2 friends and the coast to coast walk

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!


A Change of Plan by gleavem
March 1, 2010, 6:27 pm
Filed under: exercise, friends, weather | Tags: , , , ,

This Sunday’s walk was meant to be a biggy, both in terms of distance and in terms of people.  The plan was to get 6 of the Yorkshire 3-peakers together to practice walking together over a longish distance around Ditchling and Devils Dyke.  Yet again Sunday started as a miserable day and we lost two walkers before we even left the house.  We consulted the others and opted for a shorter walk near them so we could more easily escape the weather.

The walk started at the pub in Skimmington, where we picked up the Greensand Way, following it to the top of Colley Hill:
View from Colley Hill

We’d all learnt from the previous week and were fully waterproofed-up.  It rained on and off for much of the walk, though the rain was fairly light and we could take our hoods down occasionally.  The ground however was saturated after a week of rain and there were massive puddles and lots of mud everywhere:
Very wet path

Folly ceiling

We walked along the ridge, passing a beautiful folly and a victorian water tower, before joining the North Downs Way for a while.  This section passed through some lovely woodland and we’d love to walk here again on a sunny day.  Turning south to Buckland we began to head back to Skimmington and our pub lunch (delicious and very welcome).  In the end the rain eased off and we had a thoroughly enjoyable and varied walk, despite the mud (route).
On the bridge

10,000!! by gleavem
February 23, 2010, 10:07 pm
Filed under: just for fun | Tags:

Woo hoo we’ve just hit 10000 visitors!  (well 10002 actually)


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

3 Peaks Challenge 2009 by gleavem
February 3, 2010, 9:45 pm
Filed under: charity, friends, Three Peaks | Tags: , , ,

Two weeks 7 months ago we headed to London to begin our 3 peaks adventure.  On Saturday morning, after staying the night with fellow walkers, we went to collect the mini-bus and meet up with the other crazies.  It took some effort to get all our gear in the 17-seater (+ driver) mini-bus, since we needed 14 of the seats for bottoms, but eventually we all squeezed in and the adventure began.  After a long drive and a good nights sleep (and a little difficulty finding some supper), we started Ben Nevis on a sunny Sunday afternoon around 4pm and had a steady (busier than expected) climb to the summit.  Here’s a few pics from Ben Nevis:

The Entire Team
Ben Nevis  05
Ben Nevis 14
The summit of the Nevis 1

We all got to the summit at about the same time, but spread out into a couple of groups on the descent to make getting de-booted and back into the minibus a bit easier.  It took us about 5 1/2 to do Ben and then it was back in the bus for the trip to Scafell.  We started climbing at 4am; happily it was already light, but we were down to 11 climbers as Rachel decided to save herself for Snowden.  A few hundred meters up we were down to 10, as Helen too decided she wouldn’t make it all the way.  Next came Jon who had struggled quite a lot on Ben Nevis.  Finally about half way up Sid was forced to turn back…Scafell was clearly a killer at 4am after no, or very little sleep!!!  Unfortunately Sid turned back with the camera, so there’s not many pics from Scafell.  Here’s a few:

Towards the bottom of Scafell
The guys who made all three peaks

Finally we got to Snowden, having completed Scafell in approx 4 hours.  It was a gorgeous afternoon in Wales and everyone got their walking boots back on for the final peak.  Chris and Paddy, inspired by some of the runners we’d seen (madness!) decided to run to the summit, so they pushed off ahead.  The rest of us followed at a less ankle-breaking pace.  It was a long, but relatively easy climb up Snowden and on this occasion the best was definitely saved for last…good weather and great views! Here’s a selection:

Snowden 20
Snowden 38
Snowden 34

What can I say except…it was fabulous!  Despite cramming 12 walkers, two drivers and a lot of gear in the minibus, driving over 1000 miles and shedding a few tears, we all had a fabulous time!  It was certainly emotional, challenging and exciting.  It was made all the more interesting by the fact we ended up doing our challenge at the same time as several hundred fire fighters!

This was a great experience, there were no arguments, we were all well and truly bonded by the end, and even talking about our next challenge in the bus on the way home!  Best of all we raised well over £1300 for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

I wonder…. by gleavem
January 18, 2010, 2:02 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

…if anyone still reads this poor, long-neglected blog, or if it’s still in anyones RSS feed!? 

If so,  hello!

I’ve been looking for a new years resolution, so perhaps mine should be to resurrect this blog… we’ve got plenty of walking plans for 2010 and I noticed there’s still a draft post about the 3 peaks hanging around in the background!

Yes, I think I will make this blog my new years resolution, so if anyone’s still reading, you can hold me to that!

Happy New Year!