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Hythe is a small town, with a population of around 16,000 on the South Kent "Garden Coast" . It is one of the five original Cinque Ports. It is on the English Channel, four miles west of the channel tunnel (euro tunnel) terminal, near Folkestone and 16 miles south west of Dover. Hythe's promenade overlooks a long stretch of beach with The Hythe Imperial Hotel (pictured in the page heading graphic above) being a distinctive landmark. On clear days there are views over the English channel to France. Hythe is famous for its Royal Military canal (pictured left) created as a defensive measure against possible French invasion during Napoleonic times. Today it provides a particularly pleasant route for scenic walks. The Town has many interesting historic buildings. Parallel to the canal is the old High Street. Half way up the hill is the 11th century parish church, with a famous crypt and ossuary. Romney Marsh lies south west of the town where the villages of Dymchurch, Littlestone and Lydd are found. Hythe is one of the termini of the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Light Steam Railway, which runs parallel to the coastline through Dymchurch and New Romney to Dungeness. It was opened in July 1927 as the 'World's Smallest Public Railway' and still runs regular services today.
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