Walking With The Beast

I’m Walking- I’m just walking, I’m walking with The Beast!

Taking that long-needed walk can release the beast in all it’s might; Throw it around a bit, wrestle with it and hopefully beat it.

  I am fond of  a song called  Walking with The Beast.( RIP Jeffery Lee Pierce. ) An ode to depression.  It is something I can relate to, I can describe it as that suffocating feeling like an Incubus nightmare; when you feel smothered and overwhelmed.

sun coming down at Eastbourne

Nearly there yet.? Along the cliff tops.


I have been writing about Walks and things discovered along the way for some years now. It’s an infinite subject.

Are you walking away from someone or something? Or towards an event; walking for charity? on a Demo, a stroll in the park, walking for health, walking with the Beast? I love my little 25-minute lunchtime walk, it can take the edge off as I leave my desk, log out of my computer and phone, I walk up Camberwell Grove to smell the roses!


My planned walk from Seaford to Eastbourne


Blue Skies Open Heath, wild flowers

Blue skies open space


Fortunately, the sun came out in the afternoon which made for a very pleasant day walking. We covered the actual Seven Sisters in an hour and got to Eastbourne for 5 pm. We had walked 15 miles by the end of the day. That is a fair old shuffle and enough to shake off those blues.

picture of walkers at Beachy Head

walking from Seaford to Eastbourne, a bit too busy clifftop


The Wellcome Institution. 

I have been popping in there for some years now. You never know what you will find once inside. It is an amazing venue.I rarely plan a visit there, and I’m seldom disappointed on what’s showing. I usually come away feeling a bit more inspired than I did when I first walked in. 


Strange picture of Bull with sperm straws on his back!

Strange Beast indeed!


A series of large photographic portraits of bulls at an Irish stud farm Dovea Genetics.

 The sculptures represent different characteristics that are being bred into cattle such as being hornless, being able to withstand changes in climate. The colourful straws are semen straws! Somewhat complex content. See Link Below for full details.

 If that wasn’t strange enough I then find this!

Under –

A Video Installation

2 video projections named Under ;exploring the 3 elements which measure free diving:  time, distance and depth


Each of the Under films was entirely shot and performed on a single breath of air in the Red Sea.

Until next time, keep on keeping on.


leading a walk

Leading a walk, or sharing a led walk!

Leading a walk alone is somewhat easier than a joint walk with two other leaders. Although I was grateful to be with two map reading experts, I still found the experience somewhat difficult. To make matters more difficult we were starting at Hastings, walking to Rye, and previously we had started at Hastings and finished at Rye. I found out after this walking experience that starting at Rye was the best option.

 I’m not a great map reader, I’m inclined to lead the walk in the main from memory. The map is a back up if I get lost.

It is essential to prepare for the walk, this is to find out; what works, & where the toilets are, knowing where to eat, be it a picnic or a pub lunch, how long the walk takes including the stops,  and any changes that may have been made En-route.

I’m sure when I lead the walk on 1/6/2018 it will be a perfect day! 

Hopefully, Martin will be a joint leader on this walk. Martin & I had previously walked this route, led by another South Bank Group member, from Rye to Hastings, so both of us were sort of doing this a bit based on that memory, and our third leader was doing it all by the map.

view of Hastings town from top of stairs

A view from the hill of Hastings.



 In a way, this was really creating a new walk, based on some knowledge of the area. Getting to Hastings was easy and we headed straight through the old town and turned in at a side entrance by The Dolphin Inn, there is a steep staircase leading up to East Cliffs Hastings.


Bollards sign post routes

These bollards really help


Martin is well acquainted with Hastings, as he occasionally displays his artwork at a Gallery near the seafront at St Leonard’s. On this occasion, he met us in Hastings and told us there was a warning about erosion in Hastings Country Park which meant we would be diverted.


a bridge crossing over near

I recognise this bit, it leads to a naturist beach!


We were keen to avoid too much of the steep climbs of which there are many.

The diversion worked quite well as we only had 3 difficult steep climbs in which you have to stop at the end to catch your breath. I had walked some hellish steep steps in Hastings Country Park, in the past. It is pretty well signposted but is vast; if you are not careful it is easy to get waylaid then exhausted. 

Texan Jane, the other leader, held firmly to the map correcting us when we were going wrong. Both Jane & Martin have been leading walks for many years, but still, it was ‘my walk’, but we all contributed to making it happen. The rain poured down from 2 pm- 6 pm, we had no choice but to carry on.


coming out of woods to cliff overlooking sea

Coming out to Fairlight Bay

picture from cliffs coming out of Hastings Country Park

Looking out to Sea, huge clouds, lots of rain, from 2 pm-6 pm


Gray and blue skylight picture of sea

looking towards Petts level

seat with a view over coast

Seat with a view, out to sea.


leaders leading the way

Where now Jane? eh, Martin?!!!

a picture of sign post in three directions

I’m sure it’s this way, yes definitely, I ‘m sure…… 


Buying the right tickets & learning how to get around the somewhat overcomplicated  system can be a bit of a pain.

My word of advice is to avoid advanced tickets if possible and try to get the off-peak return instead. Split ticketing is another way of possibly getting a cheaper ride and using the oyster up to Zone 9 then  buying a train ticket for the rest of the journey out of London.

I occasionally attend a Blog Meet UP Group in Euston and would recommend this blog about travel. blog/travel-money-matters/5-tips-for-cheap-train-travel
 Having the right clothes

Having the right walking gear is essential, the subject deserves it’s own blog, although that might be a bit boring. Google, Goretex! and you will be on the right track. It is not fun being soaking wet, knowing we have another 8 miles to walk in the rain, believe me!

 Camber Castlecamber castle near RyeLooking through the window of Camber Castle

picture of ruined but still standing Camber Castle


When I first joined the Ramblers in 2011 I received a free copy of The Best Walks in Britain, and took it with me on my first visit to Seaford; from where I took a bus to East Dean then walked back to Seaford via The Seven Sisters; after I completed my Accredited walk leaders course, I started taking a group out doing variations on a theme.  I have extended my walk this year to Eastbourne.



Until next time keep on keeping on















The Rite of Spring

The title The Rite of Spring is taken from a ballet 

The Ballet, when it was released in Paris caused controversy and rioting! it’s hard to imagine but it’s true. A yoga teacher I met at a retreat wrote a blog about it. To read his blog about The Rite of Spring see below for more information. 

It’s been extremely frustrating recently, not being able to get out on long walks, due to an excessive workload. A change of scenery and a good long walk with a bunch of people is very good for the soul. Getting muddy boots and feeling the fresh air is invigorating. I’m so missing it.

It’s been too long, I think the furthest I’ve walked since November is probably about 6 miles. Mainly from Clapham to Brixton, the furthest being to Chelsea, or Penge via Crystal Palace Park.

I’m not getting anywhere near my 10,000 steps a day, due to cycling to work and back. Still, improvements have been made to my working life which is why I haven’t been getting out. So Happy Easter, welcome to a damp weekend.

 The South Downs Frogs at it!


This time last year or thereabouts I had decided to go off on my own walking across the South Downs and came across these mating frogs. I really enjoyed being out in nature. I will be having my 1st non-urban walk April 13/4/2018 re-visiting, The South Downs Lewes for a similar walk.

This magnificent beast waddled towards me to get itself a drink .


If I can have a few wee runs around the park during the next coming weeks, it should prepare me a bit for my practice walk from Hastings to Rye at the end of April.  I will be leading that June the 1st I so need to get out and learn the route. Luckily someone wants to do it with me, so less chance of getting lost. I’m also leading Seaford to Eastbourne in May.

Sharing Blogs

Please have a read of this thoughtful blog written by a yoga teacher who I met in Scotland back in 2011, at a yoga retreat.

Beautiful Lake

Looking back at the pictures I feel a strange wave of sadness.

I haven’t seen anywhere as beautiful since.


H A P P B I R T H D A Y  B R Y A N

MARCH 31ST 2018

©Julie Connelly


Brixton v Clapham

Brixton v Clapham

There’s no comparison really Brixton is cool and edgy and Clapham, well Clapham, just isn’t cool and edgy. To be serious though, due to my lack of time to go out on walks, I have got to thinking why not write about places I know about. I have lived in Brixton since 1984 and have been on nodding terms with  Clapham, Brixton’s posh friend, for many years. Brixton v  Clapham, well let’s see!

Ritzy Saturday Afternoon this cool looking couple got in the way of my camera! Watch out for protests outside for the living wage


Hang on a minute, I think I’m experiencing feelings for Clapham!

Until recently I rarely had many reasons to visit Clapham.
On occasions, I have met up with friends to go to Eco, a Pizza place with a touch of class, it is spacious & runs a great service, I have never been disappointed in my many years of visiting them.

Just off the high street, I have also been known to make the odd visit to Clapham Manor Street to sample the beer.

Sun shadow at side of The Clapham Tap


On my walks to Chelsea, I pass the bar heading towards the old Railway bridge across to Matrimony walk, leading to Wandsworth Road, straight on to Battersea Park, into  Chelsea. One of my favourite urban walks.

In-between Clapham & Brixton If you look there is always something to see



An interesting looking poster outside a hair salon previously a corner pub

In NYC in September there were a lot of outside places to play chess, looks like it’s catching on in Clapham North

Clapham Old Town

MANY years ago I jammed in this place with ‘Those girls’ a  line up that didn’t last very long, but it was  a cool place to hang out

Once upon a time, many years ago, in Clapham Old town people lived in these and one of them was a rehearsal studio!


CLAPHAM does have the Common and the old town it is nothing if not quaint, with an authentic French Café situation on the corner of Bromwell St. Old town does have some lovely shops, and diverse cafes.

I have had the soup many times at Tart, but do check, as some soups like Tuscany bean soup sounds vegetarian, but when I had that it had bits of pork in it. Just ask, & they will serve without; they are nothing but nice. It is Clapham after all.

The old Clapham House Picture house on Venn St. A really nice area just off the high street.

Brixton still knocks the socks off Clapham

Clapham is growing on me but there is something about Brixton that can’t be matched. I think it’s the sheer diversity, and in terms of trendy new places popping up all the time. Brixton has the lot. Brixton Academy, and a range of small clubs, lots of bars, a huge library a better high street, lots of markets, Brockwell park.

Atlantic Road near The Dogstar Club


Give me back my wig



Once a Housing Coop , cheap rent

On the corner of Atlantic Road/Coldharbour Lane Brixton


This building is about to be redeveloped or pulled down. I knew several people who lived here paying about £5 a week rent.

Considering the flats were so pokey and had toilets virtually in the living space, that was probably too much to pay anyway.They were a  cooperative and as far as I know most people have been rehoused, hopefully to a better place. Still, good parties and other shenanigans happened there.

keep cool & keep walking, you know it’s good for you.










Challenging walks

There are two Challenging walks I am leading this year., Both walks are over 14 miles.

There are so many types of challenging walks. The first walk I’m leading is from Seaford to Eastbourne,it is a walk I have done before and know it to be difficult. The total distance is about 14-miles. Made all the more difficult because of having very steep ascents and descents. It includes the steep Beachy Head, as well as The Seven Sisters. This is scheduled for the 13th of May.

There are many types of Challenging walks. 

Coming up on the 1st of June is another long one, from Hastings to Rye, with a steep start through Hastings Country Park.

This is a walk I need to practice, and there are a few members interested in learning this with me. I think what makes this the most challenging walk, is the fact that it is very long as well as all of the steep ascents and descents.

trooping through the fields at Rye

Rye to Hastings

Previously I have walked starting from Rye to Hastings, and all of those occasions, I found it to be demanding; especially on a hot summer day. Let’s see how this one goes. I will be doing a practice run for this one for sure.! There are some long flat stretches such as along the Military Canal.

Hastings Country Park, bigger than you think


Capital Walkers

A London-based group and usually of a younger age than The Ramblers. They are also calling out for walk leaders, and it’s something I may consider an Easter Walk, a favorite walk of mine is Brixton to Chelsea Physic Gardens then finishing at Victoria. there is no doubt about it walking has become a booming interest.

I joined my group in 2011 and would never have guessed it would turn into such a passion. I’m not saying I hadn’t done a lot of walking previous to that, I always liked walking about looking at places. Planning long walks, and taking a group out, is a different kettle of fish, it takes time, as does understanding routes, train travel, & working out the distances of routes.  It is a challenge to learn and I am always up for learning new things.

Meet Up Group Bloggers- ways to keep inspired to write my blog about walking

I have eventually joined up with a Bloggers Meet Up Group in Euston, and intend to be a lot more group focused  OR even just getting to know other writers/bloggers. It might sound a bit dull to sit in a room with other people writing, usually, there are discussions as well, as people generally like to enjoy talking about work they are doing. I find it interesting to meet other writers/bloggers. It is held in the week, so I can’t get to it as often as I would like to.


Historical walks in London

candles surrounding skeleton in Charterhouse


I did manage to visit Charterhouse and the Museum of the order of St John after returning to Clerkenwell a couple of weeks ago. The area deserves its own post; as I was there on a social/business venture, it was a case of popping in briefly to both venues. A Post exclusive will be Coming Soon.  See my post for December for details of the last 2 city walks.

a well-preserved skeleton Charterhouse



Night sky & stargazing is something I have always wanted to do, where better than the South Downs, on a cold clear night. 

I love walking out in the countryside in Winter and the nearest I can get to it at the moment is Winter Watch on BBC 2. This time last year, I was walking on the South Downs in Lewes, on a freezing cold winters day, followed by the Best Vegetarian Breakfast ever. Unfortunately, they have been forced to close down due to excessive competition. It is so sad, I was really looking forward to going to this cafe again.

picture of free range eggs, vegetarian sos, big breakfast

fantastic vegetarian breakfast


winter in Lewes

Until next time, keep on keeping on.


A lone swimmer braves the cold

While you sit indoors, there’s always someone out there braving the cold.