Seven Sisters Walk Done n Dusted.
A great group & really good weather .
I had bought a pedometer & tested it out walking from the lighthouse at Newhaven, South Shields to Marsden Rock, then back to South Shields Town Centre.
Then taking the metro into town to Newcastle, just walking up and down the Quayside visiting the Baltic http://www.balticmill.com/visit (there’s always something new & interesting going on in there) followed by a walk in the city centre & a quick visit to Tynemouth we clocked up about 12 miles.Its’ easy to clock up steps when out & about.
Looking through the window of closed pub in Glynde
I had bought an OS LANDRANGER map 198 which covers Brighton and Lewes , it went as far as Firle but not as far as Charleston House which is sort of where I wanted to go. Weather wise it was a bit grey and overcast. Last time I had visited a few weeks earlier it had been snowing so this was an improvement. I was recognising land marks and getting my bearings in the area. The village cafe was also closed until 17th of March. It would have been nice to have had a tea break and look at my map, but the best I could do was sit on a wall by the bus stop and rest my feet.
I got as far as the end of glynde village, uncertain as to how to get across the A27 without getting run over. It was another 5 miles to Charleston, so I figured I would get the train to Glynde next visit and walk to Charleston house from there. Or train to Charleston and walk back to Lewes which is about 8.5miles.
Frogs,cows and other friends of mine!
Near the start of my walk on The South Downs towards Glynde.
I was on my own and not making any noise I just stuck my head over the railing and they swam towards me, there were quite a few of them swimming about. Real Cute.Confirmation that there is so much wildlife ‘out there’ not something we are aware of living in cities. Although a frog did manage to get into my garden at Railton road once and was living in a big glass jar I had left there! Not to mention the other frogs I had to kiss !
I was in a bit of a strange frame of mind having had a few dealings with some militant vegans on Face Book. Frankly the experience had left me feeling a bit disturbed. Being out in nature walking alone gives me time to unwind and let my thoughts run free. Returning from my walk heading towards the Golf club and just about to walk out of the downs back into Lewes, this old fellow waddled slowly towards me. He was really cool.
Earlier in the year I had spent some months studying for a diploma in Vegetarian and Vegan Nutritional Therapy. I have been a vegetarian in the main since my early 20’s after watching a documentary about pig farming, it put me off eating meat. I was/am beginning to consider a more vegan lifestyle. Every little act of awareness can help to put a stop to unnecessary cruelty to innocent animals. The Body Shop & Neil’s Yard are two companies I know that have good ethics regarding quality and animal welfare. Testing products on animals is one thing I am totally against. I walked through the field looking at the cows wondering what sort of life they had, they seemed content from what I could sense. They were out in the fields grazing.
On returning home I eventually worked out how to redeem my code to download the ordinance survey map onto my phone . I was about to buy my return ticket for the following week to Lewes to continue my walk, engineering works were scheduled for the next three weeks in the area.
It just puts a spanner in the works. It makes the day too long. Lewes is near Brighton, getting to Lewes from Brixton is a two-hour journey each way. Add on engineering works, & any other diversions, makes for a tedious day.
Off to Newcastle 1st of April.
It’s good to be inspired. I recently attended Destinations- The Holiday & Travel Show at Olympia. It was interesting listening to Nicholas Crane speak at The Stamford Writers stage about how he researched and wrote his latest book. Most people will have seen him on the BBC series Coast. He was an impressive speaker. His talk covered about 5,000 years in 40 minutes. Not an easy task.
The making of The British Landscape
Guardian review 30/09/ 2016 (extract from The Making of The British Landscape)
“The first “little ice age” hit around 6700BC. About 500 years later, a huge North American lake broke through its dam and dumped such a huge amount of fresh water into the Atlantic that the Gulf Stream shut down. Temperatures plummeted, trees died, sea water pushed into rivers and Britain’s landscape changed again. Only 200 years later – a geological blink – a tsunami crashed over Doggerland. Britain became an island and isolated”-
Exploring the British Isles and beyond
Finding further inspiration to get out and explore the island that I live on.
Julie Bradbury has a current show on ITV, where she walks along some of the most picturesque landscapes in Britain. Her walks are always on a perfect summer’s day! Interesting & picturesque without being excessively long or difficult. Unlike Julia I’m not commissioned by ITV or the BBC to write or to walk. This is a pure solo effort. Looking at her website I noticed she has massive sponsorship obviously with a team of website experts and marketing advertising behind her. Unfortunately I have a full-time job and do not have a team of people to do my marketing and promoting. Nor can I control the weather ! See below for the link to the fabulous Julia Bradbury.http://www.theoutdoorguide.co.uk/
Getting to know Lewes and the surrounding areas.
I may not have a team of experts behind me but that’s not going to stop me having a go. I’m getting better organised than ever. Considering my previous chaotic existence this is quite an achievement. !
Lewes Sussex has been an area I have been venturing into on and off since joining a walking group, I now want to make my mark and learn to lead walks in this area. A friend from the South Bank Ramblers Group came along with me on a bleak mid winter’s day. I wasn’t sure where to start and had a few maps with ideas, but opted just to go the tourist office in the high street.http://www.lewes.gov.uk/tourism/
We kept it short as it was freezing we did a return from Lewes to the foot of Glynde and back again, then a brief walk around the town to the castle. We were rewarded with a fantastic vegetarian breakfast.
Laporte’s a French Café /Wholefood shop in Lansdowne Place Lewes.
It really was the bleakest of days. We stopped to have a swift half while waiting for the train. The pub is a five-minute walk from the railway station. We walked over the bridge, where I noticed the cloud parted slightly, the glowing full moon in the day time sky glimmered like a jewel.I frantically struggled to switch my phone on & then the same clouds closed like a pair of curtains!
If you look very carefully by enlarging the picture you will see a bright white cloud, closing back over the moon.!
Until next time, keep on keeping, more adventures from me at the end of March .
A doddle in comparison to planning it! A breeze in fact, less than it’s printed 6.5 mile description. Last weekend in between planning for a job interview I decided I was going to do this walk, & buy the ticket in advance as you do.
I needed a walk, I needed some fresh air, no question about that. I checked in the South Bank newsletter for details of the next up and coming walk.
The newsletter & on-line South Bank Website said to buy a return to Godalming and get the 9.30am getting off at Guildford meeting at 10.15am on the 21st of January.
I’m raring to go. I get onto Train-tracker. I type in London Waterloo to Godalming return 9.30am. I’m looking but there isn’t a 9.30 train! to Godalming. I called one of the leaders. Yes she tells me, the train is at 9.30am, she is looking at the website and she can see it, she sends me the link. I tell her I’m looking at it too and there is no 9.30am train from Waterloo to Godalming. Something vital is missing in this conversation,but neither of us have a clue what.!
Several emails, phone calls and double checking hours later. She says she will look into it. I eventually think to put in london to Guildford on Train- Tracker, as no one else has suggested that and lo and behold!- the 9.30am train is there… but it isn’t stopping at Godalming.
‘Going for a walk’
There is a lot more to it than you think.
I now know to buy a return to GUILDFORD. But where is Godalming? The following day, the second leader called me; apparently coming down from the highlands of Scotland to get a phone signal to contact me. Obviously I had no idea that she was in The Highlands. I would not have phoned her to bother her. she seemed somewhat vexed with me when I met her.!
God damn it where the hell is Godamling anyway? It must be on the GUILDFORD LINE. Well it is but the 9.30am train from Waterloo isn’t going there, BUT a train at 9am is going to Godalming, another at 10am and so on every hour.
I can’t buy a return from Waterloo at 9.30am to Godalming that stops at Guildford. Fact.
I have to buy a return to Guildford and a single ticket form Godalming to Guildford. For those of you still reading, (tell me about it!) please check this out!
How to pronounce Godalming!
So where is Godalming?
Well as you can see it’s a walk along the river just under a 2 hour walk. In hindsight perhaps I should have looked it up. The way I look at it though, is the Leaders are organising it, I’m just following. My job is to buy the ticket and join in! I am accredited walk leader but I simply don’t know the Surrey area.
It was a short but sweet walk.
We watched a swan take off in full flight along this river, a magnificent sight ; for a split second I thought about taking a snap shot but it happened so unexpectedly I let it go.
It was over far too quickly and I left the group at Farncombe as a bunch of the group wanted to have lunch at midday. The rest sat by the river to eat a packed lunch.I decided to split & I carried on to Godalming. It was only about 25 minutes further to go. The inevitable engineering works, slowed down the journey. I didn’t care, I was going home, and thinking about the Lewes walk the following weekend. I have since found out that the Lewes walk has been cancelled due to engineering works.
Will get a new walk worked out for February. There’s a lot of socialising going on that month, but I will fit it in somewhere.
H A P P Y N E W Y E A R 2 0 1 7
My blogs are changing all the time some are full of stories- others are brief and to the point. Well- It’s the end of the year, and as tempting as it is to do a re-run/replay, I think the verdict is still out. What direction I’m taking? Who knows.
Life may appear to be steady, but in reality is far from it. A big change is well overdue. I have plans in motion and circumstances will change, but unlikely to be at the strike of Midnight on New Years Eve. Oh, if only Cinderella!
I have been writing this blog since 2011 and those of you who know me may understand, that I have a lot of creative ideas I want to explore. Having made a start with various studies and projects, it is a matter of keeping at it & finding the enthusiasm to carry on. Walking is a big help, it’s a great way to think, unwind and get out in the fresh air.
There are still hundreds of new walks to be discovered and further adventures to be had in 2017. I will be sending out a little Newsletter to some old friends, new acquaintances and others inviting you all to subscribe/comment on my blog. Plans to create a new website in 2017 with different types of writing is on the cards, so let’s see how it all pans out.
In the meantime, here are a couple of walks done in December.
Taking the train from London Euston I had a quiet carriage front facing seat, which was a good start. The train was heading to Glasgow & was packed. As the train took off I reminded myself that I must go to Glasgow for a weekend. I have been meaning to go to the yearly Celtic Festival hosted there every January; the live broadcast of various gigs on Radio 3 every year, is as close as I’ve got to it.
I think I would like to keep going. Just keep moving on -from one place to the next. Continue reading
Navigating a 8 mile walk somewhere around Berwick Sussex & The Devils Punch Bowl
last blog I mentioned I was going to try & learn some new walks. True to my words, I went off armed with some printed instructions & headed towards Berwick Station East Sussex to meet a walking ‘buddy’
Spanner in the works
Arriving at Victoria early was fine, but I missed my connection from Brighton to Berwick. I had a vague memory in which I had taken a train from Berwick on my first ever ramble, that was the extent to my knowledge of the area. Next time I will make sure to check that before leaving.
Consequently I was late & the pouring rain looked set to continue for the rest of the day. Luckily there was a café/pub right next to the station at Berwick, so we could have a coffee & plan what to do.
Like a lot of new ventures you have to try more than once to make it a success.
My walking companion had a good grasp of reading a map so I happily let her take the lead. I had taken the initiative to organise the walk, but the rain and me being late meant we had to cut it short. I was grateful to her having an ordnance survey map and being able to read it. Miraculously the rain stopped within five minutes of us starting the walk and then poured down again about five minutes before we finished.
Despite the fact we only clocked up just under five miles, we walked over dry hard fields, lumpy ground and such. My legs the following day, My ankles, feet & calf’s in particular were painful. My feet are usually the problem and they were throbbing like mad having worn the boots from 8am- 8pm . I haven’t worn them since. I’m obviously going to have to wear them in.
Devils Punch Bowl and Gibbet Hill 10 mile Hike.
Meet up group Explorers UK
http://www.meetup.com/Explorer-UK/ organise regular walking Day trips and weekends. You can where you can book online for a small charge the leader Tom will purchase your tickets and lead the walk. It’s a good way to get to know areas and meet people. 40 minutes outside of London from Waterloo we were in Haslemere. It was a perfect Autumn day for a ten-mile hike along the Greensand Way to The Devil’s Punch Bowl on the borders of the South Downs National Park.
We enjoyed beautiful views across the Bowl’s natural amphitheatre before climbing out the other side to see even further from the second highest point in Surrey. Along the way visiting the Sailor’s Stone and discover its gruesome history, before finishing the walk at a lovely pub a few minutes from the train station.
I finished reading Bill Bryson comical journal about travelling today in the UK, and felt inspired to keep on writing about my days out and walking adventures. I’m off to the Lake District this week Monday to Friday for a walking holiday, taking a few books; Mac Airbook, notebooks, camera, film and I phones. So as well as having days out walking I can also be updating my blogs and working on my writing projects, & reading. Can’t wait.
Until next time. If you would like to check out my up & coming walk page you might find a walk that suites you.They are all led by The South Bank Group who are all members of The Ramblers and all walks are led by experienced walkers .You don’t have to be a member to come along for a walk, if you would like to try it out a couple of times I’m sure you will realise the benefits and join up
If you are new to my blog & like what you read, please subscribe and you will recieve it in you email. I genearlly publish once a month at the end of the month and try to write about at least 1 or 2 walks a month.
I stand corrected, My Uncle Neil has sent me this!
The Magic Mushroom pics on your blog look like Fly I Agaric. For MM pics see: http://http://www.magic-mushrooms.net/gallery.html#.WBXvZxmnwj0
I knew they weren’t literally magic mushrooms that get you high,but they sort of look Magic. The colour of them.
Disappointed that Southern Railways haven’t got their act together yet. Not sure what’s going on with them exactly, but I went onto their website and tried about 5 times to book a ticket to Bishopstone near Lewes, for a 12 mile walk. If someone has hacked their website it’s not that surprising -but- please sort it out! The ticket office at Herne Hill was closed on Saturday & usually get a good price ticket from them. Buying from the ticket machine would cost about £26, but £17.50 on line. I gave up in the end, and opted out. I’m not happy about having missed a walk but will have to make up for it some other way.
I am planning some new walks, & have found another South Bank Walker who has agreed to try out some walks with me around the Lewes area. I have finally bought a new printer & scanner which means I can scan & email the routes to her and we can get out in the Autumn. It is about time to start planning some new adventures. I have booked for a week in the Lake District in Autumn. The last time I was near that area in Penrith was the Blue Moon Festival, and we all took some illegal substances, I can’t remember the details but it was either acid or magic mushrooms, and everything was either totally hilarious or really scary.! That was a long time ago. I do remember it being a very pretty area though and Keswick was/is a popular tourist , so it will good to revisit the area.
Revisiting old places
I’m pleased to say that I revisited the Chelsea Physic Gardens recently, I had mentioned it when talking on the Robert Elms Show on BBC LONDON a couple of weeks ago. I bravely volunteered to present my ideal day out in London on the radio ( a regular feature on his Saturday show) and the Physic Gardens was my first port of call.
I often walk to Chelsea as it’s not a bad walk from Brixton. I had family over last weekend & took them to visit.
The Garden has been running talks throughout the summer on the subject of scents. It was a coincidence that one of the women who came on my Seven Sisters Walk was there as a tour leader & led a large group around the garden explaining the origins and different sections of plants from all over the world. It is hard to retain all the information about the history and use of plants for medicinal & other uses such as perfume and some cosmetics. So I can only recommend to try it for yourself.
A month of Ups & Downs
Looking In Looking Out
With some free time planned off from work, it was a bit of trial and error as to how to plan a little West Coast UK Trip on the 24/6/2016.
Having bought advanced tickets for the P J Harvey Gig at the Eden Project, and a brother living in Torquay, we were trying to get a few days down the coast in before the gig. We managed to get to Taunton after about 7 hours from London, heading towards Somerset on the weekend of Glastonbury in torrential rain, and long queues made for a tedious journey. Added were the thoughts of what might happen now ‘Britain had spoke ‘and voted to get OUT of Europe. I could not believe it. I was not feeling very optimistic.
Stopping at Taunton for a night with enough time for a meal and a couple of drinks,we enjoyed a little walkabout in town which was very quiet. There was a sweet little park and the town was quite smart but not a lot happening.!
The next day heading for Exeter for some shopping & a browse round some of the side streets, vintage shop. We stopped for a brilliant ploughman’s lunch at a cafe ( will blog that later) on the green facing the cathedral,then down to Torquay for some evening sun and a couple of drinks.
After a night at Torquay, the next day the rain started again so that put a dampener on our plans to camp near Sennen Cove. Somewhat despondent we stopped at a dismal pub on the road to nowhere to be presented with the worst sandwich in the world. I actually took it back. Something I have never done before. But when it comes to food, I wasn’t having it! If Pret A Manger can produce really good quality sandwiches daily so can a pub.
I have a soft spot for Penzance. It being situated near Lands End, a lively town with easy access to some lovely beaches and fishing ports nearby. We were lucky to get a B & B at the last-minute. The people down there are extremely friendly and helpful,
After a night in Penzance we made our way to Sennen for a quick dip in the sea, which was freezing. Then headed up to the Eden Project for a night of camping for the gig. I haven’t camped in about 15 years, so it was somewhat apprehensive.
EDEN PROJECT ST AUSTELL CORNWELL
Despite the ups and downs of the last few days I wasn’t disappointed with the gig.
The cocktails were obviously stronger than I realised, I was convinced my superb photography skills would produce some stunning shots of PJ Harvey. Alas all I got was the backs of people’s heads and a black void with a few shapes..Hope these pics will do you.
PJ Harvey gig at Glastonbury is available on BBC I PLAYER for another few weeks.
PJ HARVEY and her band have moved to another level, this isn’t really the place to write a music review but the set they played was really well choreographed and delivered a range of songs from two recent albums. It was extremely moving. She has matured into a slick and cool performer. I was entranced.
Have a listen to the apt named Let England shake track from one of her albums.
Let England shake – PJ Harvey
There’s a really well written review of the gig worth reading follow this link.
It’s been emotional lately and it’s a must to get out of London as much as possible and in particular to get out and walk. I have two or three planned for July and somehow finding time to develop my other website Juliecanblog . I haven’t got a time schedule or deadline on this but possibly by the end of this year.
PS If you like my blog please sign up and you can get it delivered to your Email inbox. Also if you are interested in joining any walks with a group please check out my Up and Coming Walks page.
Until next time.
Keep on Keeping on