This park is very popular with dog owners and families with small children. We read complaints re the number of dogs off lead and excess dog poo. There were more dogs off lead than we normally see but it wasn’t a problem for us. And re the poo - of course the minute we get out of the car Couscous does the sloppiest poo she has done in a long time so I made a real effort with newspaper and water to clean it all up. We went after lunch so perhaps would try a morning next time (less children??). Easy to walk around and lots of interesting paths. Birds, lake, cafe and all that. I liked it and Couscous got into the spirit of it after a few hellos from other walkers (very important for her).
We went to look at some fence posts that are at a side entrance to the church (a thirteenth century church believed to be the first one dedicated to St George in this country). To me they look as though they may have been used in a prehistoric stone circle at one time and moved into position. I didn’t go into the church although I usually do so may go back. We walked around the back of the village and round to the quaint high street.
Had a quick walk around this cemetery but as dogs were not allowed we’ll probably not go back. There has been an effort to clear the graves in this cemetery and in doing so it seems to have lost something of its atmosphere, although there are patches that remain. There are large grassy areas (great for dogs to run around on; there were a couple of other dogs on a walk while we were there). I don’t get why some cemeteries (like the one up the road from us) don’t allow dogs.
We went out four days in a row, to new and familiar places. Here are a couple of photos from the festive period, in which Couscous shows off her new (green) and older (pink) jackets.
Hadleigh Castle - a ruin that is easily accessed. There appears to be a few walks nearby the property which we hope to investigate another time.
Teston Bridge Country Park - There is a path along the river that goes into Maidstone which would be worth a try in warmer/better weather (the river was swollen when we went). There is a huge field of grass with picnic tables so good for families and you are allowed to BBQ (byo).
We returned to the Island again this morning. We walked round to the left and Couscous chased the boats on the Medway River. The drawbridge was down so we went across to Chatham Docks and had a coffee. There are some new restaurants since we were last here (years ago we came to see a movie and the area depressed me so we never returned). It seems to have changed for the better.
Yesterday we went back to Haysden Country Park, only we missed the turn off and ended up parking by the other lake. This lake is actually Haysden Water while the main park is Barden Lake. Haysden had two problems - muddy and near the freeway so Couscous wanted to chase the cars and kept straining on her lead. So we walked a little way round and decided to go to the main park where it wasn’t muddy. Of course that is near a train line and Couscous wanted to chase the train, but by then she was tired so it wasn’t such a problem. Couscous had a lot of exercise on this trip.
We went into London to pick up my loom and on the way home stopped off at Victoria Park – London’s oldest purpose built, public park. A lovely autumn day. You can park in any of the side streets.
Today we drove to Tunbridge Wells. First we visited Woodbury Park Cemetery, established in the mid 1800s. It’s a lovely Victorian cemetery, quite small, which is well kept. Lady Brisbane’s tomb is here – a cousin of the eponym for Brisbane, Australia. You park in the neighbouring streets for this walk. We then drove round to Calverley Ground (parked in a multi-storey car park across the road from one of the entrances). This park is formal and has a café and toilets. So together they make a good outing for walking Couscous.