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Archive for the ‘historical houses of the uk’ Category

A tiny hamlet in the Faversham area of Kent, Thorley Forstal is literally just a scattering of pretty little houses amongst humongous fields of agriculture or animal husbandry…hence the long, long roads and vast distances I have to walk.

The name is recorded in the Doomsday Book as Trevelai, which corresponds with a Brittonic origin, where “Trev” means a settlement or farm house and “Elai” typically relates to a fast moving river or stream.

I have yet to see a river or a stream, but perhaps I haven’t yet walked far enough…..there are however plenty of flooded roads, especially atm with all the rain πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ

For the word ‘Forstal’, various descriptions are found ; a small opening in a lane too small to be called a common, a green before a house, a paddock near a farmhouse.

In the case of ‘Throwley Forstal’, all 3 options could apply since there are a few small lanes, two fairly decent greens, and a farm looks out onto the green.

The houses are mostly white clapboard and so pretty. Many of the houses and barns in the area are listed and circa 15th, 16th and 17th century.

Throwley Forstal
Forge Farm – literally right out of Beatrix Potter – did you spot the puddleducks? πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

A pretty little place, there’s literally nothing more than a scattering of houses and a church. If you need supplies, it’s a 15 minute drive to Faversham.

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My latest assignment has not taken me too far afield this time and I find myself in the depths of Kent. Not too far from where I’m located are villages familiar to me; Charing for instance….I stayed there on my pilgrimage to Canterbury in September. πŸ™‚ so that’s been a fun discovery. I am of course familiar with Faversham having stayed there in 2017 during my Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales walk from Southwark Cathedral to Canterbury Cathedral, as well as which I finished my latest stretch of the English coast there last Saturday – from Whitstable to Faversham. The Sun Inn; 14th century inn, was the perfect place to stay and I’d love to stay there again sometime.

the sun inn faversham
The Sun Inn, Faversham – 14th century inn with the best room and bath ever

However, the house where I’m working is toooo far from Faversham for me to do any proper exploring, but I have a few country roads I can follow and so far I’ve had 2 good days to get out and about. Of the 5.5 days I’ve been here so far, 1,5 produced rain and 2 produced fog…so I’ve only managed 2 proper walks since arriving on Monday 4th. The sun looks like its burning through the fog so hopefully tomorrow will be a good day for walking.

foggy day in kent
a foggy day in Kent

In the meantime the two walks have unveiled some gems as far as churches are concerned and some amazing houses…..some of which date back to the 15th century. In fact the house I’m working in was built in 1435!!! It’s pretty awesome with some fabulous beams and a huge fireplace. The floors are really wonky and sink in the middle and without heating, its VERY cold!!! I’ll let the photos do the talking

country walking
the long and winding road…..
first world war throwley airfield
Throwley Airfield 1917-1919
the old school house
The Old School 1873-1935
houses at Throwley Forstal

Although I haven’t been able to get out that much, I have walked far and wide, clocking up 16.3 kms over 2 days. Its something of a challenge to find different routes when you’re limited to long stretches of road and a 2 hour break. If I had longer, I’d walk to Faversham for sure. It’s only 5 miles away but would take 1hour 35 minutes to walk there and no time to return before my 2 hours is up!!

I have though seen 2 beautiful sunsets and enjoyed the lengthening shadows of the graveyard. Hopefully tomorrow will bring fine weather so I can get out again…

p.s. there may be a problem with the photo galleries…..if there is I will fix them later…..they look fine via my computer, but on my phone there seems to be an issue….sorry for that.

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I’ve been invited to participate in the 2020 Travel Challenge by fellow travellers and Camino pilgrims http://wetanddustyroads.com Thank you πŸ˜ƒ

I’m honoured to be nominated and will do my very best to live up to the challenge!!

June

TheΒ Travel ChallengeΒ involves posting oneΒ favoriteΒ travel picture for each day. That’s 10 days, 10 travel pictures, and 10 nominations, without any explanation. If you take up this challenge, then you also need to nominate someone each day.

Today, on my first day of the challenge, IΒ  nominate https://journey-junkies.com

You can post any of your favorite pictures from 2020…enjoy and happy travels!!

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Got in a very respectable 15.9kms this morning. Starting off with a fantastic sunrise….red sky in the morning and all that

I headed up the coast to Stone Bay via Broadstairs where I stopped off at my favourite tearoom The Old Bakehouse for almond croissants (best ever) with a cup of coffee, which I enjoyed on the promenade, and fed the sparrows some toasted almond crumbs.

Almond croissant from The Old Bake House, Broadstairs
Ever so cute…

Enroute I strolled past the Dickens Museum – although he didn’t actually live here, it was the home of one of his characters in David Copperfield; Betsy Trotwood.

By the time I reached the end of Stone Bay the wind had come up and that promised storm blew in…with a vengeance.

Blowing up a storm
I wondered why….

Before heading back to Ramsgate, I bought some bird seed and scattered it amongst the bushes for the wee sparrows.

The wind was so strong along the foreshore that my walking poles were blown backwards and I had to plow into the wind.

Despite the wind and cold and rain, I had a fantastic walk. The harbour looked very different when I got back from when I left just after 7am

7:20am
11:14am

And tomorrow I’m back to work. I don’t feel as if I’ve had a proper break.

But I did have a most wonderful afternoon with my lovely family…Christmas tree decorating. I’ll write about that tomorrow..

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And suddenly I was on the home straight with just 19 hours to go and I’d be on my way. My final break was taken in town and I followed some of my more favoured routes and managed a decent 6.8kms, albeit with a reduction in my time off again πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”

When I first arrived in Shepton Mallet 12 days ago my heart sank…it looked dull and grey with no defining features beyond grey walls and grey houses, a massive Tesco store and the distinction of being mentioned in the Domesday Book….and the oldest prison in the country looming large…and grey 🀨🀨

Shepton Mallet Prison- closed 2013
Exterior of the prison

But as usual I set out to explore and managed to find lots of interesting nooks and crannies, a great number of interesting houses, some of which are Grade II listed.

The Merchants House – 17th century Grade II listed

Three other houses of historical interest:

Longbridge House : with links to James, Duke of Monmouth and the Battle of Sedgemoor July 1685. Now a B&B. With parts dating back to the 14th century the house is best known for being where the Duke of Monmouth stayed before and after the Battle of Sedgemoor in 1685.

Exploring Shepton Mallet

Old Bowlish House : I was delighted to note the old English spelling…first house name I’ve ever seen in old English. Built around 1618, this Grade II* clothier’s mansion was modernised by the Georgians c.1735 and the Victorians c.1860.

Old Bowlish House – note the old English spelling

Downside House – Georgian House 5 bedrooms 3 bathrooms…I’ll have one of each πŸ˜ƒ

Downside House

exciting finds, although I’m pretty certain there were quite a few more dotted about. After all, in its past, Shepton Mallet used to be a very wealthy town built on the wool trade

I found and walked a small section of the Roman Fosseway, and explored the greater countryside, walking many sections of the East Mendip Way. I discovered the wonderful viaducts, one of which carried the old railway – now disused. I explored the beautiful Collett Park and stretching myself I walked to Downside, Bowlish and Ham Lane.

Fosseway
Exploring Shepton Mallet – Collette Park
Collette Park
Collette Park
Viaduct on the Kilver estate
The River Sheppey at Bowlish

I squelched along muddy public paths, slipping and sliding and climbed some interesting stiles πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ One of my favourite sections was between a steep field and the small holdings along the River Sheppey where I met lamas, horses, goats and chickens.

This was my favourite stretch of the walks
Helloooo

I walked along narrow roads and lanes and prayed that the tractors that had left their treads in the mud right at the absolute limits of the lanes, didn’t decide to come either up or down the lanes while I was walking along…they didn’t. Whew! I would probably have had to either climb under or over …or resort to climbing into the hedges that towered along the sides.

Narrow roads and wide tractors. ..

I managed to find many items of interest after all…I thought my options were out, but no.

Some houses had little plaques remembering past residents who went off to war and never returned

Although the architecture is mostly solid grey stone

A dilapidated house
Literally falling apart

I did find some older painted houses, albeit peeling and covered in mould….the reason for the stone houses was more apparent. The town is mostly located in a very deep wedge between hills, the Mendip Hills, and a great number of houses are built right on the rivers edge.

Mouldy peeling paint – note the crown decoration
A river runs past
Same section of the river
This house is also built right on rivers edge next to the Fosseway
An optical illusion- on Cat Ash the houses are actually adjacent

I found what used to be a Priory

The Priory exterior
The Priory interior

I’m totally intrigued by the bricked in doors and windows of many of the older houses, and am curious to know when and why they were sealed off.

Windows and doors bricked up m

Addendum – Many thanks to Grace for sending me this link in the comments. The reason why windows and doors were boarded up…governments eh πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺhttps://www.amusingplanet.com/2018/04/why-do-many-historic-buildings-in-uk.html?m=1 anything to squeeze more money out of their citizens.

The church was beautiful albeit locked so I never got to go inside πŸ˜” and the market cross is beautiful

And after yesterday’s walk and 2 weeks of indoor walking I’m now closer to my 2020 target of 2020kms. Hoorah. It looks like I may just reach my target by 31.12.2020

As usual, saying goodbye to the pets is sometimes the hardest part of leaving

And so ends my sojourn to Shepton Mallet. Its been quite a stressful job, and I’ll be glad of my 48 hour break before starting all over again on Monday in Croydon πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ thankfully only 9 days….

At the moment I’m in transit, first train and nearly in London ….1 tube ride, the HS1 to the coast and a taxi ride away from the Airbnb where I’m staying this weekend.

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One of the very first buildings I noticed from the taxi when I arrived in Lewes 2 weeks ago, was this amazing place

I’m totally smitten with this place
The 15th century bookshop 😍😍

I only caught a glimpse of it as we rode past but that was enough to tickle my fancy…..and the very next day, during my break I set out to explore. And I’ve had plenty of adventures….

But I determined that I simply had to visit this bookshop, only open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at least once while I was here.  So yesterday, after visiting the Lewes Castle and the Martyrs Memorial, I popped in for a visit on my way back to the house.

Bought by the current owner in 1986, the stock consists of thousands of second-hand and collectors’ books, from rare and collectable to recent over a wide range of topics and interests. Its amazing that the same person has owned the shop over 30 years!! Wowww.

The interior of the shop, smelt musty with the dust of aeons. It was deliciously cramped with books overflowing their shelves and stacked high on the floor. Books from decades ago piled up in a kaleidoscope of ancient dust jackets and calligraphy.
Sheer heaven for a book worm; metaphorically and I’m pretty certain…actually. How the owner ever finds a requested copy is anyone’s guess, but I’m willing to bet she knows where everything is.
I had the audacity to ask if she had a particular book from 2019, and in a very dour voice she replied “I only sell old books”.  Brilliant. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‰ Of course…2019 is so last year…

And of course you can’t visit a 15th century bookshop and not buy some books… Obviously I had to buy a couple for himself who loves books, although lord knows he already has a massive collection. The Rupert Bear book is a 1984 edition, and the Bobbsey Twins from 1959!! I could have bought another 15 at least, but reason prevailed, I’d have to lug them all back to Ramsgate next week…

However if I ever find myself in Lewes again, I will be sure to pop in and buy a few more. Delicious. I love books and really wish I could have spent a few hours there looking through the shelves. But with Covid-19, and only 3 customers in the shop at a time, there was a young man waiting patiently outside…

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I recently arrived in Lewes for my next assignment (the benefit of working as a Carer is that although I’m away from home a lot, I get to visit some amazing places.

The day after I arrived I set out to explore and noticed that some of the lanes were named ‘twitten’ like Church Twitten for example. So i visited wikipedia and did some research – A distinctive feature of the centre of Lewes is the network of alleyways or ‘twittens’ which run north–south on either side of the High Street and date back to Anglo-Saxon times. According to the Dictionary of the Sussex dialect and collection of provincialisms in use in the county of Sussex published in Lewes in 1875 “Twitten is a narrow path between two walls or hedges, especially on hills. For example, small passageways leading between two buildings to courtyards, streets, or open areas behind”. Some twittens (e.g. Broomans Lane, Church Twitten, Green Lane, Paine’s Twitten) remain flint-wall-lined pedestrian thoroughfares, others (e.g. Watergate Lane, St Andrew’s Lane and renamed Station Street (formerly St Mary’s Lane) are now narrow usually one-way roads. The most notable of all Lewes’ twittens is Keere Street. A weekly Sunday morning run up and down all the twittens on the south side of the High Street – the so-called Twitten Run – has operated in the town since November 2015.

Hmmmm….tell me more. I love a good challenge and of course I’m currently following the Inca Trail virtual challenge so I did some planning and on Sunday during my break I decided to walk all the ‘twittens’ – I managed to walk along most of them and on Monday I walked the rest.

Along the way I discovered amazing places and hidden gardens. The twittens all run downhill, so there was a lot of downhill and up hill walking to be done LOL

First I walked along Rotten Row past the old Toll House from when the town was gated and near to where the Westgate was originally located – it’s no longer in existence unfortunately. I walked right to the end past the Lewes cemetery and left into Bell Lane and then left into Southover High Street where I passed the Anne of Cleves house, sadly closed atm due to Covid-19. There a number of wonderful old houses/buildings dating from the 14th and 15th centuries.

Still following Southover High Street I walked passed Southover Gardens and up to Bull Lane (off Southover Road).

From there I walked up Paines Twitten to the High Street then right and down St Swithun’s Terrace. Left again into Bull Lane and left into Green Lane up to Stewards Inn Lane where I turned right and then right again into St Martin’s Lane. Downhill all the way to Southover Road and then left into Watergate Lane uphill to the High Street. A lengthy walk later I turned downhill into Walwer’s Land and left into Friars Walk and after a quick visit to the church; All Saints,

I turned left into Church Twitten and uphill once again to the High Street. Last turn right into Broomans Lane back to Friars Walk and then back to the High Street and home…5.55 kms.

The following day I walked a total of 4kms to finish walking all the lanes and twittens.

Lewes is seriously cool and I wish I had planned to stay overnight for recreational purposes πŸ˜ƒ Maybe next time.

Meanwhile I have plenty more exploring to do, there are some fantastic dedicated walks and circular walks in the area. And so much history to discover….

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As I’ve mentioned before, in my job I get to travel and work all over the country. I consider myself very lucky to be able to do this, especially during these challenging times when a lot of people are struggling with lockdown and unable to get out much.

Travel is my opiate and I love discovering new places, especially if the history of said place includes a mention in the 1086 Domesday Book, or boasts a castle, or a Roman wall (anything Roman in fact makes me happy), or even just an awesome history. And Lewes has just about all of the above.

I arrived on 9th October which coincidentally was the 19th anniversary of my arrival in the UK and I was immediately smitten.

The narrow cobbled lanes, the quirky high street, and to my delight I spotted 2 very old buildings as we drove up the high street to my next assignment.

I had a choice of 2 bedrooms, either the 1st level, or the 2nd…I chose the 2nd level despite all the stairs because the views across the countryside are absolutely stunning, the hills are enticingly close – and I have a wonderful view of the sunrise…when it’s not raining.

On Saturday during my break I immediately set off to explore and walking along the High Street I first walked through the churchyard of St Anne’s Church. I noticed a row of 12 cast-iron memorials, early19th century; all for the same family, and of 10 children, 9 died before the age of 4 years…the youngest was 4 months old. Only 1 child survived till the age of 38. Heartbreaking. I’ve put a link to the church’s history because its absolutely fascinating.

Next I passed the Old Toll House which stood at the west gate into the city. The gate no longer exists and the toll house on Rotten Row is now a private residence.

I popped in at St Michael’s Church on the High Street but had to admire the interior from behind a thick glass ceiling to floor window. Closed due to Covid-19. Urgh. This damn virus. I love these ancient churches and always welcome an opportunity to visit.

Meandering along I suddenly discovered the castle πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ I’d been so enchanted by the old medieval buildings, I’d missed the even older castle. But there it was. Unfortunately I couldn’t enter that day because I had neither mask nor money, but they’re open every Saturday, so next it shall be.

I explored the lanes and back paths on the north side of town and admired the views across the downs. Oh how much I’d love to walk those downs….soon. The autumn colours are just stunning.

I discovered quite by accident the old windmill apparently once owned by Virginia Woolf…awesome. The views of the castle from the back streets on the north side were stunning and I mentally kicked myself for not having money and a mask, the views from the castle ramparts must be stunning!!

From there I meandered along the High Street admiring the old buildings and taking dozens of photos (nothing new there then 🀭🀭) History plaques are attached to many of the buildings and give a fascinating glimpse into the towns varied past.

History plaques

I spotted a banner with a compilation of photos from the famous annual Lewes Bonfire Night event. I immediately kicked myself again πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ….this was something I’d wanted to witness ever since I read about it some years ago, but forgotten…on further investigation I learned that sadly, it has been cancelled for 2020 due to Covid-19, but I’ll make a note for future. From wikipedia: Lewes Bonfire or Bonfire, for short, describes a set of celebrations held in the town of Lewes, Sussex that constitute the United Kingdom’s largest and most famous Bonfire Night festivities, with Lewes being called the bonfire capital of the world. If you Google Lewes Bonfire videos, you’ll find some extraordinary footage.

I walked past the old Flea Market which looked very interesting and could have done with a bit of a wander, but again….no mask. You’d think that by now I’d be used to wearing a mask and remember to take it with me on my meanderings, but no….πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ

The WW1 & 2 memorial looked absolutely beautiful

I made a brief sortie along the upper parallel lanes of the south side, but didn’t feel like walking back UP the very steep lanes if I went down…tomorrow is another day LOL

On my return to my work location, I hopped on to wikipedia and did some research. To my delight I discovered that Lewes is mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book which brings the total number I’ve visited to 147!!! πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

Reading further my curiosity about the ‘twittens’ was piqued. I’d noticed that some of the South side lanes had names like Church Twitten and I was intrigued. I’d never come across the word ‘twitten’ before, and I’ve visited dozens of old villages in the last 12 years.

According to wikipedia: the network of alleyways or ‘twittens’ which run north–south on either side of the High Street date back to Anglo-Saxon times. According to the Dictionary of the Sussex dialect and collection of provincialisms in use in the county of Sussex published in Lewes in 1875. “Twitten is a narrow path between two walls or hedges, especially on hills”. Well, how about that. Fascinating, and I learn something new every day. ☺ jm just amazed I’ve never come across the word before….surely twittens are not unique to Lewes!?

Lewes looks absolutely charming and I’m looking forward to exploring more thoroughly over the next 3 weeks.

A few snippets of history:

The Saxons invaded East Sussex in the 5th century.

Founded in the 6th C, the name Lewes is probably derived from a Saxon word, ‘hluews’ which meant slopes or hills.

In the late 9th C King Alfred made a network of fortified settlements across his kingdom called burhs.

Saxon Lewes was also a busy little town with weekly markets.
In the 10th C it had 2 mints; it was a place of some importance.

At the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066 Lewes probably had less than 2,000 inhabitants.

The Normans built a castle to guard Lewes and founded the priory (small abbey) of St Pancras in Lewes.

Lewes was listed as a settlement in the 1086 Domesday Book with a recorded population of 127 households, putting it in the largest 20% of recorded settlements, and is listed under 2 owners.

St.Β Anne’s is a Grade One Listed Norman Church, on the medieval Pilgrim’s route from Winchester to Canterbury and built with pilgrim money.

In 1148 King Stephen granted Lewes a charter.

In the 13th century Franciscan friars arrived in Lewes.

In 1264 the Battle of Lewes was fought between King Henry III and some rebellious barons led by Simon de Montfort.

In 1537 Henry VIII dissolved the Priory. In 1540 Henry gave Anne of Cleves House to his wife after their divorce – however Anne never lived there.

The plague struck in 1538.

During the reign of Catholic Queen Mary (1553-1558), 17 Protestants from Sussex were martyred in Lewes.

The famous radical, Tom Paine, lived in Lewes from 1768 to 1774.

In 1836 8 people were killed by a snow avalanche.

The railway reached Lewes in 1846.

Lewes, in my opinion is a must visit

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From Oxted to Kemsing

Well,  you’ll be pleased to know I made it. Day 1 done & dusted. In lots of pain and my feet are very unhappy…not sure how they’re going to feel about doing this all over again tomorrow.😱😱πŸ₯ΊπŸ₯ΊπŸ₯Ί

So I left home at 6am on the dot  and got to Ramsgate station with 15 minutes to spare.
I reached Oxted at 09:25 and set about finding breakfast. I nearly slipped up and went to Wetherspoons, but left as soon as I realised my error 😣😣😣
After a coffee and toasted sandwich from Coughlan’s bakery I switched mapmywalk on and set off for St Peter’s church where I got my first Pilgrim’s stamp, then it was a hard slog along a horrible road till I intercepted the Pilgrim’s Way.

First destination was Chevening Park where I had to climb a bloody awful hill and then go back down again. From thereon the terrain was fairly flat. I finally reached Dunton Green where I stopped for supper at The Rose and Crown and had a delicious meal of fish and chips.

At just on 5pm I set off again for Otford, a Domesday Book Village, where I crossed the River Darent. What a delightful place. Picturesque with the remains of a palace where Henry VIII and Katherine if Aragon once stayed. The church and palace have links to Thomas Beckett.

Then I had to force myself to walk the final 4 kms to Kemsing & the Airbnb.  I’m aching from head to toe. But I did it πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

Walked 26km, 10 hours including stops and saw so many amazing things. Lucky me.

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mapmywalk, the pilgrims way, walking the pilgrims way, long distance walks england, backpacking, women walking soloFriday 24th August 2018 Day 4 – Farnham to Guildford : 24.17 kms /49461 steps elevation 228m

I awoke refreshed after a peaceful sleep and comfy mattress. It’s so quiet here, all I can hear is the soughing of the trees and the background noises of the house.

walking the pilgrims way, farnham to guildford, long distance walks in the uk, solo walking for women, farnham castle, the north downs way, churches of england, domesday book town of the england

the view from the bathroom

I walked towards town along the roads along which I had arrived last night….they looked very different in the bright sunshine LOL I also wondered how I had managed to navigate the road in the dark without falling on my face.

I. Do. Not . Feel. Like. Walking. Again. Today. πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚ But I must. So onwards. But first a visit to Farnham Castle.

Farnham Castle Oh My Gosh…stunning. Definitely worth the time taken to explore….as with Chawton I’ll write a separate blog about the visit…meanwhile here’s a sneak peek

After spending a good 30 minutes exploring the castle from top to toe, I made my way down the Blind Bishop’s Steps – 7 paces by 7 paces… Bishop Fox’s steps down the side of Farnham Castle. Very cool.

From the 7th century Farnham belonged to the Bishop of Winchester, and developed to become a town by the 13th century.

From the castle I strolled downhill into the town centre, passing the amazing 17th century alms houses built in 1619 by a man named Andrew Windsor

walking the pilgrims way, farnham to guildford, long distance walks in the uk, solo walking for women, farnham castle, the north downs way, churches of england, domesday book town of the england

Alms Houses built 1619

At the junction instead of turning left to follow the route, on impulse I decided to turn right and walk the length of the main road. Enroute I discovered the museum in Vernon House….fabulous place. Wow.

King Charles I stayed at Vernon House in Farnham on his way to his trial and execution in London in 1649. They even have King Charles I’s night cap that he wore whilst staying at the house on his way back to London.

walking the pilgrims way, farnham to guildford, long distance walks in the uk, solo walking for women, farnham castle, the north downs way, churches of england, domesday book town of the england

the night cap worn by Charles I when he stayed at Vernon House

Leaving the museum I made my way over to St Andrews church. There has been a church on the site of St Andrews since the 7th century, and the building contains 9th century foundations. The present building dates from the late 11th century.

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A quick explore and then I made my way back through town and following the guide set off towards the station.

Farnham appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 and has an amazing history. I definitely would like to spend a full day here the next time I walk the Pilgrim’s Way….the next time? LOL hmmm

Just on 11:45 andddd I’m Finally on my way πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚ 4.5 kms walking exploring Farnham and I’m now 2 hours behind schedule again. Here I join the North Downs Way.

walking the pilgrims way, farnham to guildford, long distance walks in the uk, solo walking for women, farnham castle, the north downs way, churches of england, domesday book town of the england

The North Downs Way from Farnham

After a few hours of walking during which I passed Moor Park House…wow, pretty amazing, passed Farnham Golf Club (The Sands), I eventually stopped in the middle of a vast nature reserve to add my dna to Surrey’s soil. (I’ll leave that to your imagination LOL) I spied a bountiful hedge of blackberries;Β I ate and ate and ate till I was full. Whilst I was resting a little old man came toddling by in a black raincoat. I asked him “aren’t you awfully hot in that raincoat?” to which he replied “I don’t trust the weather!”. We both laughed. “British weather eh! Can’t trust it”. He asked where I was going, so told him I was following the Pilgrim’s Way (albeit having taken a bit of a diversion to walk along the North Downs Way which was quieter). He then proceeded to give me a 20 minute history lesson that ranged from Seale Church to Thomas Becket to a church in France dedicated to Becket and St Martha’s Church in England which is the only St Martha’s church, but thought to be corrupted from Thomas Becket, Saint and Martyr. So I’m now a lot wiser. Bless his socks 😊😊

After that I visited the church in Seale which is just awesome and where I found a pilgrim stamp for my passport. In 1487 the village of Seale was called Zeyle and the church dates from the 12th century.

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and from there picked up the Pilgrim’s Way again which I have since regretted as it runs along a steep up and down, very narrow, very busy, very bloody winding road with cars whizzing by every few seconds. HORRIBLE. 😭😭 I also visited the amazing St John the Baptist Church in Puttenham and finally I reached Puttenham: I rested just outside the village of Puttenham and wished I had a car. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

It was a gorgeous day and I had no desire to walk any further πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸšΆπŸšΆπŸšΆ ah well. Onwards I guess. Guildford is unlikely to come to me πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”

I passed the Watts Gallery Artists’ Village a bit too late to visit and much as I really wanted to visit Watts Cemetery Chapel, I was simply too tired so plodded on. The route took me along ‘Sandy Lane’ which was as it’s name suggested……very sandy, and extremely hard to walk along! urgh As the day was drawing to a close I finally reached the outskirts of Guildford and stopped off at Ye Olde Ship Inn, St Catherine’s Village

ye olde ship inn st catherines guildford, walking the pilgrims way, the pilgrims way winchester to canterbury, long distance walks england, solo walking for women

Ye Olde Ship Inn, St Catherine’s

for supper…a delicious vegetarian calzone that really lifted my spirits…..walking the pilgrims way, farnham to guildford, long distance walks in the uk, solo walking for women, farnham castle, the north downs way, churches of england, domesday book town of the englandand then it was a longggggg walk into Guildford and to my airbnb.

Today was a hard hard day. I got wet, and I climbed more hills than I ever wanted to….but I saw some amazing places, visited an extraordinary castle, saw a few fabulous churches and some wonderful old buildings.Β Further scenes from today’s walk along both the North Downs Way and The Pilgrim’s Way. Occasionally they diverge. So many beautiful places. I managed to get a few stamps in my passport as well πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

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The AirBnb turned out to the worst venue I have yet stayed at on AirBnb. But I was booked in for 2 nights, so I had to just grin and bear it. I didn’t have the energy to start looking for a different place. Fortunately I had the house to myself so the comment made as I was shown to my room, didn’t transpire….”I hope you don’t mind but you’ll have people walking through your room to reach the bathroom”. Uhmmm what???? yes, I do bloody mind….you’ll have to make use of another area. The ‘bedroom’ was a walk-through landing between the stairs and the bathroom and NOT a proper bedroom at all. It was dirty, the stairs were dirty, the carpets were dirty and the host had made up the top bunk…hello?? I’m 63!!walking the pilgrims way, farnham to guildford, long distance walks in the uk, solo walking for women, farnham castle, the north downs way, churches of england, domesday book town of the england

I spent 2 nights and a day in Guildford; I’ll do a separate blog for Day 5 in Guildford.
I’ve created a short video with images of the route

In case you missed Day 3 of my walk along The Pilgrim’s Way – click here

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