Sunday, June 22, 2014

High Weald Landscape Trail

Last Friday and Saturday Steve, Dean, Keith and I walked a section of the High Weald Landscape Trail. We picked it up at Goudhurst in Kent at about 9am on Friday and, armed with maps and gps devices we trotted along to our overnight destination Tenterden. On our way we passed through Cranbrook and arrived in Benenden where we enjoyed a couple of lunchtime pints at The Bull Inn (and several thousand bags of crisps).

Feeling refreshed and a little tiddly we ventured forward and within a couple of hours we arrived in Rolvenden, where we enjoyed a couple more pints at The Bull (lovely pub). And more crisps.

Feeling rather loose we plodded on and arrived in Tenterden soon after. The terrain was gentle and we saw very few people; just rolling countryside, arable pasture and orchards.

Our B&B, Little Dane Court, provided great lodging and after a spruce up we hit the pubs for food and sustenance. The following morning we ate breakfast at 8am. The brekkie was fabulous, very fresh and locally sourced and we ate outside as the weather was gorgeous and this helped brush away the cobwebs.

A few bags under eyes but spirits unbroken.

We set off at 9am on the Saturday with the aim of getting to Rye in Sussex by early(ish) afternoon. Generally the route is well signposted but can occasionally through up navigation issues; the OS maps were fairly essential.

The second day took us through lots of dark woods (we were grateful for the shade at times) and one in particular was full of wild garlic plants which gave the air a wonderful whiff.

The trail on the second day took us past the Chapel Down vineyard. If we'd had more time we'd have spent more time there, but as we were crimped for time Keith used it for toileting purposes.

The second day was quite a slog as Dean's knee was really starting to give him discomfort and Keith was suffering from dehydration and hot-spots. However, everyone took a man-pill and got to the finishing line before 3pm.

Massive thanks to the guys for a fabulous couple of days. Great company and great weather.

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