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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!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Keston Village

Although it was a misty start to the day,  the forecast promised it would be hot and sunny. Normally I do not go on country walks on my own. However there was no group walk planned for last Sunday so decided to go it alone. This goes against all common sense as having an accident whilst alone or getting lost etc etc but I was determined to be out and about in the Kent countryside.

I was following a path I knew which took me through Keston Village. Once again the storm damage could clearly be seen as yet another fallen tree blocked the path.

There are two  large ponds at Keston and the ducks were quite active. This Mandarin was eyeing me up and telling me to keep my distance.

Most villages have their own distinctive sign. This is a new one erected in 2013 and features the Keston windmill, church and Roman burial mound.

Leaving the village behind I walked up a small hill to seethe Wilberforce Oak. The inscription on the bench is from the diary of William Wilberforce in 1788

'At length I well remember the conversation I had with Mr Pitt in the open air at the root of an old oak in Holwood, just above the steep descent into the vale of Keston, I resolved to give notice on a fit occasion in the House of Commons of my intention to bring forward the abolition of the slave trade'

Sadly this is all that remains of that oak tree today

Walking on I had a vague idea of where I wanted to go. Did I have a map? Oh no that would be far too sensible. All I had to do was follow the yellow arrows. What could be easier. I climbed over this style and crossed the field but ended up on private property. The owner told me that someone had been messing with the signs and directed me in the right direction.

The second time I got lost I scrambled under this barbed wire fence as I could see some kind of path on the other side. I felt much happier following the path until I came to this signpost.

Which way now???

This field looked promising as it seemed to have a well trodden path going across.

Some wealthy land owner arriving home by helicopter.

Climb over the style or just follow the path? Decisions, decisions.

Clambering through the trees.
 At least this field just had horses in it - although not sure I should be walking across it!

I quickly walked around the electricity pylons.

 At last the village of Downe which I knew. It had taken me 4 hours to get here and I still had a couple of miles to get back to the car but at least I wasn't lost. I think I just might invest in a map next time.


  1. Nice adventure! Glad it all turned out for the best, and you got some great pictures to boot! :-)

  2. The purposeless style looks funny. I haven't seen a Mandarin duck before. What amazing colouring.

  3. Although the paths seem a bit confusing, it looks like a good walk with plenty of variety. The duck's plumage is just amazing. I've never seen one like that before.

  4. WONDERFUL pics! The one of the duck is Amazing!!

  5. You are a brave and intrepid walker! Pretty amazing you could take such great pictures while not being sure whether you were going the right way or not. Beautiful countryside.

    I can get lost in a closet, so I'd probably still be out there.

  6. I have digital mapping on my Laptop, I just go to the area I'm visiting and print off a map of the area, simples. Don't walk alone if you can help it, I used to but lucky my wife comes with me now.


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