Tuesday 1 September

A new month, and we are two thirds of the way through this very strange year. It was 7C when I got up this morning which did not bode well for a day of summer walking. However, it rapidly warmed up, and by the time I had driven to Scotney Castle, our starting point, it was about 17C. The Kent countryside is beautiful at any time of year, but today had a distinctly autumnal feel, with hedges full of hips and haws, and blackberries in profusion in the undergrowth.

Quite a large section of the walk was by Bewl water, a reservoir which provides drinking water for much of Kent and Sussex. It looks pretty low at present.

You can see people walking along the dam at the top right. One miscalculation we made was that today was for most people the last day of the school holidays, and the footpath along the edge is also a cycle track, so lots of families were out cycling which made it slightly challenging for the walkers. There is also a kind of water park, with sail boats and paddle boards and a plunge pool so it was very busy in the sunshine. We made it back in time to get an ice cream at the Scotney Castle cafe. 9.2 miles, so not bad going.

This notice took my eye, as my sister is called Rosemary: looks the ideal place:

Driving home I had the bad experience of the M25 being closed off as a van had caught fire, so ended up detouring round the edge of Bromley, which doubled my journey time. And don’t let’s pretend that lockdown has diminished the volume of traffic. Not any more. It was massive. So now to recuperate with a glass of wine.

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