Paleolithic rock shelter.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

BlueBell Hill to the Medway crossing 31 May

A fine view of the Medway flood plain towards East Malling.
Seven of us set out on a grey cloudy and coldish day from the Bluebell Hill picnic site.
We walked along the ancient trackway which is sometimes erroneously named the pilgrims way.
This route has existed for tens of thousands of years ,and along its route we passed a Tumulus and the site where the Roman Legion under Vespasian laagered by the River Medway facing the defending "British"tribes on the far bank,in 43 AD. A specialist team of swimming troops and cavalry outflanked the local tribes and attacked them from the front and the rear simeltaneously.
We carried on along the Trackway to Borstal and made our way onto the road bridge,where there is pedestrian and cycle access.After a short break on the other side ,we returned and followed the motorway and rail link until we turned into the Bridge woods .
After an uphill struggle we emerged at the Robin Hood pub,which has roots going back 600 years .
I wonder if medieval travellers had to go and get their own eating irons,when their lunch was served?
After a good lunch we ambled back to the picnic site via the nature reserve,noting the fine views again.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


24th of May and we RV'd at Teston Picnic and parking area,and using Mike Easterbrook's Kent Nature Walks book (walk 6)we set off along the towpath ,and as you can see from the picture taken from the Wier,the river is quite lively today.A good dry walk towards Wateringbury passing many boats,a few of the narrowboat owners wishing us a cheery good morning.
At Wateringbury bridge we carried on along the northern bank and overshot our footpath connection over the Medway Valley rail line,we had a coffee break and found our bearings and walked up to the church at Nettlestead (15th centuryand )went in and had a look around.
This area is well connected with the English civil war when the Roundheads outflanked the Royalists in Maidstone by crossing the river and creeping up behind them!
We came upon the Millpond and Mill and a lovely picturesque little enclave ,read the map properly and then set off for Wateringbury.
We had lunch (excellent) at the Railway Tavern big deep plates and lots of gravy,and welcoming staff.It had darkened considerably and when we reluctantly decided to tear ourselves away and set off we were debating as to whether waterproofs were needed.
Within five minutes it was decided for us,as it started to pour with rain,this followed us most of the way back along the south bank of the Medway,and we sheltered by a barn for 5 minutes.
Over the old stone bridge(made famous in the British war film "Dunkirk")and back to the car

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Fossil Hunt Herne Bay 17 May

A sunny day with some cloud.A walk along the foreshore under the sandy cliffs towards Reculver.
Obvious signs in the cliff strata ,of fossilised sea shells(very fragile)but the shark's teeth were elusive,and a low spring tide was needed to be in with a chance of finding any.Several parties of schoolchildren on the beach on a field trip,the teacher being quizzed by me for information.
At the visitor's centre (notice the apostrophe)we were mistaken for a Last of the Summer Wine tribute band.
We arrived at Reculver,and spotted a little cafe and had the usual english breakfast,reasonably priced and very welcome.We walked back along the top and then descended to the promenade ,enjoying the views of the Thames estuary and the new wind farm.About 6 miles in all.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


A warm day,cloudy to start but the sun coming out as the mist burns off.
Our walk started at Chilham car park and we made our way along to the North Downs way in the Kings Wood,hoping to stop at Molash for a break.
Unfortunately,after stopping for coffee and sandwiches in the woods ,the navigation went a bit wrong and we set off to the west instead of north (the path did look invitingly correct)However after some discussion we came out by a road and were able to fix our location and make our way (publess) back to the north downs way and return through the woods to Chilham.The Bluebells were striking and very blue ,and the pub had some bitter this time so we weren't.
Many pictures were taken and these are just a few examples.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

4 May Aylesford Towpath to Maidstone

click to enlarge AYLESFORD BRIDGE

A Hot sunny day,excellent weather,and a walk starting at Aylesford and going along the crumbling towpath along the Medway.Passing the timberyard at Cobtree wharf,we continued to Allington lock,where the Malta Inn was being refurbished(big dissapointment)we continued along the river passing some large houseboats and dutch barges as well as the occasional narrowboat.
This section is the "Millenium walk"and passes under 2 new stainless steel bridges ,and along to the new development of flats that replaces the old sweet factory etc that used to be there.
Arriving at the bridges and Bishops Palace we stopped for an ice cream and explored under the busy road,the old bridge over the River Len which is almost obscured by concrete but is 800 years old.
We decided to get the pleasure craft back to Allington lock,and there was great rejoicing when it was discovered that the bar on the boat was open.
An interesting commentary and a different perspective on the river,very worth while.
At Allington we walked back to Aylesford and decided to visit the medieval Chequers Inn where my father once stood in as publican for a fortnight.