Sunday, 22 February 2009

Spring Sunshine at Ightam Mote

Yesterday saw eleven Hampstead Ramblers enjoying the spring sunshine on a ten mile ramble from Borough Green to Sevenoaks. The walk leader was Jane Rosoux who sent this report and took the photographs.

"We soon left the built-up area of Borough Green and it was not long before we arrived at Ightham Parish Church....

... which had a number of interesting shields on its walls, two of which are depicted...

We passed a curious assemblage of sheets, and negotiated a steep and very muddy flight of stone steps on a bridlepath leading to the hill fort at Oldbury.

[The steps look like something out of Tolkien. S!]

The terrain was quite varied and interesting, including sunken paths, and we descended Raspit Hill via another bridlepath, part of which was so steep that high, wide, timber-edged steps had been constructed to help horses keep their footing.

When we came to Ightham Mote we stopped for lunch

and some members of the party enjoyed delicious National Trust fare. After lunch and a few navigational errors which took us along some attractive paths with good views via Bitchet Green we passed through the deer fence into Knole Park.

Despite the fact that the house and other facilities were still closed for the winter many people were out and about enjoying the attractive grounds, including the golf course. On reaching Sevenoaks Leisure Centre the party split and some members enjoyed a welcome cup of tea and cakes before following the others to Sevenoaks Station and a train back to London.

We were graced by the presence of John and Clare Kirkbride. Both John and Clare have led many walks for the Hampstead Ramblers, though as John favours easy paces and Clare is a human whirlwind it is rare indeed to find them on a walk together.

They are leaving England for a new life in Austria soon. Everyone who knows them wishes them all the best, and the Committee would like to thank them for all of their work in the past."

Clare and John Kirkbride. We wish them good health and happy walking.

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