Friday, 30 March 2007

9. Kirtling, Newmarket.

Details:- Lynne & I just did this circular competition walk organised by the Long Distance Walkers Association, Norfolk and Suffolk Branch. We started at at the village hall in Kirtling, south east of Newmarket, and we meandered around West Suffolk, between Newmarket and the Stour Valley. We had our entry cards marked at three checkpoints along the way. Distance:- 19 miles. Going:- almost effortless, since it was a wonderful sunny spring day, and we talked most of the way round (hence so few pics), and so we barely noticed the clicks ticking over. Map:- OS Explorer 210; Progress:- Walked 107 - 393 to go.

The Daffodil Dawdle..... one of four walks organised by the LDWA Norfolk & Suffolk Branch.

The programme this year is:-

Daffodil Dawdle (Kirtling) - 25 March 2007 - 18 or 26 miles.

Poppyline Marathon (Sheringham) - 10 June 2007 - approx 17.3 or 26.8 miles.

Poppyline Fifty (Sheringham) - 4/5 August 2007 - approx 52.7 miles.

Flower of Suffolk (Dunwich) - 7 October 2007 - 16.3 or 26.0 miles.

Walking the tramlines.... can't see them here, but there were about a hundred and twenty walkers and runners doing this event. Along the way and at checkpoints we talked to a number of them; they were from as far afield as Blackheath and Hertfordshire. The man from Blackheath was sixty eight, and was running with some friends from his running club. He told us that he does three marathon runs a month, all over the country! Impressive, but we wondered what his wife, if he had one, might have to say about it - not something you can actually ask!

Kirtling Village Hall....

.....where secretary Chris is running off 'sustificates' for those who completed the course. At each checkpoint refreshments are laid on, and there is a hot food at the end. We passed up on the hot food in favour of our favourite end of walk refreshment - a cup of tea and a cheese scone!
PS - we came in tenth and eleventh out of 22 the entrants for the short walk. Lynne was well chuffed - it was her first competition walk.

Friday, 9 March 2007

8. Holland Park, West London

Details:- A walk from the Time Out book of London Walks. Lynne & I started in Holland Park, and then we followed the route through quiet streets elegantly lined with large C19th houses and studios, and eventually onto Kensington Gardens to see the Diana Memorial. Distance:- 4 miles; Going:- Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy; although a heavy shower just after getting off the bus saw us huddled under the umbrella. Map:- Time Out Book Of London Walks Vol. 1; Progress:- Walked 88 - 412 to go. Photographs Hyperlink.

Holland Park.

My first visit, and wow! How lovely to wander the gardens of Holland House, itself in tatters, ruined by bombs in ww2, and left to the nation. There are lawns, formal gardens, a Japanese garden, and acres of semi-wilderness presently sprouting daffodils. A fine refuge from a fast moving metropolis.


The back streets of Kensington and Holland Park are a delight. We noticed how quiet are these backwaters away from the hustle and bustle of the main thoroughfares. And as we stroll along what a pleasure it is to read about some of these wonderful houses and their inhabitants.

Albert Memorial/Hall.

The purpose of our visit to London was an evening out at the Albert Hall for dinner and an opera; my valentine gift from Lynne. It was my first visit to the Albert Hall , and it didn't disappoint. Our dinner in the Elgar restaurant was mostly very good; and marked a special occasion for us. Madame Butterfly was also very enjoyable; it was done 'in the round' with the stage set out in the promenade area of the hall. The singing was a joy, although at times slightly overpowered by the orchestra. We walked back across Kensington Gardens to our hotel in Bayswater with Puccini's wonderful music ringing in our ears, and with a total eclipse of the moon overhead.

Diana Memorial....

.....having heard all the hype when this was made in 2004, I came expecting to be entirely underwhelmed. But in fact....we thought it was great! All that beautifully carved granite creating a circular watercourse of great variety and interest that is a pleasure to walk around and enjoy. This is the blurb from the website:- ''It contains 545 pieces of Cornish granite - each shaped by the latest computer-controlled machinery and pieced together using traditional skills. The design aims to reflect Diana's life, water flows from the highest point in two directions as it cascades, swirls and bubbles before meeting in a calm pool at the bottom. The water is constantly being refreshed and is drawn from London's water table.'' Sounds like something and nothing, but my advice is check it out before you decide!