2 friends and the coast to coast walk

Last Warm-up Walk Before the Y3P by gleavem
March 31, 2010, 12:15 pm
Filed under: exercise, friends, training | Tags: , ,

Although the forecast was for heavy rain, I was determined to make it out for a walk this weekend.  We met friends at Westerham, tucked into a delicious pub lunch, and fully fuelled headed out for a walk through the woods south of the town.  It’s fair to say that perhaps we should have had a lighter lunch before the walk; the boys pies were massive and we were much slower than normal for the first hour or so.  Happily the weather was much kinder than expected and there were only one or two little drops of rain, and most of the time we were just walking in t-shirts, which made a lovely change.

We started by following the Greensand Way south into Squerryes Park, and on to Goodley Stock.  We stayed on the Greensand Way all the way to French Street, where we picked up a track through Hosey Common to return to Westerham.  Although not a very long walk, it was a very enjoyable one.  We always like walking in woodland, and the woods around Westerham were lovely, and the land undulating enough to get our legs working a little.  I’d love to return again in a few weeks as much of the woodland looked like it would be awash with bluebells. 

So that was our last walk before the Y3P (Yorkshire 3 peaks) and our holiday in the lakes.  The weather doesn’t look good for the Easter weekend, but we’ll go fully prepared for wind, driving rain, bogs and maybe even snow, and perhaps we’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Happy Easter Everyone!


Apologies. by gleavem
March 20, 2010, 5:06 pm
Filed under: training | Tags: , ,

Apologies for the distinct lack of posts the past couple of weeks; we’ve been busy seeing family, viewing houses and selling our house, so there’s not been much time for walking unfortunately.  However we’ll be back out on the paths tomorrow as we tackle Ramsgate to Canterbury once again.  We’ve done this twice before (once in each direction) and although it’s not the best walk ever, being in ever-so flat Kent, it is a good distance and it is easy to get the train home at the end of it.

Hopefully Chris and Emma will be joining us; they are walking the 3 peaks with us in a couple of weeks, and tomorrow will be the first time we’ve walked with them.  All fingers are crossed for good weather and good walking.  I shall report back asap.

[Edit]  Walk didn’t happen…dont ask!  I obviously shouldn’t jinx these things by writing about them!

What a Wet Walk! by gleavem
February 23, 2010, 9:52 am
Filed under: friends, training, weather | Tags: , , ,

Saturday was a glorious day here in the south east; wonderfully sunny and mild, I was even driving with the window down. It seemed spring had arrived!  Unfortunately we went for a walk on Sunday, which was cloudy, grey and very wet!

We met our good friends Dan and Hatti at a parking spot near Flimwell in Kent, ready for a walk which would take in Bewl water and Bedgebury forest.  We had our waterproofs and boots (although only Dan was wise enough to bring his waterproof trousers), so we headed out into the weather.  Why did we choose to walk here?…simply because it was about half way between us and our friends and looked interesting on the map.

As we headed towards and around Bewl water it rained and rained and rained, and was very wet underfoot.  It was a relief anytime we entered a wooded area as the trees did offer a little shelter.  After a couple of hours we passed a Little Chef, we stopped in for the loo and ended up staying for hot chocolate and toast.  To be honest the little chef is not our normal tea break spot whilst walking, and I wouldn’t necesarily choose it again (since it cost us £20!) but it was there and we were wet and cold.  Of course once we stopped, so did the rain, and some rays of sunshine were even spotted through the window.

Refreshed and somewhat drier, we headed out to relish walking with our hoods down for a while, a feat we managed for almost an hour I think.  We meandered through Cats wood (getting slightly off course) and through a free range chicken farm, then the rain returned, heavier and wetter.  Consequently we didn’t wander around Bedgebury as much as we might have liked, instead deciding to return to the car and find ourselves some lunch.

This was another nice walk, and would obviously be lovely on a sunny (or at least dry) day.  It wasn’t particularly hilly, so that’s something we’ll be looking for in next weeks walk. There are practically no pics to go with this walk as it was just too wet and all views were shrouded in cloud and mist, but here’s one:

And here’s the route.  It’s not 100% accurate but you get the idea.

North Downs Way 1 by gleavem
February 17, 2010, 10:30 pm
Filed under: training, weather | Tags: , ,

The North Downs Way
For our first proper walk of 2010 we headed to the Kent section of the North Downs Way.  We decided to start from Chilham (a really pretty village) and follow the North Downs Way to Wye (another pretty, sleepy village), returning by train.

On the way to Chilham the weather was looking good – plenty of winter sunshine between fluffy broken clouds, however by the time we arrived the area was covered in a thick blanket of cloud.  As I’m sure many of you have heard or seen, Kent had quite a dumping of snow last week, consequently our route was a mixture of snow, frosty puddles and slippy or slushy mud.

This was a very nice walk; lots of variety, with forest paths, open fields and quiet country lanes along the way.  We didn’t see many people along the way; a few dog walkers, a few cyclists and a chap feeding his horse.  There were a few gentle inclines to get our legs going, and lots of nice views to over the snowy Kentish downs as a bonus.

Here’s a link to the route and here’s a few pics:
Start of walk photoSnowy pathSnowy vista

Putting the boots back on…at last! by gleavem
May 9, 2009, 8:06 am
Filed under: exercise, training, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

This bank holiday Monday we finally managed to dust off our walking gear and stretch our legs.  We didn’t stray far from home; just over to Thornden and West Blean woods near Canterbury, parking at Gypsy corner.  It was a fairly flat, but pleasant walk through the woodland (a short stretch across fields) enjoying the many bluebells and nice weather.  The surroundings were a bit mixed at times, as there were large expanses of deforestation which looked a bit like the end of the world! Despite this is was an enjoyable walk in the sunshine.

Bluebells 2

Since the 3-peaks is just over a month away it was comforting to find that our boots still felt comfy and familiar, and we had no trouble covering the 7 or so miles in a little figure of 8.  We might try to getout on our bikes for a change this weekend, before a much-anticipated week in the Lake District – hooray!

Windy Lyminge by gleavem
August 11, 2008, 12:44 pm
Filed under: exercise, training, weather | Tags: , ,

Yesterday was our final training walk before we begin the C2C.  We plotted a circular route from Lyminge, via Stowting, Rhodes Minnis and Elham. It’s a lovely area we’ve walked in once before (Barham-Elham Circular), its got some hills (by Kentish standards anyway), nice scenery and plenty of little village pubs for lunch or refreshment! The only down side to this walk was the wind, and as Sid reminded me frequently, he HATES WIND!

We started by taking the Elham Valley Way (EVW) south out of Lyminge, until we met the North Dows Way (NDW) at Swingfield radio station.  We than followed the NDW past Postling, through some very undulating access land to Hempton farm.  From here we continued on the NDW to Stowting, where we had a delicious lunch (NB: Sid is never again to have Lasagne whilst walking) at the Tiger Inn.  Taking a small path north out of Stowting we passed some noisy nosey geese and encountered our first major navigational challenge. 

Let me pause here to fill you in a little on a recent purchase: Pete Hawkins’ book on map and compass skills. I’ve just finished reading it and Sid is nearly at the end, all I can say is why oh why didn’t we read this years ago!  Those of you who are regular readers will knpw that we often face some navigational challenges, and don’t quite know exactly where we are at all times…well not any more!  As well as being our last training walk, this was our chance to try out our newly learnt navigational skills; we made a route card, we took bearings, we adjusted for magnetic variation, we took back bearings, we “ticked off” and consequently we didn’t get lost!!

To continue the story we came into a field of broad beans; the path through them strted on roughly the right bearing, but fizzled out to nothing about half way across the field.  Surrouded by above head-heigh beans, we were forced to forge our own path to the boundary! On exiting the field we were obviosuly unsure whether it was us of the field that was in the wrong; by a couple of bearings soon told us that we were where we should have been but the path was missing! 

Anyway, we continued up Stowting Hill (a bit of a slog after lunch) to reach Highfields farm, where we headed east through the woods to Rhodes Minnis and onwards to Elham. After a refreshing diet coke, we rejoined the EVW for a plesant low-level stroll back to Lyminge.

Highlights of this walk: lots of friendly dogs, good views, nice lunch & our superb navigational skills!

Chilham to Wye by theshed
July 6, 2008, 4:58 pm
Filed under: training, weather | Tags:

[blip.tv ?posts_id=1061240&dest=32499]

Michelle and I walked from Chilham to Wye on 6th July 2008.  The plan was to walk back again but the weather turned out a bit rubbish.  Click on the video to play it or follow this link to go over to blip.tv where the video is hosted..  Hope you enjoy it.  And any recommendations for how-to-navigate book would be welcome!