Kyd Brook

Very heavy rain overnight, though it had eased a bit by the time I took Rocco for his morning walk. We went to a rather muddy Petts Wood & Hawkwood – one of his favourite walks as there is a lot of mud, water and sticks!

Kyd Brook was seriously in spate following the overnight rain – I’ve not seen that much water in it for a fair while:

Rocco lept in as usual, but really struggled to swim against the current, and only just got out again. At which point he ran over the bridge and got in that side. Again, he was swept down the brook and this time, he really did have a hard time getting out. Luckily after that, he treated the brook with a bit more caution!

This bit further down is normally about 6″ deep with a little “beach” to the side:

Further on, Pondwood Pond was a bit calmer, and he had a swim there instead:

Pondwood Pond

Rocco and I regularly walk in Petts Wood & Hawkwood woods; he enjoys it because there are lots of sticks, and ponds & rivers to get wet in.

Last February, a very large tree fell into the pond in the middle of Pondwood:

The trunk was soon cut to keep the path clear, but the branches in the water have been there ever since.

When we visited today, the rest of the tree had been cleared away, and he could have a swim again.

The whole area by the pond has also been cleared. You can see the logs by the fence line:

It’s so nice to have woods that are looked after, even if it takes a while to get things done.

Whitstable

Another fine autumn day (though quite misty to start with), so we decided to take the train to Whitstable. Apart from a bit of chaos at Bromley South with a medical emergency on (another) train, an uneventful journey through the Kent countryside.

Crossing the Medway at Rochester is always interesting:

As we pulled into Whitstable, the sun broke through from the clouds. There is a small recreation ground quite close to the station, so Rocco was able to let of a bit of steam. Then off the beach to find a pub, and after the usual rigmarole of signing in, we’re sitting on the beach with a beer:

We didn’t like the disposable plastic glasses, but noticed they had some branded reusable plastic glasses for sale, so we had our next pint in those:

A nice (but fried) lunch in the sunshine, and Rocco was pleased to get a few chips:



After lunch, we found a quiet bit of beach for Rocco to have a swim in the sea, though  unusually, he just had a paddle:

We then walked along the beach to the harbour:

Then onto the quieter beach at the east side of the town:

Rocco took an interest in a large plant container:

Then it was back to the station for our train home:

On the way back, the tide had come in and the Medway looked more inviting in the sunshine:

We sat at the end of the train this time, so Rocco had the corridor all to himself without people trying to get past!

A nice day out.

Shoreham Woods

Rocco and I regularly walk in Shoreham Woods (at least we do when it’s reasonably dry!) so today I thought I’d document our walk in pictures.

The first bit is across the M25 motorway, so very noisy, but soon it becomes quieter and Rocco starts collecting sticks:

This section of the path is on a slope, and can be really muddy in winter:

The view down the valley is lovely:

We then climb into Pilots Wood:

and shortly arrive at the top of the North Downs:

The path soon dives back into woods

and follows the Darenth Valley, with views of Shoreham village:

All too soon, we’re climbing back up the hill:

then down and up across the valley. Luckily Rocco ignores the cows!

Another short break, then it’s back up the last hill to the car park:

A LOT of up & down in a short distance!

 

 

Glorious Walking

We may be in lockdown, but with the dry and sunny weather, our morning walks have been really nice.

This is a happy Rocco in Farnborough Fields, adjacent to High Elms Country Park:

Rocco Struggles

Rocco enjoys carrying the largest stick (or sticks) that he can get, but struggles with the concept of passing through narrow gaps when they are sticking out each side…

I’d taken this photo just after he’d unsuccessfully tried to get through the gap. But after rearranging them, he eventually managed.

 

Shoreham Woods – Peace & Quiet

We occasionally go walking in Shoreham Woods, but much of it is quite noisy due to the adjacent M25. However, with lockdown, there is very little traffic and the woods were nice and peaceful:

It’s also one of the best places to see bluebells at this time of year:

Rocco of course likes wearing himself out chasing sticks:

And paths that are horrible and slippery during the winter are nice and dry:

We went a slightly different way today, and looking back you can see the phone mast at the top of the hill badly disguised as a tree:

And in close up – whoever designed the fake tree has no idea what a deciduous tree looks like:

Next is Polhill Bank, where the ground slopes down from the North Downs to the Weald. Rocco does like carrying a pair of sticks as a large X:

The railway line comes out of the tunnel under Polhill here:

and it’s a lovely spot to sit and watch the world not go by:

By this time, Rocco is often thirsty, but he remembered a water trough just off the path. The water level was a bit low for him to reach, but he solved the problem in typical Labrador fashion:

Then more nice paths and bluebells on the way back to the car:

A lovely walk in warm sunshine. Worth driving a few miles on empty roads!

Spring is here

The warm weather at Easter seems to have triggered many plants to flower, and the local woods were exceptionally nice this morning with bluebells:

Rocco of course likes his sticks:

A special treat was seeing the new Wild Garlic in a part of the woods noted for it:

I was very surprised that Rocco actually stood still long enough to take his photograph – maybe he is finally growing up!