Today’s walk began early at 9.45 as a scorcher had been predicted by the met office. Convening in the Doddington parish church car park we set off east past the cheerily named Beheading of St John the Baptist Church towards Doddington Place. It was at this point that our photographer, having thought that his camera had been fixed, realised that it hadn’t - hence the dearth of photos on this week’s blog. Our deputy photographer being on a two week leave of absence somewhere in Norway was sorely missed. Reaching the grounds of Doddington Place the path crosses a grazing field containing a number of sheep called ‘Shawn’ who were already seeking shelter in the shade of trees. We also sought the shade by entering Sharsted Wood. Taking the central path until reaching a tree house we turned northwards before reaching the Court. The tree house appears to have been developed further since our last visit as it now contains storage space for logs at its base. The path eventually reaches the M2 which we crossed before joining Tickham Lane. Passing on the road by Mountfield Farm we took a footpath towards Lynsted Park. At this point there was a healthy discussion about the dynamics of fly swatting using an electronic tennis racket style swat. The challenge of swatting moths was explored. It was felt that the density of a moth is likely to be less than that of a fly and thus it will be forced forward out of the range of the swat when attempting a forward motion. This was another one of those ‘who cares’ moments but did provide a few minutes rest to enable us to take on board liquid refreshment.
Upon reaching Lynsted Park there is a pleasant cricket green with some sofas and cushions on the boundary for spectators. We resisted the temptation to rest at this point as it was already too hot. Crossing Lynsted Park we headed for the cherry orchard at Lynsted Court. Here there are benches and although relatively early in the walk luncheon was taken. The farmer was picking a few baskets of cherries before setting off to Whitstable to sell them. It appears that the market for cherries is not good and he had organised a cherry picking day for Saturday. Having received his blessing to pick a few of the white cherries, we supplemented lunch with a desert before setting off for the village of Lynsted.
The name Lynsted comes from the Old English ‘Linde Stede’ meaning ‘the place of the lime tree’, which is presumable why, as part of the Queens Jubilee, a small leafed lime tree was planted on the side of the road entering the village. The sign recognising the tree is set back off the road and almost obscured by undergrowth. Reaching the village, opposite the church there is a footpath. It is not well marked but again provided some welcome shade. We crossed Mill Lane and after about a mile rejoined Tickham Lane where we met a group of four other walkers making their way to the pub in Lynsted! Looking back at this point there are some spectacular views of the Kingsferry Bridge over the Swale. The path then leads through the orchards of Layterton and Monks Farm before reaching Norton Road. This is a well maintained tree lined road with the trees cultivated to act as wind breaks for the fruit trees in the orchards. It leads onto a footpath which returned us across the M2. A liquid refreshment break was taken whilst listening to the music created by the traffic on the M2 below. We continued along the path for about a mile before reaching Sharsted Court. At this point we re-entered Sharsted Wood and retraced the earlier part of the walk to Doddington Place. It was noticeable that there were even more shorn sheep resting under the trees. Passing the church and the AA 5 star bed and breakfast accommodation we reached the carpark to find that the sun had moved further round and that cars were unprotected. The temperature at this point was 32 degrees. There were six walkers who travelled the 6.5 miles in a heat wave – mad dogs and Englishmen!
The above text by one of the few educated ones in the group , and the youngest
Note , the repaired camera did not work so we had to revert to using the camera on the phone which is very poor quality To make matters worse the better photographer was still on his cruise so we are stuck with the following photos . I took a few at the start as one it was hard work using the phone camera plus it then simply got too hot .
Yes we did pick a few but with the farmers say so and yes they were very nice but a bit battered at the end of the walk