small black-and-white (male) or dark brown-and-white (female) birds that dive to hunt for molluscs and insects.
From now on localised flooding may develop briefly in low spots, attracting black-headed gulls, mallard and moorhen.
In early morning or late afternoon as the light is fading, you may see flocks of starlings flying over to their roosts in and around Canterbury.