February 16th, 2018
I went for an adventure on Thursday and ventured further east out into the Thames estuary from Dartford to Gravesend and then across the river to Tilbury in Essex.
Dartford had a lively market and a Wimpy, rumours of the latter’s demise proved unfounded. The highlight of the walk was definitely going under the QE2 bridge at the Dartford crossing. Reminded me a little bit of my excursion to Hull many years ago.
Walking along the salt marshes in the sunshine was quite pleasant, although it got a bit sketchy between Northfleet and Gravesend, ending up in some industrial estate. At Gravesend I hopped on this ferry to Tilbury on the other side. As the light was fading I hurried over to take a look at Tilbury fort: it was closed.
Tilbury is a rather bleak place. Dominated by the docks and more lorries than I ever saw in one place before. And that infamous Amazon warehouse. This poignant Newsnight documentary gives an accurate feel for the town.
February 14th, 2018
I went to visit a friend in York last weekend. The Friday afternoon was really sunny so I took some photos of the minster. And also nearly froze to death. It’s cold up north.
On Sunday, somewhat inspired by All the Stations, I went on a rail adventure around west Yorkshire. First stop was Pontefract. It has a rather delightful market town centre, but almost everything is closed on a Sunday.
I heard Pontefract had a castle, but the reality was rather disappointing. Most of it was destroyed after the civil war, and what’s left is being renovated. The views over the countryside and power plants were quite good though.
After Pontefract I went to Wakefield and discovered there’s not much worth visiting there. They have a modern art gallery but I soon remembered I don’t like modern art and got back on the train to Doncaster.
Doncaster has an old marketplace which looked interesting but closed. So I walked around the minster instead. And rather nice it is too! Very petite compared to the one in York.
January 12th, 2018
Way back in 2010 I walked along the easternmost section of the Thames Path, to a rather dreary town called Erith. Actually the official end of the Thames Path extension is a little bit further at Crayford Ness so I’ve had this niggling sense of unfinishedness ever since. Well, time to put that right!
I was a bit disappointed when I got to the Thames Barrier that the exhibition centre was closed for refurbishment. Not sure when it’s going to open again but based on the scale of construction it should be pretty epic.
The wind was bitterly cold and I was walking into it the whole time, but the late afternoon was beautifully clear and I managed to take some nice photos of the Dartford crossing and the Thames estuary.
I wanted to finish up in Dartford itself as I’ve never been there, but it had already gotten dark and it seemed a bit far so I caught the train back from another drab commuter suburb called Slade Green.
December 31st, 2017
I was in Eastbourne a few days ago visiting my grandmother. The only clear day of the Christmas period so I managed to take a few photos of the pier.
The gold colour scheme is new and very controversial, the idea of a certain middle eastern investor who bought the pier recently.
December 31st, 2017
Here’s another walk I did recently, from High Wycombe to Henley-on-Thames. Nothing particularly exciting or out of the ordinary, but a nice route to do.
West Wycombe hill
Turville, which was the filming location for the Vicar of Dibley
November 30th, 2017
I’ve been meaning to revisit Aylesbury since I discovered it back in 2015. I thought I could do a little ring around it along the signposted Aylesbury Ring. But that turned out to be wildly optimistic and I barely made it a quarter of the way round.
It was bitterly cold but the scenery was lovely and surprisingly varied. I like this old house with a moat.
November 7th, 2017
Everybody is so jealous of my birthday cakes. This year my mum really outdid herself with this perfect likeness of Kumamoto prefecture’s cheeky mascot Kumamon!
Kumamon expresses satisfaction with his cake
November 7th, 2017
My parents took me to the Romney, Hythe, and Dymchurch railway last weekend for my birthday. I feel like I must be six years old again. Luckily this place never changes.
October 29th, 2017
Took a few days off work last week to go exploring near Avebury again. On the second day I walked to Devizes which I thought would be interesting but turned out to be rather dull. The main attraction seems to be the huge flight of locks on the canal, but that was a way out the western side of town and I didn’t have time to visit.
But I did have time to visit Silbury hill, which I’ve only ever seen from a distance before. It’s another neolithic monument thing near Avebury.
And also the West Kennet Long Barrow. Which you can go inside with the help of some skylights added by the Victorians.
Unfortunately at the same time a hurricane was passing over which meant it was incredibly windy. Oh, and the SUN TURNED RED!
October 7th, 2017
Spotted a sneaky rainbow hiding in the clouds at sunset this evening.