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The Joys of Walking!

Re: The Joys of Walking!

Postby rdw123 » 31 May 2019 07:26

Well done Dave. I thought it may be a bit tricky, putting it mildly. I’ll say one thing and that is you are very tenacious! Sheppey despite being its industrial areas and caravan parks has some nice areas and also wildlife. I think there is a birds reserve at Elmley Marshes. I know there is a prison! Shame about your trousers. Hope this weekends walk is less troublesome. Happy hiking.
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The Joys of Walking!

Postby Gillzajoker » 31 May 2019 09:24

I'm exhausted just reading about that one, Dave, but enjoyed the photos. How you suffer for your 'art'! :lol:
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Re: The Joys of Walking!

Postby Camela » 31 May 2019 13:29

I love your photo of the final resting place for boats. I find old wrecks evocative, seeming to make the statement that you won't get rid of them easily.
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Re: The Joys of Walking!

Postby Dave » 31 May 2019 14:36

rdw123 wrote:Well done Dave. I thought it may be a bit tricky, putting it mildly. I’ll say one thing and that is you are very tenacious! Sheppey despite being its industrial areas and caravan parks has some nice areas and also wildlife. I think there is a birds reserve at Elmley Marshes. I know there is a prison! Shame about your trousers. Hope this weekends walk is less troublesome. Happy hiking.

Hi Ruth. I've looked at the nature reserve at Elmley on the map many times but it's hard to find a suitable circular route. Also, it's a private reserve so I'm not sure if it's permitted to wander off-track; I'll think of something though! Actually, I believe Sheppey boasts three prisons!
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The Joys of Walking!

Postby Dave » 31 May 2019 14:46

bobbyoscar wrote:I was very interested to read about this, Dave.

I grew up in London's East End and many a Sunday drive out or camping holiday was spent at either Leysdown, Sheerness (or Clacton, Great Yarmouth).

I lived in Southeast London for most of my childhood and we would often go to Herne Bay, Margate or the south coast. I suspect that Leysdown hasn't changed very much at all since you used to go there... ;)
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Re: The Joys of Walking!

Postby Dave » 31 May 2019 14:49

Camela wrote:I love your photo of the final resting place for boats. I find old wrecks evocative, seeming to make the statement that you won't get rid of them easily.

I totally agree! :thumbup:
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The Joys of Walking!

Postby Dave » 13 Jun 2019 17:33

When we returned from our week in Snowdonia I found a brand new pair of boots waiting for me (the ones I won for my letter to Country Walking Magazine). They looked perfect for boggy walks, so on Monday (following lots of weekend rain) I set off in them to put them through their paces by walking through as many wet fields as possible.

The boots were certainly waterproof, but after 4 miles I could feel blisters forming on the balls of my feet. I take a size 9 or 9.5 (depending on the boots), and the problem was that they came directly from Berghaus and I'd asked for size 9.5 to be on the safe side. They were a bit too big and the blisters were caused by my feet moving inside them, and by the time I got home I had a huge blister on each foot and could barely walk! That evening, armed with a needle, I sorted the blisters as best as I could and on Tuesday I walked to Canterbury to buy a pair of Superfeet insoles (I've got them in other walking boots and shoes and they're really amazing). Sadly, Cotswold Outdoor didn't have them in stock so I walked back empty-handed (and -footed!). Although my feet were still sore, they survived the walk and they recovered some more yesterday when I had the grandkids for the day.

Today, my wife's work was taking her to Whitfield (near Dover) so I decided to go with her and do the long walk home - something I've not done for about a year. The weather forecast was for showers but I hadn't expected the drive to Whitfield to be in heavy rain with occasional hail! Luckily, the rain had eased by the time we arrived and I set off for home the hard way...

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I did two Whitfield to Whitstable walks last year, the first on the North Downs Way as far as Canterbury, and the second following a cycle route. So to vary the route a bit I left the NDW for a few miles so as to pass through a couple of villages I'd not seen before - Woolage Green and Woolage Village.

I was wearing my non-waterproof walking shoes (being the most gentle on my feet!) and walking through fields of wet rape was a rather sodden experience. Fortunately, non-waterproof shoes dry out quickly!

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The weather forecast had also been for a moderate breeze. I would have called it a strong wind, but at least it mostly came from the side or behind. Despite the threatening clouds, there was only one significant downpour the whole way - I stopped in the shelter of this big hedge to put on my waterproof jacket...

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The walk along the North Downs Way towards Canterbury is extremely pleasant, with lovely fields and meadows. The rain clouds over Canterbury looked a bit concerning, but there were no more than a few drops of rain for the rest of the way...

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A bit further on the path became lined with poppies. There were often many more than this, but I had to take advantage of a brief moment of sunshine to capture the sight. The trees to the right show that there was more than a breeze!

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The walk was 21.2 miles and it took a little over 5 hours. When I got back my wife had been home for an hour already!
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Re: The Joys of Walking!

Postby rdw123 » 14 Jun 2019 08:18

Well done. Looks to be a good year for ox eye daisies this year. Hope the feet are healing.
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Re: The Joys of Walking!

Postby Dave » 14 Jun 2019 18:47

rdw123 wrote:Well done. Looks to be a good year for ox eye daisies this year. Hope the feet are healing.

I usually have aches and pains somewhere caused by walking, but my feet are fine now thanks! :D
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The Joys of Walking!

Postby Dave » 15 Jun 2019 17:38

This week's Weekend Walk with my Wife was one of the best yet! :D

We joined both English Heritage and the National Trust recently, so to make use of the free parking as well as having an interesting place to end the walk we did an hour's drive to Lullingstone Roman Villa near Eynsford in the extreme west of Kent. A waymarked trail called the Darent Valley Path, which follows the River Darent from Dartford to Sevenoaks, goes right past the Roman villa and we used it for our walk to Otford and back. I wanted to get to Otford because I've walked through the town previously (it's on the North Downs Way) and therefore today's walk would link up with my Kent network - and it would be a good place for a coffee stop. I also wanted to visit Shoreham because I'd never been there before...

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Soon after setting off along the river we passed Lullingstone Castle, an historic mansion frequented by Henry VIII and Queen Anne...

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A typical scene alongside the sleepy River Darent:

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The path diverged occasionally from the riverside and passed through fields of wheat and barley. My wife took this rather nice photo of poppies in a wheat field...

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...and a nice one of me in a barley field: ;)

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The village of Shoreham was quite delightful, but none of our photos do it justice. There were a lot of cars in the narrow streets because of a major 'open gardens' event and people were milling around everywhere - I thought these events were free, but apparently it cost £8 to have a nose around other people's gardens! Anyway, this photo of a bridge and a ford (with a small 'f') will have to suffice:

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Arriving in Otford, we passed this idyllic riverside garden:

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As planned, we stopped for coffee in Otford before having a wander. Otford is almost as charming as Shoreham but suffers slightly from having a main road going through it. This is the duckpond...

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Between Shoreham and Lullingstone we passed fields of lavender. Most wasn't in flower yet, but some certainly was...

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We crossed the river to visit a farm shop where the theme was lavender...

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...and Fred bought quite a bit of lavender stuff!

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Back near where we began the walk, we used our brand-new English Heritage cards to enter the Roman villa site...

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...which was exceptionally excellent! There were many Roman artefacts and we watched a fascinating film about the villa's history. My photo doesn't show what was probably the outstanding feature - the amazing floor mosaic in the villa's entrance area.

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This was a long drive to do a walk, but the area has so much to offer that we'll definitely be back. We drove through Eynsford, which looked amazing (and has a castle), and past a spectacular viaduct, so there's still a lot more to see and do!
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