Kent At War

20.02.2017 - General

Ever been curious about Kent at war? When visiting one of our Holiday Parks you are in an area once referred to as ‘Hellfire Corner’ during the Battle of Britain. Many of the aerial battles took place in the skies above as our local airfields scrambled Spitfires and Hurricanes into the air.
As such, the Battle of Britain Memorial near Folkestone, the Battle of Britain Museum at Hawkinge and the Spitfire and Hurricane Museum at Manston reflect this period when Hitler was planning his invasion of Britain; all very much worthy of visiting.
The First and Second World Wars (WWI, WWII) have left a veritable feast of interesting places to see and visit from secret tunnels to abandoned listening stations, eerie structures out at sea to stories of courage and community spirit.
The threat of invasion has always been part of Kent’s history. The South coast of Kent protected advances from the continent through the shortest distance and the North Coast provided early protection on the navigable waterways leading to Britain’s mainland.
If wartime history is a passion then our holiday parks are in prime locations to visit not only the large exhibitions, such as the War Tunnels at Dover Castle but also the widely unknown Ramsgate Tunnels.
Stepping back further in time the most recent threat of invasion before WWI and WWII was during the Napoleonic Wars. At the end of the 18th Century and early 19th Britain was aware of a large fleet and army resources being assembled in Boulogne. This posed a huge threat to the stretch of coast from Dover to Romney, and also on the waterways to London.
This period of threat provoked huge expenditure on fortifications at Gravesend, Chatham, Dover and Folkestone. Many of these were subsequently used during latter periods of conflict.
An interesting defence commissioned during this period can be seen in Hythe. At the turn of the 19th Century work was started on a military canal running from Seabrook, Folkestone to Romney and beyond. The objective was to obstruct advancing land troops allowing defending troops to be assembled. Unfortunately costs escalated and construction delayed, by the time it was ‘finished’ the threat of invasion had long since waned as Napoleon’s naval defeat at the Battle of Trafalgar had effectively forced him to withdraw troops from the French coast. The canal is now a feature of Hythe which you can hire a boat and row, or you can sit and enjoy a picnic.
Whilst in Hythe why not enjoy a ride on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Steam Railway which is reportedly the world’s smallest public railway. This line also has a military connection as it was used to transport troops along the line.

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