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The Joys of Walking!

The Joys of Walking!

Postby Gillzajoker » 10 Jul 2018 10:26

Lovely photos, especially of the churches and wild flowers :D
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The Joys of Walking!

Postby Dave » 10 Jul 2018 16:43

From the sublime of yesterday to the slightly ridiculous today... ;)

I've done so many walks starting from home that it's almost impossible to find a new route to try. For some time now, I've studied the map of the area near where I live and toyed with the idea of walking alongside a nearby dual carriageway (the A299 or Thanet Way) for no other reason than I haven't done it before.

So I walked one-and-a-half miles to join the Thanet Way and then walked for another six miles alongside it to the point where the dual carriageway becomes the start/end of the M2 motorway, and returned mainly on country lanes and footpaths....

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I knew it would be noisy, but I hadn't expected the asphalt path to be so unused that it became non-existent for much of the time. It wasn't always as bad as the places in my photos, but it was never good!

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I got stung, prickled and scratched a fair bit, but the most difficult part was the last few hundred yards before and alongside the exit slip road - there was no path at all, only rough shrubs and undergrowth. But when I emerged I felt a real sense of achievement - I did it and it was fun in a way, but I won't do it again! :lol:

By the way...

Something has been puzzling me. :think: On the OS map, you can see that between Staplestreet and Hernhill there's a place called 'Slutshole'...

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However, I've walked every road in the area (and through Slutshole again today - blue line) and I'm certain there's not a single signpost with that name on it. Neither is there a sign of any kind in the hamlet itself. As far as I can tell, the only place the name appears is on the Ordnance Survey map. As I said... puzzling.
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Re: The Joys of Walking!

Postby rdw123 » 11 Jul 2018 05:55

Dave. You’re a very brave man or a glutton for punishment! Don’t think I would have attempted that path alongside the the notorious Thanet Way. The mind boggles as to how Slutshole got it’s name. I suspect the local council have quietly forgotten it exists. Happy hiking. Ruth
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The Joys of Walking!

Postby Dave » 12 Jul 2018 15:14

I don't usually report on all three of my weekday walks, but I'll make an exception this week. :D

My plan was to link two 'orphaned walks' near Sittingbourne with the main network which had reached the eastern end of the town last year. So I parked at Newington, from where I'd done a walk near the marshy River Medway estuary, and walked along the A2 to Sittingbourne to get to where I'd previously arrived at the town from the east, and then I headed southwest to Bredgar from where my wife and I walked last Saturday.

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I do like things to be neat and tidy! :D

Although the weather brightened up a bit during the morning, it was gloomy when I arrived in Sittingbourne. But I'm not very keen on Sittingbourne anyway, so it really didn't matter...

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From the town centre, I walked through a part of the vast industrial estate (very obvious on the map) then south and out into the countryside (at last!). It's not a good photo, but here I'm on a footpath near Highstead looking back towards Sittingbourne; there's a large pear orchard on the right:

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A little further on I came to a very pleasant wood called Cromer's Wood where I took this photo of one of my favourite wildflowers - rosebay willowherb.

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It might not be as clear as I hoped, but this photo includes a flyover for the M2. I've been over the bridge countless times on the road and seen the valley from the car but had no real idea what was beyond what I could see. And I think that's one of the great things about walking - when I used to go to places only by road, every destination was like an island: separate and distinct from other places. Walking, however, has provided a context and connection, and in less than two years of exploring on foot I've got to know Kent far better and more intimately than I had in the previous 40-odd years I'd lived here.

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By the way... in my last report I talked about how I'd battled my way through an overgrown path alongside a busy dual carriageway. This morning, as I drove along the same road, I saw that the entire stretch had been cleared and I passed the tractor with its big 'lawnmower arm' about a mile further on on the M2. Typical! :roll:
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The Joys of Walking!

Postby Dave » 16 Jul 2018 16:50

Phew, what a scorcher! 8-)

My wife spent a day in Dymchurch today and, although I was a bit apprehensive about how hot the day was forecast to be, I decided to go with her and do a walk to visit some Romney Marsh villages. Much as I love the area, Romney Marsh offers almost nothing in the way of shade, so I knew it would be a sweaty walk - and it was!

On the other hand, Romney Marsh is as flat as it's possible for a place to be, and the roads away from the coast are mostly extremely quiet single-track lanes. Come to think of it... it's the perfect place for a bike ride. But, for me, walking is as much about exercise as it is about sightseeing... ;)

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I took a wrong turn leaving Dymchurch and passed the train station, so I had a quick look and took a photo. It's very quaint. I took another photo from the level crossing as I headed out of town - on the right road!

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I'd noticed 'Ruined Church' on the map on the way to Newchurch and I found it tucked behind some bushes a little way from the road:

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All of the villages I visited were very attractive, but I think Newchurch was probably the most picturesque of them all:

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I took this photo on the way to Ivychurch, although it could be almost anywhere from my walk because this is absolutely typical of the lanes I travelled. The fields are mostly arable, with wheat, oats and barley being the main crops, and the lanes are usually edged by drainage ditches which are full of rushes and reeds:

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The pub and church at Ivychurch:

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It can be seen from my map that I had to make a special effort to visit Old Romney - I couldn't easily add it into the loop, but I wanted to have a look. I'm glad I did, because from the church I could see a roadside café (in the distance on the right) and I bought an extra couple of bottles of drink (I drank a lot on the walk!). I returned to the church and ate a sandwich on a bench in the shade before retracing my steps and heading for St Mary in the Marsh.

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Like most of the villages on Romney Marsh, St Mary in the Marsh has a church, a pub and some dwellings...

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And that would have been it for photos, except that on the way back to Dymchurch I passed this wonderful piece of recycled agricultural machinery. :clap:

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The walk was a bit over 18 miles and, since it was all on tarmac, I'd recommend the route for cycling (or even driving) as well as for walking. But I don't think I'd recommend walking it on a day as hot as today's been!
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The Joys of Walking!

Postby judgegeoff » 16 Jul 2018 17:38

Excellent photos of an area I know well Dave, thanks for posting them. :clap: The church at Old Romney, St Clement, is one of the oldest churches in Kent. The café that you visited was the 'Oasis Cafe' that, until recently, was owned and run by an ex. colleague of mine. Next door to it is the East European Hand Car Wash that keeps my old car gleaming (their charges are very reasonable and I can enjoy a drink in the Café whilst they clean my car inside and out).
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The Joys of Walking!

Postby Dave » 16 Jul 2018 17:51

judgegeoff wrote:Excellent photos of an area I know well Dave, thanks for posting them. :clap: The church at Old Romney, St Clement, is one of the oldest churches in Kent. The café that you visited was the 'Oasis Cafe' that, until recently, was owned and run by an ex. colleague of mine. Next door to it is the East European Hand Car Wash that keeps my old car gleaming (their charges are very reasonable and I can enjoy a drink in the Café whilst they clean my car inside and out).

Thanks Geoff. I was quite relieved to see the café (and, coincidentally, I bought two bottles of Oasis drinks!), and I noticed the car washing place next door. :D
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Re: The Joys of Walking!

Postby rdw123 » 17 Jul 2018 07:48

Lovely photos Dave. It certainly is a lovely area. Rather you than me walking in yesterday’s heat. Where next? Ruth
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The Joys of Walking!

Postby Gillzajoker » 17 Jul 2018 11:09

Another enjoyable day out with you ;)
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Re: The Joys of Walking!

Postby Dave » 17 Jul 2018 15:51

rdw123 wrote:Lovely photos Dave. It certainly is a lovely area. Rather you than me walking in yesterday’s heat. Where next? Ruth

:D Well, this morning I walked to Canterbury and back. I wouldn't normally mention it but I passed a record number of cyclists on the way - about 200! :o

For most of the way between Whitstable and Canterbury I follow a cross-country cycle route. An 'out rider' I passed told me that 170 cyclists were approaching and, sure enough, a yellow-jacketed swarm appeared - most on a long narrow stretch of path. Undaunted, I did my best Richard Ashcroft (Bitter Sweet Symphony) impersonation...




...and didn't break my stride in the least. :lol: (BTW, that has to be my favourite music video! :clap: )

I went to Canterbury on the off-chance that Cotswold Outdoor might have a short-sleeved version of my coolest walking shirt. They didn't, but the friendly sales assistant suggested I try the nearby Rohan shop (where he'd bought a similar shirt) and they had exactly what I wanted - and with a 25% discount in their sale to boot. Nice one (yet again) from Cotswold Outdoor. :thumbup:
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