The only Way is Essex – the slightly easier way.

I do hope you have come to this page by way of the previous entry where I walked the first section of the Essex Way from Epping to Ongar, or rather I didn’t exactly walk it. I had set out to do so, become completely lost before I had walked 50 yards, trespassed on private land and a railway line and nearly got killed on an unlit busy A road. There you are, you don’t need to read it now but I do hope you do if you haven’t already as it is an object lesson in how not to undertake a hike. This entry is not exactly textbook rambling but it is a whole lot better than the previous effort. Continue reading “The only Way is Essex – the slightly easier way.”

The only Way is Essex – the hard way.

Hello again and welcome back or a fresh welcome to you if you have not read any of my pages before.

In the last couple of entries I walked the Wandle Trail which follows the course of the river of that name in South London from Wandsworth, where it empties into the Thames, to one of it’s two sources at the rather picturesque Carshalton Ponds. It is a distance of about nine or ten miles (depending on which website you read) and had taken me two days which doesn’t sound like much and indeed it isn’t compared to the distances I did in my youth. Without wishing to bore my regular readers, the brief story is that I had been hospitalised in the latter part of 2019 and the medicos had told me to take plenty of exercise.

Due to a bad back and various other factors, the most telling of which is advancing old age, a lot of forms of strenuous physical activity are out and so I decided to do a lot of walking which I love and had done regularly anyway. I was on the hunt for other delineated paths to tackle and found the Essex Way, an 81 mile way-marked long-distance footpath which runs from Epping on the outskirts of London to Harwich on the coast. Continue reading “The only Way is Essex – the hard way.”

Wandering the Wandle 2.

If you are reading this having read my previous post then I thank you and promise this one is a bit better. Let’s be honest, it wasn’t exactly a riveting read but I was working with some pretty average source material. If you are reading this without having read the previous entry and wonder what exactly I am on about I shall explain.

My previous post was about my first day on the Wandle Trail in South London which is supposedly a signed path following the River Wandle.  What that walk had actually entailed was a day of trudging through industrial and residential areas with very little of interest to see. If the path was way-marked at all, which it frequently wasn’t, the signs had no sense of cohesion and many of them featured a URL address which leads to a potentially dangerous Chinese (?) website. The weather had been pretty abysmal and it really had not been a great day out. Continue reading “Wandering the Wandle 2.”

Wandering the Wandle 1.

Hello again and welcome back to my rambles, both physical and literary.

I hope you have enjoyed the posts about my trip to Northumberland. If you haven’t seen them and would like to then please click back a few pages or search on Northumberland, Newcastle or Berwick at the top of the page or alternatively you can begin here. I am such an obliging chap, I’ll do the legwork for you. Continue reading “Wandering the Wandle 1.”

Bye bye Berwick.

image020
A good start to the day.

I woke in my room in the Castle Hotel on the morning of Wednesday 6th October 2019 in the knowledge that the next bed I slept in would probably be my own in London some 350 miles more or less due South.

After the events of the previous morning I had decided to skip breakfast, tasty as it was, as I would have had to have awoken at about 0600 to allow my slightly battered gastro-intestinal system time to get going and do it justice. It wasn’t as if there weren’t plenty of decent options for a bite to eat round the town. Continue reading “Bye bye Berwick.”

A heavy blow in Berwick, in both senses of the term.

“Remember, remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot”.

So runs the old children’s rhyme concerning the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605 when Guy aka Guido Fawkes and others attempted to blow up the King and Parliament. I once had a friend who was affectionately known as “Mad Katie” who wore a T-shirt with the legend “Guy Fawkes – the only man ever to enter Parliament with honest intentions” which always amused me. So here I was, 415 years later, waking up in a very comfy bed in the Castle Hotel in Berwick-upon-Tweed and, to be honest, attempted regicide was not really on my mind. Continue reading “A heavy blow in Berwick, in both senses of the term.”

Bearing North to Berwick.

Up on the Monday morning and it was time to pack as I was back on the road again. More properly speaking I was back on the rails which made a pleasant change from being off the rails as I so frequently am. Paul’s time-critical project was becoming less time and more critical by the day and I thought I’d get out of the way and not overstay my welcome as he and Sue had been so lovely to me.

I was off to Berwick-upon-Tweed as I had already booked my ticket and I’ll explain the rationale for both of these things now. Continue reading “Bearing North to Berwick.”