Jan
2015

Walking in Winter

 Walking from Wimbledon to Richmond

I had my first walk of the year walking across the park at Wimbledon all the way to Richmond.

 Walking on a crisp winter day, can be especially rewarding. When getting home to a hot bath feels a real treat. Follow that with nice warm meal.  You will feel you have earned it.

Walking in winter is especially popular with The Ramblers, it feels good to get out with a group, and shake off the cobwebs.

www.ramblers.org.uk

At less than £5 a month, you can look forward to a monthly magazine, and helping the Ramblers in their campaigns to restore the countryside and coastal paths. Money well spent.

Birdhouse Wimbledon Park

 

Walking in winter does have  problems. 

I did spot a group of deer in Richmond Park but they were so well hidden among the fauna, it was tricky getting good photographs of them in the poor winter light. 

Houseboats Richmond

 

 Richmond along the river in winter

I left the group at Richmond and walked keenly towards Kew Gardens.  I read a sign post that said a quarter of a mile to go to but this was just to a smaller bridge, Kew Harbour. It is not the same as Kew Gardens. After another 2 miles to go it was getting dark and very cold. I got to Kew Bridge at dusk and spotted the sign for Kew Gardens railway station.

As I carried on walking into what looked like a bit of a cul de- sac, I asked directions. Having spotted a local man with a wheelbarrow.  He told me I wouldn’t be the first to be asking the same question! He went on to say -yes you could get there but it certainly was not a direct route. At this point I just wanted to get home.

 Dear readers, know your limits when walking…

If you do deviate try and remember especially in winter.  It gets dark and cold even in London and that means hanging about waiting for buses and trains. After being out walking for 6 hours, and the temperature suddenly drops, you can be very cold. It goes without saying that in the winter you aim to finish the walk and get to somewhere before dusk where you can get a nice drink and something to eat.

 

I went to see the film Wild based on the biography of Cheryl Strayed, walker and author. 

Cheryl Strayed -Wild read my blog about her adventures.

The film did not convey the depth and breadth of the distance she walks; as films go it was ok, but having read the book, I felt it went for the sentimental story, National Geographic it wasn’t. It could have been better. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See You February

 

Dec
2014

Autumn Walks starting at Guildford

Walking from Guildford to Shere.

 Overall the route Guildford to Shere was easy and part from a bit of drizzle, we were in good form, and everyone enjoyed the walk. I had made arrangements to hook up with my walking group and an old friend from North London who I wanted to catch up with.

I set off to Guildford which is only half an hour on the train from London.  It was a moderate walk over Pewley Down onto St Martha’s Hill; then Pilgrims Way. We had a fantastic pub lunch at the Drummond AlburyAfterwards an ascent & we were walking through woods, this led us to  Albury Heath and down to Shere a pretty village.

Walking from Guildford to Shere was about 7 miles. Part of the walk was on The North Downs. I don’t know the area especially well, but getting out there reinforced my belief that it is good to go out with a walking group, even if only once in a while. You can do it anyway you please; as a social thing or exercise and choose the groups that suits. It is nice to have a 7 mile walk in the fresh air, and get out into nature. It felt rejuvenating.

I woke up the morning after with a lovely ache in my legs, my eyes slightly stinging from the soft drizzle of rain on yesterdays’ walk, but I felt so good, better than I have felt in a long time. I would like to aim to be a bit fitter (as always) in the New year and go on longer walks and perhaps next year a walking holiday or two with a group /alone/or a friends. Let’s see.

The weekend before at the coast   

Beach huts

Walking from Whitstable to Seasalter as the sky starts to cloud over

It was lovely to have my first autumn stroll of the year along the coast, a very straight walk from Seasalter to Whitstable.  We come across a real cute cafe in Whitstable. I noticed a great range of gins and beers produced by local suppliers.  Waltshaws’Kentish Pantry 19 Harbour Street Whitstable Kent.

 

old relic 

 

They sold Gin made by Anno Distillers a small artisanal spirits producers. I’m not really a Gin drinker but was sold on the design of the bottle.  It’s not usual to see Beer and spirits sold in cafes but there was a great range of locally produced drinks.

A few of the brewers include :

Nip from the Hip, Mad cat Brewery & Canterbury Brewers. check out https://shop.thefoundrycanterbury.co.uk

Then we ambled down to the harbour where we had fantastic fish and chips. 

 

Further Autumn travels in Torquay on Saturday evening

A short walk from the centre of town.  Truly beautiful coastal views.

Beautiful Devon

I arrived in time to attend my nephew’s friends birthday party and then on Sunday a little stroll along the beach at Paignton. Having sat on a coach the day before for a very long time I was desperate to stretch my legs. 

I managed to have a lovely little walk just at the edge of Torquay a few miles just out of the town centre up the hill for fantastic sea views and a bit of peace and quiet.

 

My first visit to Anstey’s cove 

Not a bad end to the year. As always there is a lot of things in the air still and I will need the help of a professional next Year to help me with my online goals. This will be the last blog of the year and I hope I can get all my glitches sorted out for next year so I can carry on with my blogging and other adventures.

 

Until then Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Julie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nov
2014

Getting away!


To be honest I’m not great at ‘Getting away!

Can we truly ever getaway?  We can take a break, and have a chance, but not for too long. But this getaway wasn’t pleasing. I need a bolt hole, not a tourist holiday. Sometimes though I do give in or give up. This was one of those times, of having to admit defeat. I was working hard towards designing a new website for a friend, organising a meetup group for other Word Press /website developers and having to deal with a lot of technical problems that were a bit over my head. 

Photo30_34A

I can’t say this was ‘Getting away’ from it all but I managed to get to Mallorca for a short break & that was what I needed.
Photo25_29A

 I wasn’t getting anywhere with a new project I was working on, enough is enough. I’m a rover and a rambler, not a tourist!! Admittedly I have my moments and enjoy myself. The hotel was fabulous but I didn’t really take to the entertainment and the cheap cocktails. 

Photo33_1A

Clean beaches and palm trees, almost picture-perfect. It wasn’t long before the beggars appeared. They were selling stuff so at least we’re trying to do something useful. I wasn’t in the mood for the hassle so I didn’t hang about the beach much.  It’s a bit too commercial for my liking. I prefer hidden beaches!

A bit like this picture of Cate Blanchett Pleasant enough but relevant?

CATE BLANCHET – the face of Palma!?

colorful shop window

 

STRAY CATS Everywhere

 

Plenty of food back at the hotel so I made sure the local cats got my portions of meat and fish. I nearly got my hand bitten off at one point, but the cats were clearly starving.

 

https://www.theothermallorca.com/blog/2015/01/10-interesting-facts-about-mallorca/

 

All in all I didn’t get a lot of walking done, a bit but not enough and I can’t say I found anywhere captivating or magical. A dissapointing break.

Oct
2014

Madelon Lyle walks 100 miles to raise money to save the tiger!

Madelon Lyle Is my guest blogger this month; she has bravely walked 100 mile to raise money to save the tiger. A dead tiger is worth £100,000 to a poacher so it isn’t surprising they are being killed every day


To save the tiger is a test. If we pass, we get to keep the planet.” Marjorie Stoneman Douglas (conservationist)

http://www.justgiving.com/Madelon-Lyle

This August I walked all of the Cotswolds Way – 100 miles -and only fell over once.

Walking with a group of ramblers from Chipping Camden to Bath we averaged 12 miles a day over 9 days and it was very strenuous – the total uphill walking added up to a surprising 10,600 feet. I did this to raise money for the charity, which aims to prevent tigers from becoming extinct in the wild.

Please see this link if you would like to donate as I still have a long way to go to reach my target of £10,000. The link tells you more about the plight of the tigers and what motivated me to do this. www.justgiving.com/Madelon-Lyle

We stayed 6 nights in Cheltenham and 3 nights in Bath.

A mini-bus took us to the start of the walk each morning and collected us at the end. This enabled us to do the entire Cotswolds Way as a linear walk without having to carry our luggage. The scenery and colors were beautiful with plenty of butterflies and wildflowers.

The path itself was very easy to follow being well marked & maintained. Surprisingly we encountered very few other walkers so we felt we had the whole stunning landscape to ourselves!

My favorite part was the section from  Chipping Camden to Cheltenham which passes through many pretty Cotswolds villages such as Stanton with its ancient houses, Broadway and Winchcombe.

The section from Cleeve Hill to Cranham is a ridge walk with great views of Cheltenham. Near Cranham is the famous cheese-rolling hill which we walked past (but not up thankfully). Here people participate annually in the ancient tradition of rolling cheese down the hill and many legs get broken in the process.

Another lovely stretch was from Kings Stanley to Dursley taking in fantastic views from Coaley Peak and Cam. From Wootton-Under –Edge to Bath.The landscape changes becoming more gently undulating and agricultural though still with the occasional incredibly steep hill.

On the subject of hills, the one leaving Dursley called Stinchcombe Hill should be re-named “Stinking Hill” and if I did the walk again I would miss it out, possibly taking a bus from Dursley to Wotton-under Edge and rejoining the path from there.

66 miles to Bath

 

The Cotswolds Way takes you past ancient monuments and follies (e.g Broadway Tour, Hailes Abbey, Grenville Monument) and historic sites such as long barrows and the battlefield where the English Civil War was fought – we walked through the field on which the recent movie “A Field in England” is based.

It also passes many National Trust houses and places of interest such as Sudeley Castle at Winchcombe, Stanway House and Fountain, Prinknash Abbey & Bird Park, the Rococo Gardens at Painswick, Horton Court, Dyrham Park to name but a few.

BROADWAY TOWER ON COTSWOLD WALK

I loved the wildlife as well as the scenery and walking through a forest we stumbled across a herd of Gloucester Old Spot pigs wallowing in the mud. We also came across muntjacs, rabbits, birds and many types of sheep and cattle and masses of butterflies.

 I did not see the rare blue butterfly which apparently can be spotted in the Cotswolds if you are lucky.

I would highly recommend this walk to anyone considering doing it, but you do need to plan quite carefully and allow lots of time.

The end of the walk

And now a little bit more about the tigers:

Tigers are extinct in 11 countries and 3 subspecies are already extinct. They now live in just 7 % of their historic range. By saving cats, the impacts are far-reaching and conserve vast landscapes upon which many species depend, including humans.

These quotes sum up the reason I am fundraising for tigers:-
“Future generations would be truly saddened that this century had so little foresight, so little compassion, such lack of generosity of spirit for the future that it would eliminate one of the most dramatic and beautiful animals that this world has ever seen” – George B. Schaller (field biologist).

 

Sep
2014

Thorney Island A strange hypnotic walk & The south Downs

 

    Thorney Island & The South Downs 

A Moderate walk following the coastal path around the island; “Birds, boats and beaches.” 

 

Bridge to nowhere in particular.

 

Broken bridges, out to sea

Windswept on Thorney Island

 

A strangely hypnotic walk, the water was lapping loudly to the left of us. It became trance-like. Perhaps the strong taste of salt coming from the water and the fresh air added to that feeling.


http://www.westsussex.info/thorney-island.shtml

The village of West Thorney lies on the east coast and has been incorporated into a British Army military base which occupies the southern part known as Pislay Island, which is a RSPB nature reserve.

There is a coastal public footpath, which is part of the Sussex Border Path, encircling the island. Public access to the south of the island is limited to the footpath and the church of St Nicholas at West Thorney.

Walkers using the footpath may be asked by intercom to provide their contact details (name, address and mobile phone number) at the security gates to access the southern part of the island.

It was an unusual and enjoyable day out. My next walk was in the South Down.

LEWES TO SALTDEAN (linear) – 10 miles

My walk was from Lewes to Salt Dean, at first it felt like a fairly familiar walk, having done something similar the previous month. This time we covered a lot more ground and it felt liberating to be out in the South Downs.

 

Rolling rollin rollin

Bales of Hay in Sussex

 

It was a moderate hilly walk with panoramic coastal views as we walked via a couple of small villages of one of them being Telscombe. We had a Pub lunch at the Abergavenny Arms, in Rodmell and then walked further on down to the coast at Saltdean. 

BIG SKY SUSSEX

 

Until next time, keep on keeping on.