Author Topic: Walking closed roads...  (Read 160 times)

WhitstableDave

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Walking closed roads...
« on: 14:49:01, 05/04/21 »
Probably not many people get excited about road closures - especially local ones - but I sometimes do. When I saw that a considerable section of the road between nearby Chestfield and further away Canterbury was closed for road works, I saw my chance...  :)

I welcome the opportunity to see familiar places from a different perspective. I've driven along this road hundreds of times, but I'd never walked it before. It's not that it's not a delightful route, but because it's simply too dangerous to walk. It's an unrestricted road with many bends and while it's possible to walk along the verge in places, there are other bits where you can't get off the road and be safe when cars hurtle towards you.

It was a very cold morning, with a stiff wind and snow flurries early on - I can see a snow flake in the photo below (in front of the tree trunk near my wife's left shoulder!). Here, we're arriving at the closed road having taken some of our favourite local field paths:



After we passed through the short section of road works, I looked back and took this photo: 



And then we had a good couple of miles of walking along a nearly deserted road. I say 'nearly' because three cars drove past towards the roadworks, then passed us again going the other way after they realised the 'Road Closed' sign they'd ignored was being serious...



The woods between Chestfield and Canterbury form part of The Blean - a huge area of ancient woodland - and most of the trees just here are oaks. When their leaves come out, the road will be transformed into a glorious tunnel...



To make the walk a circuit, we turned off onto farmland and walked the couple of miles to a farm on the Crab and Winkle Way from where we headed home again through another part of the woods...



Beans. There seem to be a lot this year...



Part of the Crab and Winkle Way cycle path, followed by a nicer narrow footpath:



That's the third time I've taken advantage of roadworks to walk a road I wouldn't have walked otherwise; the others were a narrow road between fields just half-a-mile away and a section of the Thanet Way - a fast 'A' road. As they say, variety is the spice of life!  ;)

ninthace

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Re: Walking closed roads...
« Reply #1 on: 15:28:44, 05/04/21 »
If you want to enjoy the really wide open spaces you can walk the entire trans Pennine section of the A66 from Brough to Bowes if you want. It's a two lane dual carriageway with wide open vews - miles of it, and all to your self!

Just choose a time when the snow gates are down.  Can be a bit cold and drafty though, I speak as one who knows  O0 
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WhitstableDave

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Re: Walking closed roads...
« Reply #2 on: 17:04:04, 05/04/21 »
Thanks for the suggestion, but for me it's really about two things: experiencing a route I know extremely well in a completely different way by really 'being there' instead of 'not really seeing things' through a car window as they rush by; and adding some brand new GPS tracks to my 'Completely Covering Kent' map.  ;)

ninthace

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Re: Walking closed roads...
« Reply #3 on: 17:23:33, 05/04/21 »
 I lived within sight of the lights announcing the A66 was closed so it was local and it was the route from home to Barnard Castle.  It is a major no go for walkers most of the time and the gates only come down if the powers that be can't keep the road open by virtue of the weather.  Under those circumstance you certainly get the feeling of "being there" to the point where you wish you weren't and the smallest feature that you normally drive by achieves a major significance in working out where you are along the road.

In a similar vein the fell road from Brough to Middleton used to be closed from time to time.  I have walked that when the conditions were so bad that I was driven back by a whiteout and had to find my way down using my trekking poles to feel the edge of the cut made by the plough.  One really gets to know a road under those circumstances.  It can also be an hell of an adventure!
« Last Edit: 17:58:31, 05/04/21 by ninthace »
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