Finding New Walks

Southern Railways


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.

not sure what they are.. should have taken note perhaps!

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.

Cactus in Greenhouse
at Physic Gardens

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.


SIR HANS SLOANE originally from Northern Ireland


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.


Medicine Cabinet

Medicine Cabinet

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Let England Shake!


 I Had bought advanced tickets for the P J Harvey Gig at the Eden Project, and that was a good move. The rest of the trip wasn’t planned.

BEE AT The Eden  Project

I had hoped to have a good few days before the PJ Harvey gig, relaxing. I was feeling uptight.


We managed to get to Taunton after about 7 hours from London, Heading towards Somerset on the Weekend of Glastonbury in  torrential rain, made for a tedious journey. There were long queues; I was feeling apprehensive.

 ‘Britain had spoke ‘and had voted to get OUT of Europe.I had voted to leave, the E.U and my partner voted to stay.! It had been agreed that at some point no matter the conclusion we might be camping at some point.

Looking In -Looking Out


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 smart but not a lot happening.!

A sculpture in public Garden Taunton


The next day heading for Exeter

We had a relaxing day ;some shopping & a browse round some of the side streets, vintage shops. We stopped for a brilliant ploughman’s lunch at a café  on the green facing the cathedral. Later that day, we drove down to Torquay for some evening sun and a couple of drinks. We spent a night with my brother and nephews before heading back on the road.

Cornwall my old friend

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.

I was presented with the worst sandwich in the world, ever! I actually took it back. Something I have never done before. But  when it comes to food, I wasn’t having it! I will spare you the details!

I have a soft spot for Penzance. 

 for one it being situated near Lands End, it is 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,

On way to Sennon Cove

On way to Sennen Cove


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. It wasn’t great I must admit but I survived!



Despite the ups and downs of the last few days I wasn’t disappointed with the gig.









Let England shake – PJ Harvey

The band have moved to another level, the set they played was really well choreographed and delivered a range of songs from two recent albums.  It was  extremely moving. Ms Harvey 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.


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.

PS If you like my blog please sign up and you can get it delivered to your Email inbox. .





Until next time.

Keep on Keeping on

Julie C.






Walking in Hastings.

I managed to get out on a mid-week 11 mile walk last week to Hastings through the vast country park


South Bank Walkers taking it in their stride.

South Bank Walkers taking it in their stride.


Walking at a pace

Hastings has a massive country park and it’s been a while since I had done a walk with a group. I have still to devise a few more new walks. I followed the leader this walk. He didn’t lie when he said it was brisk.  I don’t mind walking miles but I like to stop a bit, to take in the views . If I had been leading it I would have wanted to start in the town  had lunch there and then start the climbing.This walk was pretty much pounding furiously by-passing the town and straight up to the cliffs and into the woods.Once we got out of the woods it was refreshing to have the open space and views.

Out in the open Hastings.

Beautiful – Changing sky at Hastings


Heading back to Hastings
over the cliffs.

It seemed to be over before it begun and I decided not to follow the leader back to the station at 4pm and just have a little wonder along the beach and watched the seagulls fishing!

Sea/Sky Hastings

Sea/Sky Hastings


British Summer Time

Summer doesn’t last long enough in the UK I wonder how we would be if it was summer all year? But British summer that is-so that would include summer rain instead of winter rain and it would stay light all year round?! How different it would be. I don’t feel that it’s my favourite season but I always feel I have to make the most of a sunny day, but then so do thousands of others, so it’s difficult to go to a beach or a pool without half the world showing up!.

Southern Trains continue to provide the worlds worst service. Luckily I don’t commute into London, but getting anywhere on southern trains is a bit hit and miss these days. Another strike due next week. I had a walk ‘pencilled’ in this thursday around Southampton, I Considered the amount of projects I wanted to catch up with & the trains and unpredictable weather then decided to give it a miss.


Sometimes you just want to walk about and I Have been doing a lot of that in London.  Even just deviating a bit from the beaten track and you can feel like a tourist but  away from the main hub.

then the back of Victoria around Pimlico

The back of Victoria around Pimlico

Catching the sunset over Lambeth Bridge walking towards Vauxhall

Catching the sunset over Lambeth Bridge walking towards Vauxhall

Lambeth sunset after a few drinks in Victoria

Never mind Waterloo Sunset ! Look at Lambeth sunset.
After a few drinks in Victoria (magic)



Just to keep it all in perspective , I’d like to finish it here with a nifty little tune from Wire ….. about blogging. !

Keep on keeping on

It’s a funny old world !



Engineering works on the South East Coast

DUE TO ENGINEERING WORKs there are no trains.!

We seem to have been experiencing a hell of a lot of engineering works going on down on the South East Coast line these days.’They gotta do what they gotta do’ ;but as an escape route  it’s getting extremely complicated to get a day down the coast.

In comparison, and I often draw this comparison. It’s only half an hour on the metro to get to the coast from Newcastle & Edinburgh; and even in NYC you can be in Coney or Long Island quicker than you get to the Kent Coast from London. It’s cheaper as well. Saying that, I managed to see quite a lot of Kent in one day. It’s something I guess.

The dreaded rail replacement bus!

The dreaded rail replacement bus!

After a lot of difficulty we got to Faversham from London , so we had a nice lunch there before getting onto the Replacement  bus  to Herne Bay. This was somewhat painful as well as comical .

The driver decided to blast us with his Traditional Jazz music  CD ! Frankly it was just weird! I burst out laughing at first . When I  looked round at the other passengers they did not seem amused!! They sat there stoney faced as this was nothing unusual!What a drag…Perhaps he should have played the Sex Pistols or the Ramones or something.

Eventually after a 45 minute bone breaking bus journey steering through steep and narrow roads, in bungalow heaven, we arrived!At Herne Bay we caught the  Ramsgate train. We had intended to walk from there to Margate a good 7 mile walk with really lovely natural landscape in between including Broadstairs.

Surrounded by youngsters on the train knocking back booze, We got off a few stops early & left them to it.

The walk from Westgate to Margate is brief, a flat promenade. As it was unseasonably hot for May there were plenty of people on the seafront sitting in deck chairs outside their huts.

In  Margate we sampled some local cider from a couple of Micro-breweries; one  in The Harbour and another in the town. At this point were too jaded to bother with the Turner Gallery.

Returning to London via Canterbury

Returning on the slow route was a train from Margate to Canterbury West, as we had to get off there anyway to walk to Canterbury East to pick up the london train, we decided to eat there.We found a great place where the food was Half Italian & half Lebanese! We noted we would pop back for a day out another time.It was about 9pm at this time and still a couple of trains to get back. An all round 12 hour journey.

Newhaven to East Dean

Next Saturday I’m leading a group on day out  down the coast and as far as I’m aware the trains are running properly. Although I have done this walk & variations on this walk several times, it always pay to do it before leading a group. Even in terms of checking that I’m fit enough to do it. The Seven Sisters Walk is a challenge for most people. Especially if you haven’t been out walking in a while.


The walk starts at Victoria Railway, then we have to change at Lewes; favorite railway  station. We take the train to Newhaven Harbor, where we start our days trek.



I love a sign!

I love a sign!


We start walking  at the old harbor area; which for jaded eyes is a fine start. We get walking, and  within 15 minutes we are face to face with the sea front.



After an hour walking we are at the end of Seaford and it’s a steep ascent after that up to Seaford Head, this takes us down to the valley.

here we go again!

here we go again!

It’s always inspiring to walk along the cliffs

a welcoming site

a welcoming site- National Trust Cottage (sometimes for hire)


Funnily enough I re- watched a  Film 20,000 Days on Earth last night. Some of the film was shot in this house.


A very interesting conversation between Nick Cave and his fellow musician Warren Ellis. There is a good conversation between the two discussing Nina Simones backstage behaviour at an event held in  London’s Royal Festival Hall. This was  recalled while  Warren Ellis was cooking up eels for a not very hungry Nick Cave!  Entertaining. ***

Seaford Head Nature Reserve and the Cuckmere Valley is a haven for wild birds, flowers and sea life.

We watched a crane bird or a heron? catch a fish as we strolled along the valley heading towards Seven Sisters cliffs.

a sign!!

A  Sign!! (I do love a Sign!)

A gate! I also do like a gate!

A gate! I also do like a gate!

Having managed the Seven Sisters, with tired legs I reach this gate with some sense of relief that the worst part is over.

At this point we are heading up towards East Dean Village for a well-earned drink. As we cut through the small woodland, we come across a slow-worm which is like a small snake. Or as described in Wikipedia

The Anguis fragilis, or slow worm, is a limbless lizard native to Eurasia. It is sometimes called a blindworm.”

I’m not a fan of snakes or worms, so moving on, we leave the woods and lo and behold we see the light!  The Tiger Inn at East Dean, where a wide range of beers and ciders are waiting to be sampled.


 Until them my fellow travellers ..

keep putting one foot in front of the other when you can.x



Exploring & walking in the UK

Explorers UK Group walking weekend 

This was my first trip away with the walking group organised by Meet Up Group, Explorers UK. Tom organises group walking; from a day trip to Stonehenge, as well as the occasional weekend away. They are based in the UK.


It’s a good way to explore the countryside in the UK. Tom the leader of this Meet Up group is an experienced hill walker. See the link below for further details.

Anyone can join, it is amazing how much beautiful countryside we do have, explore now before it’s too late.!—UK/events/256034175/


Getting ready for my walking Weekend  holiday with the Uk Explorers Group

St Pancras International Champage and Oysters anyone!

St Pancras International Champagne and Oysters anyone!


 St Pancras International. A GRAND OLD  STATION.

I hadn’t realised you could take a train to the UK from St Pancras International. I have only ever used this station to go to Paris on the Eurostar. Above the ground floor lays The East Midlands line. It’s beautifully designed with some really smart-looking restaurants, Including the Champagne and Oyster Bar.

I think I could happily spend the day there! This was my starting point for my weekend.

Purchasing tickets on a budget 

I had to purchase various single tickets from different companies: Northern Tickets, Virgin, and East Midlands.  I had bought well in advance, and I now realised you can print most tickets from any station, despite having to select a specific station.

 was off to a place called Hope just outside Sheffield then took a small bus journey to Castleton where I was booked to staying in a Hostel for a walking weekend with the Meet Up  Group Explorers UK 

This group are an independent group.They organise the accommodation and take you out on two led walks.  I was keen to try the night walk in the Peak District and spend a couple of days in a new area.



lambing season

My first impression was of a grand tree-lined drive

This led up to an old type Manor house but before I had reached that point, I stuck my head in the door of one of two small attached houses, thinking this must be the place, but it was somebody’s house.!

It was a laugh and they pointed me in the right direction. I rarely check too many facts before travelling. As long as I know the train times then I’m off.  I hadn’t googled the accommodation, I prefer to be surprised.

On either side of the drive were grass pastures and the sight of very young lambs leaping about or huddling together under the tree. Lambs do truly leap and always make me feel happy. Shortly to feel depressed thinking about their short lives.

Talking the talk Doing the Walk

It can be quite nerve-wracking doing something new but still getting out of the comfort zone never done anyone any harm.. (well it probably did but that’s another story!!)

I had only met a couple of members of the group before, so I was a bit apprehensive about who might be attending. It is a good way to get to know areas if your keen on getting out into places to walk at the weekends.

We were a group of about 30 and had an annexe to ourselves, it was a busy old place, with hikers, groups of cyclists and other random groups out for the weekend. I have to say the hostel was magnificent but sharing a room with 3 other bunkers, is not my style, if I did this sort of weekend walk again, I would opt for a shared room with one other person or a single. It might be worth joining the YHA that is the ‘ YOUTH’ Hostel Organisation, if you fancied walking independently.

We started off on Friday night with a night walk. Torches in hand.

Night walk in teh Peak District

Night walk in the Peak District looking for the stars!! sadly it was too overcast and no moon or stars in sight.




A Grand Peak in the Peak District


There are plenty of Ups and Downs in this area, or Peaks and troughs as they are named.

peaks and troughs

Peaks and Troughs

OUT in the Peak District taking in the views

OUT in the Peak District taking in the views


I love sheep

I love sheep


We wondered where the lambs were in this idylic spot!

We wondered where the lambs were in this idyllic spot!


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