The group again gathered in the church car park at Doddington before setting off down Church Hill. We have traditionally kept to the north of the village but today, feeling fearless, we set off towards the south. On the side of the hill there is a tree with an unusual metal bracket growing from its trunk. There were various thoughts as to what it might have supported but after some discussion it remained a mystery. At the bottom of the hill we turned left along the Street. After a couple of hundred yards a path leads across a newly harvested corn field towards Seed. Energing from a small copse onto Hopes Hill we turned left eventually arriving at the hamlet of Seed where we turned right past Foxenden Manor before taking a footpath on the left. Following the path for about a mile we arrived at a Slade Road. The sun was trying to come out but unfortunately failed miserably. Keeping to the road for a further half mile we turned left at the T junction. Following the road for a couple of hundred yards we then took a bridleway on the right towards Birchwood. The bridleway joins Seed Road. Taking a path on the right we crossed several fields which involving ascending and descending a few minor ‘slopes’. The conversation must have been even more interesting than usual as never a moan was heard about the aforementioned ‘slopes’!
At the point where the path meets Lady Margaret Manor Road we took the decision to deviate from the planned route in order to seek out a log for lunch. Turning left instead of right we arrived at another hamlet, Greet, passing somewhere called Takarazuka on the way. Greet is very small – only a couple of nice houses but there seemed to be some evidence of the ruins remaining from Lady Margaret Manor. In the fourteenth century the Manor was a stopping place for Canterbury Pilgrims. Little is known about the Manor between the intervening years until the twentieth century when a friend of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr Josiah Oldfield, bought the attached derelict oast house, Ellens Court. The only habitable remains of the Manor are Ellens Court.
The road carries on towards Warren Street turning into Payden Street. On the side of the road behind the hedge we spotted what we at first thought was a dead sheep laying in the hedgerow. We were wrong in our original assessment but the sheep was clearly near to expiring with only the slightest movement of its chest obvious. Unfortunately there was no-one around to report to. A few hundred yards further on we left the road to take a path through Oakenpole Woods. In the woods we found a picnic bench conveniently positioned for lunch. Finishing his lunch early the Welsh mountain goat set off on an expedition into the woods proudly returning with a tea pot! It was a shame that he hadn’t gone further into the woods as he might have found the path that we began looking for after lunch. Following what we thought was the right route we were soon off piste fighting through a jungle. We eventually reached the edge of the wood where we would have been if we had found the correct path. The path then heads north past Filmer Wood on the left and Kings Acre Wood on the right before reaching Lenham Road and returning to Doddington village. Opposite the end of Lenham Road we took the footpath up the hill across a cow field before arriving at the disused plum orchard. The plums were riper this week. Following the path towards Chequers Hill we came upon a box of windfall apples kindly left out for passing travellers. These quickly disappeared. Passing a new housing development we crossed Chequers Hill before taking the return path to the church car park.
Five of the group walked the 6.5mile route.
|Alpha Dog in the lead|
|Its an horse waiting for the pantomime season when ALL actors can get work.|
|Look at him saying"you're wasting YOUR time,MY time and the CLASS'S time(and yes that is correct use of an apostrophe.|