Today we did a rural village walk. Our route around the village of Northiam was taken from East Sussex Walks. In and around the rural villages by Sandy Hernu (ISBN 1857700597)
Our three and a half mile walk was quintessentially English on this late summer day.
An unexpected point of interest was Queen Elizabeth’s Oak. The remains of this huge oak tree is where Queen Elizabeth I chose to sit beneath and rest on her journey to the nearby town of Rye on August 11th 1573. She was served a meal under its branches brought from a nearby house. She then changed her shoes , leaving behind the original green damask ones as a momento of her visit. Apparently they still exist.
Last week (10th- 16th August) was Afternoon Tea Week. I’m a bit late with this post, but couldn’t let the occasion pass completely.
Afternoon Tea is a tea-related ritual, introduced in Britain in the early 1840s. It evolved as a little meal to stem the hunger and anticipation of an evening meal at 8pm.
The tradition of afternoon tea made its way into English literature around a decade after the brew made its way into British drawing rooms in the early seventeenth century. I love this quote from C.S. Lewis:
We as a family made a lot of cake over the lockdown period. It was something to do and something to share from a social distance and became quite special to us all.
Here are my two favourite Afternoon Tea pictures from the unprecedented times of 2020.
For me there is nowhere like India- the vibrant culture, the amazing Himalayas, arid Rajasthan and the idyllic beaches of Goa. I absolutely love it and today is Indian Independence day – fifty three years of Indian Independence.
Which got me thinking beyond my Indian travels to my favourite books with an Indian setting. Here they are:
Swapping between Greenwich, the Kent coast and a brief trip to Eastbourne, Detective Inspector Ellen Kelly led us through her latest case. Hard hitting, fascinating and disturbing. I was hooked for a week.
W.G. Grace, English amateur cricketer who established and popularised the game of cricket . Born: 18 July 1848,Died: 23 October 1915. Test debut (cap 24): 6 September 1880 v Australia.
He was important in the development of the sport and widely believed to be one of its greatest players.
He was good friends with Lord Sheffield of Sheffield Park, now a National Trust property. He played for the Lord Sheffield XI many times home and away.
If you visit the property today you can see the cricket pitch and the foundations of the original players pavilion and the ladies pavilion. Also the original rollers that rolled the pitch and the oak tree that Grace hit ‘full toss’ when hitting a ‘six’ in July 1883.
The Cuckoo Trail is a 14-mile footpath and cycleway which runs from Hampden Park to Heathfield in East Sussex. It passes through the towns of Polegate and Hailsham, as well as the villages of Hellingly and Horam. The14 mile path through the Sussex countryside forms part of the National Cycle Network – route 21.It follows the old ‘Cuckoo Line’ railway.
Fifty years ago, the Beeching Report was published, spelling the end for thousands of stations and hundreds of branch. Dr Beeching was recruited by the government to make the railways profitable again. By the early 1960s the industry was bleeding millions of pounds a year. His solution was simple – close down the bits that lost the
The Beeching report recommended taking an axe to about a third of the network – 5,000 miles of track, including hundreds of branch lines, 2,363 stations and tens of thousands of jobs. Instead, it would concentrate on the things trains did well. Fast journeys between the cities.Improved bus services could replace branch lines.
Along the trail there are good views of the surrounding countryside and plenty of rest points, as well as benches, picnic tables and sculptures in wood and steel and other artwork to look out for. Don’t miss the Victorian’s engineering skills in the brick arch bridges, between Hellingly and Horam.
We cycled a 40 mile return journey along beautiful countryside. Another cycle trail ticked off the list.
In Georgian times a day’s stage-coach ride could get you from London to Tunbridge Wells, thus The Pantiles in Royal Tunbridge Wells was a major holiday destination for the gentry and royalty.
The discovery in 1606 of a Spring with distinctive reddish tinted mineral deposits led to the development of the Pantiles and Royal Tunbridge Wells. The practice of drinking from natural springs for health dates back to Roman times and the practice of taking these natural waters for health purposes became more popular among the nobility during the reign of Elizabeth I. Parties would leave the Court and travel to the established Spa towns of Bath and Buxton. Tunbridge Wells quickly became the most fashionable drinking spa as it was closer to London.
Away from Court they took advantage of the opportunities provided to establish relationships with individuals from different social backgrounds and the concept of a holiday as we know it today was born.
As there was no accommodation available at that time, the Royal entourage camped on the Common. It was not until the latter part of the 17th century that the first permanent lodging houses were erected in the area.
Today the Pantiles has a variety of specialist shops, art galleries, cafés, restaurants and bars. In summertime jazz bands play outside on the bandstand. It is a fabulous place to hang out with a chilled glass of white on a warm summer afternoon.
Today we walked a section of the Meridian Trail at Peacehaven. The trail runs through Cambridgeshire, East Yorkshire, East Sussex, Essex, Hertfordshire, Gtr London, Lincolnshire, Surrey, and West Sussex.
Inaugurated in 2009, the route follows the line of the Prime Meridian as closely as practical, using public rights of way, but the route does not rigidly stick to The Meridian line.
The Royal Observatory at Greenwich was agreed as Zero Degrees Longitude for the whole world at a conference in America in 1884. Before that time, charts and maps used many different meridians as zero. At the same time, the delegates agreed on the ‘universal day’ which is the same the world over. Each day begins at midnight at Greenwich, thus giving us Greenwich Mean Time. Maritime Greenwich is recognised as a World Heritage Site.
The very blustery Westerly wind made it a breezy July cliff walk but certainly worth doing.