Jul
2016

Let England Shake!

EN-ROUTE TO THE WEST COUNTRY

 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!

 

EDEN PROJECT ST AUSTELL CORNWELL

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

EDEN PROJECT

EDEN PROJECT

 

 

 

EDEN

EDEN

 

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.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/music/artists/pj-harvey-eden-project-review/

I LIKE THIS GREEN SHAPE IN THE DARK

I LIKE THIS GREEN SHAPE IN THE DARK AT THE EDEN PROJECT

 

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.

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FLOWERS AT NIGHT AT EDEN PROJECT

FLOWERS AT NIGHT AT EDEN PROJECT

 

 

Until next time.

Keep on Keeping on

Julie C.

 

 

 

Jun
2016

Hastings/London

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.

LONDON – OH LONDON!

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 !

 

May
2016

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.

IMG_0972

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.

 

IMG_0983

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

 

Apr
2016

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.

EXPLORING THE UK ON FOOT 

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.!

https://www.meetup.com/Explorer—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.

THE LAMBING SEASON

 

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.

https://www.yha.org.uk

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 PEAK IN THE PEAK DISTRICT

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!

 

Continue reading

Mar
2016

12 mile circular walks in Guildford and Hayes

 This month I walked two 12 -mile circular walks.

riversided Guildford

Riverside Guildford

 

 There’s’ no real reason why I should vet one walk against another, but I will anyway! The first  walk was in Guildford led by the UK Explorers group; and the second was in  Hayes,led by the South Bank Ramblers.I have to say, Guildford wins no competition.

 

Guildford-Water- Riverside, woods, views and good company.

Shapes of trees

Shapes of trees

 

Walking in Guildford, with The UK Explorer’s Group

This month I managed to do two 12-mile circular walks. My first walk was in the Guildford Surrey area. The day didn’t start off promising. As always I was determined to get out more, and joined up with the UK Explorers Group.

I wanted to try another walk with this group; as well I wanted to see a bit more of Guildford. I had been there for a day trip before and quite liked it. I like a circular walk, and 12 miles is a good distance, it feels like a proper work out. Two in a month is pretty good for me.

mad hatter tree

Can you spot the Mad Hatter

 

On a freezing cold Saturday morning I arrived at Waterloo station, I was a bit early and surprised to see a massive crowd of excitable cub scouts off on some day trip. They were all – hip hip hooraying and gearing up for some event. I wrapped my scarf around me wondering where my lot were in the station.

 I was thinking to myself why have I got up and out so early on a Saturday morning to go walking in the cold.

We arrived at Guildford station, where we waited around for someone arriving from near Guildford. It felt cold. Once the full group was together we made off and walked about 7 miles before we stopped off at St Martha’s hill. A steep walk, got us warmed up quickly, it led to a small church and cemetery. we took the opportunity to have a break, as there were a couple of benches tucked in the walled garden. We walkers, appreciate; a  rest to admire the view. A good leader knows where and when to stop.

On a better day, the caretaker told us you could see Surrey and beyond.

 

St Marthas hill for lunch break

St Martha’s hill for lunch break

 

Mellow Yellow

 

Hayes 12 mile circular walk.

 The South Bank Ramblers group, 12-mile circular walk to Hayes, was not a walk, I  enjoyed. It would be great if all walks were fantastic, but there are various factors, that can make a walk unenjoyable.

Being muddy and wet usually spoils what could be a lovely walk. The  problem with this particular walk is there was too much road crossing,

 We frequently went into a wooded area then came out onto a road and did that several times. The leader is an extremely fit walker, who marched us on at a pace, that I don’t mind, at times, but I didn’t feel we saw much scenery of any note, and far too close to the suburbs.

The highlight was the lunch in the village of Downe. I resisted the temptation to go into the George and Dragon, a pub where Zippy (Nigel Farage ) is said to drink.

It will soon be time for my walking weekend away in Derbyshire this is organised by the UK EXPLORERS MEET UP GROUP.

After Guildford, I decided they were an alright group. They are younger than the Ramblers, but that’s fine. I’m not ageist!

A whole weekend away with a group is a new venture for me. We may do some night walking which is not something I have done before. 

I ‘m looking forward to it and hope I have some good walks and pictures to post you all.

Until then

Happy Easter.