The walk began at the car park in Shorne Country Park. There being no new cars this week, a prompt start was possible. Taking the black route from the car park we eventually went downhill to the faerie ring. There were a number of offers to complete the picture but our photographer felt it was inappropriate to spoil the shot of inanimate wood carvings found in the faerie ring by the inclusion of any real fairies. Immediately beyond the ring is the notorious Cardiac Hill. This was not the only time that the four letter word, hill, would pass the lips of our most senior walker accompanied by a range of adjectives – some appropriate, others less so. The view at the top of the hill of the Thames is special. The woodland however is starting to encroach and it is likely that the view will disappear in time. Turning left and leaving the park from the northern exit we passed along an overgrown path until we eventually reached Shorne Ifield Road. At Upper Ifield we took the footpath known as Muggins Lane north towards the A226 and Chalk. This took us through a field of linseed and provided a number of views of the Thames. Upon reaching the A266 we crossed over to take the bridleway to the church. The Parish church of Chalk, lies a mile east of Chalk village which is where Dickens spent his honeymoon. The Parish church of the Virgin Mary is an 11th century church and overlooks the north Kent marshes. The church was closed but over the doorway is a small niche. This used to house the statue of the Virgin Mary which has long since disappeared. Lunch was taken in the graveyard.
Setting back on our return journey we retraced our steps to the A266, pausing only to allow the junior member of the group and most forgetful to return to the church porch to retrieve his walking stick! Turning eastward for about a kilometre along the A266 towards Gad’s Hill we eventually reached the path heading towards Shorne. The path which is clearly marked again allows views of the shipping on the Thames. It was at this point cousin number two raised a deep philosophical question – what is the difference between a boat and a ship? There followed a lengthy discussion which concluded that a ship can carry a boat eg a lifeboat, but a boat can’t carry a ship. This seemed to satisfy the assembled masses until someone pointed out that a submarine is always a boat and no-one knows what the Americans consider a boat or a ship. It was at this point that a conclusion was rapidly drawn – who cares? - or words to that effect. During the course of the discussion a ship, or was it a boat, in the distance had travelled at least a kilometre.
The path eventually reaches the village of Shorne. Following the road round to the Street and through the village, we found ourselves at the foot of Tanyard Hill. The senior member of the group, cousin number one, spotted the hill but fortunately, those at the front were beyond hearing distance and were not aware of the concern that hills can generate amongst those with a phobia of hills. At the top of the hill by Tanyard cottage, we took the right fork along Woodlands Walk. This led eventually to Shorne Country Park where we rejoined the black route back, past the lake to the Visitors centre and the promised cup of tea.
There were five participants who competed the 5 mile distance.
Start Of Walk at Shorne Country Park
Blot On The Landscape
River Thames In the Distance
You Can Just See Shorne Church
Mary The Virgin Church At Shorne
Fishing lakes At The Country Park , Our Return