Author Topic: Completely covering Kent  (Read 19492 times)

WhitstableDave

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #135 on: 17:19:31, 21/08/20 »
For our walk today, I worked out a route in the far south-west corner of Kent in an area that we'd never walked before. In fact the route was so far away that most of it was in East Sussex!

We parked by a church near the village of Sandhurst and set off across farmland to join up with the Sussex Border Path. The excellent border path took us through the grounds of Bodiam Castle, past Bodiam Station on the Kent & East Sussex Railway, and on to a lovely, quiet village called Ewhurst Green. We looped back to Bodiam Castle then followed the River Rother east, before heading back to Sandhurst.



Setting off across the fields to join the Sussex Border Path. The weather began overcast and windy, but gradually improved as the day progressed:



We were still in Kent when we went through a large hop field with lush, green, mature hops...:



...and just a few yards further on, we were in a vast vineyard:



This is where we joined the Sussex Border Path:



We'd just crested the top of a hill by a path that runs alongside a vineyard when we were greeted by a fantastic sight - Bodiam Castle in all its glory. Wow!



Bodiam Castle is possibly, no almost certainly, the most castley castle in Britain. It's simply the perfect castle!





We were hoping to see a steam train of the Kent & East Sussex Railway go puffing past today, but it was always a faint hope given the current circumstances. We gather that only one train ran today and that had gone by the time we arrived. Never mind though, at least we saw Bodiam Station...



From the station, we had a very pleasant walk up the hill to Ewhurst Green and back to the castle across fields.

We followed the River Rother for a while (L) and crossed the Kent Ditch (R), which I believe marks some of the border between Kent and Sussex:



This is the Sandhurst Clock Tower, which was built in 1889 to honour a resident of the village. It stands close to a cottage we've considered renting and we took the opportunity today to take a closer look. The setting is excellent, but we were less keen on the cottage.



And finally, the church next to where were were parked:



This is a brilliant area for walking and we'll be back soon - of course I need to link up today's walk with my others, so I have to return anyway. It's a long drive from Whitstable though!

gunwharfman

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #136 on: 19:10:56, 21/08/20 »
That view of Bodium Castle from the top of the hill is quite something. I hiked from Rye on the Sussex Border Path last year. Camped about a mile away but was able to get a full veggie breakfast in the Bodium pub the next morning. I've often thought that the routes (Greensand Way, High Weald Trail, and the Sussex Border path) in Kent and Sussex are really very good. I particularly liked the High Weald Trail. The hops always stir memories in me of my youth.

WhitstableDave

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #137 on: 20:04:43, 21/08/20 »
... Camped about a mile away but was able to get a full veggie breakfast in the Bodium pub the next morning. ...
Would that be the Park Farm campsite? I noticed a footpath called 'Park Farm to Bodiam Castle Footpath' on the map.

gunwharfman

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #138 on: 20:10:46, 21/08/20 »
I came to the bridge and turned left along the edge of the river, the site was about one mile away. Very nice, the lady only charged me 5. It's mostly caravans and motor caravans but well looked after. After my breakfast, I did a complete circle of Bodium Castle and then strolled off to Hawkhurst and then camped the next night at a site near Bewl Water. A great site there as well.

WhitstableDave

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #139 on: 16:09:41, 24/08/20 »
When it became clear that we wouldn't be having a normal summer holiday this year, my wife spread her allocated days over a much longer period meaning that we've had four-day weekends for several weeks now. As a result, we've been doing walks every Monday with daughter and grandsons.  :)

I'd normally call 5.6 miles a short walk but, with two of the party being aged 5 and 7, I reckon that's quite a decent distance!

We parked by the village of Chilham and walked up a steep hill to nearby Kings Wood. Then we descended into the amazing Godmersham Park and explored a bit before heading back along the North Downs Way to Chilham.



Kings Wood. In the spring, the woodland floor here is carpeted with an incredible display of bluebells:



Heading down through the Godmersham Park estate. The large house in the distance was once owned by the brother of Jane Austen and she spent a lot of time here. Apparently, Mansfield Park is based on Godmersham Park.



The house at Godmersham Park is also used on the 10 note that features Jane Austen. I just happened to have one with me...  :)



The Great Stour - the river that flows through Canterbury - meanders its way through Godmersham Park and nowhere is it more picturesque than from the bridge here. Because it flows over the chalk of the North Downs, the water is crystal clear. After our visit to the church, we stopped for lunch on the way back beneath the large oak tree to the left:



The plaque says that Jane Austen attended the church regularly...



A rather idyllic scene, with a charming cottage, a dovecot and (in the distance) a Greek-looking folly:



Arguably, the adjacent Chilham Castle Estate is even more impressive than Godmersham Park while Chilham village is probably the most picturesque village in Kent. But one can have too much of a good thing, so perhaps another time...  :)

WhitstableDave

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #140 on: 14:59:54, 16/09/20 »
I wasn't planning to post a report of this morning's local walk that I've done many times before, but I'd never been overtaken by a Thames Barge at Faversham Creek before so I will...  :)

I reached the North Kent coast at Seasalter and walked along the sea wall beside the marshes to Faversham Creek before looping back towards home through some of my favourite rural bits. A very pleasant 17.1 miles before lunch! 



Somewhere along the sea wall - a couple of photos to show that I don't always take detours to avoid cattle...  ;)



Faversham Creek crosses the marshes on its way to Faversham. The tide was high and I saw a few boats heading out to sea. Then I noticed a Thames Barge coming up the creek towards me, so I went down to the water's edge to take some photos.



I assumed this was Greta 1892, the barge that's usually moored at Whitstable Harbour, but it was one I hadn't seen before named Ironsides. I googled it and found it was built in 1900 (so younger than Greta) and has sides made of iron!



And finally, a couple of shots from a bridge near Graveney:


Agentorange

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #141 on: 08:45:31, 17/09/20 »
I was walking out at Reculver yesterday, just a short walk 4.5 miles - east from the church , down the Rushbourne sea wall PROW back up to the coastal path and then back to Reculver.

Anyway I was driving and  saw the sign to Yorkletts and thought ( as i always do ) that it's wasted  as a place name. it really should be the name of some kind of baked good, a bit like crumpets:

" I bought this lovely strong cheddar, havent we got a packet of Yorkletts in the cupboard ? We could have toasted cheese.... "

WhitstableDave

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #142 on: 14:51:19, 17/09/20 »
I was walking out at Reculver yesterday, just a short walk 4.5 miles - east from the church , down the Rushbourne sea wall PROW back up to the coastal path and then back to Reculver.

Anyway I was driving and  saw the sign to Yorkletts and thought ( as i always do ) that it's wasted  as a place name. it really should be the name of some kind of baked good, a bit like crumpets:

" I bought this lovely strong cheddar, havent we got a packet of Yorkletts in the cupboard ? We could have toasted cheese.... "

Since you drove past Yorkletts and was intrigued by the name, I wondered if you might like to stop there one day.

The place itself isn't much more than a road full of nice houses, but behind that is a wonderful spot called Victory Woods. It's owned by the Woodland Trust and is completely open access (so you won't be trespassing!) and the neighbouring woodlands are also walker friendly.

There's a big car park at Victory Woods, just a very short distance from the Thanet Way (A299), and there's lots to see - including a nuclear bunker at the top of the hill. The views there are fantastic too.

If you're interested, I did a piece in this very topic about Victory Wood not long ago... HERE!

Warbler

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #143 on: 15:27:19, 17/09/20 »
Ref the Thames Barge......What a wonderful sight to see on a random local walk  O0


And thanks for the derivation of Ironsides  ;)

WhitstableDave

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #144 on: 22:24:49, 17/09/20 »
We're off to Devon tomorrow for a week's walking holiday, so there won't be any updates here for a while. Instead, I'll post a mini-trip report from the other day when we dropped my car off at a garage in Canterbury and walked back to Whitstable...  :)

It's only a 7 mile walk home from the garage and to make the most of it we included a few short detours.

With just a couple of miles to go, we decided to take a path across a local farm but, cresting a hill, we saw that the field ahead was full of cows. My wife doesn't like cows so, rather than retrace our last half-mile, she suggested we try to take a short cut into the nearby woods and find our way back from there.

I pointed out that we'd be trespassing until we were actually safely in the woods, then reluctantly followed her as she ignored a 'private' sign...



We headed along the field edge alongside the woods looking for a way in. Eventually, I spotted a bit that looked promising, so in we went. The brambles made a half-hearted attempt to stop us, but they were past their best and we prevailed. We eventually found a path, which fortunately led to a path I recognised and we were back on track. Who needs maps?:



An unexpected bit of adventure!  :)

WhitstableDave

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #145 on: 15:03:24, 10/10/20 »
I normally put my trip reports for outings that involve running in the Hikers Bar, but today's adventure was further afield than our usual local runs and it might be that the area we visited will be of interest to some...  :)

This morning, my wife and I drove to the White Horse Country Park car park on Detling Hill near Maidstone to do a 10k road and trail run, with the odd bit of walking thrown in.

We descended the steep hill down to Thurnham, where we joined the Pilgrim's Way. Then we ran along this very quiet country lane through Broad Street and on to the next farm. We climbed the very steep track up to the North Downs Way, which we followed back to the start.



The elevation chart shows the variety of slopes we encountered... the steep descent to Thurnham, a fairly level section before the farm, a very steep climb up to the NDW where the going was level-ish before turning extremely undulating for the final stretch!



We began with an easy run down to Thurnham:



The Pilgrim's Way and one of several lovely houses at Broad Street:



The track leading up to the North Downs Way. My wife ran most of it, while I walked the entire climb!



Fantastic views to the west and to the south from the easier bit of the North Downs Way:





A short, but very steep climb to begin the final quarter of the route - again, my wife ran it while I walked. And a view from the top:



Next followed what is probably the most challenging section of the entire North Downs Way. This part has a seemingly never-ending succession of staircases going up and down. Having got to the top of one long climb, there's an equally long steep descent that you know is completely pointless because when you get to the bottom there'll be another steep climb ahead. And again and again!



This is a bit of the final long down before the final long up. I learned one thing today though... my wife might be much better than me at running uphill, but I'm better at running down!  :)



A final note for anyone considering a walk or run involving the North Downs Way: for much of its length in Kent, the NDW runs roughly parallel to and never very far from the  Pilgrim's Way, which is usually a quiet country lane or byway at the foot of the hills. This makes planning circular routes extremely easy, because tracks link the two ways at frequent intervals.

gunwharfman

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #146 on: 17:40:30, 10/10/20 »
When I was young I used to go out with a girl from Detling and 'our' place was the Roman lookout building in the wood as you drop down to Thurnham.

In the late 50s and early 60s there was (it could still be there?) a pub in Thurnham run by a couple of sisters. A scandel made it to the front page of the Daily Mirror and a few other papers at the time. A very Senior Policeman was caught, with Council pals, drinking after closing time. If my memory serves me right the Mirror found it was a common occurance and the Policeman soon resigned.

Its a very nice area though and I'm sure ideal for your run/walk.

WhitstableDave

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #147 on: 15:51:22, 11/10/20 »
Stodmarsh National Nature Reserve is an extensive area of wetlands a few miles east of Canterbury. There is very little in the way of dry land, just some raised pathways that cross reed-covered marshes. There are several large lakes and the River Stour flows along the northern edge. This is an amazing place for peace and tranquillity and water birds! It's become something of a regular weekend feature to take our grandsons and their mum on a walk to visit somewhere local they've not seen before and today our son-in-law was able to come too.  :)

We parked at Grove Ferry, right next to the river. Our route was one that is popular in Kent walking guides; we followed a path across the marshes and went into the lovely village of Stodmarsh for a spot of sightseeing and lunch. We returned along the side of a lake (which looks green in the satellite view), then along the riverbank back to Grove Ferry.



Crossing the marshes:



Some delightful wet woodland just before Stodmarsh:



Checking the sundial in Stodmarsh, followed by a picnic lunch on the village green:



The attractive church:



Some views of the lake:





Returning along the riverbank:



This really is an enjoyable route - just 5.3 miles and almost no ascent. Highly recommended.   O0

Dodgylegs

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #148 on: 16:03:42, 11/10/20 »
Great to see your grandkids enjoying themselves.

WhitstableDave

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #149 on: 17:14:51, 11/10/20 »
Great to see your grandkids enjoying themselves.

Thank you.  :)

My daughter just posted this family selfie on Facebook...  8)