Gallery

Wednesday 6th September 2017 - a beautiful sunny early autumn day, and twenty-six of us had a lovely walk from Pluckley. Our route took us through apple and plum orchards; the apple trees heavy with fruit, but the plums mostly picked or fallen now - but looking like a bumper crop! We met another party of walkers on our way towards Egerton, wrestled with a tall maize crop, and then said hello to a magnificent bull - thankfully in a field that we didnt have to walk through! We finished off with cake all round, in honour of someone's birthday - well, mine, in fact! A lovely morning!

Wednesday 30th August 2017 - and seventeen brave souls turned up for our walk from Charing. The forecast was for heavy rain but we had a few moments of hope at the start, as it was dry at that point. However, the rain started almost straight away and got harder as the walk went on, so by the end the description 'drowned rats' was fairly accurate. We cut a couple of chunks out but still managed to do nearly five miles, so we all felt that honour was satisfied! sadly, the lovely views that this walk normally affords were all but obscured, so here's a few photos from the walk and some from the pre-walk, just to show what it could have been like! We still managed to enjoy ourselves - well done all!

Wednesday 28th June 2017 - and today seventeen of us walked from Appledore - taking the slightly longer route, by walking down to the bottom of the village before turning and picking up the path by the Royal Military Canal. A favourite walk this - actually our very first walk for this group, and although unlike on that day we didn't have a very sunny walk today, at least we stayed mostly dry! On our way along the RMC path we were observed by some rather supercilious young rams, and then we met the lady of the house at the lovely barn conversion we've been observing over the last couple of years - and she turned out to be known to one of our number! Then a lovely walk back along the Saxon Shore Way, through Gusbourne vineyards. A shortish walk this one - only 5.25 miles, but much of interest along the way! Some of the photos from the sunnier pre-walk!

Wednesday 21st June 2017 - the longest day - and certainly the hottest so far this year! Sixteen of us walked from Wye, along the route that takes us across the Stour valley and rises gently up to the Soakham Downs. We took it gently, with frequent water stops - and indeed who would have wanted to hurry and miss the poppies and chamomile in the fields; the singing of the skylarks and yellowhammers; the hundreds of damsel flies by the river and the wonderful views! As always, we do this walk to coincide with the Stour Music Festival at Boughton Aluph church, and although we heard no rehearsing this year, it was as always interesting to see all the marquees, etc. A lovely walk for mid-summer!

Wednesday 14th June 2017 - nineteen of us had a great walk around Woodchurch today, and although the meadows were very well grown making walking a bit tiring at times, they were very pretty, the weather was great, and the countryside was looking at its best basking in the warm sun! We had fun struggling through a field of very tall broad beans; tried (and failed!) to think up a collective noun for Davids, as three of them popped over a stile one after another; I threw a final twist in as I led the walk along a lovely cobbled path in the village between pretty cottages; and to cap it off, Gary had driven out to meet us and was waiting on the Green as we finished - we're all looking forward to having him back walking with us

Wednesday 7th June 2017 - and following a couple of days of heavy rain and high winds, today dawned clear, if still rather windy. Seventeen of us walked from Godmersham, on the extended route, which takes us up onto the downs above Crundale. The wind ensured that we had fine views across to Chilham, Bilting and Ashford, and the views were well worth the climb to get up there! We still had a little more climbing to do, which brought us out above the railway and the A28, which we crossed at East Stour Farm and made our way back along the North Downs Way to Godmersham. The river Stour was very full after the rain, but the ground was dry again, meaning we had easy walking on this beautiful route.

Wednesday 31st May 2016 - and today twenty-eight of us walked from Bilsington. This is a summer walk - all the land in this area gets too wet to walk through the winter months, but today it was lovely - in and of the dappled shade of the many woodlands and with a clear day allowing us good views. We start at the White Horse pub, walk down with the obelisk on our (distant) right, then circle clockwise to the west and north of the village, arriving on the pastureland above and looking down on the obelisk, before dropping back down to the village. A splendid walk - we were slighly slowed by the very verdant vegetation but more so by the many stiles, but we all had a good time (and many of us a good pint afterwards)!

Wednesday 24th May 2017 - and today we took advantage of one of the first real summer days of the year, to do a favourite walk from Egerton. I think we have walked this route more than any other, and today twenty-one of us took part, including Jean on her first Wednesday walk. This lovely route takes us firstly on a little round to see the tumulus, and then back through the village and out again through orchards - some newly planted - to follow the Greensand Way as it rises towards Boughton Malherbe. The views across the Weald are stupendous, and today we had really good visibility when we got to 'the top'. Then turning and taking a very attractive path across the fields and pastures, past hidden farms and pretty houses, to bring us to where the church tower guides us back to the village. A beautiful day, and a beautiful walk!

Wednesday 17th May 2017 - and in a week of showery spring weather, we were lucky enough to have a wonderful warm, dry sunny morning for our Chapel Bank Walk. Twenty-one of us walked today (although it would be fair to say that one rode more than he walked - Charlie was a sleepy little boy today! We welcomed Anne to the group, and enjoyed the big skies and the lovely scenery of this area. This is arguably the best time of the year - the trees, hedgerows and fields are verdant, and still a lovely 'spring' green - soon they will all darken and look more tired, We heard the cuckoo on several occasions, and also saw and/or heard frogs, swans, skylarks, yellowhammers, buzzards, reed warblers - and lots of butterflies. Chapel Bank is an interesting place; once an island, it had a church, but this was moved down nearer to today's village after the water levels fell - leaving just the gravestones. Normally in May they are surrounded by a froth of cow parsley; unfortunately my best-laid plans were foiled as the sheep had been allowed in to graze, and had grazed all the cow parsley away! Oh well, just have to try again next year!

Wednesday 10th May 2017 - after several Wednesdays that have been less than brilliant weather-wise, it was a joy to walk today on a lovely sunny and increasingly warm morning! Twenty-five of us took advantage of the opportunity, meeting at the Woolpack in Smeeth for a very pretty walk around the area. Along the way we met friendly horses and llamas, lots of sheep and a rather boisterous ram, but despite looking hard we failed to see any deer in the deer park at Mersham Hatch. (They are there, though - we saw some on the pre-walk)! Nor, despite my warnings, did we encounter the bull which we had walked past on the pre-walk - we saw later that the herd had been moved to another field - and that there were three bulls. No doubt some of the walkers were relieved! Despite it being rather late in their season, we found two places where there were wonderful carpets of bluebells. Although not a hilly walk, there is enough height gain to get some good views - glorious in today's sunshine. 

Wednesday 3rd May 2017 - and our second new walk of the year brought fifteen of us to Sheldwich today. Much needed rain sadly meant that we didn't see this lovely walk to best advantage, but fortunately I am able to post some lovely pictures taken on the pre-walk, when the weather was much more clement! This is a gem of a walk, with a dramatic and completely unexpected dry valley as its central focus. Starting from the cricket ground at Sheldwich Lees, we first walk across fields to the pretty church of St. Lawrence at Badlesmere, then after a little road work, enter the valley for the first time. It is beautiful with many trees around the outside, and some in the valley itself, and seems only to be used for grazing. There were a herd of very friendly cows this week for both our visits! Climbing fairly steeply out of the valley about halfway along, we walk through pretty countryside and orchards to Selling, and then along the road to Hogben's Hill, where we enter the valley at the other end and traverse it, this time rising gently up the western side and into the parkland of Lees Court, where there are some lovely avenues of mature trees. This walk has captivated all who have walked it, and I hope to do it again soon, but in better weather!

Wednesday 26th April 2017 - and a return to hats and gloves for us this morning, with a cold front which brought a very cold northerly wind and the threat of rain later. It stayed bright and sunny during the walk, though, and twenty-two of us had a lovely walk from Charing - an old favourite, scheduled to coincide with the blossom at Cherry Farm. A new starting place caught Gary out, but he soon found us! Always something of interest on this walk, as we climb gently from the village to the North Downs Way, and follow this westward for a while, all the time enjoying wonderful views across the valley. Then dropping down and crossing the A20 and the railway, to walk through lovely pastureland, now looking UP at the Downs, and then skirting the old sand quarry at Charing Heath - now hopefuly being turned into recreational space. Alas, quarrying is set to start on a new site, the topsoil already removed. Finally, passing over a pretty babbling brook and under the railway line to bring us back to the village.

Wednesday 19th April 2017 - and a lovely sunny morning saw twenty-four of us walking from West Hythe. This route - only walked once before - takes us from the car park beside the Royal Military Canal at West Hythe, across the fields to Brockhill Park, where we have a lovely walk around the lake and through the park, emerging in Hythe where we pick up the Canal again beside the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway. We always hope to see the trains but alas this morning it was not to be, and we had to content ourselves with a couple of whistles from the little engines! A final walk back along the Canal - looking splendid this morning in the sunshine - to our start point. 

Wednesday 12th April 2017 - and lovely to know that even when I am away on holiday, the walks still go on! Today saw twenty-six walkers, expertly led by Jim, walking in King's Wood. The weather wasn't quite as good as it had been for the pre-walk, when it was very sunny - but this is not a walk for the distant views - at this time of the year it is all about bluebells! Maybe one more week would have seen them at their absolute best, but they were just coming into their own today. And just as an antidote to all that blue, the route also takes in pretty Molash church. We welcomed Ann's grandson Toby (aged 9) on the walk today, and was he shy? - not he; talking to all and sundry! Thanks to Jim and Jan for pre-walking and leading.

Wednesday 5th April 2017 - and another beautiful spring morning - mild and sunny - saw thirty-eight of us walking from Hamstreet. This is a route we have enjoyed several times before, but to add a bit of extra mileage and maybe a little more interest, i indroduced an extra loop today, just dipping down onto the marsh for a mile or so, which everybody seemed to enjoy. We started, though, through Hamstreet woods, with carpets of wood anemones and bluebells (still in bud), then across fields and pastures, using the Saxon Shore Way, before descending to Ruckinge with brilliant views down onto the marsh. Then the marsh, and more fields, before picking up a beautiful green byway, and back to the Royal Military Canal and so back to Hamstreet. We welcomed Jack - a Monday walker joining us for the first time, also little Charlie's older brother Daniel, and also welcomed back some old friends we hadn't seen for a while! Lots of happy chatter and laughter, and a wonderful morning to be out walking!

Wednesday 29th March 2017 - and today twenty-six of us walked from Wye. This is the toughest of the Wye walks that we currently do, taking us very steeply up out of the village via the Stour Valley Path. It is also one of our longest walks, coming in at 6.34 miles so, all in all, not a walk for the faint-hearted! Although our weather today wasn't the sunshine that we had for the pre-walk, it was dry and reasonably mild, and we had a veritable carpet of spring flowers to enjoy - daffodils, primroses, celandine, violets, wood anemones, cuckoo flower - as well as the first of the bluebells and cowslips. Moving from valley to valley, there is a succession of wonderful views to be enjoyed, plus the grandeur of Olantigh House and the gentler fields and pastures beside the Stour as we return to Wye. Something for everybody, and judging by the comments, I think everybody enjoyed it!

Wednesday 22nd March 2017 - and after a rather wet pre-walk on Monday, I had hoped for better weather for today's walk, but alas it was not to be! Still, nineteen of us braved the rain and walked our usual route around Stone-in-Oxney. This is a spectacular landscape, the Isle of Oxney having been an island in Saxon times, and at one point our walk rounds a corner to reveal a wonderful vista of cliffs, but rising from the plain. Also, being high, there are spectacular views in every direction as we complete the round - and if the weather closed the most distant views today, we were still left with some pretty good midde distance ones! A final walk along the Royal Military Canal, and a climb back up to finish. Brilliant - who needs sunshine!

Wednesday 15th March 2017 - Today on a beautiful spring morning we walked a new route out of Egerton, firstly picking up the Greensand Way towards Pluckley, then turning north at Elvey Farm and crossing fields to join Nettlepole Lane and then onto the Stour Valley Path beside the river. A final and very pretty meander at the end, taking in Stonebridge Green on our way back to Egerton. We were a party of twenty-nine today, and everybody coped very well with a long and, at times, quite hilly walk! But we had very little mud to speak of, and lots to enjoy - every day is bringing new delights - today we had hedgerows coming into leaf, and white violets in bloom, neither of which were in evidence on the pre-walk! And all in lovely warm sunshine. I can see that this route is going to become a firm favourite!

Wednesday 8th March 2017 - and despite a very unpromising weather forecast, thirty-three walkers turned up at Chartham Village Hall for our walk today. We last walked this route nearly a year ago, and it is very much a walk of two halves - starting along easy footpaths beside the river on the Stour Valley Path towards Canterbury, with lots of waterfowl and other birds to be seen on the river and the nearby fishing lakes. Then we turn, crossing two railway lines and climb gently to the North Downs Way, now walking through managed woodland past Bigbury Fort - an iron age settlement and later the scene of a battle during the first Roman invasion. We emerge from the woodland at the delighfully named No Mans Orchard - where we encountered the snake! - and follow the path to Chartham Hatch, stopping on the way to talk to the resident reindeer! We then drop down toward the A28 again, enjoying good views on the way, and finish with a final stroll beside the Stour again and across the village green.
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Wednesday 1st March 2017 - and today twenty-nine of us walked from the Walnut Tree in Aldington - a walk I approached with some trepidation, as it was on this walk almost exactly a year ago that I fell and broke my wrist! No mishaps today - for anyone - I'm pleased to say; the conditions being a lot better than last year's very wet spring! Today we welcomed Lisa and Julie on their first HealthWalk, and also Viv and her lovely dog Cocoa. The day was overcast, but the rain kept off until we got back, and the walking was pleasant - it's a pretty area, with some great views down from Bilsington across the Marsh. Theres also some nice woodland, a splendid airy walk along the Royal Military Canal, a Priory, a pretty Church and a good pub at the end for those so inclined - which some of us were, but not until after we had eaten Welsh Cakes that Andrew had baked for us all in honour of it being St. David's day!

Wednesday 22nd February 2017 - and another big attendance today for our walk from Hothfield - thirty-eight walkers, including Lynne, Jacqui and Sarah on their first HealthWalks. This is a walk we have done several times, but it never fails to delight whatever the season. This time we had the splendid long-horned cattle, lots of lovely spring flowers, and catkins on the trees - plus, as ever, pretty Little Chart Forstal and Rooting Manor. The weather was reasonable, if not sunny, and the views were good - and the wind had helped to dry up the ground so the walking was good too! I did have a bit of trouble reining the group in, from time to time, but there was lots of happy chatter and i think that everybody enjoyed it!

Wednesday 15th February 2017 - and today Jim very kindly led the walk in my absence - all the more impressive as he and Jan had only returned home yesterday after two months in Spain! Twenty-six walkers, including John on his first HealthWalk, followed our Hastingleigh route from the Wye NNR car park up around Richard's Wood to approach Hastingleigh from the north, then picking up the North Downs Way for a splendid finish along the top of the Downs past the Devil's Kneading Trough. Along the way they managed to find a new stretch of footpath which cut out a bit of road-walking, so I shall be investigating that before our next outing! The weather was kind - not too cold, and the sun even arrived later - as did Gary, who broke his own record for lateness and had to catch the walk up! Thanks to Jim, to the pre-walkers, and to all who took part!

Wednesday 8th February 2017 - Today was a day that I think could legitimately be described as 'raw' - not many degrees above freezing, very overcast and misty yet with a cold wind! Nevertheless thirty-three folks, including two new HealthWalkers, Pete, and Wendy, turned up to do one of our favourite walks - from the ruined church at Eastwell to Challock and back. We had a bit of a problem fitting all the cars into the limited parking area, and I think we will start the walk at Boughton Lees in the future! This is a walk with lovely views: sadly today not available to us, so I've popped in some photos from the pre-walk. Starting with a lovely airy walk across Eastwell Park, and dropping down to St. Cosmas & St. Damien church - Challock church, in fact, although a long way outside the village (and worth a look at the murals inside, if you can get in). The churchyard is carpeted in snowdrops at the moment - very beautiful. Then up the hill and across fields and pastures to the village green, then through a slightly eerie wood and out into Eastwell Park again, and a lovely walk back to our cars! No sunshine today, but lots and lots of happy chatter! Good walk!

Wednesday 1st February 2017 - Despite the weather forecast being anything but brilliant, twenty walkers - plus Charlie, and including Jane, on her first outing with our group - turned up this morning at Chilham for a walk in the rain! To be fair, whilst we were walking the rain was light to the extent of being fine drizzle much of the time, but it did seem to be getting a bit more serious just as we finished. This is a good wet weather walk, though, as we mostly use good tracks and some roads, with just one wetter and muddier section through Godmersham Park - where Charlie at least enjoyed the puddles! The route took us up Mountain Street and into King's Wood along the North Downs Way; then entering Godmersham Park and crossing the A28 to pick up the byway which is the National Cycle Route 18, and, in parts, also the Stour Valley Path. This brought us all the way back to Chilham and a return to the village past the lovely mill. Not too much in the way of views today because of the weather - and not too many photos taken either, but here's a few!

Wednesday 25th January 2017 - today once again dawned misty - a feature of recent days; on the Monday pre-walk it was even thicker! Twenty-one walkers today, plus Carl's son Charlie - and we were delighted to welcome new HealthWalker Suzie and her dog Megan. The Royal Military canal was still frozen in places, but not to the extent that it had been on the pre-walk, when it was frozen right across in some places. Those two or three degrees made a difference to the ground, too - what had been frozen on Monday was muddy today! We had a fine time, regardless - we walked up the east bank of the Canal, and had good sightings of herons and an egret - which flapped lazily away from us. There were some good views across Romney Marsh at times, and below our feet, mussel shells abounded - we thought that the herons probably fished the mussels out of the canal - or could it perhaps be otters? We posed for our photo in front of Kenardington church - but decided we were too muddy to go in - and after a couple more muddy fields completed our walk through the Gusbourne vineyards. A walk that never disappoints, whatever the time of year!

Wednesday 18th January 2017 - today on the most wonderful winter morning, thirty-two of us walked the Sole Street route. There was a really hard hoar frost and a clear blue sky, and the countryside looked beautiful. The hard frost helped with the mud too, which pleased everybody. This route takes us through Denge Wood and along Pennypot Lane, before dropping into a little hidden valley with a house that keeps waterfowl and peacocks. Then a couple of climbs before emerging at a high level with fabulous view over Crundale, and back towards Chilham, King's Wood and Ashford. And a welcome fire at the Compasses Inn on our return! Here's a few photos, including a couple taken on the pre-walk. Fabulous walking!

Wednesday 11th January 2017 - and whilst we didn't reach the heady heights of last week, we again had a very good attendance of 32 walkers plus Charlie. Among that number were three newcomers - Graham, Ken and Sally - welcome all! For the pre-walk we had had mist and drizzle, but today we set off in lovely sunshine across the gallops and up to the North Downs Way; crossing over and heading right up to the top! It was really good to see everybody making it up quite a steep climb without too much difficuly - a great sign of improving fitness! Then a short bit of road to the Bowl Inn at Stalisfield, before descending past the windmill to pick up the Pilgrim's Way, and a loop taking us past Pett Place, with a lovely return to the village. The sun was with us quite a bit, and we had some lovely skies and cloud effects! A lovely summer walk that's good for winter too!

Wednesday 4th January 2017 - and an amazing start to the new year, with forty-three and a half walkers! The half because we welcomed Carl and his three-year-old son Charlie on their first HealthWalks! Also new this week Patrick, David and Wendy. After hastily asking a couple of other leaders if they wouldn't mind putting their yellow waistcoats on, we set off - into, sadly, a bit of drizzle! The weather wasn't too unkind, though; the rain was light and by no means constant, and although we'd started off a bit chilly, we soon warmed up. The best of the day was after we got back, though - never mind! This is a lovely walk - although we had mud, very little of it was troublesome, but the views were affected by the rain - so I can't wait to do it again in the summer! And drinks, chips and lunches back at the Swan and Dog made everybody forget the weather! A good time had by all!

Wednesday 28th December 2016 - our last walk of this year - and twenty hardy walkers turned up to tackle the Devil's Kneading Trough. This is a walk we did on Boxing Day last year, and I thought it would be a nice idea to make it a bit of a tradition - it's great for walking off the Christmas excesses! The weather forecast was not good, but the reality was lovely - cold, but with lovely sunshine and only a very little mistiness; certainly not enough to spoil the views. Even the mud wasn't too bad! I think we were all able to feel virtuous on reaching the top of the climb - after all, it is just about the steepest one around here. The views were as good as promised and, although the descent was a little slippery, nobody came to grief and we all made it down safely. This is too good a walk to only do once a year - I think it will have to feature again sometime in the summer months!

Wednesday 21st December 2016 - and a bit of a murky day for our Godmersham walk. Eighteen of us walking today, including Ramblers Dave and Ron on their first walk with us. We'd had a very misty pre-walk, and this morning we had to cope with a bit of drizzle which, sadly, rather kept the views at bay! Starting off through Godmersham Park was not too bad - we had a good view of the little folly, and then crossing the road and the railway to wlk along on the trackway to East Stour Farm, where we crossed back and took the gentle climb up Mountain Street before swinging onto the serious climb to the top of Godmersham Park. I'd had hopes that we might get a good view today, but by then the drizzle had set in and it wasn't to be! Never mind, still a good walk for the Winter Solstice!

Wednesday 14th December 2016 - and Stevie being incapacitated due to a cataract operation yesterday, today's walk was led by Margaret, with assistance from Ron as back-marker and other members of the group. A turnout of sixteen walkers on yet another glorious sunny day walked just over six miles from Pluckley to Little Chart and then doubling back almost as far as Egerton village, before turning back to Pluckley once again. This is a gentle walk, with mostly good ground even after recent rain. The route takes in the orchards at Pluckley, the ruins of St Mary's church at Little Chart, which was hit by a doodlebug during WW2. Then on to Little Piper's Wood, which will be awash with bluebells next spring, then along Nettlepole lane before crossing yet more orchards and passing the tumulus just outside Egerton. The return is mostly pastureland, and it was pleasing to see the Zwartbles sheep again, after an absence of nearly a year, and even the first lambs of the season - so very early this year!

Wednesday 7th December 2016 - Today on a rather misty morning we set off for our walk around Westwell. Despite a bit of confusion over the number, we were in fact a party of twenty-eight - including Sue on her first walk with us. This walk leads us straight up onto the Downs, so a good climb involved, but some very pretty countryside - still looking lovely even in December. At the top we skirt around the Gliding Club and follow a path down to join the North Downs Way trackway which takes us most of the way home. We had a little sun and despite the mist, still some good views across the valley. And after the walk, we had our group Christmas buffet at the Wheel Inn. Scrumptious food and lovely walkers!

Wednesday 30th November 2016 - and today dawned very frosty, but wonderfully bright and sunny for our Farthing Common walk. We welcomed Mary and Sue on their first walks with our group, and we were a party of twenty-four that set off for the climb to the radio mast at Etchinghill. Everybody managed the hills very well, and we were rewarded with the most wonderful views - slightly misty, but clear enough to see the coast of France! After a tip-off on the pre-walk, we extended the walk slightly for even more views and a peep into a lovely little secret valley. Then down from the Downs to take in a walk through the pretty village of Postling, before climbing again back to our start point. Here's a few photos from today and from the pre-walk, which was equally sunny!

Wednesday 23rd November 2016 - and today twenty-one of us walked from West Hythe - coincidentally the same walk that we did this week last year. We had a slightly overcast day, although the sun broke through at one point at the same time as we had a little rain, so we were treated briefly to a rainbow as well. We walked firstly westwards beside the Royal Military Canal, with views to the other side into Port Lympne Animal Park, and had a good view of antelope - Eland and Reebok, I am told. Then turning and climbing up the escarpment across pasture, where we met and chatted to the farmer, before joining the road and walking back above the Animal Park and past Lympne Castle and Church. At the end of the walk I took some on a short excursion to the ruins of St. Mary's Church, West Hythe, where we again had a chat with the gentleman who is currently the leaseholder of the ruins and is about to buy them, who told us some of the history. Quite an educational day!

Wednesday 16th November 2016 - twenty-five of us walked from High Halden today, on a route that we first walked during January's floods! Conditions were a lot better today, although recent rain meant we did have some puddles to circumnavigate - but the weather surprised yet again with a sunny and mild day, which made the autumn colours absolutely stunning! This route takes us north from High Halden through some very pretty meadows and pastures, before joining the Green Lane trackway. Then over the A28 where sadly we have to resort to a bit of road walking - but still very pretty, with a final approach across fields to come back into the village through the churhyard. We welcomed Sarah, Mike and B in their first outings with the Wednesday group - and a great introduction it was too! Photos below - some from today and some from the pre-walk.

Wednesday 9th November 2016 - and today looked like it was going to be a wet walk! The weather forecast was for heavy rain all morning, and as twelve of us arrived, it was indeed raining - but getting better - and by the time we set off it had stopped entirely! After that we only had a few drops at one point, and even a little sunshine - and we all arrived back dry! Fortunately the heavy rain overnight had not made too much difference to ground conditions - so not too muddy either! A lovely walk with 360 degree views (although not all at once!), and despite the weather we had quite good visibility, not to mention some wonderful cloud effects! The wonderfully named Great Prawls Farm; an incursion into East Sussex; the Royal Military Canal; alpacas and miniature ponies, and a pretty church - a lovely walk - just the thing for an autumn morning!

Wednesday 2nd November 2016 - today twenty of us walked from Egerton, on a beautiful sunny morning - although the temperature left us in no doubt that it is autumn! This walk is an old favourite - although I have added a loop on at the beginning just to make it a bit longer. So, lots of orchards at the beginning - although only the windfalls in evidence now - and then a climb up to the Greensand ridge, with a wonderful view across the Weald spread out before us. Then back across fields and pastures - and then the sight of Egerton church tower in front told us that we were nearly back. Lots of sheep today - this really is sheep country - but some llamas thrown in for good measure! All enjoying this golden autumn! Below are some photos from today, plus some from the pre-walk.

Wednesday 26th October 2016 - and once again a fabulous attendance - thirty-one, which is another new record! Today's walk was from Hamstreet, and was led by Jennifer, in my absence. This time we took the walk clockwise - taking it through Hamstreet Woods to start, then across fields and pastures to Ruckinge, and returning along the Royal Military Canal. A lovely walk on a beautiful day - and much enjoyed by all!

Wednesday 19th October 2016 - Autumn is really beginning to show its colours now, and we had a really nice day for a walk - dry, with some light cloud, and a wind that was chilly intil you got moving! It must have been an appealing day, though, as we were a large party of twenty-seven today - a new attendance record! Despite this being a route we have walked several times now, there's always something to see - this time we had some lovely sheep which, despite the information board telling us that they were Hebridean sheep, definitely looked like Herdwicks! This is a particularly nice walk for autumn, as we get some good vistas with lots of trees, beautiful as they change colour. It is ploughing time, though, and one field that had been fine on the pre-walk had been harrowed in the last two days, and another was being ploughed as we walked across! But we all had a good time, and the return through the pretty hamlet of Little Chart Forstal is always destined to please!

Wednesday 12th October 2016 - Despite an unpromising start, the rain showers stopped almost on the stroke of ten, so we had a lovely dry walk - even with some sunshine. Recent rain has made the paths a little muddy in parts, but the tracks in King's Wood itself were not too bad, and the trees are just now beginning to turn and display all their autumn glory. We have walked this route once before - in April with bare trees - so it was really interesting to see the wood in a different season. Seventeen of us walked today, including Martin on his first HealthWalk. A lovely walk showing this lovely wood at it's best, with an excursion to pretty Molash church, some views to the south from the North Downs Way. And if we didn't see any deer today. there were at least a few late butterflies to delight us!

Wednesday 5th October 2016 - another lovely early autumn day; clear and sunny, but with a strong east wind making it a bit chill when we were exposed (jumpers came off and went back on at regular intervals)! Twenty-two of us walked today, and we had splendid clear views as we walked along to Wye Crown - really breathtaking! Then up to Marriage Farm and out at the top with another lovely view across the valley to Crundale church. The climb up to the church tested us all - it is short but really quite steep! But then a lovely walk along a trackway with more great views before a final climb back to our starting point. Not a long walk, at only just over five miles, but the hills provide some effort instead!

Wednesday 28th September 2016 - and with several of our regulars away at the moment, we were a very happy fifteen walking today. Delighted to once again welcome some new walkers - Linda, Cliff and Gail. We walked from Appledore, which is now my most-walked route - it's featured four times in the Wednesday programme and once in the evening. Once again, we enjoyed a glorious day - the heat of summer may be gone, but it was sunny and beautifully warm - a perfect September day! We made our way down the village street to pick up the Royal Military Canal path, which we then followed all the way to Kenardington church. After a brief stop to look around, we then picked up the Saxon Shore way, which took us into the vineyards of the Gusbourne estate - with picking due to start at the end of this week, the grapes were at their best and ripest. Then gently back to the village, pausing - how could one resist? - to 'take a pew, enjoy the view' from the mound. Heres some photos from today and from the pre-walk.

Wednesday 21st September 2016 - and another new walk today, this time from Brabourne Lees. The indian summer continues, and twenty-three of us walked today in perfect conditions - warm sun but with a cooling breeze. We said hello to Ann, Stephen and Mandy as new HealthWalkers, plus Jule on her first Wednesday walk, and a welcome return for Pauline! This is a lovely walk - not dramatic, but Kent countryside at it's most iconic. We walked from the village out to Lilyvale, through pastures and fields - one of which was home to a large contingent of llamas. They didn't come up to us today, unlike on the pre-walk, when they were very inquisitive!. Then via Smeeth church across to the deer park at Mersham-le-Hatch, where we were lucky enough to see the deer in the distance. Then back towards the village with the Downs sitting in the gentle sunshine on our left, and via pretty Pemsey Farm where we waited for a horse and rider to pass before taking the group photo shown below. And quite a large group of us was made very welcome in the Woolpack Inn for a restorative drink afterwards! Here's a few photos - mostly from the pre-walk.

Wednesday 14th September 2016 - Today we walked a very favourite route - out of Chilham, climbing up to Old Wives Lees, then down and across the valley to join up with the trackway that is National Cycle Route 18. We passed Catha's seat with great views across to Chilham Castle and village, then back across the valley for a return through Mountain Street. Fourteen of us walked today, including one new face - Dave. On the way we had to contend with road works and, once again, high temperatures, although fair to say most of the time there was a pleasant breeze! We came across a little creature in the road at one point, and we thought it might be a dormouse, so after he had been well photographed we popped him carefully on the shady verge, and hoped he would be safe! A lovely walk in around one of Kent's prettiest villages - and the countryside is quite good too!

Wednesday 7th September 2016 - on a hot and rather humid day, eighteen of us completed a great walk from Wye. Quite a hilly walk, with a steep climb almost straight from the start, up the Stour Valley path and through the woods to overlook Crundale. Really breathtaking views as we walked, and then cut back up a bridlepath to come out overlooking the Stour valley, with graet views across to Bilting. Very much a walk of two halves, as we then dropped down into the valley, admiring Little Olantigh House as we passed before meandering gently back through meadows to Wye. Very much a walk for the summer, as it would be muddy in winter, but I think we might do it again next year........................! Here's a few photos:

Thursday 1st September 2016 - and our last evening walk of the year was from Appledore - a favourite walk; out alongside the Royal Military Canal and back through the vineyards of the Gusbourne estate. We were nine tonight, and welcomed Hazel on her first walk with this group. Starting early, as the evenings are getting shorter, sadly, but no difficulty in getting around in time, and the weather was lovely - sunny and mild, even later in the evening - and with a lovely sunset and beautiful soft light. The evening walk programme has been very enjoyable - we'll definitely do it again next year!

Wednesday 31st August 2016 - today was the most beautiful english summer's day - and, matching the record set a couple of weeks ago, twenty-four of us, including Mike on his first Wednesday walk, did a new route from Aldington. I owe my thanks for this lovely route to Jennifer of Ashford Ramblers who showed it to me; a real summer route - it would be muddy in the winter - but it'll definitely be on the calendar next summer! We started off along the Saxon Shore Way and through woodland, emerging after a stiffish climb at Aldington Knoll, where the intrepid climbed the last few metres to the summit! The a little section of road before picking up a ridge path with the most glorious coastal views - on the pre-walk, we had clear views of France, but today's haze meant we only got a glimpse! Then turning inland, and always overlooked by the Downs, through fields and pastures and beside the jumps of the point-to-point course, and a final gentle climb back to the village. And then Cynthia had brought cakes, as she was celebrating her birthday (although I don't think she was expecting to feed twenty-four)! Here's some photos from the walk and the pre-walk.

Wednesday 24th August 2016 - and fourteen of us walked today on our original route from Charing. This is a walk that we seem to have always done in poor weather before, with mud underfoot, so how wonderful it was to walk it on a glorious summer day with no worries about waterproofs or wellingtons! Taking the route from the village across the gallops and up to the North Downs Way - with the trees in leaf we missed some of the views but were grateful for the shade! But there were still views a-plenty, and then we dropped down to cross the road and railway and had views back up at the Downs! Then back beside the sand quarry - now being worked once again (at least to some degree), and finally back to the village. And, then, at the end of the walk, we took advantage of the bright sunshine to have a good play on the human sundial!

Wednesday 17th August 2016 - and with Jim once more at the helm this week the group saw a record attendance - twenty-four folks completed our usual walk around Hastingleigh! Again, the weather was glorious - and so lovely to be able to say that after the less-than-spectacular early summer! There's a few climbs on this walk, but nothing too bad, and there are some lovely moments, such as suddenly glimpsing a beautiful farmhouse nestling in the bottom of a secret valley! And a gem of a finish, too - a splendid yomp along one of the very best bits of the North Downs Way, with panoramic views over Wye, Ashford and beyond! And with all that sun and exercise, it's not surprising that some stayed for a drink in Wye!

Wednesday 10th August 2016 - this week Jim led sixteen walkers from Westwell in a lovely walk wth great views from the Downs. The first part is a bit tough, with quite a steep climb to be negotiated, but nobody had any problems which is a testament to how much fitter everybody is getting! After that it's mostly easy walking - along beside the Gliding Club and then back along the North Downs Way with a final descent back to the village. It was a glorious day, and some of the party rounded it off with luch at the Wheel Inn in Westwell. 

Thursday 4th August 2016 - and for our fifth evening walk of the year nine of us gathered at Pluckley. And although there is a little less light in the evenings now, we still had plently of time to enjoy a five mile walk on a glorious evening, with a beautiful sunset at the end. This is a splendid walk for all seasons of the year, with plenty of available paths so it was easy to divert around a field of oilseed rape that hadn't yet been harvested. There were beautiful horses at the stables, and it's always interesting to explore the ruins of St. Mary's church, which was hit by a doodlebug in WW2. And lovely views at the end of the walk, looking out across the Weald as the sun was setting behind us! Glorious!

Wednesday 3rd August 2016 - and twenty-one of us enjoyed a splendid walk this morning from the ruins of St Mary's church in Eastwell Park, up to Challock and back. The weather stayed dry for us, and although we only caught an occasional glimpse of the sun, it was very warm and breezy, The countryside is looking gorgeous, with most of the cereals just about ready for havesting, and the recent rain has made everywhere a little bit greener. Eastwell estate had made us some lovely footpaths, and we enjoyed the church - (maybe not so much the climb up the hill after it!), the walk along the village green with some lovely houses, and the path back through the spooky forest. And, finally, the glorious walk back through parkland and the estae again, with the views every bit as good as I promised! Several people voted this as a favourite walk - we can see why!

Wednesday 27th July 2016 - today we walked from Stelling Minnis - almost a year since we last did it. Seventeen of us walked today, and, in contrast to the glorious sunshine of the pre-walk, we had a light but unremitting drizzle all the way round! A walk that never fails to impress, though - such a pretty bit of country, and very unknown and quiet - with everything fro pasture to woodland to the most exquisite little hamlet. Plus, it must be said, a few hills to climb - but none of them any problem to today's walkers! The countryside was interesting too - where on the pre-walk there had been newly harvested fields with straw waiting to be baled, today that had all been done, and the cattle were in different fields too! So, notwithstanding the weather, a good time was had by all! Here's a few photos from today and also some taken on the pre-walk.

Wednesday 20th July 2016 - and today we walked from West Hythe, on a new route that took us up Lympne Hill (puff, puff!), then across to Brockhill Country Park, where we had a lovely walk around the lake and beside the stream, emerging just on the outskirts of Hythe. We then made our way down to the Royal Military Canal, walking between the Canal and the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway. We were lucky enough to coincide with a train, although not at a very good place, so we could only see the top of it! Then back along the Canal, stopping to admire the 'Sound Mirror' up on the Roughs, before returning to the cars. The weather, which had been clear and sunny, changed as we were about to set off, with a little front passing through, raising a wind and covering the sun for a while. It was stll warm, though, so it actually all made for more comfortable walking! Fifteen of us walked today, and we all voted it a very good walk!

Wednesday 13th July 2016 - and another great attendance - twenty of us walked from Bilsington today - on what was frankly not a very promising morning, weather-wise! We welcomed Mioara on her first HealthWalk, and also welcomed back Les and Jane who we hadn't seen for a while. Despite recent rain, the ground and vegetation were not to wet, and we had a lovely walk. There's really a bit of everything in this walk - plently of very pretty woodland, pastures and arable land - in many of which, at the moment, the crops are turning golden. The sun would have shown the cornfields off to perfection, but although we had no rain, the sky remained overcast. A highlight of the walk was meeting the farmer/shepherd with his two dogs; he was pruning back some hedging along a track, and was rather surprised to see so many of us emerging through the gate beside him! Everybody was delighted with the 'Emerald Pool' in Dickers Wood - but not so pleased with the stiles! Margaret P counted them - there were thirteen - which, there being so many walkers, did slow us down a bit! My apologies, but with my two main photographers absent today, some of the photos below are from the pre-walk - similar conditions to today, though!

Thursday 7th July 2016 - and this evening just four of us (Ed, Gary, Jean and myself) walked from Wye - a bit disappointing, especially as we had good weather, good ground conditions and some lovely views! We did the Soakham Downs route, so down and across the railway line and the A28, then up to join the North Downs Way which we followed back, via Perry Court Farm, to Wye village. Not much photo-taking on the walk - although lots of talking and laughing! - so here's a few from the pre-walk, as well as the walk - including a scarecrow that looks a bit like me!

Wednesday 6th July 2016 - and a fantastic turnout today - twenty-two - for our walk from Godmersham. After all the wet and cloudy weather we've had, it was a joy today to walk in lovely sunshine, and Kent is certainly looking lush and splendid. We crossed the river at the pretty bridge, and walked along Eggarton Lane, then up into the Downs - there was plenty of climbing, and a lot of joking about how many climbs there actually were, but everybody had good legs today and we whizzed up them! Then a lovely walk through some welcome shady woodland tracks, before dropping back down and returning along Mountain Street and back into Godmersham Park. The pruning and clearing the 'pre-walkers' did on Monday certainly paid off today, making the walking much easier than it would otherwise have been. And lovely countryside - Kent at its most beautiful!

Wednesday 29th June 2016 - and nineteen of us turned up today for a lovely new walk from Hamstreet, including Zita on her first Wednesday walk. The sun shone for at least half the walk, and although we still had some patches of mud to contend with, it didn't spoil our enjoyment. We started off along the Saxon Shore Way towards Warehorne and Kenardington, with great views to the south towards Kenardington church and the Marsh. Then we turned northwards and had a great walk through Faggs Wood before turning for home through Apsley Wood and very pretty pastures. We had a slight confusion towards the end, where we had a 'breakaway group' who took another path, but all nineteen were accounted for at the end! A great walk, that I'm sure will feature many more times in the programme - but hopefully without the mud!

Wednesday 22nd June 2016 - and today we walked from Wye - and except for the faintest suggestion of drizzle just before we set off, the weather remained true to the forecast and we walked in the dry! Even so, the clouds were low, making the scenery very misty - and rather beautiful, it must be said - but the ground and the vegetation was all much drier than on the pre-walk, making walking very much easier! Fifteen walkers today, and we took the 'Soakham Downs' route - down from Wye village and over the railway line and the A28 to the other side of the valley, then picking up the North Downs Way and so back via Perry Court Farm. The crops are beginning to ripen, but a little more sunshine needed yet! Again, it's the week of the Stour Music Festival, but it was all very quiet in the damp today - unlike last year when there was rehearsing going on! Jim took over as group photographer today, and some of us had a very nice half in the Tickled Trout to finish!

Wednesday 15th June 2016 - and again the weather threw us a bit of a curve - the forecast was quite good, but then once we got to the start the heavens opened - but by the time we set out it was dry again and we had sunshine most of the way! Thirteen of us today, including newcomer Pam - and even if the fields were a bit wet there was plenty to see - orchids and wildflowers in the meadows, apples growing on the trees, some wonderful foxgloves, and great views from the top of Chapel Bank itself - right across to Woodchurch windmill. Near the start of the walk we were beseiged by some lambs who were very tame and let us stroke them, which was lovely! Heres a few photos from the day!

Thursday 9th June 2016 - our third evening walk took us to Egerton, on a wonderful sunny summer evening. Twelve of us walked, including Dawn and Pete on their first HealthWalk, as we took the Greensand Way out towards Boughton Malherbe with increasingly stunning views across the Weald as we climbed. From there we had to tackle a few hundred yards of oilseed rape, but it was dry and not too difficult, and we returned to the village via the recaimed materials yard at Rock Hill Farm - always interesting to see what they've got lying around! Here's a few photos from the walk and also from the pre-walk, when the rape field was wet, we had llamas but not cows, a horse on the footbridge, and a lovely little tame lamb who thought Shealagh was his mum!

Wednesday 8th June 2016 - and a lovely walk today from Charing. Fifteen of us enjoyed a new route in glorious sunshine - although heavy rain and thunderstorms last night meant that the crops and vegetation were pretty wet! Some of us togged up in waterproof trousers and sweltered, and others just got wet! - still, at least it was warm! Our route took us up over the gallops to the North Downs Way, and then further up to Warren Street, with splendid views all the way. We were then pleased to have a bit of cool woodland walking before emerging into some very quiet and pretty countryside to drop down towards Charing again past the windmill and some lovely properties; finally doing a little loop along the Pilgrim's Way and a look at Pett Place before returning to the village. A very good addition to the repertoire!

Wednesday 1st June 2016 - and today we walked from Sole Street, which offers some of the best views from any of the walks that we do. Well, sadly, not today! The weather was most un-June-like, overcast and drizzly, and the distant views were almost disappearing! Still, fifteen of us walked and if we couldn't enjoy the distance, well we enjoyed what was nearby - the air was lovely, the meadow and woodland plants were diverse - Hilary found orchids in the wood although the rest of us had walked past them! - the views were still wonderful, the birds sang, the countryside was peaceful and beautiful, and the drizzle only turned to rain as we got back to our cars! We enjoyed seeing the ducks, geese and guineafowl at Forest Farm, and the splendid bullocks on the Downs. And drinks and coffees at the Compasses Inn afterwards - and that open fire was very welcome!

Wednesday 25th May 2016 - and a great attendance today - twenty-three - for our walk from Bethersden. In contradiction of the weather forecast, it was drizzling lightly as we were making our way there, but cleared up in time for the walk, and even if the sun didn't appear, at least the sky lightened up. Annie and Mary joined us for their first Wednesday walks, and we followed the same route as last year - a very pretty walk through the farmland of the Weald, returning to Bethersden through Lamberden Wood - just a touch under six miles. The bluebells are finished now, but instead we have lovely hawthorn, and cow-parsley and all the flowers of the verge. And wonderful meadows full of buttercups - the stems are so hard to see against the grass that the flowers appear to be floating! And still lots of lambs - bigger now of course! - and today we had cows and their calves. They weren't too happy on the pre-walk when I had the dog Mycroft with me, but today they were just curious - and probably hopeful that we were bringing them some treats - and they followed us across the field just in case! And actually, much easier to control than the walkers!

Wednesday 18th May 2016 - and although the weather left a little to be desired, twelve of us set off from the Car Park deep in the heart of the wood - well, once we'd all found it! We welcomed Rosie on her first Wednesday walk, and looked hopefully at the skies - and indeed, until a good half way round we had very pleasant conditions. Although the bluebells are just about finished now, there's lots of other flowers, and the trees are all leafing up beautifully. The apple orchards are a picture, with the trees all in bloom, and the crops in the fields are growing fast! Unfortunately, it had started to rain a bit by the time we got to the field with oilseed rape, so that was a bit wet, but other than that, it wasn't too bad - in fact, the photos make it look worse than it was! We saw some lovely foals, which we had seen on the Monday pre-walk when they were only a few hours old - and saw and heard lots of birds, including the call of a willow warbler. The view from the 'Pulpit' was a little hazy, but we enjoyed it all the same. As there weren't very many photos taken today, I'm including some from the (sunny) pre-walk!

Thursday 12th May 2016 - and our second evening walk, this time using the very lovely route from Hothfield. The weather was perfect for an evening walk - clear and sunny, and although there had been a little rain over the last couple of days, the ground condition was noticeably improved, even since the pre-walk. Only ten of us tonight, but we used the opportunity to really stride out, and covered the all-but-six miles in just under two hours! We were treated to some lovely evening birdsong during the first part of the walk, and we enjoyed grand Rooting Manor, Little Chart, picturesque Little Chart Forstal, and had a great time chatting to the miniature ponies - all followed by a beautiful sunset!

Wednesday 11th May 2016 - and a whole year since we started! So for our anniversary walk of course we came back to Appledore! Twenty of us walked today, incuding first-timer Les, and Jane who was doing her first Wednesday walk. After lovely weather for the pre-walk, today we managed to miss the rain, which had just stopped before we congregated, but it was rather overcast for much of the time. Also we had to cope with a couple of fields of very tall and wet oilseed rape, so we were pretty wet ourselves after that! Still - lovely things to see and hear - marsh frogs, nightingales, a cuckoo, sedge warblers (I only have Richard's word for those, but I believe him!) - plus trees full of blossom and new leaf, and the vines just leafing up. And, to end it all - well, you can't have a birthday without cake, can you? Even if the sparklers did leave something to be desired......!

Wednesday 4th May 2016 - A lovely walk today through very pretty countryside and woodland south of High Halden. A very good attendance, too  - twenty of us - including Brenda, Jerry, Jennifer, Ron and Steve all on their first HealthWalks. Although the ground was still a bit muddy through some of the woodland, we had glorious sunshine, which showed the trees and hedges in all their varying shades of green to the most wonderful effect! We had lots of sheep and cattle today, but our only problem was the sheer number of stiles - even though it isn't a long walk in mileage, we soon realised that getting twenty people over that many stiles is quite a long job! Towards the end of the walk a farmer told us where to look for the Early Purple Orchids that are now coming out, and they were indeed there on a pretty bank absolutely full of wildflowers! And the woods are still full of bluebells, although sadly they will be over for this year very soon! Still, today was a real taste of the summer to come!

Wednesday 27th April 2016 - Today we walked from Pluckley - somewhere that we did a walk from last May, on the group's second ever outing. We've obviously grown up over the course of the year, because the walk was now too small, and I had to let it out! Accordingly, we walked out from Pluckley on an extended route; firstly through the orchards to Little Chart; last year we were a little too late to catch the fruit blossom, but this year there was plenty to see - albeit mostly plums and cherries! We then walked to the ruins of St. Mary's church (destroyed by a doodlebug), then through the most wonderful bluebell display in Little Piper's Wood, before heading off towards Egerton, finally turning homewards just short of the village. We met a party of Ramblers out on a jolly from Tunbridge Wells, and returned to via Elvey Farm and the final climb back up to Pluckley - not a bad climb, but quite bad enough at the end of a six mile walk! Sixteen of us today, including Russell on his first Wednesday walk.

Wednesday 20th April 2016 - and today we walked from Farthing Common - a repeat of the walk we last did in October, but that's about where the resemblance ends! In October we had a very wet, miserable day, whereas today the sun shone, and although the wind was keen, the visibility was good and it was glorious! Fifteen of us in total, including Sue, a visitor from Australia. The walk takes us along the North Downs Way to the radio mast at Etchinghill, then we drop down to the very pretty village of Postling and pass Pent Farm with its airstrip before one last climb back to our start point! Everybody coped very well with the climbs today, and we had lovely flowers including early cowslips, a peacock butterfly, the now obligatory buzzard and a possible goldcrest (heard, though not seen!). A tough walk, but worth it for the views and the wonderful fresh air!

Thursday 14th April 2016 - and Ashford Area Country Walks' first evening foray saw sixteen of us turn up for a walk from Chilham. We welcomed John, Pam, Rachel and Emma on their first Health Walk, as well as Linda on her first time out with my group. We had a great time, but I made them walk fairly fast, as we had less than an hour and a half from when we set out until sunset! But we managed - and for most of the evening had lovely weather - and a glorious sunset! - although towards the end it clouded over and we had a little rain, and so also it got quite dark before we were back to the cars! But before that we had lovely views, we walked by the lake and by the beautiful old mill, and saw bluebells and lambs! Next month we shall have much more daylight, which will be welcome! My thanks to Shealagh and Gary, who are responsible for the photos you see below.

Wednesday 13th April 2016 - and a lovely walk today from Egerton. At just under five miles, it's one of our shorter walks, but what it lacks in length it certainly makes up for in other ways. Leaving Egerton through orchards, we climb slowly up to the west along the Greensand Way, and reaching the furthest point of the walk we have the most splendid view across the Weald. Before that today we had bluebells, marsh marigolds and lambs, not to mention Gary and Richard clocking up the usual count of buzzards - and now swallows too! We then strike back along a path that just beckons you to walk it, and come through a little valley with horses before saying hello to some llamas and navigating back to the village by the church spire! We had eighteen today, including Marion on her first walk with us. A good time was had by all!

Wednesday 6th April 2016 - And as we move into April we move into spring - well, perhaps not today! After a glorious day for the pre-walk, today's walk in King's Wood was overcast and with light rain until very nearly the end. Still, it was a great walk - twenty of us covered six miles from our start point, out to pretty Molash church, then back to traverse the Wood from north to south. There we picked up the North Downs Way which took us most of the way back to the cars. The bluebells were not as far advanced as we had hoped, but they are beginning to carpet the woods with blue! With twenty of us chattering away, we weren't going to see any deer today, but there was plenty more to enjoy! I've included some photos from the pre-walk below, to give a good idea of the walk, as with the rain not too many were taken today!!

Wednesday 30th March 2016 - Today we walked a new route, from Chartham. Leaving the village along the Stour Valley Path in the direction of Canterbury, we walked in lovely sunshine between the river and Thanington Lakes. Plenty of bird life to look at here, including an egret, tufted duck and a great crested grebe. Then we crossed the valley and walked up through newly planted orchards - a lovely sight for Kent! - and saw what must be rated the sighting of the day - the first swallow of summer! At the top we joined the North Downs Way, and followed this through woodland and around iron-age Bigbury Fort, along to Chartham Hatch, where there were two reindeer in an enclosure, and thence back down and across the A28, following the river again back to the village and our cars. Eighteen of us walked today, and although following quite a bit of rain (which hadn't been forecast!), the ground was rather muddy in places, the sunshine easily made up for it. Here's hoping for lots more sunshine to come!

Wednesday 23rd March 2016 - and today we had a record attendance - twenty-three - including Marie who joined us for her first Wednesday walk.
I can understand the attraction of today's walk, as today we did our Crundale round - Gary's 'secret valley' - which is a beautiful walk. It was a little overcast, but we still had reasonable visibility, and the sky gradually lightened; the sun finally putting in a rather watery appearance when we were nearly back! It was quite mild today, too, and the paths are really drying out - and there's a real sense of spring uncoiling itself ready to - well, spring! We straggled a bit today, being so many - and there was some struggling up the slope to Crundale church - but the views are lovely - both in the valley itself and from the North Downs Way at the start of the walk. Skylarks singing joyously and twenty-three happy walkers!

Wednesday 16th March 2016 - a splendid attendance today - nineteen of us - no doubt lured out by the promise of some sunshine and not too much mud! The sunshine was slightly patchy, but we did have blue skies quite a lot of the morning, and, apart from on Hothfield Common itself, the ground was a lot drier than many recent walks. We went the opposite way around to the last time we did this walk, and were rewarded by lovely views. The countryside is just beginning to show a hint of green, and the first bluebells are appearing to join the daffodils, snowdrops and primroses that are still in abundance. A lovely walk that we're already looking forward to doing again in the summer!

Wednesday 9th March 2016 - and another day for the intrepid! A great walk from Aldington, but heavy overnight rain had turned paths to streams and muddy patches to standing water! Sixteen of us walked today, including John on his first health walk, and Monday Walk Leader Sally on her first Wednesday walk. The weather forecast had been awful, but in fact it cleared up and we had hardly any rain and the sun even came out! Once the rain cleared, the strong winds meant that visibility was pretty good too, and we had lovely wide views across Romney Marsh and back up the escarpment from the Royal Military Canal. And despite the conditions, there was lots of laughter, everybody had a great time, and Gary even spotted a couple of buzzards! Here's a few photos - I've included one or two from the pre-walk as most of the ones taken today were of the mud!. 

Wednesday 2nd March 2016 - and never let it be said that we are faint-hearted! After glorious weather for Monday's pre-walk, the forecast for our wak today from Eastwell was distinctly mixed! We started off well, but about a mile from home were hit by a blizzard of hail! Winds suddenly so strong that we could hardly stand up, and fine, stinging hail - It really was an experience, but not one I would care to repeat too often! Such a shame, because it's a lovely walk with stunning views, which today, of course, we didn't see too well! Fourteen of us walked today - we welcomed back Ed, and welcomed Brenda on her first Wednesday walk. The walk takes in lovely paths through Eastwell Park, the isolated church of St. Cosmas and St. Damien at Challock, Challock village green and Beech Court, as well as the picturesque ruins of St. Mary's church which is our start point. Here's a few photos from today and from the pre-walk, so you can see what it should have been like! We'll do it again in the summer!

Wednesday 24th February 2016 - a walk from Chilham today - actually parts of two walks run together, really, as we walked out and up Mountain Street along the North Downs Way, then through Godmersham Park and down over the Stour and the A28 and under the railway, to pick up the National Cycle Route 18 back to Chilham via the Mill. Fifteen on the walk today, including Jackie and Sheila on their first outing with us. It was a chilly morning but beautifully clear and sunny, and we had lvey views all the way around. Not too much mud - and the low temperatures helped a bit there! - but plenty of water in the river! Signs of spring everywhere - blossom and birdsong, and of course still the wonderful spring flowers!

Wednesday 17th February 2016 - and today, me being on holiday, Jim led the walk from the Wheel Inn at Westwell. It's a lovely walk, but just to add a bit of variety he announced that he was going to do it backwards! Once he'd explained that he was just going to walk it the other way around, everybody was much happier! The sun shone, and we had twenty-two walkers, including newcomers Jean and Joyce! A bit of a climb up to the North Downs Way, and then again up to the gliding club, but there were gliders in action as a reward, and lovely views all the way back down! Some of the group tried the 'Walker's Lunch' at the pub afterwards, and pronounced it to be delicious! And a lovely carpet of snowdrops at the church!
 
Wednesday 10th February 2016 - and today we repeated a walk we first did last July, around the high ground of Stone-in-Oxney. This area once was an island - and in fact is still called the 'Isle of Oxney', and it is amazing to stand on the top and see cliffs rearing up from Romney Marsh below. After the gale that was blowing for the pre-walk, and a rather gloomy start to the morning, we had lovely intermittent sunshine and great visibility - the wind farm and Dungeness Power Station were standing out clearly, and we could see Tenterden St. Michael's church, and the church and windmill in Woodchurch, basking in the sunshine! Then a walk alongside the Royal Military Canal, looking beautiful in its muted winter colours. Fourteen of us walked, including Gavin on his first outing with us, and although the ground was wet, there wasn't too much open mud (apart from the Shetland ponies' paddock!). Gary spent some time again studying hoofprints and ground disturbances - willing it to be wild boar - but we didn't, of course, see any! But we did see primroses and violets - and buzzards galore! A lovely walk!
 
Wednesday 3rd February 2016 - and on a morning that was dry and mostly sunny, thirteen of us walked from Wye across the Stour valley, along the North Downs Way past Boughton Aluph Church, and back to the village via Perry Court Farm. I had to do a last-minute check that the railway crossing by Sparrow's Bridge was open - there's a notice about an imminent closure for repairs, but all was well. The walking wasn't too bad - some areas of mud and one place where there was quite a lake, but it was noticeably drier than on the pre-walk two days previously. The skylarks were singing joyously as we climbed up towards Soakham Downs, and there was a beautiful flowering tree as we walked along the NDW - all lovely signs of spring! We stopped and fed the pigs (again!) at Perry Court, and enjoyed the spectacle of the water thundering down the wier in Wye.
 
Wednesday 27th January 2016 - and after having almost spring-like weather for the pre-walk, today we had rain and strong winds - but even so we were fortunate, as it didn't start to rain hard until we were nearly back to the cars! Eight hardy souls turned up today, and if the ground conditions made for tough walking - and they did! - we still found plenty to enjoy - the pretty curch at Ruckinge; the carts at Turves Farm; the wonderful vistas that opened up around us and back over Romney Marsh as we climbed up from the Royal Military Canal; and the atmospheric quiet of Hamstreet Woods - which made us all pleased to be out, regardless! Here's some photos from the day, and some from the pre-walk also - both for the purposes of comparison but also because nobody wanted to stand around for too long today taking photos!
 
Wednesday 20th January 2016 - and today we did the Hastingleigh walk - which we last did on 15th July last year - so it was well overdue to be revisited! It was a lovely, if rather cold, day, with quite a bit of hazy sunshine, and when we got to the final stretch along the North Downs Way we had the wonderful sight of the valley below full of light mist, with the higher ground and buildings rising like islands from the sea. On the way we walked through two lovely valleys, met Sidney, the pet sheep, and his friend Rosemary (who was rather more shy of being photographed!). The recent drier weather and cold snap had frozen a lot of the mud, so it was less muddy underfoot - although a bit icy and inclined to trip you up if you weren't careful! We were fifteen in number today, with Keith, Mary, Francie and Alexandra walking for the first time with our group.
 
Wednesday 13th January 2016 - our second walk of the new year involved a late change of route due to the recent wet weather. Thirteen of us walked from High Halden on what was still a very wet route - wellies were definitely the order of the day! On the pre-walk the water had been literally pouring off the fields; fortunately the water levels had subsuded somewhat by the walk, so although perhaps not as spectacular, it was a bit easier to walk! The weather was very kind to us again, with glorious sunshine, and we had some lovely views in the latter part of the walk and the church spire as a handy landmak to show us where we were going! And primroses and daffodils in plentiful supply! All this, and the original walk still 'in the bag' for later in the year! Here are some pictures from both the walk and the pre-walk.
 
Wednesday 6th January 2016 - Our first walk of the new year, and a joy to be back out in the countryside. It was particularly lovely today as, after several days of rain, we had virtually unremitting sunshine. Thirteen of us walked from Charing on a route we last walked in August when, believe it or not, the weather was much worse! We had glorious views from the side of the Downs on the way out, and then dropped down over the road and railway to return via Charing Heath and around the edge of the sand quarry, with more lovely views this time looking up to the Downs. Ground conditions were really not too bad, and I breathed a sigh of relief when we all got through the gloopy mud under the railway arch without anybody falling in! We welcomed Chris, Ian and Cathy to their first walk with the group.
 
Saturday 26th December 2015 - a Boxing Day Walk from Wye. In an effort to walk off some of those extra mince pies, nine of us set off to climb the dreaded 'Devil's Kneading Trough' once again! The weather was kind, although it was a bit tough underfoot as we walked along the field edges - very slippery with the mud. It was almost a relief to get onto the climb. Everybody managed it OK, and we had the customary good views as we walked along the top before descending once again into Wye. We were, of course, then able to feel very virtuous - no doubt before going back and sticking our snouts in the trough once again! Lots of other people out walking too, which was great to see!
 
Wednesday 16th December 2015 - and a repeat of a walk we did in August from Godmersham. The weather was unseasonably warm, and the sun even came out during the walk - not that we were complaining! We walked from the church at Godmersham (as visited by Jane Austen!), through the park and up towards Chilham on the cycle track, then crossed back over the road and across the fields to pick up the North Downs Way, which led us up and along the edge of King's Wood. A final climb up for a high return into Godmersham Park, with a most wonderful view. The visibility was good enough that we were even able to see Canterbury Cathedral about 8 miles away! Fifteen of us walking today, with all the usual banter!
Wednesday 9th December 2015 - a lovely walk today, followed by a seasonal buffet at the Dog House micropub in Evegate, which was our start/finish point. It was our first frosty morning, although by the time we started walking most of the white had gone. The sun was out though, as we walked along the road to Mersham village and from there up into the lovely deer park at Mersham-le-Hatch. The deer were rather shy today, unfortunately, but we did at least see them, albeit quite a distance away. We also saw a buzzard and, to Gary's delight, a peacock butterfly - quite a rare sighting in December! Back through Jacob's plantation and Joe Farm to the Dog House, which did us proud with a scrumptious buffet. Add to that good beer and good company (and quite a lot of leg-pulling!), it was a perfect day all round, Today was our thirty-first walk, and 22 attended.
 
Wednesday 2nd December 2015 - fourteen of us again and a repeat of a walk we last did in June. Very different weather today; the wind was keen, although the sun did come out latterly. Quite a bit of mud through Denge wood, but Forest Farm in its little valley delighted as ever. Ducks abounded, and we were gobbled at by a splendid turkey! Everybody managed the hills; the views were splendid - we could see Ashford in the distance, and Chilham Castle and Godmersham Church closer to hand. We saw buzzards over the high ground and were accompanied by their keening for quite some distance. A glorious walk, this one - we're all looking forward to doing it again in spring or summer!
 
Wednesday 25th November 2015 - and a walk from West Hythe along the Royal Military Canal, then climbing through fields and returning along the top of the escarpment with fabulous views across the marsh to the Channel. There were wonderful effects of the sun on the water today, and the visibility was clear enough that we could just see France. And closer to us, we had glimpses of some of the animals in Port Lympne Wildlife Park - we saw antelope (of some description), hyenas, buffalo, and two wonderful white rhinos (Jim told us all the difference between white and black rhinos!) There was also a zebra in quarantine, and we met some people who worked for the Park and learned more about it. Finally we walked back past Lympne Church and Castle. Only twelve of us today, which was a shame as the walk was voted 'one of the best'!
 
Wednesday 18th November 2015 - a glorious autumn morning and unseasonably warm. Fourteen of us walked from Hothfield on a new route, following the Greensand Way across the Common and out to Little Chart Forstal as before, but then turning north to cross and re-cross the road and rail arteries between London and the Channel. Lots of mud following recent rain, a few ploughed fields to cross - but also little woodland tracks, open farmland lovely views throughout up to the North Downs, as well as some lovely houses to look at. A final little climb over Tut Hill and then a short trip through someone's back garden (it was the footpath, honestly!) back to the car park. 
 
Wednesday 11th November 2015 - a beautiful walk today in Crundale - many thanks to Gary who shared his 'hidden valley' with us. We went first along the North Downs Way past the Wye Crown, then struck off north into lovely country. It was Armistice Day, and the sun came out just in time for us to stand and observe the two-minute silence with wonderful views high above the valley - a fitting tribute. A reasonable bit of climbing today - firstly up to the pretty Crundale church, and then a couple of steady climbs back to the start. Despite a couple of regulars 'calling in sick', we were still fourteen in number. This lovely walk will have a regular pace in the calendar, I can see!
 
Wednesday 4th November 2015 - Jim led the walk today, on a route that he and Janet had devised. A stiff climb to begin with, but lovely (if rather misty) views behind us - and interesting lime kilns that we might explore another day. A rather wet field of kale or suchlike, then up to the Gliding Club. Sadly, because of the weather, there was no gliding taking place today. Then a gradual descent via beautiful trackways deep with golden leaves, back to the village, where we made friends with the new landlord of the Wheel Inn. (Good for future walks!) Fifteen of us walked today, including Hilary and Cynthia on their first Health Walks! Many thanks to Jim (and Jan) for finding and leading us all on such a lovely walk.
 
Wednesday 26th October 2015 - and the weather was kind to us this week and we had a dry walk despite forecasts to the contrary! We welcomed Richard to the group, and fourteen of us walked from the village of Chilham, picking up the North Downs Way up to Old Wives Lees, then down and back over the main road and railway, taking the trackway down to East Stour Farm and then back to Chilham via Mountain Street. Autumn colours pretty much at their best now, and lots else to enjoy - lovely views, the livestock at East Stour Farm, Chilham Castle, and the pretty houses in the village (and the odd sign!) Not a particularly hilly walk today, but still I didn't hear any complaints when we had to wait awhile at the level crossing!
 
Wednesday 21st October 2015 - and the weather lived up to the forecast and we had quite a bit of drizzle to contend with, along with some serious mud! Eleven of us walked from Farthing Common along the North Downs Way to the radio mast at Etchinghill, then dropping down from the high ground returned through the pretty village of Postling. The views on this walk are wonderful - miles of the coastline and all the way back to Ashford - sadly, just not today! Still, we had a few laughs and a good walk, and look forward to the next time we do it when I'm sre the views will be back! Here's a few photos, some taken on the pre-walk when we had slightly better visibility!
 
Wednesday 14th October 2015 - Eleven of us walked from Perry Wood and, despite a forecast of heavy rain, it did in fact stay dry except for a little light drizzle towards the end of the walk. We saw a little more of the surrounding orchards than had been intended, when my sense of direction deserted me, but we got back on track and had a lovely walk. We descended from the wood itself to the fields below - wide sweeping views here and incredibly quiet - this area is like a little lost world (but without the dinosaurs)! We finished the walk by climbing up to the 'Pulpit', which is a great panorama point, and were rewarded with views as far as the Isle of Sheppey - which was basking in sunshine! I didn't take many photos on the day, so here are a few taken by myself and others taken both on the day and previously.
 
Wednesday 7th October 2015 - and we repeated the Egerton walk we did back on a very hot day in the summer - but the views were very different today - as were the conditions underfoot, it has to be said - we all ended up with ten-ton boots after walking over wet, recently ploughed fields! But we still had the fabulous views, and ripe apples in the orchards (they were delicious!), and wondered about the new saplings that were flowering and fruiting at the same time. The llamas came to say hello, and we took a different route back to the village which led us through Rock Hill Farm. A lovely walk - if hillier than I led folks to believe...........it was the mud that made the climbs seem worse - that's my story, anyway!
 
Wednesday 30th September 2015 - and for our twenty-first walk we repeated walk number one - and we had a record attendance - twenty-two! It was May when we last did this walk, on a lovely day full of the sights and sounds of spring. Today was also a lovely day, but very definitely early autumn, with the warm tones of turning leaves and ploughed fields. The grapes looked delicious, but were about a week off being ready to pick -and they were indeed very sour! Cliff explained to us how the roses were an early indicator of disease in the vines, and not just there to look pretty (although they do!) The views were glorious, right across to the wind farm and further, with Dungeness very clear. And I just had to take a group photo to compare with the first time - although somebody was obviously hiding (I've worked out who it was and will be speaking to them later......!)
 
Wednesday 23rd September 2015 - A circular walk from Aldington - and a lovely sunny day after a lot of rain. We found ourselves paddling at one point, and there were a lot of stiles - some of them a bit dicey - but the fabulous views made up for it all. We were seventeen today, and we walked across to the Bilsington obelisk (couldn't go right up to it because of falling masonry!), then down to the Royal Military Canal and along it to pretty St. Rumwold's church, and then climbed back up to Aldington. Very varied terrain, lovely views and big skies!
 
Wednesday 16th September 2015 - and another wet day! Ten of us walked from the ruined church at Eastwell across to Challock and back. It's one of my favourite walks, because the views are so spectacular - and different each way - but today everywhere was just misty and beautiful. I didn't take any photos today, so here are some of yours and some from the pre-walks (including interiors of the church which was locked today - well worth a visit (the key is held at the post office).
 
 
Wednesday 9th September 2015 - I had to miss this one but with the help of Margaret, Shealagh, Ruth and Mark, sixteen walkers tackled one of this area's most iconic walks - the Wye Crown. Doing it anti-clockwise on this occasion; out along the fields past Withersdane Hall, then a tough climb up beside the Devil's Kneading Trough to take the North Downs Way past the Crown itself and back to Wye. A lovely day, and a lovely walk with wonderful views! Jon, Ronald and Mary joined us for their first Health Walks - quite a baptism of fire! Thanks to all who helped and who walked!
 
Wednesday 2nd September 2015 - and after a wet week twelve of us walked from Hamstreet and encountered our first real mud for quite a while! Volunteer Co-ordinator Martyn Jordan joined us, as did Sue and Linda for their first times with the group. Mark donned the yellow waistcoat officially, having been finally 'signed off' as a Walk Leader! Congratulations! From Hamstreet we took the Royal Military Canal path to Ruckinge and then looped back through some very pretty countryside where we saw these lovely carriages, finally tackling the mud in Hamstreet Woods! Martyn asked everyone for feedback about the walks - which I couldn't see, of course - but he assures me that he's not going to shut me down yet!
 
Wednesday 26th August 2015 - and a walk in the rain! We walked west from Charing up to and along the North Downs Way and then dropped down to cross the A20 and the railway and return to the village via cherry orchards (Note to self - do this walk again in May!), sheep pastures and around a disused sand quarry. Despite the rain, twelve of us turned up - anyway, it didn't rain ALL the time - although we still got pretty wet! It wasn't really the day for taking photos, so here's a few from the pre-walks
 
Wednesday 19th August 2015 - a walk in the lovely countryside to the east of Stone Street. We started on the Common at Stelling Minnis, then at Bossingham struck east to the picture postcard village of Lynsore Bottom, before climbing up to the high ground. Then we dropped down again through woodland and crossed farmland back to our start point. Fairly hilly today, and as we found out - it's the last one that kills! Jim ably wielded the secateurs to get us through an overgrown path, but then got a bit carried away and tried to lead the group down the wrong path before I realised what was happening!. We were seventeen again in number, including Ed's daughter Ellie, and the sun shone!
 
Wednesday 12th August 2015 - a wonderful turn-out considering the weather! Seventeen of us gathered at Godmersham church in the rain, although fortunately it eased and stopped altogether before we'd gone too far! We crossed the A28 and took the cycle track up to East Stour Farm, then crossed back and walked up Mountain Street back towards Godmersham Park again. Then we laboured up a steepish hill to the North Downs Way, and were rewarded by this glorious view over the park!
 
Wednesday 5th August 2015 - we walked from Pluckley - actually a repeat of the walk we did on 20th May, although the weather was a bit better! We were nineteen today, including Lisa, Cathy and Jenny who came along for the first time. We got sprayed in the orchards where the apples and plums were ripening; said hello to the horses; posed for a photo at the ruined church; enjoyed the scenery and admired this lovely modern house (or possibly envied it's new owners the wonderful views!)
 
Wednesday 29th July 2015 - another record - twenty-one of us - did a lovely walk around the amazing landscape of Stone-in-Oxney. On a day that was breezy but mostly sunny, we had wonderful panoramic views across Romney Marsh and the Weald. We strayed briefly into East Sussex, and said hello to the alpacas on the way back. Not without incident - one of our number fell foul of a rabbit hole, but we all made it home eventually!
 
Wednesday 22nd July 2015 - We walked from Hothfield, across the Common and out along the Greensand Way to the pretty village of Little Chart Forstal, and then on to Little Chart, then swinging south and returning by a green lane. We crossed lovely quiet streams and saw beautiful houses - this one is Rooting Manor, and said hello the the Hebridean sheep and the Highland cattle on our way back across the Common. Eighteen of us today, and we welcomed Glynis, Pauline and Sue for the first time.
 
Wednesday 15th July 2015 - a circular walk on the Wye Downs around the village of Hastingleigh. It was raining gently - not too much of a problem, except that we had to wade through rather a lot of wet grass! We were nineteen in number - our biggest group so far - and we all really enjoyed the walk, despite all ending up rather wet from the thighs down! A little consternation was caused at the end of the walk, when these cattle (including one rather large bull) got a bit agitated, but neither us nor them came to any harm! And we welcomed Arrun, Jane and David on their first Healthwalks. Here we all are - except for myself behind the camera - high on the North Downs Way above Wye.
 
Wednesday 8th July 2015 - a circular walk from Bethersden: lowland walking in the beautiful Weald of Kent. The weather was mostly cloudy and rather windy, but it was warm and stayed dry for us. Eleven of us walked today, including Sandra and John on their first Heathwalk. We crossed an airstrip (you don't do that every day!), through the wonderfully named hamlets of Pimphurst and Tuesnoad, saw some beautiful old houses and came back to Bethersden through pretty Lamberden Wood. Here's a few photos - mostly taken on the pre-walk when it was rather sunnier!
 
Wednesday 1st July 2015 - a circular walk from Egerton on the hottest day for nine years! To add to all that, Operation Stack was in full swing - with BOTH sides of the M20 closed - and it was traffic chaos! Nevertheless, eight of us had a lovely walk through sheep pastures and very welcome little shady woods, and all with spectacular views out over the Weald. We welcomed Margaret, Ed and Gary for their first Healthwalks, and finished it off with a nice pint at the George! (And then went back and played with the traffic again!)
 
Wednesday 24th June 2015 - a circular walk from Sole Street, taking in part of Denge Woods and a high level return with spectacular views. The weather was kind once again - Colin and Cliff went orchid hunting - I threw in a couple of hills - everyone was glad of a break at the top - and finally - a walker's reward - sandwich of the day (Brie and caramelised red onion) and a pint at the Compasses Inn - absolutely delicious!
 
Wednesday 17th June 2015 - a walk from Wye across the Stour Valley towards Soakham Downs and back via the North Downs Way and Perry Court Fruit Farm. We were seventeen in number, just like week one, and the weather was glorious - flaming June indeed! Poppies abounded, All Saints church at Boughton Aluph was slumbering in the sun preparing for the Stour Music Festival, and we had geese and donkeys at Perry Court.
 
Wednesday 10th June 2015 - a walk from Mersham village through the deer park and to the outskirts of Brabourne Lees. The deer were very obliging and we saw lots of them, plus we saw swallows at pretty Pemsey Farm. And we managed to avoid most of the cattle that had abounded on the pre-walk! We had a lot of hilarity at the sign on this gate - Jane and Isabella got so distracted that they neglected to close it and had to go back!
 
Wednesday 3rd June 2015 - a circular walk from Chilham. We were rather depleted in number today - wasn't there some bash or something going on in Folkestone?! - but we were very pleased to welcome Joanna and her two 'girls' Willow and Rosie. We climbed up to Old Wives Lees and then down again, picking up the Stour Valley Path and back via Chilham Mill. The dogs, of course, enjoyed the water!
 
Wednesday 27th May 2015 - a circular walk from the ruins of St. Mary's Church, Eastwell, through fields and pastures to Westwell village, then back along the North Downs Way. A hastily revised route due to a there being a bull in one of the fields on the original walk to Challock! A gorgeous day, and Isabella, Sophie, Iris and Mike all joined us for the first time. Monica and Nancy made some new friends at the end of the walk!
 
Wednesday 20th May 2015 - A circular walk from Pluckley through the orchards to Little Chart; a visit to the ruins of St. Mary's Church; through this pretty little bluebell wood, across the fields and along a ridge to Elvey Farm and the wonderful Zwartbles sheep, and back up to Pluckley.
Only six of us today, and the weather looked dramatic at times but the rain held off!
 
Wednesday 13th May 2015 - our inaugural walk from Appledore. Here's some photos from the day and a few others I took during my pre-walks
A gorgeous day - we couldn't have asked for better! There were 17 of us in all, and I think you can see that we were having a great time! There were incredibly noisy frogs in the dykes but unfortunately my photo didn't come out. Some went and explored the church while I worried about how long it was all taking......!
Thank you all for coming!