Many remarkable people found their identities on rivers: Cleopatra on the Nile; Lewis and Clark on the Missouri; Mark Twain on the Mississippi; Jeff Bezos on the Amazon. This is the story of my 600+ mile walk along the waterways of southern England in the summer of 2014, and the remarkable people I met along the way. It is best read in chronological order, so I recommend starting with the earliest posting in the Blog Archive list in the right margin.
Walk completed August 16, 2014
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
July 30, 2014 -- Day 45, Tonbridge to Edenbridge, 16 miles
Medway Valley Walk, which I followed from Maidstone, ends at Tonbridge. The
river continues on, but east of Tonbridge the Eden Valley Walk follows the Medway,
until the footpath diverts to follow the River Eden, a tributary of the Medway. I walked
both the Medway Valley Walk and the Eden Valley Walk against the rivers’ flow – that is, uphill (although you would
found Tonbridge to be a pleasant town, nicely maintained, with a busy commercial
High Street. It has a variety of restaurant choices, and for a switch from pub
food, I ate at an Italian restaurant last night. My only disappointment with
Tonbridge is that, like all of southern England, everything is quite expensive.
Tonbridge at River Medway
often have difficulty finding the trailhead and then following the trail in
towns and villages. Perhaps one reason I liked Tonbridge is that the Eden
Valley Walk is conspicuously marked, turn by turn, until you reach the
countryside. Even then, the Eden Valley Walk was well marked all the way to
never far from the river, typical pastures and rolling hills characterized the
scenery. The trail passes by Penshurst Place – a misnomer, because the last
word should have been “palace.” There I met Jack and Amanda, who are walking to
Jack and Amanda
also passed by the church in Penshurst, and a sign requesting silence because “Court
is in Session” caught my eye. How fun it would have been to actually sit in on
a session of court – and maybe even dazzle them with my knowledge of English
common law – but unfortunately it was a few minutes after noon, and nobody was
around – probably recessed for lunch.
Church at Penshurst
Hever, the footpath cut through a cap of stone, perhaps granite, but it felt more
like sandstone. The footpath has been there for years, and I was intrigued by
the cut. Unfortunately, no sedimentary layers of rock were exposed for
little while later, I came across a unique stile I have never seen: a lift gate
to allow for dogs to pass through. Normally, dogs simply pass between the fence
rails, but here, wire sealed the space between the rails.
in all, today was a very pleasant walk through the countryside.