Paleolithic rock shelter.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Extra walk-Charing Eastwell Challock and back

Check out the disgraceful Electrical installation on this G1 Listed building!
The rangey came up this hill-full marks for courage

These woods,when dark and rainy are a bit spooky,you can imagine that someone or something is watching you and will leap out on you when you aren't looking

I was just saying that the last time I walked up here (1998) a LandRover made it necessary to climb over the fence to proceed - - -lo and behold

We decided to do a supplimentary walk,as the world had gone a bit mad buying enough food for two weeks

We caught the train to Charing and walked to the village,bought a sausage roll and coffee at the butchers,and retired to the church yard to eat it.The weather was milder (4 C)with no wind,and the sun rising over the yardarm.Uphill at the start and then along the NDW to Eastwell ,not too muddy,as the ground was still hard from last night (-4 C)We saw a helicoptor bringing guests to the Eastwell hotel,and then climbed the hill to Challock Church.Isolated after the Black Death,the church stands alone in the woods.
Up to the Charing-Canterbury road and then along the road and in to Paddock Farm.
There was a bench seat in the woods where we had our coffee and sandwiches.
We went through the woods to the sound of a shoot,which was coming to an end and then crested the downs and turned into Wrotham wood,where there was another shoot and we left the wood under the advice of a beater as a safety measure!
Past the gliding club and onto the Green Lane where we encountered a range Rover taking up the whole path.we squeezed past and descended the hill,which was steep rutted and very flinty to emerge on the NDW again and past Burnt Farm and down into the village
As we had just missed the hourly train,we called at the pub where a request for the advertised soup,brought the reply thht "It was only cuppa soup" so we passed on that one.
We caught the punctual train back.
A walk of 13 miles with 2 extra from the station -15 in all.
A hot bath,mug of tea and chocoalte biscuit and the road to recovery

p.s We didn't see anyone else walking the footpaths-we must be a dying breed.

Below-This chopper was bringing people to the Eastwell Hotel for a wedding? The helicopters are operated by AV8 of Rochester airport,who charter them for private ,or corporate trips,according to my aviation contact

the last time we walked this exposed field was in a force 9 gale with horizontal rain and serious mud-what a contrast now

Below Challock Church a classic isolated position after The Black death caused the village to up sticks and go a mile up the road.(what was left of them)All the thatched wattle and daub houses fell into disrepair.Interestingly,on the satellite view ,crop marks indicate the position of the old village
the Church at Challock,I once heard a child screaming through the thick fog,and blundered about 1Km out of my way to investigate what was up.It turned out to be a litle darling having a tizzy,who had been dragged out of church for misbehaving

Below -another view of the hedge on the Pilgrims way(a victorian invention)/North Downs Way

below-a very mature layered hedge ,you might see the width of the branches

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Otham Village to Harrietsham and back

the Barbican at Leeds Castle being re-refurbished

Its frozen across the moat and the ducks are pedestrians

A black swan (pretty obvious really)

He's quaffed half his beer whilst he was waiting

Ham, Egg,Chips and Peas ,and a little salad

Fish and Chips and Peas ,and a little salad

Sausage Egg Chips and Peas

Sausage mash and Peas

The Roebuck 01622-858388 Our Pub of The Year award 2007

The footpath transits the front and back garden of this house(up the steps)

Milling about waiting for an Alpha male to take charge

First-the statistics.The winter solstice being our rough anniversery of conception.
in 2006 we walked 351 miles (584 Km) in 181.5 hour
in 2007 we walked 360 miles (599 Km) in 181.7 hours (spooky)
that's 711 total.
Today ,7 of us RV @ The war memorial at Otham green for a walk through the orchards to
Harrietsham,the Roebuck Inn
Cold ,hovering around 1 celcius with no wind and a wintery sun ,trying its best to assert itself.
We took a slightly differnt route out,this time,and passed through several farmyards.
The mud was mostly frozen,and until we reached water lane was not a problem!
we rang The Roebuck to advise them of ETA and numbers and turned up at about 12.15.
We selected a meal from the senior citizens menu (£3.95 including pudding)
The staff were very welcoming and accomodating,and cheerful,(and v pretty)After warming ourselves for an hour we set back.
The sun began to give up its struggle and fell back towards the horizon,and it started to get a bit colder.Fatigue began to set in a bit,as I had underestimated the distance which instead of 10 miles was actually 12.
back through Leeds Castle grounds and across fields to the RV point.
A good,tiring walk,a hot bath ,and a cup of tea,and an equal strain on all parts.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


High res Spy satellite pic of walk click to enlarge you might see as going in the pub
Lord Brabazon in the French imported aircraft at Leysdown

The main view of the aircraft at muswell manor before WW1 with Rolls and Royce,Orville Wright and the Short bros present

Your local Member of Parliament ejecting wisdom from the rear end

The view of the location of the first flight by a powered aircraft in England

The Chain link??,probably worth lots of money as scrap(if you could move it)

Must be HQ steel as there is no corrosion despite being immersed in brine

Shell Ness Beach ,so called cos its got wall to wall shells

A day that started at -4 C but thankfully no wind at all.with 6 walkers

Very sunny and very clear skies.Perfect walking weather.

We parked at Muswell Manor and strted along the sea wall to Shellness.

Startlingly,we could hear a heavy marine diesel throbbing across the Thames ,but the nearest ship was about 20 miles away.This seemed to ba a characteristic of the icy cold still weather and gave a ducting effect to the sound.As we later heard fishing vessels very loudly but could only see them on the horizon.

We carried on past the empty nudist beach to Shellness and encountred a massive chain link(from an anchor)buried in the sand(see photo)A Jack Russell terrier joined us and made friends shyly after about 10 minutes.After about a mile he set off home again.

We saw Marsh Harriers hunting,loads of Pheasants and Partridges and lots of Oyster catchers.

We arrived at the Harty Inn at about 12.45 it was warm ,but the meal at £8 was a bit of a joke for a Kent Frozen Food pie with a hint of salad and about 8 chips on the plate.

We will not be going back there again as they have priced themselves out of our budget.

Back towards Harty Church and along the concrete roads(a joy)Still no wind and very bright sunshine.After about 8 or 9 miles we had returned to the cars ,where we said our farewells,and will meet up again next week.

Video Clip of the Usual suspects,who should have been at home with a rug on their knees,not getting up to mischief like schoolboys

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Dinner at Larkfield

Ditton Lab staff April 1983 only one remains after 24 years ,and he retires soon.

Eighteen or maybe even twenty of us attended at the happy wanderers dinner last weds,at the Chimneys restaurant larkfield.No one thought to take any pix,so I have cheated slightly.

Lunch was excellent,with a varied menue ,some going for Roast beef and some for Turkey.

Norman ,Iris and even Trevor came,although not walkers,are valued friends.