Let England Shake


A month of Ups & Downs

Looking In Looking Out

With some free time planned off from work, it was a bit of trial and error as to how to plan a little West Coast UK Trip on the 24/6/2016.

Having bought advanced tickets for the P J Harvey Gig at the Eden Project, and a brother living in Torquay, we were trying to get a few days down the coast in before the gig. We managed to get to Taunton after about 7 hours from London, heading towards Somerset on the weekend of Glastonbury in  torrential rain, and long queues made for a tedious journey. Added were the thoughts of what might happen now ‘Britain had spoke ‘and voted to get OUT of Europe. I could not believe it. I was not feeling very optimistic.

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 quite smart but not a lot happening.!

A sculpture in public Garden Taunton

A sculpture in public Garden Taunton


The next day heading for Exeter for some shopping & a browse round some of the side streets, vintage shop. We stopped for a brilliant ploughman’s lunch at a cafe ( will blog that later) on the green facing the cathedral,then down to Torquay for some evening sun and a couple of drinks.


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 to be presented with the worst sandwich in the world. I actually took it back. Something I have never done before. But  when it comes to food, I wasn’t having it! If Pret A Manger can produce really good quality sandwiches daily so can a pub.


I have a soft spot for Penzance.  It being situated near Lands End, 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, so it was somewhat apprehensive.



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




The cocktails were obviously stronger than I realised, I was convinced my superb photography skills would produce some stunning shots of PJ Harvey. Alas all I got was the backs of people’s heads and a black void with a few shapes..Hope these pics will do you.

PJ Harvey gig at Glastonbury is available on BBC I PLAYER for another few weeks.




PJ  HARVEY and her band have moved to another level, this isn’t really the place to write a music review but the set they played was really well choreographed and delivered a range of songs from two recent albums.  It was  extremely moving. She 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.

Let England shake – PJ Harvey

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. I have two or three planned for July and somehow finding time to develop my other website Juliecanblog . I haven’t got a time schedule or deadline on this but possibly by the end of this year.

PS If you like my blog please sign up and you can get it delivered to your Email inbox. Also if you are interested in joining any walks with a group please check out my Up and Coming Walks page.



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


We seem to have a hell of a lot of engineering works going on down the South East Coast line these days….They gotta do what they gotta do but as an escape route  it’s getting extremely complicated for a day down the coast.It’s only half an hour on the metro 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 and cheaper.!

The dreaded rail replacement bus!

The dreaded rail replacement bus!

But Saying that..

I managed to see quite a lot of Kent in one day

Starting at Eltham we had to take a train to Gillingham change at  Gillingham – to get to Faversham.. so lunch in Faversham a little market town, then a Replacement  bus  to Herne Bay…This being somewhat painful & most comical .The driver decided to blast us with his Traditional Jazz CD ! Frankly it was just weird! I burst out laughing at first but looked round at my fellow passengers who were not amused!! 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 bungalows in what seemed like vast estates on the edge of town I felt somewhat sick and couldn’t wait to get off .

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 fromWestgate 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 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 walk 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.


Starting at Victoria changing at Lewes my favourite station, then down to Newhaven Harbour to walk to Seaford  over the cliffs down to Cuckmere Vally and up over the Seven Sisters, ending at East Dean. An 11 mile walk.Often on returning if we have to wait for more than 30 mins for a train back to Victoria we can pop out at Lewes and catch a half in The Lansdowne Arms five minutes up the Hill from station..


I love a sign!

I love a sign!


The walk starts at an old harbour area which is for jaded eyes is a fine start. We get walking, within 15 minutes we are at 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 Nick Cave 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 discussing Nina Simones backstage behaviour at The Meltdown Festival 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.


In the meantime I will savour what’s left of the Bank Holiday Weekend and get myself down to The Tate at Blackfriars. Until them my fellow travellers ..

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



Peak District Weekend

A weekend at The Peak District

Starting my journey at St Pancras International.

St Pancras International Champage and Oysters anyone!

St Pancras International
Champagne and Oysters anyone!



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 Eurostar. Above the ground floor lays the 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. Buying well in advance, you can print them all from the same place.I was off to a place called Hope just outside Sheffield then a small bus journey or walk to Castleton staying in a Hostel for a walking weekend in The Peak District.

Meet Up Group Explorer’s UK

The UK Explorers are  an independent group they organise everything for you and therefore charge for leading the walks.  I was keen to try the night walk in the Peak District and spend a couple of days in a new area .


I took this with my I phone and couldn’t really get too close.

lambing season

My first impression was of a grand tree-lined drive  leading to an old type Manor house, 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 the group before. It’s not a constant group, people can join or leave any time, so you’re not necessarily going to meet the same people every time. 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, there were groups of cyclists and other random groups just out for the weekend. It’s a busy area for walkers.

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.






Plenty of Ups and Downs in this area, or Peaks and troughs..

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


Easter 2016

Guildford v Hayes

riversided Guildford

Riverside Guildford

Theres’ no real reason why I should vet one against each other, but I walked  2 Twelve mile circular walks this month Guildford and Hayes. Anyhow Guildford wins no competition.

Water- Riverside /woods -views and good company.

Shapes of trees

Shapes of trees

The UK Explorer’s Group

This was my second walk with this group.


A cold Saturday morning I arrived at Waterloo station a bit early and was 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.It was freezing cold and I was thinking to myself why have I got up and out so early on a Saturday morning to go walking in the cold.

Arriving at Guildford station we waited around for what seemed a long time and it felt even colder. 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 which led to a small church and cemetery, a couple of benches tucked in the walled garden for walkers to take a rest and admire the view. 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


Another walking group stopped by and we said Hello/Goodbye as we parted on different routes. I  enjoyed the Guildford walk immensely despite the cold and damp. I usually prefer walks that are near water. A nice bunch of people and a few conversations helped push me along. We stopped at a pub at Guildford and then back for the journey to Waterloo. I joined the Saturday night crowds as I made my way down the escalator to catch the tube home. My legs were aching  as I did a further half mile walk up my road from Brixton tube station .


From Montcuq to Guildford

Before Guildford I did a few little walks in the Montcuq  South France area some part of it are part of ‘the Way’, a movie as well as a real life pilgrimage. More of that another time. (it’s complicated)


The Way……………..


My stay there was brief  I only walked a few miles in the surrounding area of the village of Montcuq. I dont’ know the place well enough to just take off . It wasn’t the reason I was there.

It must be great to not have to work and just go off on a tangent. I may well do so yet  and be like one of those persons that just drifts into the wilderness never to return!! such is the tedium of my working life. I’m very tempted.

Hayes 12 mile circular walk.

Oh well in the meantime last week in preparation for a walking weekend coming up in April I decided to go on a walk with The South Bank Ramblers group a 12 mile circular walk. I can’t say I really enjoyed it.  It wasn’t muddy and wet which is a bonus but there was too much road crossing, it seemed we went in a wooded area then came out onto a road and did that several times. The leader being an extremely fit walker marched us on at a pace..  The highlight was the lunch at 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.


Can you see  the Mad Hatter… in this tree?


Easter Bunny Tree!

Ok- another episode over.

It will soon be time for my walking weekend away in Derbyshire which may include some night walking  (weather permitting.)

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

Until then

Happy Easter.