Tag Archives: rural

Forest Way, East Sussex

A few weeks back now we drove to Forest Row for a Sunday walk along Forest Way. Nice wide path but far too many cyclists for our liking. There is no public toilet but there is a community centre with one – but it wasn’t open when we were there. There was a good cafe with a loo and a Tesco across the road.

  • OK after wet weather – yes
  • Parking fee – no
  • Toilets – yes
  • Café – yes

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Forest Way (4)

Forest Way (1)

Forest Way (2)

Christmas 2014 (inc. Hadleigh Castle and Teston bridge)

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.

New blanket for Christmas

New blanket for Christmas

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.

  • OK after wet weather – no
  • Parking fee – no
  • Toilets – no
  • Café – no
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    Xmas Day Hadleigh Castle

    Xmas Day Hadleigh Castle

    Xmas Day Hadleigh Castle

    Xmas Day Hadleigh Castle

    Xmas Day Hadleigh Castle

    Xmas Day Hadleigh Castle

    Xmas Day Hadleigh Castle

    Xmas Day Hadleigh Castle

    Chartwell again on Boxing Day

    Chartwell again on Boxing Day

    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).

  • OK after wet weather – yes
  • Parking fee – yes
  • Toilets – yes
  • Café – maybe?
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    Teston Bridge lock (day after Boxing Day)

    Teston Bridge lock (day after Boxing Day)

    Medieval Teston Bridge (day after Boxing Day)

    Medieval Teston Bridge (day after Boxing Day)

    St Margaret's near Teston (day after Boxing Day)

    St Margaret's near Teston (day after Boxing Day)

    Swalecliffe coastline (day after the day after Boxing Day)

    Swalecliffe coastline (day after the day after Boxing Day)

    Igtham Mote, Kent

    Igtham Mote is a moated manor house. Built nearly 700 years ago, this house has been owned by Medieval knights, courtiers to Henry VIII and high society Victorians. It is now managed by the National Trust. The house is surrounded by gardens with an orchard, water features, lakes and woodland walks. Dogs are not allowed in the main property but there are three estate walks. You get a good view over Kent on the longer walk. The loo is accessible from the car park and the café might be as well.

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  • OK after wet weather – yes
  • Parking fee – no (for NT members)
  • Toilets – yes
  • Café – yes
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    Cliffe Pools, Kent

    “Cliffe Pools nature reserve offers a spectacular landscape of open water and big skies. The reserve is one of the most important places for wildlife in the UK with huge flocks of wading birds and waterfowl. A number of nature trails cross the reserve, affording great views of the pools, wildlife and the River Thames which runs alongside.”

    Another gem not far from Gravesend. This is a RSPB reserve and we saw a few different birds (but we weren’t there for that long), a rabbit and what may have been a fox cub. The paths are pretty good, and we came a day after a huge storm. I couldn’t believe the blackberries! They lined all the paths we took, often on both sides. I ate a couple but it will be a couple of weeks before they are ripe. Must go back. Couscous loved the puddles and the mud.

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  • OK after wet weather – yes
  • Parking fee – no
  • Toilets – no
  • Café – nearby
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    Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest, Kent

    The National Pinetum is a botanical garden/collection of conifers and sits on the largest site in the world for such a collection. There are  over 12,000 trees and shrubs (including 1,800 different species) from across five continents, many of them rare and endangered.  It is very popular with cyclists but the Pinetum path does not allow bikes so is good for dogs, although as usual some families think their kids are excluded from such rules! There are grassy hilly areas where we let CC off the lead and she bounced around in the grass. You don’t have to walk up the hills as the main path is generally flat and wide to allow wheelchairs. It was a beautiful day when we went and lots of shady areas and places to have a picnic. The parking fee is a little steep for only a couple of people so we won’t visit to often but I’d like to see it in winter.

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  • OK after wet weather – yes
  • Parking fee – £9.50
  • Toilets – yes
  • Café – yes
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    Manor Park Country Park again

    We have been here before but not for some time. One of the fields was covered in buttercups which Couscous loved running through. Across the road from the park is St Leonard’s Tower and here are a couple of photos of that:

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    Ranscombe Farm Reserve, Kent

    Today we went to a local reserve where I have my first published piece of photography on show. I took a photo of a mesolithic hand axe found in the reserve and it’s now on an information board. Of coarse we didn’t find the board but I now know where it is and will go back when it hasn’t been raining. There is a main road to the farm house from which a number of paths lead off. Couscous seemed to like it and did some chasing after cars and cyclists – with me in tow behind.

    rans-map

  • OK after wet weather – some paths
  • Parking fee – no
  • Toilets – no
  • Café – no
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    Great Dixter, Sussex

    We went to the dachshund racing day at Great Dixter. Couscous was a little aloof but others were racing away.

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    Bough Beech, Kent

    The nature trail here is worth a walk. The start is from the oast house / café / Wildhouse Trust visitor centre. There is a variety of bird and other wildlife. The reservoir can be seen better from the road just round the bend.

    boughbeech-map

  • OK after wet weather – yes
  • Parking fee – no
  • Toilets – yes
  • Café – yes
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    Knole Park, Kent

    The landscape here is different from other areas of Kent in that the ground is sandy not stoney-Couscous preferred it. The park is full of grass fields with thick growth of ferns either side. Dogs aren’t allowed in the house but the park is vast so it’s no bother. This is Kent’s last medieval deer park. The deer are very pretty but can be a little too friendly. We saw one that was hassling a woman and toddler for their picnic food. We took Couscous up to them to see if it would move away from a dog but instead it was very curious and stomped its hoofs enough to make us back off. The oddest thing was a lack of rubbish bins outside the café area. I intend to return to visit the house and its collections.

    knole-map

  • OK after wet weather – yes
  • Parking fee – no (for National Trust members)
  • Toilets – yes
  • Café – yes
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