As I sit and dream of past walks and future walks from the comfort of the sitting room with the street lights on and the rain seemingly lashing down outside I think of some of the highlights of the year’s walks and where I might expect to walk in the coming year.
This ‘down’ time is invariably taken up with writing, research and route planning, trying to link up buses and trains with the start and finish and of course finding pubs and inns for lunchtime stops or the end of walk swopping of stories.
It is a difficult job but someone must do it and it is one that I refuse to delegate.
This blog is written to pass on some of those experiences and is complementary to my books, published by Bretwalda Books, which are available or will become available through Amazon and the usual high street bookshops.
The Pub Blog should be read as a lively and essential travelling companion for anyone in the South-East England who intends to walk 1066 Harold’s Way, Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House and 1066 Harold’s Way, The Final Journey.
All the walks are accessible by public transport in some form or other, some more dependent on the vagaries of rural bus services than others, but it is possible to complete the walks without the need for a car at the start and finish of each of these linear walks. That finishing pint tastes all the better for not having to drive.
As befitting my History Walks, I hope that I have taken into account a wide range of interests as this is not purely a blog for the hardened drinker or the hardy hiker.
Crammed with anecdotes, local tales and informative snippets of history the intention is to treat the pub as a well-deserved reward after a hard day’s walk or that little respite before those last three of four miles.
They are all my personal or my group of history walkers reflections and as such are tried and tested and true to the date that I, or we, enjoyed their hospitality. I am a member of CAMRA, The Ramblers and the Long Distance Walkers Association (LDWA) but I won’t let that cloud my judgment of a good walker’s Pub or Inn.
Read the blog in conjunction with the book before starting out as it’s sensible to get an idea of the mileage involved, the public transport available and the overall difficulty of the walk. Each entry will include the name of the walk, location within the walk, a walk description and transport links to help you along the way
It is recommended that Ordnance Survey maps supplement the detailed step by step walk notes and hand drawn maps in each guide. I should also stress the following before starting out on any of the walks, information that is reiterated in each guidebook;
- Check the weather forecast and dress accordingly. The advisability of warm and protective clothing, boots and waterproof jackets or sunhat and sun cream etc depending on the conditions
- A couple of points of pub protocol on arriving at the pub; please don’t eat your own sandwiches in the pub, and take off your muddy boots outside.
- Please mention the book and the walk, all the landlords that I have talked to have expressed their welcome for walkers and for History Walkers in particular after all, their pub or inn is in the guidebook.
- Many of the pubs feature gardens for summer enjoyment and often, it is easier to accommodate groups of ten or so outside rather than inside.
Of course things change and your comments are welcome, provided they are justified.
Finally remember the Country Code of which this is a shortened version.
- Guard against all risk of fire, especially in, or near, woodland.
- Fasten all gates that you open securely and, if you climb
- Keep dogs under control. Farmers have been known to shoot even friendly ones.
- Keep to the path when crossing farmland.
- Respect other people’s property and privacy.
- Litter is matter in the wrong place; keep yours with you.
- Avoid damaging hedges, fences and walls.
- Don’t contaminate streams, rivers, ponds or lakes.
- Protect wildlife, plants and trees.
- Please walk and drive with special care on narrow country roads.
- The full Country Code can be read at: http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/enjoying/countrysidecode/default.aspx
28th July 2014