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The Joys of Walking!

The Joys of Walking!

Postby Dave » 31 Jul 2020 17:25

This morning, my wife and I met up with our daughter and two grandsons for a safari walk. :)

Port Lympne is a large safari park near Hythe in Kent with its southern edge lying along the Royal Military Canal. Two public right of way footpaths cross the park making it easy to go animal-spotting for free!

We parked in a small car park right by the canal at West Hythe. Then we followed the canal to the furthest footpath and headed up the steep hill to Lympne. Just before we reached Lympne, we turned onto the Saxon Shore Way which took us along the high ridge. Finally, we took the other path back down to the canal and on to the car park.

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The Royal Military Canal is quite beautiful and there's an excellent 28 mile trail all the way alongside it which I did in three circular walks a couple of years ago. This photo has the boys browsing the information board...

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This is a fantastic viewpoint from beside the canal. Looking up the hillside, we can see both Lympne Castle at the top and the remains of a Roman fort halfway up the hill. The path that we returned on passes close to the fort...

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It's very much a matter of pot luck as to what animals might be seen on this route. In the past I've seen giraffes and rhinos, but they weren't in sight today. We did see red lechwe, Przewalski's horses, bison and various antelope-like animals though.

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Walking along the top path our way was partially blocked by some horses' heads!

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The view over Romney Marsh from the Saxon Shore Way. The nuclear power stations at Dungeness can just be made out in the distance:

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As we came down the hill we passed an enclosure with African painted dogs enjoying the shade (at the time we thought they were hyenas - they were very big!). The temperature reached 35C today so even they were staying out of the sun.

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This was only a short walk at about 3.5 miles, but perfect in today's heat and the kids really enjoyed the adventure! :)
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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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Re: The Joys of Walking!

Postby rdw123 » 01 Aug 2020 07:35

Lovely photos Dave. I expect most animals were keeping a low profile in the heat. Looking at the painted dogs under the trees you could almost feel yourself in Africa. Enjoy the photos of your walks.
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The Joys of Walking!

Postby Gillzajoker » 01 Aug 2020 08:37

I enjoyed all those photos, Dave - and what a beautiful day it was! :D
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The Joys of Walking!

Postby Dave » 01 Aug 2020 11:42

Thanks for the comments - as always, they're much appreciated! :)

My attempts to get into trail running are continuing, with treadmill sessions most days and a 10K run-walk-run at the weekend. The treadmill sessions are iFit programmes of about 30 minutes each and I usually do a session before heading out for a normal walk. I want running to complement my walking rather than take over, and anyway, I think I'm quite good at walking, whereas I'm but a mere beginner when it comes to running! I am enjoying the challenge though. :)

This morning we again did a 10K circuit from home, going across fields to our local woods and then back across different fields. We tried a new approach this time, with my wife taking on the role of trainer. We did 3 minute runs punctuated by 1 minute recovery walks for almost the whole way and she set the pace. It went extremely well and I found it much easier than when I try to do my own thing.

Running through a field of golden barley with just yards until the woods:

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A quick pose each:

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A few attempts to take a photo while running...

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...before stopping for a moment for better results:

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This is what trail running is all about - I love it! :)

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The Joys of Walking!

Postby Gillzajoker » 02 Aug 2020 09:49

Great photos (apart from the blurry ones!), but what lovely scenery. I wouldn't mind a slow amble there! :D
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Re: The Joys of Walking!

Postby Camela » 03 Aug 2020 13:02

A few years ago we attended the wedding of a family friend at Lympne Castle - 3 days before Christmas. It was, understandably for the time of year, damp and foggy but that didn't detract from a lovely occasion in a stunning venue.
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Re: The Joys of Walking!

Postby Dave » 03 Aug 2020 15:41

Camela wrote:A few years ago we attended the wedding of a family friend at Lympne Castle - 3 days before Christmas. It was, understandably for the time of year, damp and foggy but that didn't detract from a lovely occasion in a stunning venue.

Lympne Castle is certainly a fantastic place. :thumbup:

Gillzajoker wrote:Great photos (apart from the blurry ones!), but what lovely scenery. I wouldn't mind a slow amble there! :D

Blurry photos are okay... when they're of me that is. :D
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The Joys of Walking!

Postby Dave » 03 Aug 2020 16:15

Our walk this morning was in the area between Alkham, near Dover, and Denton, a village between Folkestone and Canterbury.

The area is extremely walker-friendly, with footpaths and by-ways criss-crossing all over the place. But it's also very hilly. This part of the Kent Downs is like a giant sheet of corrugated iron, with many ridges and valleys creating lots of ascents and descents.

We parked in Alkham, from where we've done a couple of walks previously, and headed towards Denton (near Wootton on the map) to explore some new places and fill a gap on my Kent Walks map. :)

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Somewhere between Alkham and Swingfield:

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We're just about to descend a steep hill to the road below:

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We met a lot of sheep on the way. This lot were very friendly:

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The Church of St Peter at Swingfield, with a very impressive tower:

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I like farm machinery... :)

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Heading across fields towards St John's Commandery, a flint-walled 13th century chapel and hall of a 'Commandery' of Knights Hospitallers:

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More sheep:

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It wasn't all wide open spaces though and some of the footpaths were rarely used:

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Alkham nestles in a valley and returning there always provides some wonderful views:

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About a quarter of a mile to go:

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This was a brilliant walk in a fantastic area. We'll be back!

One more thing... it's been a while since I posted my Kent Walks map, so here's the current state of play as of today:

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Re: The Joys of Walking!

Postby rdw123 » 04 Aug 2020 07:22

Lovely countryside. You’re doing well covering Kent on foot. Looks like there may be a bit more to do around Tonbridge Wells area. That is a bit of a long drive from your house though. Happy hiking.
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Postby Gillzajoker » 04 Aug 2020 09:37

Good clear (!) photos of lovely scenery - I prefer 'ups-and-downs' to flatness. And WOW! you really have
covered a tremendous amount of Kent - Well done! :clap: :D
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