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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!



Friday, 26 April 2013

Walk around Ightham

Yesterday's walk with U3A started from the car park of a National Trust property - Ightham Mote in Kent. As I have probably said before I don't have a sat nav and much prefer to navigate by using a map. Although in theory this is fine, I quite often get lost especially when trying to negotiate some of the very narrow lanes that criss cross the county of Kent but then one of the targets on my bucket list was to discover new(to me) villages in Kent. I seem to be doing this with alarming regularity but as long as I set off early enough I usually get to the starting point on time. Yesterday was a little different as I only got lost once and arrived at the meeting point almost an hour early but unexpectedly the weather was glorious.









For once it was a beautiful blue sky and a warm (yes warm) breeze. Whilst waiting for the rest of the group I wandered off on my own and just enjoyed the wild flowers that seemed to have appeared overnight.


 I can never tire of wild primroses.







Bluebells were just beginning to open.



















Once everyone arrived we started by walking past  Ightham Moat, a medieval manor house. (I'll write a separate post about this wonderful building later).














We walked through woodland where the floor was ready to explode into a blue carpet of bluebells.


We walked across farmland although I was chatting so much I forgot to take many photos of the different types of countryside.













                                                                                                 
We then came to the village church of Shipbourne. Inside the church they were packing away the remains of a Farmers' market so we were a little late to fill up on cakes and pastries






Outside the church we saw this sign. I have heard of this before but never come across the reality of a small community printing their own currency. The small village of Shipbourne had decided to try to encourage the local community to buy locally. You exchange your sterling currency in the local pub (The Chaser) and then spend it at the market. The man I spoke to said it was working very well as after the market had finished, most people then went into the pub to spend any money they had left.

Our walk then took us across the Fairlawne estate. A very large estate now believed to be owned by a Saudi Arabian family. Apparently there had been some dispute about walking across the land but as there are documented public rights of way going through the gardens, we can legally walk through as long as we strictly adhere to the paths.




Looking at this tree you can see the large bunches of the parasitic plant mistletoe growing on it. I wonder if they will harvest them at Christmas. Then it wasn't long before we arrived back at our starting point just in time for lunch.


Sharing with weekend reflections.

12 comments:

  1. I love how you have put this together. There are so many wonderful places to walk around England and this one looks especially lovely. Nice job!

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  2. Beautiful images from your walk. A lovely place! Have a happy weekend!

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  3. It is much nicer to walk with better weather I think. I wonder if the Arab family ever walk around their surrounding estate. Glad they kept it open for walkers like you. Nice post to walk around with you.

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  4. I think it is wrong that rich people come over here but our historic properties and then try to stop people useding a right of way that has been there for centuries.

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  5. What fine pictures! I always enjoy learning about and seeing new places when I visit you! :-)

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  6. Looks beautiful ! I am actually at the Côte d'Azur until Sunday, spring is in full bloom here !

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  7. Lovely photos.

    Sorry, just the mood I am in. "one of the targets on my bucket list was to discover new(to me) villages in Kent. I seem to be doing this with alarming regularity but as long as I set off early enough I usually get to the starting point on time". I laughed.

    "We walked through woodland where the floor was ready to explode into a blue carpet of bluebells." In other words, you missed them in flower.

    "Inside the church they were packing away the remains of a Farmers' market." So you missed that too.

    The documented rights of way are interesting and very good that they are sacrosanct.

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  8. Such a lovely place and a wonderful place to walk indeed! I really enjoyed all of your captures for the day! Lovely flowers, beautiful skies! Thanks for sharing the fun and the beauty! Enjoy your weekend!!

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  9. What a beautiful walk ! and you were so lucky with the weather ! I love the smell of spring in the woods it's the best parfum of the world ! It's the last day for me here in Olliloules/Sanary and it rains ! Fortunately never for long, Tomorrow morning I fly home from Marseille to Brussels South. But I'll come back in automn and we want to discover van Gogh's places in Arles !

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  10. What a great walk! The manor house is wonderful (much more my style when compared to the estate).

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  11. That sounds like a great U3A walking group. We just walk through the forest but you have different things to see each time. U3A is a great organisation. Looking forward to seeing more of the manor.

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