As expected, the weather has changed. A thin mizzle coated the car as we stocked up with provisions at Tenterden.
Luckily that had cleared by the time we set off from Waters Edge on a very pleasant 20+km bimble through the pleasant Kentish countryside. Well marked paths meant that any navigational mishaps were entirely my fault.
The spring flowers are well on here – daffodils in profusion, with plenty of Lesser Celandine, Dog Violets, Cuckoo Flower, Primroses, Wood Anemone, Bluebells and lots of hedgerow blossom, to name but a few.
As we proceeded along a route designated as the ‘High Weald Landscape Trail’, we noticed that many of the houses have curiously designed roofs and weatherboarding. These buildings were oast houses, with kilns for drying hops.
We left the trail shortly before reaching Rolvenden Station – a reopened railway that uses steam trains. It starts business for the year tomorrow, and was a hive of activity as volunteers brushed off the winter cobwebs and got the stock ready for action on the line that runs just ten miles – from Tenterden to Bodiam. Whilst we were stopped for lunch in a sheltered spot next to some badger setts by Mount le Hoe, four biplanes approached at speed and treated us to an aerobatic display before heading off as quickly as they arrived.
The Bull at Benenden didn’t look open, so we enjoyed the dregs of our tea on a bench by the cricket pitch, where sadly there was no game today.
Nearby, St Georges church has an impressive 12 bells, and lots of ‘peal boards’. Not to mention the stunning windows.
Today we got used to rabbits and squirrels darting in front of us. The only people we saw were a handful of dog walkers. But on some grass near Benenden something was busy scurrying and digging. It turned out to be a busy Green Woodpecker. A fine specimen, presumably well fed on worms. But shouldn’t it have been in a tree?
More on the plentiful bird life around here in a future posting.
Here’s our route – 20km (plus a bit where I misread the map), with 325 metres ascent, taking us a little over five hours.
All in all, a very enjoyable start to our sojourn ‘down south’.
PS We seem to have intermittent WiFi here, so bear with us re comments. Yours are welcome, but we may be unable to respond. I do have to apologise for my recent mis-spelling of ‘Strawbury’ though. Sorry, JJ (and well spotted!).