Last Camp of the Year ?

Like a fool I passed up the chance of a camp the weekend before Christmas when the weather was clear and warm, and so put myself in the position of having to do a last minute camp in order to successfully complete my one wildcamp a month challenge. Having managed it all the way up to November, it would be a shame to fall at the final hurdle. Continue reading “Last Camp of the Year ?”

A Long Man and a Long Walk (Wealdway: Berwick to Eastbourne)

The sun was still trying to inch its way up into the sky as it I got back to the car from last night’s camp, and such was the direction I was headed in that I found myself driving almost head-on into the sun for most of the drive. Irritating but a positive sign for the day as a whole. I arrived in Berwick and dumped the car in the station car park, taking advantage of the fact that a short ride on the train would neatly return me here at the other end of the day. Continue reading “A Long Man and a Long Walk (Wealdway: Berwick to Eastbourne)”

The Last Wealdway Camp

Moonlight bathed the tent in streaks of silver, filtered by the straggling branches of the bush sheltering us from the big open field, and from the gaze of any passers-by foolhardy enough to be out on this cold night. In terms of other life, all was quiet – no birds, no small mammals, not even the deer that I spotted in the woods the last time I passed this way. Just the occasional knocking of a tree branch against another as the breeze stirred it from its statue-like stillness. A winking light through the wood at first making me think there were other wild campers abroad, but soon realised as a sign of civilisation beyond the trees. The distant swoosh and hum of traffic passing down the A26, people with places to go on this chilly Saturday night. Continue reading “The Last Wealdway Camp”

Screech Wood

I’m no stranger to this particular patch of woodland on the North Downs. Numerous walks have been done through or alongside it, but always solo. This time though I had some company. Continue reading “Screech Wood”

A Camp on Pheasant Down

A sleepy Saturday afternoon it was in Meopham as I parked the car. A rather leisurely-looking game of cricket was taking place on the green, a cyclist was taking a rest and that was about all there was in terms of signs of life. I threw my pack on my back and headed off down a nearby footpath. Continue reading “A Camp on Pheasant Down”

There may have been some swearing… (Wealdway: Uckfield to Berwick)

The plan was ambitious, and as it turned out, too ambitious. A dry and warm forecast for the weekend, and the need to get out for a camp in August to maintain the goal of a wild camp every month led me to the attempt to finish the Wealdway.

It was always going to be a big ask: two 15-18 mile days to finish the thing, which is a bit of a commitment even when I’m feeling fit. And I’m far from fit at the moment, the inevitable decay and atrophying of walk muscles that takes place when I’m working sees to that. Still I thought I’d give it a go. Continue reading “There may have been some swearing… (Wealdway: Uckfield to Berwick)”

A Camp in Slug Meadow

“Civilisation”, or what passes for it in the Medway Valley, was winding down for the night, as we abandoned the car in a lane chosen for its proximity to our target, whilst still being, sort of, a built-up area. We headed up the lane, a party clearly on the go in someone’s garage and garden. Jeers directed at our rucksack-laden backs from locals swigging tasteless lager. Continue reading “A Camp in Slug Meadow”

Deer and Detours (Wealdway: Tonbridge to Uckfield)

Sunday: Tonbridge to Ashdown Forest

I got off the train at Tonbridge, and was immediately struck by the relative cold compared with both home and London. It was also trying to rain, but thankfully without much success.  I’d planned this walk to fit nicely in a period of forecast dry weather and really didn’t fancy another couple of days sloshing through endless mud. Continue reading “Deer and Detours (Wealdway: Tonbridge to Uckfield)”

Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud (Wealdway: Gravesend to Tonbridge)

It’s not often that I get this excited about a walk in the days leading up to it, and I don’t think it’s ever happened for a local walk. But I sat there at the weekend, finalising the route map for the Wealdway and giving some thought to where I might camp on the first night, and the desire to simply be out on the walk was huge and getting bigger. Continue reading “Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud (Wealdway: Gravesend to Tonbridge)”

Planning the Wealdway

The Wealdway is a long distance path that runs from Gravesend in Kent, on the south bank of the Thames, to Eastbourne in East Sussex, where the South Downs terminate in chalk cliffs rising above the English Channel, making it the primary coast to coast walking route in the extreme South East. Continue reading “Planning the Wealdway”

Art meets Science

Once again I needed to pop into London and once again it was art related. There seems to be a pattern emerging here. This time it was the Works on Paper Fair, for which I’d been sent a free ticket by Matt Forster, an “überpainter” of stylised mountain landscapes in watercolour. With this unlikely to fill the day, I looked around for something to bulk it out – the obvious things being I could spend more time in the Science Museum where the fair was being held, or I could do a walk. Continue reading “Art meets Science”

A Walk Among the Artists

A deadline has been pressing on me. The Late Turner exhibition at Tate Britain is due to finish this coming weekend, and I hadn’t been to see it yet, even though it had been on since September and I’ve not had work as an excuse. So I set about rectifying that. Continue reading “A Walk Among the Artists”

A New Series of Urban Walks

I’ve been lucky with the amount of time I’ve been able to take since the summer as a break from working, but it can’t last for ever, and soon work will press on me again. With this in mind, and knowing that one of the ways I keep sane when working is by doing some pavement pounding in London, I wanted to come up with a new series of walks. So I did just that. Continue reading “A New Series of Urban Walks”

A 13 mile walk made a lot harder

I mulled over for ages trying to come up with a witty title for this post, but nothing seemed to work, so I’ve stuck with the factual.

The goal of this walk was actually quite simple – to walk from Erith, where I finished the London LOOP earlier this week, to Gravesend, where I start the next path – the Saxon Shore Way. I’m going to see if I can do this at the end of each of the local(ish) paths that I will be working my way through when I can’t get to the hills. Or at least for as long as I can be bothered to keep it up without getting silly. Continue reading “A 13 mile walk made a lot harder”

Endgame (London LOOP Part 12)

Shiny golden circles adorned the forecast for today and it would have been criminal not to have taken advantage of the conditions to finish off the LOOP, especially as one opportunity had already been passed up last week. Continue reading “Endgame (London LOOP Part 12)”