Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The London Loop

Help, I'm turning into a LOOPY!

Give me a mission, and I can't put it down. Tomorrow David and I will embark on stage 6 (and maybe even stage 7) of the London Loop. In posh terms that is the London Outer Orbital Path. Sounds good doesn't it?

Well, it's great fun. We head out, once or even twice a week, with our packed lunch, and our pack-a-macs, usually on the bus, but sometimes on the train, or even the tram from Beckenham. David is armed with the official map, taken from the Loop web site, and the directions (which are not always correct). And I have my sturdy stick (to ward off man or beast should that ever be necessary). Here are a few pics to give you an idea of how lovely the green belt surrounding London really is.

 We set off from Erith and followed the Thames estuary ending our first 9/10 miles at Bexley, and a welcome pint.
 From Bexley (stage 2) we headed for Petts Wood, and quickly located Wetherspoons, where we downed a well earned beer. About 7 miles.
 Stage 3 began at Jubilee Park, Petts Wood, and followed the river Cray, a beautiful spot, to West Wickham. 9 miles (a good 9 miles because we walked on to Hays).

Stage 3, in search of a pub at Coney Hall, and great disappointment, we even continued walking to Hays for our 'pat on the back' pint. But no luck there either, and we ended up so tired that all we really wanted was to get home, boots off, shower and sleep.
 Stage 4 was West Wickham to Hamsey Green, with fabulous views of London in the distance.
Another 9 miles.
And guess what? The pub we expected to find at Hamsey Green has been pulled down. Not good! Not good at all! We ended up in the Bricklayers on Beckenham High Street.

From Hampsey Green we completed stage 5, which took us to Coulsden across the downs. This was, for me, the most beautiful walk so far because it crossed open countryside, lovely flower filled meadows, and a very pleasant woodland area.

So, that brings us to tomorrow and stage 6. Coulsden to Bamstead Downs, a mere 4.5 miles. Bring it on!

And in between all that walking about the English countryside I have done hours of cello practice, and even spent a very rainy afternoon at a family barbecue.

Oh, and I wrote and entered a poem in the Proms Poetry Competion, and wrote a poem for another competition. If there was any bad news during the last few weeks, it was the first rejection of my novel from the publisher I sent it to. It's not the end of the world, I'll just have to try again with another publisher.

And now to get an early night so that I'm bright and breezy in the morning.

Watch this space to see how we get on with the LOOP. If you fancy doing it yourself take a look at the web site for all the details. CLICK HERE if you want to become a little LOOPY!


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