Jun
2014

What makes a good day out?

May 31

May 31

 

It’s nearly the end of June and since my last blog I have been so busy and not had time to sit down and write. While I”m happy to have had the chance to have a break and visit Newcastle & France I ‘m a bit all over the place and want to get back into a good routine of walking writing ,walking (yoga)  taking pictures. As well I’m venturing into website development &have a project to design a website for someone & have organised a Meet Up group next week.I have someone coming along to put on a presentation .

Glastonbury is on The World Cup and Tennis, the world looks like a different place. since this walk, what a difference a month makes.June is my favourite month and as much as i prefer to live in the here and now this blog is mainly about my walk at the end of May

My walking companion on the day had visited previously and for some reason had return tickets so we came back from Lymington but started at MILFORD ON SEA which seemed a bit complicated & tricky to get to via  train and a bus. But lovely to visit. I might have preferred to start at Lynington then gone to Milford on sea. I would visit again though.

So what makes for a good day out?

MILFORD-ON-SEA  with its castle and lighthouse surrounded by still water looking out to the Isle of Wight was a good starting point.

Trudging along the shingles towards Hurst Castle and the lighthouse, with summer on the Horizon, I felt a strange sense of isolation walking along the  beach. Shingles are tough walking on and in hindsight  we probably should have taken the Ferry over the water to the pub for lunch, instead of walking back the same way , it gets a bit monotonous. Trudge trudge trudge.

As well we didn’t really have enough time  we  had met at Waterloo Station about 9am so  fairly early but it’s a two-hour train journey  and you got to do that coming back as well &l lets not forget walking takes time!

The nature resort after the coastal walk

I belive it’s called the it does then go inland where it is marsh land and the home of many wild life birds and plants. I can’t pretend to know much about the area and will promise to take more notes next time. I was happy to just follow on this particular day.

Remote & wild

Remote & wild

a little boat

 

 

HURST CASTLE

HURST CASTLE

 

Hurst Castle is situated at the seaward end of the shingle spit that extends 1.5 miles from Milford-On-Sea. The end of the spit, only three-quarters of a mile from the Isle of Wight, and the views from the top of the centre keep are spectacular.Hurst Castle was the perfect location to defend the western approach to the Solent. The castle was built by Henry VIII as one of a chain of coastal fortresses and was completed in 1544.

We are all Black Sheep here.

We are all Black Sheep here.

 

The pictures you can view here were taken around a place was a little nature reserve on the coast .This walk seems like a lifetime away now .  a few pics of a sightly bleak and quiet spot near lymington… It was the sort of place I imagined you could set a midsummer night murder story in , it just had that feel about it. I tried not to think of such images but couldn’t help it , I imagined fights and deaths as it was a smugglers paradise some years ago.

 

NO BUILDINGS & NEARLY SUMMER

NO BUILDINGS & NEARLY SUMMER

I WANT TO MARRY A LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER

I WANT TO MARRY A LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER

 

Hurst Point Lighthouse guides vessels through the hazardous western approaches to the Solent, indicating the line of approach through the Needles Channel.

Anybody who saw the film Frank will know my point of reference. Anybody who hasn’t I wholly recommend it. it’s fantastic. ( “I want to marry a Lighthouse keeper“)

I led a the Seven Sisters walk again last week  11 people showed up and the weather was good but  next time I go down that way i”m going to try walking to Eastbourne from Seaford or East Dean . I haven’t volunteered to lead any more walks as I think I prefer to be more spontaneous in my choice of walks but I will try to do one a month with the South Bank or if they haven’t got anything I fancy just go off somewhere on a coast walk.

 

All for now

 

Julie

 

 

May
2014

Excel/ Docklands Trinity Buoy Wharf

 Excel/Docklands Trinity Buoy Wharf & London

What a day.

 

It was hot as well! A walk I never intended. The Thames again. A myriad of possibilities.Previous to this day I’d never heard of Trinity Buoy Wharf, but it’s always a pleasure to walk about ,get a bit lost & stumble upon somewhere interesting.

 

looking back towards the dome

 

I had got the tube to North Greenwich and a cable car over the river  (fantastic views) My first time on the cable car, & you can use your Oyster card, well worth it. I was heading to the Excel Centre,  a 10 minute walk from the Cable Car  to the Excel Centre.

I sat in on a couple of talks about Pinterest and dos and don’t to get your website recognised by Google.The lure of the sun and river took me back out, I  decided less is more. There is only so much information I need.  As I sat out on the steps eating my lunch I noted there was a bridge that you could walk over. I hadn’t known that was there, so decided to walk over it, it was Queen Victoria Dock Bridge. and took me along a very quiet residential area along side the river.

I then veered towards the industrial part not quite knowing where I was going but recognising some industrial bits from a previous walk.I eventually found a path along side a busy road that was directing me towards Canary Wharf & East India Docks, I slipped off the main road and found myself in this little nook.
Trinity Buoy WharfIt is part residential part industrial and partly an artistic hub. For further information about workplaces to let or just to look

look at  http://www.trinitybuoywharf.com

The other side of the sculputre music vibe man

The other side of the sculputre music vibe man

This instrument picks up on the rhythms of the tide and chimes music, I would have loved to have been there at night on a full moon. They do have a cafe there where live music is played but you need to book well in advance as it is a tiny space.

To the left of it is an instrument that reads the moon tides.

To the left of it is an instrument that reads the moon tides.

 

 

 

The entrance to the Wharf has a varied display of street art .Sculpure & murals.

The entrance to the Wharf has a varied display of street art .Sculpure & murals.

An interesting find, I must say. 

Walking along the Thames from Woolwich via Greenwich to Blackheath

As always , one foot in front of the other , and there you go. The river walks are my favourite walks. There is so much life and history.

Thames Barrier

Old Barge Along River

 

Apr
2014

Which way is south?

Two out- of- Towners (Map not included!)

Having joined the ramblers group a few years ago I’m getting the hang of a few things: Being punctual! thinking ahead, booking trains in advance, wearing the right clothes for the right weather, and of course just doing it,when I might not feel like it.

I know that an 8 mile walk is roughly about 4 hours long and that is probably long enough for a saturday, bearing in mind,the extras such as walking to the train station walking about afterwards,back tracking,after taking wrong turns..all clocks it up to about 10 miles.

The mole and I in a joint venture decided the weather was good enough for a walk. I had cut the Walk instructions out of the Magazine sent quarterly from the Ramblers Association. I have only followed a guide once, so wanted to try another,this walk from Lewis to  Saltdean, not  so straightforward as most of it was in fields.

Uhh. which way is South?

 

We found the path eventually , after walking East to a hedge with a stye !

We found the path eventually , after walking East to a hedge….

 

Trying to make head or tail of the instructions while standing in the middle of a field!

It was turn left here, turn right then left at a hedge then over a stile 30 metres from a fence   facing West,etc…then bear south!

 

HOLY COW IN SOUTH DOWNS with two new borns..

HOLY COW IN SOUTH DOWNS with two new borns..

 

Some people like to google everything I prefer to leave it to trial and error and learn the hard way!  Having  recently just ambled along following the leader in the Cotswolds, I was now in charge of my destiny again, well my companion The Mole, as well,who did not take to kindly to the vague directions! I can tell you.

Not much in the village of Iford  apart from a farm and a few houses.I had thought there may perhaps a cafe ! Or a pub for a break. Not so, and further I was anticipating some kind of vineyard or Spanish Cafe towards the end of the walk.!

Now what was that written in  the walk description?

“Ramblers Routes 09

“The plush free eastern face of the Downs  a vineyard and hidden valleys, finishing up with a glass of Rioja and some tapas at the nearest Costa to Lewes”

Not quite sure what that was about.! Still it was 28th of March and we were glad of some fresh air and light.

Moving up- dusty path upwards

Moving up- dusty path upwards

 

A lot of cows ,a lot of sheep and a lot of grass.  At the top of a hill we cross the South Downs Way carrying on with slight ascents and descents and endless seclusion, we pass Breaky bottom Vineyard , but no sign of any cafe/wine tasting sessions that we could see. It got a bit confusing again after this as there wasn’t clear directions as to how to get to the coastal town of Saltdean, but as we head down we can see what looks like Seaford area looking left.We walked and walked until we got down to a football pitch and then came out to a road with some holiday homes. We headed to the main road and jumped on a bus to Brighton.

 

looking back towards Ilford a lot of fields a lot of sheep

looking back towards Ilford a lot of fields a lot of sheep

 

Just as a footnote I would like to mention that I led a group from Brixton to Chelsea on Sunday , it was a nice little group of about 11 and some of them had found out about the walk from a meet up group.I wasn’t aware that my South Bank Group advertised on there ,so it was a nice surprise.

Create Maps or search from 80 million at MapMyFitness
Mar
2014

Stow on the Wold

 Stow On the Wold Cotswolds 

My recent & first ever weekend away with The south Bank rambler group 

Pubs in Town Square Stow on the Wold

We took a train from Paddington heading towards Stow on the Wold .It’s not far from Oxford so under 2 hours  to get to Morton on Marsh where we caught a 10 min bus ride to Stow on the Wold; 10 of us were sharing a cottage .

Away we go!

Away we go!

At the cost of £70 which included food kitty for breakfast and one evening meal it was a good deal. We had three nights there and two full days for walking. I hadn’t previously given much thought to the Cotswolds area, hadn’t heard of Stow on the wold and no idea where it was exactly. I didn’t bother googling it. My job involves too much staring at a PC. Tired and blurry eyed, a wake up from my winter slumber I stumbled out of bed & reminded myself it was for my own good and go I did.

See the massive feet of the tree.. Awesome..

Tree Trunks at church door Stow on Wold

Tree Trunks at church door Stow on Wold

 

Sign to Lower Slaughter

Sign to Lower Slaughter

 

I was taken with The Old Mill at Lower Slaughter  “voted most beautiful village in the Cotswold.

http://oldmill-lowerslaughter.comA shop created by Gerald Harris (well -known Jazz Singer and Crooner) is to create an environment that is a blast from the past,  it’s like walking into a different era, with the music of Ella Fitzgerald and other old jazz  artist playing in the shop..I would have loved to have bought stuff but I wasn’t really prepared for this and didn’t want to be walking for another 4 miles with cast iron door knobs or whatever!

Shop / Museum/ Cafe at Upper Slaughter

Shop / Museum/ Cafe at Upper Slaughter

 

Current Stock Includes:

Sheepskin Flying Jackets-Wool Caps (Patchwork)- Oil Paintings-Selected Furniture Pieces-Wooden Chopping Boards-(Kitchenalia)-Leather Handbag-,Not to mention!, :Staddle Stones, Books of Interest, Local Walking Books MCotswold Garden Stoneware, and much much —much more…..

view of Upper Slaughter

View of Upper Slaughter

 

MILL IN LOWER SLAUGHTER amazing shop gallery and village

MILL IN LOWER SLAUGHTER amazing shop gallery and village

 


Monarch’s Way to Broadwell

On the second day we went along the Monarch’s Way to Broadwell, then via Donnington to Longborough where we stopped for a drink. After that we went south to Upper Swell for lunch, onto Lower Swell and back to Stow

Walking in space!

Walking in space!

A beautiful sunny peaceful day on Sunday. Daffodils in full bloom, sheep grazing peacefully blue sky, lovely.

“It is a designated as an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the largest in the country, and its quintessentially English charm predominantly spans the counties of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, while also reaching into parts of Wiltshire, Somerset, Worcestershire and Warwickshire.

Longborough a perfect spring day for a lunch time drink. Beautiful.

Longborough a perfect spring day for a lunch time drink. Beautiful.

 

Cycling to work every day from Brixton to Camberwell ,I’m used to ambulances and police sirens for company. Usually I go to sleep with the sound of police cars a few blocks away,the occasional helicopter hovering over head in the early hours,and not long after I’m awake there is usually the presence of a siren or two, the planes joining in with the early morning chorus. So I have a fully orchestrated background at all times really ..be it a noisy one.

The desire to escape is strong at times, But—-saying that, it can be extremely disconcerting to be somewhere as quiet as the Cotswold, it was Pre- tourist season. Spring just about to break, and I must admit I felt a bit anxious as I often do in the country away from the din…

After a couple of days I started to relax a little  after a a couple of long walks and a few drinks in one of the many pubs in Stow- and then it’s back to London.

 

Mushroom seat

Mushroom seat

Next walk is with the map my walk extraordinaire the Cockney Mole. We are trying a new walk from Lewes to the coast…. So until next time, put one foot in front of the other and keep on keeping on.. 

 

Julie

 

 

Feb
2014

Westgate to Margate revisited February 8th 2014

Westgate to Margate circular walk

Approx. 6 miles round walk

I having walked  this many times now, it’s as familiar as a stroll in the park. I still enjoy the Westgate to Margate stroll, as always it is invigorating. Saturday proved to be an ever-changing day. The Sea looked grungy brown but calm & the wind almost blew us to Margate.  Then came the hailstones, the sand was rising from the surface  blowing towards Margate like a desert storm; as suddenly as the hail storms appeared,they then disappeared and blue skies appeared lighting up the Turner Gallery on the horizon.

MARGATE BEACH FEBRUARY

MARGATE BEACH FEBRUARY

 

Always great to see The Contemporary Turner Gallery 

https://www.turnercontemporary.org/ if only to take a break from the wind! There is always something on in there, and the views are great; Like the Tate in St Ives, a modern building, situated on the sea front designed to fit in with the landscape. A great chip shop nearby supplied a generous portion of chips . I shared my remains with the Seagulls; then walked down to the harbour, and visited the micro pub .

The Harbour Arms.

TURNER GALLERY THEN HARBOUR..

TURNER GALLERY -THEN HARBOUR..

 

Micro pub is defined by it being independent of breweries serving local beers and ciders. It is very tiny too and felt a bit like being on a stage set, it is not a pub as such but an old harbour office made into a small space with a bar and a few tables…

There were about 14 people huddled in there if you added another ten it would have been jam-packed! The prices are good too. I had half a raspberry cider and The Mole (my walking partner, and other… !) had a half local beer at! £3 a pint; nice!

RASPBERRY CIDER LOCAL ALE £3.00 A PINT

RASPBERRY CIDER LOCAL ALE £3.00 A PINT

 

Margate moving on?

I can’t help but feel the naughty weekend caption isn’t going to be the crowd puller they are aiming at, I seem to recall Mary Portas did a bit of a campaign to brighten the shopping area which is smart in parts. There are some great shops and cafes the Mole and I, plan to spend a night or two on the coast around Margate at some point this summer, dirty or otherwise.!

Walking back I see the works are still in progress along the seafront, the old  Royal Sea Bathing Hospital was a pioneer hospital in the use of open-air treatment for patients suffering from tubercular complaints. It was founded in 1791 for the poor of London by Dr John Coakley Lettsom, a Quaker physician. It is now being redeveloped into plush apartments.


 Resorts such as Margate had modesty hoods which werecould be let down to allow a woman to enter and leave the water in privacy.
If desired, the woman could also be dipped in privacy under the shelter of the hoodsalted sea water and be helped with cures for TB

I  say it’s a stroll in the park, but it clocks up about 6 miles all in all.

Walking back to Westgate from Margate always seems longer than walking to Margate,especially with the wind in our face as we were  attacked by another batch of hail stones…

We had planned to have another swift half in the micro pub in Westgate but they closed from about 2.30-5pm, so missed out on that. Mole drove back to London in true mole style, with  the low winter sun blinding his eyes, cursing and swearing up the motorway. The rain/sun/hail/rain/sun weather got the better of us and a return home to London for a night in front of the box was welcome.

Well  there is a lot of misery in many parts of the country due to excessive rain. I’m hoping it will calm down soon, as a short w/end in Devon is on cards & got a couple of walks with the South Bank Group penciled in for February and a W/end of it in March.

 

All for now

Julie