Isle of Grain - Almost Circular

Sun 18th Nov 2012

Walk Details:

Event Details Updated
Please note this train departs Victoria and not Charing X/ London Bridge as previously advised. Train route via Rochester.
Event Type
Group Walk
Southern England
Local Group
Start Time
From Strood stn. Dep Victoria 08.24; . Return from Higham Station (2 trains an hr). Cars: park Higham and join Strood train at 09.24. Arrives Strood 9.29

Pub: Horseshoe & Castle, Cooling (menu for choice in advance) or picnic

General Notes
The Isle of Grain forms a backdrop in several novels by Charles Dickens. The distinctive area the walk visits - based on the Saxon Shore Way - brings together estuarine, recovered marshland, woodland and open farmland/orchards. The church at Cooling is recognised as a location in Great Expectations. Dickens was an avid long distance walker and will have known the paths of Grain well. This isn't a walk about Dickens but it may add extra flavour for his readers and it is the bicentennial of his birth
Start and Finish

Entry Details:


Walk Report

Isle of Grain - Almost Circular, Sunday 18th November 2012
23 walkers, 19 miles - leader Godfrey O'Callaghan
22 London group, 1 Kent group and a dog completed the 19-mile walk (19 mls. 500 yds. to be exact according to a Google Earth Fly-Over emailed by Nicole). The group enjoyed exceptionally good weather with barely a hint of a breeze - in fact the early sheltered miles along the Medway had people reducing their layers. The water - of which there was plenty - was often a mirror-like calm.
At lunch, those attracted to the local hostelry were well looked after. Sandwich eaters sat in Cooling churchyard - and cool it was despite the sunshine - and were later joined by the imbibers for a brief reflection on Pip's first encounter with Magwich. A few meters down the road we almost joined a wedding party - having been mistaken for the bride's family - who were lined up for photos with a backdrop of the impressive Cooling Castle gateway.
The pace was good as headed between lakes, waterways and along the banks of a Thames swollen by the incoming tide, into a setting sun that slowly settled into a colourful sunset. A contented group arrived at Higham Station at twilight after a satisfying day out.


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