A Cold Weekend

No fresh snow for a while, but the temperature has remained below freezing all week, so the paths through woods were frozen solid, and consequently quite hard to walk on. The one benefit was returning home with a clean dog – this photo was taken almost at the end of our walk in High Elms:

We went to Shoreham Woods on Sunday. I normally avoid this path because it is so muddy during the winter, today it was just rough walking on ice:

Rocco enjoyed himself though:

The views from Polhill Bank are always nice:

And the paths along the Darenth Valley:

Rocco enjoyed himself crossing the large field:

And then back home, with a clean dog yet again!

Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud?

There have been far more “wet days” this winter than I recall – not so much heavy rain (or at least not when the dog needs walking), but consistent rain making everything VERY wet. Even High Elms Country Park, which normally isn’t too bad in the winter, has been suffering with muddy paths this winter.

Today’s walk was in the National Trust “Petts Wood & Hawkwood” estate. Rocco loves going there as there are plenty of rivers and ponds to get wet and muddy in.

However, the paths were really muddy today, and with a light dusting of snow and some strong gusts, it wasn’t always that pleasant walking!

Rocco was enjoying himself though:

Further on, it didn’t get much better:

Though the heathland looked pretty:

Rocco needed a hose down once we’d returned home!

A Frosty Shoreham Woods

A cold morning, so two pairs of gloves and a woolly hat today!

So we’re off to Shoreham Woods.

3° below zero according to the car, so at least most of the muddy paths will be frozen. Unfortunately, my least favourite path down the hill was a combination of uneven surfaces and icy puddles – quite a struggle to stay upright!

It was nicer further on at Polhill Bank, and while I retied my shoelaces, Rocco enjoyed shredding the stick he’d carried for the last mile:

With no one else around, and the mist suppressing distant noises, it was eerily quiet:

Later, we had to get past some ponies to get to the stile. But these ones are no problem – they must be really used to dogs by now:

Disappearing Path

A cold and misty morning today, though with no wind. High Elms is starting to dry out a bit after the last storm, so Rocco returned much cleaner than before!

This is the path across one of the fields, and yes, it does go somewhere eventually!

Boxing Day at Shoreham Woods

The woods were almost deserted this morning; in fact I only met three other dog walkers the entire time. A bit warmer than yesterday as well, though less sunshine.

Rocco likes these woods as it is very muddy, and there are plenty of sticks for him:

If there’s an opportunity, he does like to chew them into small pieces:

Shoreham village looks nice as always:

And the path across the fields unusually didn’t have any cows in it:

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 leapt 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!