Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A South East Meet - Cranbrook 5 January 2014

So 2014 is now with us. A new year and a new set of walks in places familiar and not so familiar. With 2013 now out the way it is time to burn off a few of the Christmas and new year calories with this walk.

An easy walk to start the new year off starting in the free car park just off Carriers Road in Cranbrook. The car park is sandwiched between the church and the library.This walk starts and finishes on the High Weald Landscape Trail. A long distance path from Surrey and Kent.

Starting off in an easterly direction keeping the church on our right we soon enter a large green area with a children's play area on our right. Here we met with what was one of many fallen trees. A leftover from the recent storms. This one though we had to go around.

 Of course we had to make the best of the playground.

Along the field now which was quite wet and squelchy with all the rain. Crossing the road and following the wide track. Soon the the High Weald Trail takes a sharp right. We did the same following the route. At the bottom of the field, just before we cross a small brook we entered a small copse.

I think this sign is more appropriate in summer. I cannot really see Adders being there in winter, or in this mud

Derek decides if life is just not worth it

Did i say we had some mud. Thank you Mr farmer.

Carrying on  we reach another road where we turn right along the Tarmac before heading left again, still on the High Weald Trail.

Passing Paddocks farm it was  a gentle stroll along the next few fields, all of which were mostly flat

Crossing another small stream via a wooden bridge. We actually crossed quite a few of these on this walk. We then entered Crabtree farm and wandered along the paths before entering the grounds of Benenden School.

In the farmers garden. A posh BBQ?

This footpath runs right through this private school. Past the games fields. I wonder what the staff and pupils of this £10,800 per term school really think about walkers just wandering around the grounds? The footpaths though are well marked in the grounds.

The main building of the school

Out of the school grounds and along the road we soon enter Tottenden Wood. On our walk up here we found the only geocache that intended looking for today. What a brilliant one it was as well. Well crafted and a large size.

Now still looking for the picnic benches that were supposed to be around, we ended up sitting on a fallen fir tree to sit and eat our lunch.

Not quite the Ritz

Fully refreshed it was onwards and upwards, north that is, through the woodland

Out and left along the road we soon enter Milestone Wood before branching off into Copden Wood. From here a short diagonal hop across the road took us into the grounds of Sissinghurst Castle.

After crossing the road we entered Roundshill park woods which looks like its part of the Sissinghurst Estate.. Wandering parallel with the road before turning right where we followed the path up to the two lakes, just south of the castle. Turning right again between the two lakes we came to an interesting stile. Derek just had to have a play with it.

From here we walked up to the main building. All shut down for winter sadly. Tea shop was closed, but we did make use of the picnic tables to stop and have a brew while we took it in turns to use the only open toilet. OK so it was the disabled one. But who was looking.

All suitably refreshed and comforted after the break it was on with the walk. Through the car park and over the orchard to the top right hand corner. Here a wide track leads down to the road. At the road, cross the stile into another orchard. The path actually goes diagonally through the orchard before ending on the main road outside Sissinghurst.

Turn right and enter the village, passing the fine church. Just past here go left down a lane for a few yards to take the footpath on the right. On this path just follow your nose, straight on all the way back to the car park. Shortly before you reach the end you re-join the path you walked out on.

And finally almost back at the car. Time foe Andrew to do his "how low can you limbo" trick with the fallen tree. Well done Andrew

Thank you for reading this. Now please go yourself and walk in 'My Garden'

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A South East Meet - Folkestone to Dover

Sunday 20 October saw me and a few friends meet up for a walk along the Clifftops between Folkestone and Dover. I was supposed to meet them at Dover to get the train to Folkestone. But an accident on the A2 near Canterbury closed the road and i was late. Plane "B" was hatched and after a quick phone call i met them at Folkestone near the harbour.

Folkestone Harbour                     

Folkestone Beach

A walk past the harbour around the sea front before starting to climb slowly onto the clifftops....

Martello Tower

.......passing a couple of Martello towers.

 Then it was along the top and onto the Battle of Britain Memorial.

From here it was just a case of keeping sea onour right all the way. From here onwards we passed some old wartime battlements and structures, all of which were explored.

Trig Point

Now as we pass ove rthe top of Samphire Hoe.....

......passing a trig point that only about 3 feet from dropping off the edge

Knights Templar Church
we meandered our way down into Dover.
Drop Redoubt

Drop Redoubt

 After walking and following the North Downs Way we headed uphill again. This time to explore around Drop Redoubt

                                                                                 ....... and back down the final hill to the rail station