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The Joys of Walking!

Re: The Joys of Walking!

Postby Dave » 06 May 2018 15:56

rdw123 wrote:Good to see that such lovely countryside does still exist in Kent. It has not all been ruined by motorways! Thanks Dave. Good weather for walking, make the most of it.

Thanks Ruth. Actually, it always amazes me just how much unpopulated space there is in our supposedly overcrowded island. And in addition to woodland and farmland there's a lot of the countryside that appears 'unused' and this was particularly noticeable on our last walk. We were even discussing it, then realised that a great deal of land in South Kent is owned by the MOD (the clue was all the signs!). It seems they own something like 21000 acres in Kent which is mostly, and almost always, accessible to the public.
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Postby Dave » 08 May 2018 16:31

Yesterday was hot, but today was even hotter!

For today's walk, I chose the area around Hernhill and Boughton-under-Blean. This is my favourite rural area within easy walking distance of home because it's an area of orchards, twisty lanes, hamlets and idyllic countryside. I planned the route to include some footpaths I'd not walked before.


(Click to enlarge map)

While these footpaths were all very good, the wet weather followed by very warm weather has meant that nettles are having a great time. Along here, I experienced my first nettle stings of the year! :D

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On the way back I went up and over Victory Wood to enjoy the views. I couldn't resist taking another photo of our local nuclear bunker...

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I'd only returned across this field to Whitstable once before, and on that occasion it was very muddy with no visible path. Today, I could see a path while still a long way off, so I did a detour to give it a try. It was just right :D - and the views of Whitstable were good too...

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I like considerate farmers. :thumbup:
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Postby Dave » 09 May 2018 16:34

I did my second linear walk today. This time, my wife dropped me off on the outskirts of Ashford and I walked back to Whitstable - a trek of almost 23 miles. Not only was it a couple of miles further than last week's linear walk, but the route was much more hilly and the weather was very warm.

From Ashford, I followed the Stour Valley Walk to the lovely village of Wye, then I followed the North Downs Way to the outskirts of Canterbury, and finished with a variation of my cross-country route back to Whitstable (taking little-used paths through the woods for the shade!).

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The River Stour and one of several footbridges I crossed on the way to Wye:

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Another footbridge over the Stour - and a pile of plastic bottles. Presumably someone has been cleaning up the river.

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In the distance is Wye, with a very long, straight path through the wheat leading to it!

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Leaving Wye, I crossed the Stour for the last time today. The pub is called The Tickled Trout.

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(Some time later!) From Wye, I made my way up and then very steeply up to the top of the North Downs. I took a couple of photos during the climb, partly because of the wonderful views and partly to have a breather!

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My route took me the whole length of the famous King's Wood - it's famous for the magnificent bluebells. The display is fading as the beech trees come into leaf, but it's still impressive - and the ferns make a nice addition:

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There's something about this valley that always makes me stop and take a photo or two...

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...and this is from the other side looking back. The path here is very steep! I took the previous photo from the edge of the woods opposite.

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Another of my favourite photo spots - acres of orchards!

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And finally: a bluebell-edged path a couple of miles before Canterbury.

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Postby grannyM » 09 May 2018 17:05

Some really nice photos from your last two walks Dave. I see you are still experiencing some hot weather. Hope it continues for you. :D

We had a lovely weekend but back to dull, dismal and cold today. Not much walking getting done by us this year. :(
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Postby Dave » 09 May 2018 17:19

grannyM wrote:Some really nice photos from your last two walks Dave. I see you are still experiencing some hot weather. Hope it continues for you. :D

We had a lovely weekend but back to dull, dismal and cold today. Not much walking getting done by us this year. :(

Thanks Marie. We've certainly had some very warm weather for almost a week, but I think it'll be cooling down from tomorrow. Hot weather is all very well, but about 14C is best for walking! :D
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Postby grannyM » 09 May 2018 18:00

Dave wrote:
grannyM wrote:Some really nice photos from your last two walks Dave. I see you are still experiencing some hot weather. Hope it continues for you. :D

We had a lovely weekend but back to dull, dismal and cold today. Not much walking getting done by us this year. :(

Thanks Marie. We've certainly had some very warm weather for almost a week, but I think it'll be cooling down from tomorrow. Hot weather is all very well, but about 14C is best for walking! :D


I agree, and it would be nice if we consistently had some with no rain. :evil:
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Postby Dave » 15 May 2018 16:07

I won't report on all of my linear walks, but the novelty hasn't worn off yet so here's the one I did today... ;)

Actually, the walk was very similar to the one I did last Wednesday being from Ashford to Whitstable. The difference is that my wife dropped me off on the other side of Ashford and I headed for Eastwell (near Westwell!) before joining my previous route after about 4 miles. I took a few short detours to add some variety and followed the North Downs Way right into Canterbury before heading north to Whitstable. As always seems to be the case at the moment, the weather was quite perfect. 8-)

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Eastwell Park is an enormous estate north of Ashford. This photo shows a small part of Eastwell Lake and an extremely picturesque medieval farmhouse:

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Much further along, I took a detour through another enormous estate - Godmersham Park. Leaving King's Wood, I entered the estate through a gate for horses (with riders!) and took the photo because of the deer-proof fences and ditches alongside:

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I didn't actually go through Chilham Castle Estate because there are no public footpaths on that property :cry: , so I contented myself with yet another photo from an adjacent lane of the castle and grounds... :D

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The main entrance to Chilham Castle is on the Chilham village square. There was a rather nice car parked there...

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...and this photo is from the same spot facing the opposite direction. I've said it before and I'll say it again - Chilham has to be one of the most attractive villages in Kent, if not in the whole of the UK!

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I passed a spectacular fungus, so I took a photo:

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The walk was about 22.5 miles and (unsurprisingly) no less challenging in places than last week. That's the trouble with the North Downs - there are lots of ups as well as downs! ;)

One of the best things about doing a long walk on a warm day is the special coffee I make as soon as I get home (and taking priority over my late lunch!): a long glass with four ice cubes, a double shot of espresso, and equal quantities of plain and chocolate soya milk. Lovely! :D
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Re: The Joys of Walking!

Postby rdw123 » 16 May 2018 07:27

Lovely photos Dave. Keep them coming. Good to see there are still a few bluebells hanging on. Happy hiking. Ruth
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Postby Mungo » 16 May 2018 09:00

We're very lucky to live in Kent Dave and your photos confirm why it's called The Garden of England. :mrgreen:

I'm slowly increasing my mobility levels and am now managing to walk about half a mile. :lol: Have had a couple of walks along the cliff tops. Do hope soon I'll have the energy to do more. Off to Center Parcs in a couple of weeks and walking will be needed there, once the car is parked that'll be it for 3 days! ;)
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Postby Dave » 19 May 2018 16:07

This week's weekend walk was from Alkham, near Dover, and might be of interest to anyone spending a day in the area. I've included the cruise terminal on the map to show how close it is...

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Although we parked in the delightful village of Alkham, there's a large free car park at Kearsney Abbey which might be more convenient. We chose Alkham because I knew we could get coffee at Kearsney which is about half way through the walk - and my wife sees a coffee stop as almost compulsory!

This was a Two Abbey Walk. :D

At Kearsney, we found little in the way of abbey remains, but we loved the wonderful public park set out around two large lakes. This is the ancient Lebanon Cedar which is fenced off because massive branches occasionally fall from it.

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A bridge at the end of one of the lakes:

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This photo gives an idea of the scenery in this area - rolling hills and farms:

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Approaching St Radigund's Abbey, as a Beatles fan I couldn't resist a pose: ;)

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The remains of the abbey are impressive, yet I'd never heard of St Radigund's before spotting it on a map. The buildings are on private land and this was as close as we could get...

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...and we realised that the remains are actually in the 'garden' of an extremely impressive medieval farmhouse. Wow - what a desirable residence! :mrgreen:

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And here we are almost back in Alkham:

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With most of the population being huddled around their TV sets today watching some celebrity wedding, it was the perfect time to be out and about. Everywhere was so quiet! :thumbup:
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