Oct
2012

Thinking about walking- thinking about writing!

Seaford to Glynde

GIANT MUSHROOM

 

I wasn’t sure how Rural Sussex would photograph especially it being Autumn and the colours being so vivid, but I quite like the effect. I know you can use effects on most smartphones to Black & White, but I vouch that film is very different to digital and has a different outcome. Well at least in printed format,

Seaford to Glynde

Walking takes a certain amount of stamina, this was an 11-mile walk in Sussex starting at Seaford to Glynde all in the countryside. We walked up Northwards inland over vast open spaces and quite hilly in parts.We had glorious autumn weather that day but still, the earth was damp with residues of rain from the previous nights of heavy rain. 

A few of us fell over including myself, as parts of the walk were chalky and damp downhill and we kept skidding.

My legs were hurting and I was too hot, covered in mud! preoccupied about not having the right walking gear and annoyed that I had burned my only pair of walking trousers in a rare ironing frenzy!

Such is life.

The walk started at Seaford over the downs, walking in the countryside to Berwick Church, I had mentioned the church on my first blog, as we walked there from Charleston House.

After a pub lunch, the group seemed to split into the Fast and Slow Walkers, I assigned myself to the fast group but we had to keep stopping to wait for the others in case they got lost. I’m sorry to say, but that got very tedious after a while.

Romantic Berwick Church Autumn 2012

I have to walk everywhere now

I am from Newcastle but have lived in London now longer than I lived in Newcastle.. Still, it was my old stomping ground and I still truly love the centre of Newcastle with its magnificent bridges. I have been revisiting in the last few years.


 

We tried to walk to the now famous Cluny music venue on the Friday night we arrived, it seemed such a lovely romantic walk along the Tyne, however, we were on the wrong side of the river, going in the wrong direction!

We backtracked & opted for a gig in the Westgate Road Newcastle, near my old primary school; A Ramones cover band was due to play.

We slipped into the Art Centre next door where they were having Tango lessons! We had a beer and watched that while waiting to see the Ramones cover band. Some contrast!

 

Best Wishes
Julie
Sep
2012

Rye- Hastings walk

Rye to  Hastings 13 miles

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A brisk walk through a wonderful section of the Kent Coast, following parts of the Saxon Shore Way.

Thus- described by walk leader Margaret Wasdell.

 

An early start from Charing Cross we took the Hastings train then changed to a local network train to  Rye.  We walked through the picturesque village of  Rye,  and downhill across a small bridge over a river at Brede; then up a steep hill, catching a glimpse of the sea as we walked towards an ancient village called Winchelsea.

There we had a picnic under the sun in the churchyard of St Thomas the Martyr; incidentally, Spike Milligan was buried there.

 After half an hour lunch we walked on and over some fields towards a 16th-century castle built by Henry the  V111. 

We then followed a path alongside the Royal Military Canal & walked briskly for 30- 40 minutes. Then arriving at an open road towards the seafront of Pett Level & further on until approaching The Fairlight National Trust Reserve.

We then walked up into some woodland taking us up to Fairlight Cliffs.
The walk provided us with a stunning view out into the sea and led into Hastings Country Park from there on the walk consisted of many steep ascents and descents eventually arriving at Hastings.
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 PETT LEVEL SEAFRONT

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A VIEW FROM FAIRLIGHT CLIFFS

FH000009Did I mention the steep ascents and descents into Hastings?FH000012

Up and down and Up, and—Down, and ….

FH000013You get the picture I’m sure!

It was an invigorating walk and well worth the effort to get there.

It’s worth joining up with a walking group as they have experienced guides which without I would have given up. I’m not much of a map reader, but eventually, as I get out more I will start to learn

Until next time.

Enjoy the views

Julie

Aug
2012

The Charleston House Experience

My first ever ‘Ramble’

Glynde to Berwick via Charleston House, Sussex

Having pondered for some years about joining a walking group I eventually met with a bunch of  Ramblers at Victoria London and introduced myself. I wanted to start walking and getting to know places that were accessible from London on public transport and could be done within a day . Ok it’s a far cry from walking the Himalayas but it’s a start. Taking the train from Victoria we changed at Lewes and took a short journey to a place called Glynde.  We walked past a terrace of quaint cottages and then walked across a motorway over to a field and headed towards  Firle Place. Already I was in love, what a breath of fresh air. I needed this more than ever. I have walked around London for so many years now and as much as I love London,have to get out sometimes! We walked through Firle place  a historical national park and I felt like I had gone back in time. It was May and so the new-born lambs were out grazing on the grass and the flowers were blooming, it was so sweet, and so very refreshing after being cooped up at work all week.

After a few miles walking over fields we were at Charleston Farmhouse situated in the heart of the Sussex Downs.It’s called Farmhouse which is a bit misleading as it is more like an artist’s retreat hosting a stunning collection of art, much of the furnishing having been upholstered to its original plan by Laura Ashley.

 CHARLESTON FARMHOUSE

The place is unique and available guided tours give a fascinating insight into the lives of the Bloomsbury crowd which consisted of a loose group of artists, writers and intellectuals, the sister of Virginia Woolf, Vanessa being one of the prominent figures there. I found it to be  sublime and inspirational.  Words are difficult to find to express the beauty of this special place. For further information click on this link. http://www.charleston.org.uk We then walked towards Berwick Church built in the 16th century. Here were further works of arts and murals by The Bloomsbury Group, and were part of the original deco.

The next walk I did after that was a month or so later.  The Ramblers organisation sent me a copy of Walk Britain, which has 50 walking routes with Britain’s Best views. I took the book with me to Seaford and went off on my ownsome and did very well that sunny day in June. I walked the Seven Sisters Cliffs which is described in the book as a leisurely  8 mile walk! Walking slowly to the park is a leisurely walk, the Seven Sisters is somewhat strenuous  Up and down!.Up and down, Up and down!! That is the Seven Sister Cliffs!

The next walk will be the Rochester Dickens walk, another very short walk. After this I’m walking from Rye to Hastings which will be the longest I have done in years

Until next time, watch those feet!

 
BW Julie                            
Jul
2012

Shoes and Boots!

x ray foot

I joined the Ramblers last year

At last I plucked up the courage to get out and join a group.

I wore an old pair of walking shoes that I had bought on Amazon for £20. It was May and pleasant at the start of the day. (My next blog will be about the walk which was really lovely)The walk was about a six miles or so; we hiked over a couple of fields, then our leader was getting slightly lost. Then it carried on that way for the next few miles.

 

By the time we got to the train station and had waited some time my feet were soaking wet.

We took a shortjourney from Glynde to Lewes. We waited there for what seemed a long time to get our connection back to London.

Why is the (cafe bar shut at 5 pm on a Saturday the enjoyment of the walk was becoming a distant memory as the misery of sitting in the cold with wet soggy socks became a reality.

Understanding my feet

My next port of call had to be a shoe shop. I knew I had to buy a smart waterproof walking shoe before I went on another ramble. Previously I had managed some summer walks down the coasts.

Walking The Seven Sisters for the 1st time alone, I was as happy as Larry in my Asics running shoes recommended to me by the podiatrist. 

Having trawled through pages of walking shoes online, buying and returning several pairs via Amazon, I was getting a bit desperate. My desire to walk a million miles away from the inner city was becoming unlikely if I couldn’t walk in any shoes. They were either, too small -too tight- too heavy-too expensive. How come the North face shoes I bought at Blacks did not do me any favours!?

I Can’t explain my feet.!

 

I was size five and a half and they seemed fine, but after just a couple of miles along a muddy bank near Cobham just after Christmas, I was in agony. Had my feet grown? I have since bought boots that are size 6 and 6 and a half but they are too big!

This is a question for the podiatrist. Feet are strange things. We are individuals after all. It’s not a case of one size fits all. I tried them twice and managed a couple of miles or so before my old toe problem started hurting which on the second occasion resulted in me being confined to the sofa for the rest of the evening in agony!.

I saw the podiatrist who told me the toe in question had a bit too much skin at the bottom which you had to look at from an angle (I could not manage to look under my toe) and that it was causing pressure on the joints. She said my toes were slightly webbed! a 

 

Finding a good podiatrist, finding the right footwear.

How comes I didn’t get that with the Asics or the Vans plimsolls? I have been told flat shoes are even worse than heels by an Orthopaedic Surgeon after twisting my ankle some years ago.

The plimsoll saw me walk 4 miles on a coastal walk with no twinges or pain of any kind. Ditto; The Converse, the Puma, the Reebok, the Adidas, the list goes on. So how can I find a really good quality walking shoe?  I wanted something WATERPROOF and strong wearing but flexible.

 

I spent too much time the following day in Cotswold Picadilly trying on totally unsuitable walking boots; designed for climbing Mount Everest and the (very young) guy was trying to convince me I needed a size 7 shoe which was ridiculous. 

Clarks Shoes measured my feet the following Saturday and confirmed the correct size -one foot was five and half the other 6.! I later went for a reflexology session, which was like a psychological foot reading followed by a foot massage

Check out if you want more info on that. it is quite interesting and therapeutic.

www.felicityreflexology.co.uk

 

Webbed feet!

 

Until next instalment 

Best Wishes Julie