Goodness! Two months since my last blog post and what have I been doing? Family ‘stuff’, hospital visits, 80th birthday celebrations and, of course, plenty of walking! My eldest son and daughter are home from university and they too have run the gauntlet of restless cows and belligerent brambles to join me in stepping out along ancient tracks to reach a destination. They are both far fitter than I am but even for them, walking is an excellent way to further improve fitness and stamina.
I’ve also enjoyed the tranquility of walking alone, observing seasonal changes in our countryside, and the simplicity of ‘being’ in a manner which often eludes us as we weave our way through the technological maze of everyday life.
The upshot is I now have almost 14 circular routes nailed to the page. The unique and distinct area of the High Weald is becoming a familiar friend: timber-boarded homes and imposing oast houses, sheep farms and wheat crops, pitted woodland, open heath, rolling hills and sandstone outcrops. What are my favourite moments? The stony approach to an ancient culvert in Strawberry Woods, a deer who watches our steady progress or the rugged coves of a little known country park? Only time will tell but I’m glad my adventures are not yet over.
If you would like to join us, I need volunteers to test out my walks. I send you directions and a map then you follow the walk and let me know if you have any problems with the directions. You may want your own Ordnance Survey map for that area, whether in hard copy or on your phone through Ordnance Survey Mapping Online. I have found the GPS on the latter to be invaluable in tackling any navigational problems. If you are interested, please see my next blog post for a small detour by experienced route tester, Gosta Luthman.
Walks Needing Testing
Cadborough Cliff, Tillingham Valley and Rye. 8 miles.
West Hoathly, Ardingly: Water, Water Everywhere. 12.8 miles
Staplefield and the Ouse Valley Viaduct. 10 miles.
Woodland Tranquillity: St Leonard’s Forest. 10 miles
A Cliff and Glen Walk Through Hastings Country Park. 10.6 miles ( Lots of climbing!)
Benendon and the Rural High Weald. 6 miles
Classic High Weald: A Circle from Picturesque Tenterden. 9.5 miles
If you are interested in testing a route, choose one of the above and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The book is due for publication with Vertebrate Publishing next spring so there’s plenty of time to get out and about but summer is an ideal season to explore the outdoors.