Dusting off the cobwebs

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Walking in the Langdales this time last year.

Ever since David and I have known each other, we have tried to visit the Lake District and get up into the high fells at least once a year. It’s a place that never fails to lift our spirits and re-energise us. Once the children came along, we adjusted our walks (no scrambling up Jake’s Rake on Pavey Ark with a baby in a backpack!) but we still went as often as possible. In more recent years, since the children have been able to do long, high walking, we’ve been going every October during half term. This year, however, we didn’t – financial constraints, work commitments and revision for exams (our eldest has mock GCSEs starting tomorrow) meant that we had to stay at home. We have all missed it and have agreed that we really must try to make it happen next year if possible.

After a week of mostly sitting down, we decided that, Lake District or not, we had to get out and have a Good Walk yesterday. We do a lot of walking here on the coast, exploring the wonderful paths close to home but have yet to explore much of inland Kent. David planned a circular route through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty around Wye and we set off. The promise of a late pub lunch was enough to persuade our more reluctant walker to leave his revision behind for a few hours.

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There is always a ‘discussion’ about the route, no matter how carefully planned. Our eldest child often walks on ahead, confident that he knows best…
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We walked from Wye and followed part of the North Downs Way past the Wye Crown.
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This is as high as it gets in this part of Kent. It was hazy sunshine but we nevertheless had gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside.

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This deep valley (formed by glaciation) is known as ‘The Devil’s Kneading Trough’ and is part of the Wye National Nature Reserve. On a clear day, you are supposed to be able to see Romney Marsh and the English Channel beyond. Not yesterday, though.

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David’s Short Walks are misnomers. We should know by now to add at least an hour on to his estimate of how much time a walk will take. The light was fading fast as we got back to the car and we were all rather hungry, so it was off to a lovely pub in Chilham for steak and ale pie, really excellent beer and the Rugby World Cup final. Perfect.