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!

I joined the Ramblers last year & I went on my first walk with them.

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)Walking back after about a five-mile walk or so we hiked over a couple of fields our leader was getting slightly lost and it started spitting with rain, it carried on that way for the next few miles. By the time we got to the train station and had waited some time for the train, my feet were soaking wet.

By the time I got to Lewes station and sat waiting for another train (cafe bar shut at 5 pm on a Saturday – why? 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 one, 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