Sunday, 30 August 2009

Teynham to Faversham – (Kent) – 30/08/09 – 9 Miles – IVC

So after meeting at Teynham station at 11.45, and subsequently setting off, within half an hour we had got to the pub where we were having lunch. Now obviously this is not the natural order of things timewise, either walking with IVC or anyone else. In the event however the walk leader was correct to do this, as there was nowhere else we could have stopped from there on in. Anyway we were pre-warned to bring our own sandwiches, but the last time I did this, everyone ended up ordering food. So this time round I brought nothing and everyone else did, with me being the only one who ordered anything from the bar menu. For the record a toasted ham sandwich, which was £3.75 for two slimcia slices with a smidgen of ham inbetween, and 50p on top of that to have it toasted. Whilst I couldn’t work out why everyone was content to sit ouside, the fact that two massive Rottweillers were sprawled all over the floor of the bar, meant I was happy to stay out in the cold with them.

Anyway the bulk of this walk was along the Saxon Shore Way, which was originally created by the Romans (Italian types who liked to fight and travel a lot) as a series of defense fortifications some time around the 3rd century AD. Not that anything Roman was in evidence along our bit, although their was a series of concrete emplacements in various states of decay, which suggested something defensive circa the 1940’s (see picture). Basically however this was a walk where there was a not a lot to see, beyond the estuary on one side of you, and the North Kent Marshes on the other. Thus the seawater and freshwater streams/rivers were separated by a grass embankment which serves as the walking trail. As such everything is pancake flat with a horizon consisting of 70% sky, and which reminded me of another walk I did a couple of years ago along the Thames Estuary (or perhaps for another comparison think of The Fens). Anyway walkers more knowledgeable than me, were able to point out the Isle of Sheppy across the water, if you want a reference point.

After some six miles along the Saxon Shore way we came across a boatyard, noticeable for a series of bells being rung by the breeze and then eventually out onto the road heading towards Faversham. Whilst what went before may have been a bit samey, it was at least tranquil with a rhythm of its own. Walking along the main road into town for nearly two miles however was boring, which not even some of the olde worlde building’s we found in the town could compensate for. Finally we finished off at a Wetherspoons pub for afternoon tea/coffee/alcohol etc. and then caught the train back to Victoria. So overall an acceptable day, however a similar long stretch along the Saxon Shore Way in the 1st half as well as a decent pub lunch might have made the walk more of an event.

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