2 friends and the coast to coast walk

A Little (Mishapen) Lollipop Walk by theshed
June 22, 2008, 11:27 am
Filed under: exercise, training | Tags: ,

Now that I’ve wrestled the laptop away from Michelle (she’s strong for her size you know!) it’s my turn to blog about our latest walk.

In our quest for hills in Kent we decided to grab one of our maps and look for a spot with plenty of relief lines.  With Kent being one of the flattest counties they stand out a fair bit and it wasn’t long until we started looking at Elham Valley.  Situated just off the A2 just north of Dover it was fairly easy for us to get to.  A quick drive past work and through Wingham soon got us to Barham, the start of our walk.  The plan was to walk down the Elham Valley Way to Elham.  You can see the planned route on gmaps-pedometer.  You can also see the route we actually took over there too.

The walk was really good and we’d highly recommend it.  We went out of Barham towards Redgate Shaw taking in our first hill of the day.  From there it was over some fields, down a steep bank where we could see all the bunny tracks leading out of the hedges (we saw the track creators on our way back and there we’re tonnes of them little critters :)) and then through Covert Wood.

During the day we went through plenty of wooded areas.  I don’t know what it is but there’s something I really enjoy about walking through woods. On the walk Michelle and I decided that our ancestors must have been wood dwellers rather than farmers or some such thing.  I think it must be something to do with the mystery of woods.  You know when you look at the trees they’ve been there for a lot longer than you, they’ve survived the wars, they’ve had years worth of visitors and in all that time they just stand there chilling out.  Combine that with all the fairy tale happenings of woods and the horror stories you watch and you have a pretty cool place.  I’d love to camp in one somewhere.

Shell in the woods

Once we came out of Covert Wood it was a little further until Redoak Cottages.  This is where our lollipop became mishapen.  For some reason we confidently strode away down a well marked path.  I think it’s well-markedness gave us confidence.  What we should’ve done is looked slightly to our right to see another well marked path.  As it was we overshot Little Breach Farm and got to South Barham Farm instead.  No big deal, it only added a mile or two to our walk but it’s bloody annoying when you get lost.  It just drive me up the wall.  We have map and compass and then we just stride on without looking at either.  We can be fools sometimes.

Once we got back on track we were Elham bound and what a lovely place it is.  We came into The Square which was absolutely packed.  It turned out that it was Elham Garden Open Day.  We avoided the crowds and headed straight into the beer garden of The Kings Arms.  Off came the gaitors and boots and down went the pints of ice cold diet coke and a couple of packets of Salty Dog crisps.  We even decided to have a little lie down before getting the boots back on and heading back.

In the pub with the boots off

Since I’d done such a bad job with the map on the way there Michelle took over navigation and I took charge of the camera.  That’s probably why there’s so few photos on the way back and also why we didn’t get lost!

On the way back it was more of the same, angry dogs, good weather, lovely forests and fields and just generally a brilliant walk.  In total we climbed about 200 metres which is pretty good going in Kent (you can walk for miles and only gain about 5 metres!)  The plan is to revisit it at some point and document it to go onto Walking World.  We pick up a few of our walks from there so thought we should give something back to that community.

You can see the photos over on our Flickr pages.

Next week camping.  WooHoo.