Autumn hike in Kent

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Since my calligraphy classes resumed in September, I have not been able to get out of London for day hikes. Last weekend, my class was cancelled and so I was able to spend the day hiking along the Darent Valley Path in Kent.

Two days before the hike, the forecast looked very grim: windy and rainy, which was quite off-putting. But for those who have lived in the U.K. long enough would know that the forecast here is rarely reliable, as the weather could change by the hour… And as it turned out, the day was sunny with blue sky and mild temperature, so the forecast was wrong again!


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Top left: The Gatehouse of Lullingstone Castle ( we were told by the staff there that it is haunted); Main: The Manor house; Bottom left & right: Shoreham village


As always, the 9-mile hike was very enjoyable, with some hills to climb ( my legs were quite achy on the next day) and friendly company. We walked through some picturesque small villages ( Ortford, Shoreham and Eynsford) and passed by the historical Lullingstone Castle ( built in 1497), which unfortunately was closed on the day.

Due to the unusually long, hot and dry summer, autumn foliage is yet to happen except for the fallen leaves ( and cracked chestnuts) in the shady woods. There are still wild blackberries everywhere, so we all took the opportunity to stuff ourselves, especially knowing that they will wither very soon.


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I hope I will be able to go on another hike to see the fall foliage, but with such unpredictable weather, who knows when winter will suddenly arrive? All we can do is to go with the flow, though sometimes, there may be nice surprises in store for us, like the fine day as seen above.


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