Group Social Walks 2015

Lewes Loop - November 2015

Stour Valley Group Walk - October 2015

Report and More Photos: with thanks to London Group

Isle of Oxney - September 2015

Peter Jull's account

A magnificent seven set out from Tenterden on a sunny and getting hotter day. After clearing the town we were faced by several fields of linseed with poorly reinstated paths but no longer pretty blue flowers the seeds were easy to trample. Chapel Hill, previously the Isle of Ebony in the now silted Rother estuary, proved to be an interesting viewpoint. Even a memorial to Donald Sinden’s wife was spotted in the old graveyard at the top, a 90ft climb. On to Appledore for elevenses by the church to the sound of hymn singing from the service being held outdoors for which the congregation inexplicably included a donkey. A short detour was taken to Fairfield church, favoured as a backdrop for Great Expectations adaptations. Accessible only on foot its isolated and picturesque setting is best photographed surrounded by water filled ditches and grazing sheep; the sheep were in another field for our photos. Approaching from the east gives the best view of the cliffs of the target Isle of Oxney, being seen in profile. Climbing the hill leads to a field of very friendly alpacas who love to get up close. And then things started to go downhill even though we were going up. Mike Pursey tried the stone in the shoe trick and missed the others turn into Stone churchyard. After waiting and mobiling it was arranged that, having gone straight on some way, he would follow the road signs to the lunch pub at Wittersham. It now getting late a turn, in haste turned out to be a turn too soon, recovery from which had added 1¾ miles and it was 2.45 by the time we caught up with Mike, now well into his 2nd pint. Leaving Oxney by the western end the gates were closed as we approached Wittersham Road Station and we were treated to a steam train passing by at close quarters. As we took a 1½ mile short cut back to Tenterden to make up for the earlier deviation another train was spotted in the distance and many steam whistles heard and smoke seen. Despite the travails the participants graciously pronounced the walk a success.