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The Joys of Walking!

The Joys of Walking!

Postby Gillzajoker » 25 Jul 2018 09:19

Lovely pics - I like looking at old churches and graveyards.
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The Joys of Walking!

Postby Dave » 31 Jul 2018 17:26

There was thunder and torrential rain at 7am this morning, but the forecast was for sun and temperatures around 23C so I hitched a ride to Ashford with my wife to do a walk. (I did a walk last Friday when it was 10C hotter, so 23C feels positively cool!) Anyway, we arrived at 8.15 and I set off with instructions to be back before 1pm - I did 17.3 miles and made it back with 5 minutes to spare! :angel:

I'd planned a route that took me through the Godinton Park estate both on the way 'there' and back. 'There' was Pluckley Station, Pluckley, and Little Chart. The great majority of the walk was off-road - mainly farmland, but with some woods as well. The good weather helped I suppose, but I spent most of the time thinking what a wonderful area this is!

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A number of public footpaths cross Godinton Park but the estate has also provided some excellent permissive paths. Not only were all the paths extremely well signposted, but the wide, mown tracks made it obvious that they care about walkers. :thumbup:

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Most of the farming at Godinton seemed to be livestock...

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Somewhere between Godinton and Pluckley Station, I noticed this rather desirable residence for sale. I checked the price when I got home... £900,000. Oh well. :(

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I'd planned to follow a narrow lane to Pluckley Station but I noticed a footpath sign pointing through a hedge. I investigated and saw a perfect path which my map showed to be heading in the right direction, so I went that way. Some nice farmer had gone to the trouble of making a path so it would almost be rude not to use it. :D

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There's a railway station at Pluckley Station but the OS map gives the impression that the name might refer to the hamlet there. :think: Anyway, it's an attractive place with a magnificent pub - the Dering Arms...

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Pluckley itself is a fair distance to the north and another nice footpath took me there. We've had a lot of rain over the last few days but the fields are still full of deep cracks:

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This is Pluckley where (as I mentioned in a previous post) the Darling Buds of May was filmed. I haven't seen the programme yet but I'll try to find an episode to see if I can recognise anywhere I've been.

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Most of the way between Pluckley and Little Chart was through orchards. There were varieties of apple of course but the best bit was a plum orchard. :D

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Little Chart is a scattered village and very upmarket. This has to be my favourite part though - I love the beautiful old buildings on the left, with a cricket green opposite. Wow! :mrgreen:

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A little further on, I went through some woodland and spotted the very log that I was sitting on for the very first photo in this topic. It was springtime then and the wood was covered in bluebells.

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I went through Hothfield Common the other day, so I'd chosen a different route today. I passed some magnificent Highland Cattle...

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...and a group of Konik Horses, which apparently are Polish and semi-wild:

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And finally... I took this photo between Hothfield and Godinton because it seemed to sum up why I love walking. :D

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Re: The Joys of Walking!

Postby rdw123 » 01 Aug 2018 07:01

Lovely photos Dave and a lovely area too.
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The Joys of Walking!

Postby Gillzajoker » 01 Aug 2018 09:22

Great pics. of a beautiful area - enjoyed it all! And agree with you about the consideration
of some farmers in providing good access. :D
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The Joys of Walking!

Postby Dave » 30 Aug 2018 15:50

Since returning from our holiday in Scotland my wife and I did shortened version of the walk I reported in my last post and I've done a few solo walks locally. These have been routes that I've followed many times before so there was nothing to report.

Today though, I did a local walk that included about a mile-and-a-half of previously unexplored footpaths. That might not sound a big deal, but, after nearly two years of making it my mission to try every footpath within walking distance of home, it's getting really hard to find ones I think look worth trying.

This was today's route:

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I headed to the coast and went west along the grassy sea wall. To the south lie Graveney Marshes - a vast, flat, empty area which is home to a lot of birds - both resident and migratory. Unfortunately, there's a plan to build an absolutely enormous solar farm that will cover this entire view...

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Unsurprisingly, there's a lot of opposition to the plan:

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But enough about that for now...

I've marked on the map the start and end of my previously untrodden paths. It's possible that this post will be read by people who live in the Whitstable / Faversham / Canterbury area so the remaining photos will all be those I took in that short stretch. To be honest, I wasn't expecting anything special, but this area (near Wey Street Farm) turned out to be very pleasant indeed and well worth a walk!

The path leading down from Graveney towards Wey Street:

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Just past some trees I came across some sheep I'd not seen before... :D

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I crossed a nice bridge that I'd not crossed before...

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Then the path went over another bridge and through some nice woodland that... ;)

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I passed a pear orchard...

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...and some cattle...

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...then headed up a slightly overgrown path. Recent rain had revived the nettles, but they were short and I only got stung a couple of times.

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And finally, I went through an apple orchard and down to the farm:

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It was only a short walk along a pleasant lane before I was back on familiar territory. 8-)
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Re: The Joys of Walking!

Postby rdw123 » 30 Aug 2018 16:25

Were you tempted to do a spot of scrumping? The apples look lovely and taste far better straight off the tree.
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Re: The Joys of Walking!

Postby Dave » 30 Aug 2018 16:46

rdw123 wrote:Were you tempted to do a spot of scrumping? The apples look lovely and taste far better straight off the tree.

I'm too much of a wuss. I always imagine being caught by an irate farmer! :oops:

I'm also a bit fussy - I only eat Pink Lady apples. :lol:
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The Joys of Walking!

Postby Gillzajoker » 31 Aug 2018 10:14

May have been short, but plenty of interest. :D
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Postby grannyM » 31 Aug 2018 11:20

Nice photos of a nice area Dave. :)
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The Joys of Walking!

Postby Dave » 08 Sep 2018 15:33

:oops: My excuse for not updating this blog since before our walking holiday in Scotland is that all of my/our recent walks have been ones I/we have done before. Today though, we drove to Pluckley and followed this route...

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Pluckley is between Ashford and Maidstone and the area is as typically Kentish as it gets. I'd previously done the part that lies between Pluckley and Little Chart while on a solo circular walk from Ashford and I remembered how it's almost all orchards, and I thought this would be the perfect time of year to show my wife how nice it is. :angel:

Two named and well-signposted walks pass through this area - the Greensand Way and the Stour Valley Walk - which made planning our route very easy. Most of the southern section is along the former while most of the northern section is along the latter. For anyone thinking about doing this walk, there's a convenient free car park in Pluckley and The Barrow House in Egerton is a 16th century inn which makes a perfect stop for refreshments. At just over 7 miles, this is an easy walk through idyllic countryside. :thumbup:

While there are a great many orchards between Pluckley and Little Chart, we also came across this small vineyard...

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Plums and pears had already been picked, but the apple trees were still laden with fruit - or, in some cases, the ground was covered in it!

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Near Little Chart the footpath passed through a very big horse farm (if that's the correct term) and we saw scores of horses of all different kinds.

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We've driven along the road to Pluckley several times and from the car seen what looks like either a folly or an ivy-covered ruined castle. Either way, it's an impressively picturesque sight. Today's walk took us through the grounds and we discovered the truth - it's a ruined church called St Mary's and it dates from c1250.

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An interesting thing about public right of way footpaths is that they occasionally pass through someone's garden. I have to admit that I'm not always comfortable about 'intruding' (partly because there might be dogs loose!) but I expect the residents get used to it. And sometimes the gardens are very well worth a photo...

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Like all the villages in the area, Egerton is attractive and quaint. I approve of this notice in the churchyard: :)

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We stopped for coffee at The Barrow House. The weather became increasingly overcast as we headed back to Pluckley and I took one last photo before we got back - the village is just over the top of the hill:

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