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The Joys of Walking!

Re: The Joys of Walking!

Postby rdw123 » 10 Nov 2019 08:39

Nice one Dave. I like a freebie. The autumn colours are lovely.
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The Joys of Walking!

Postby Dave » 16 Nov 2019 16:13

For today's Weekend Walk With my Wife, I worked out a route in a previously unvisited area between Canterbury and Sandwich and made use of free parking at the English Heritage site of Richborough Castle. Actually, the 'castle' is the remains of a Roman fort that once guarded the southern end of a sea channel between mainland Kent and the Isle of Thanet. The channel no longer exists and Thanet is now joined to the mainland.

The plan was to go across fields and along lanes to the village of Ash and loop back to Richborough Castle in a similar fashion. Almost all of the route was new to me, the exceptions being a short bit of the Stour Valley Walk which we followed for about a mile near the start, and a few hundred yards of the main street in Ash.

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Not long after setting off, we crossed a boggy field with cows in. I must have tempted fate because I'd just remarked that by now cattle will have gone indoors for the winter! Anyway, we were about halfway across the field when we noticed that one animal was a very chunky bull; he didn't pay us much attention though...

In the distance, the unimpressive low hill to the right is the site of a Roman amphitheatre.

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The area is very flat and is criss-crossed with drainage channels:

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Nearing Ash, we went through a field of pumpkins that were past their best...

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Ash was once on the main road between Canterbury and Sandwich on the coast, but a bypass has left it a lovely, quaint, quiet village...

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We finished with a visit to the huge Roman fort and the small visitor centre. :)

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Booked cruise 2019: December - Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2
Remaining land-based holidays 2019: July - Peak District, August - Harris and Highlands, October - Brecon Beacons
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The Joys of Walking!

Postby Dave » 19 Nov 2019 16:29

Today's walk was a very important one for me. At 12 miles into the walk I would clock up 3,000 miles in 2019, meeting my target for the year with about 6 weeks still to go. So I worked out a 13+ mile route just to be sure! :)

I found a space that needed filling on my Kent walks map in the area to the north-west of Hythe in the south of the county. I parked in a small car park at Farthing Common which is right on the North Downs Way and serves as a fantastic viewpoint. My circuit was to take in Postling and Lympne, both of which I'd walked through previously, and Stanford, Newingreen, Sellindge and Monks Horton, which would be new to me.

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The view from Farthing Common. I was a bit surprised to see cows still out in the fields, and I noted that I'd be coming back across that field later...

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I have a thing about the communications tower at Tolsford Hill near Postling and I've walked by it many times. It stands at the meeting point of three trails: the North Downs Way, the Saxon Shore Way, and the Elham Valley Way. The views from there are amazing, but today I went around the bottom of the hill:

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It was a cold, crisp morning. There was still frost in the shade and ice on puddles.

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Looking back along the byway on the way to Stanford with the tower clearly visible:

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Between Stanford and Newingreen I spotted a racecourse, which I looked up when I got home. It's Folkestone Racecourse, which closed about seven years ago and has apparently been left to decay. I'm not a fan of horse racing, so I hope some other purpose will be found for the place...

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Near Monks Horton, I saw an impressive building which I later learned is Horton Priory. Apparently it was owned by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, and it was sold a few years ago for around £5 million.

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A goose on a pond:

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3,000 miles this year - woo hoo! :)
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Re: The Joys of Walking!

Postby rdw123 » 19 Nov 2019 19:46

Congratulations Dave. We will have to call you the “cowboy”!
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The Joys of Walking!

Postby Gillzajoker » 30 Nov 2019 11:09

Congratulations on your latest achievement, Dave. But no new posts for 11 days? Are you
resting on your laurels? Are you OK?
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The Joys of Walking!

Postby Dave » 30 Nov 2019 16:52

Gillzajoker wrote:Congratulations on your latest achievement, Dave. But no new posts for 11 days? Are you
resting on your laurels? Are you OK?

Thanks Gill. I'm very well thanks, but none of my recent walks have been blessed with good weather and the photos haven't been very... photogenic. :( But watch this space! ;)
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Postby Dave » 30 Nov 2019 18:03

It's been a while since my last update which I'll put down to the weather - we've had a lot of rain! I've still been walking as much as ever, and I like walking in rain, but I don't take many (if any) photos and I do like to illustrate my posts (mainly because I don't need to write as much).

For this weekend's walk with my wife I worked out a route to visit a tiny hamlet we'd not seen before. The hamlet is Nackington and it's just outside Canterbury on a road that goes nowhere else. As usual, I tried to use paths and bridleways that I'd not walked before and luckily they mostly turned out to be perfect.

We parked at a park and ride outside Canterbury on the Old Dover Road and headed south to reach a point that we'd been to on the Canterbury Outer Ring walk in the spring. Then we turned north towards Nackington and crossed farmland to Canterbury before doing some town walking along the Old Dover Road back to the car park. (We needed to keep the walk to a shortish 7 miles because we were going back to Canterbury later to buy a new car for my wife... :) )

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We crossed lots of open farmland, then a vast covered area of strawberries, followed by orchards:

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Next was woodland where my wife took a nice photo with her new phone (Samsung S10) using a 'best shot' setting (centre) - plus a couple of less good shots!

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My wife's 'best shot' photo looking south from the edge of the woods...

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...and my poorer effort from nearby:

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A frosty field before Nackington. This was the only bit of the walk where the path was non-existent. Crunchy soon turned to muddy!

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Nackington was as nice as we could have hoped - a few big posh houses, some quaint cottages, a neat green and a small church:

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An extremely pleasant outing! :)
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The Joys of Walking!

Postby Gillzajoker » 01 Dec 2019 11:13

Glad all is well with you, Dave, and I enjoyed this walk in the good weather! Nackington looks idyllic! :D
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Postby Dave » 02 Dec 2019 17:13

My walk today was in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty between Ashford and Canterbury. I've walked in the area many times before, but there were lots of small villages and hamlets I hadn't yet visited, so I worked out a route to take me through as many of them as possible.

I parked outside the lovely village of Wye at a viewpoint near the Devil's Kneading Trough. The first 16 miles of my route were entirely along quiet lanes while the final couple of miles were off-road along the North Downs Way. The area is very hilly (at least, for this part of the world!) and the weather was perfect - icy cold with the sun very low in a clear blue sky.

I took lots of photos along the way, but I think this one sums up the area nicely:

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This is the view of the Devil's Kneading Trough from the North Downs Way, although unfortunately I had to take the photo into the sun. These valleys were formed at the end of the last ice age by glacial action. (Kent is not flat!)

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The route: An excellent walk through a beautiful landscape!

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Remaining land-based holidays 2019: July - Peak District, August - Harris and Highlands, October - Brecon Beacons
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The Joys of Walking!

Postby Gillzajoker » 03 Dec 2019 15:50

Lovely!
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