Despite only being a ten minute drive from home, Appledore in Kent is somewhere I rarely go. I guess it’s easy to forget about it when I’m surrounded by so many interesting towns and cities within driving distance, but this half term, I finally revisited this quaint little village with my friend Dayne.
The idea came after we’d been discussing meeting up and doing something cheap or free. I suggested going somewhere for a long walk and a picnic, then did a Google search for walking routes in the local area. The first result was an AA walk in and around Appledore, and after reading the description, I decided this was perfect for us. I sent the link to the route to Dayne and she agreed.
We set off on our adventure on Good Friday, using only the print off of the route description to guide us. Right from the start, we got a bit confused. Parts of the description were a little vague, and without a map, we had to use guess work to work out where the route started from. Eventually, we found the start and headed out into the fields along the Military Canal.
While walking, Dayne and I had a chance to catch up and after a while, we found somewhere to stop and eat our picnic. We picked a quiet spot in front of a very pretty view, as far from all of the sheep poo as we could!
There were sheep everywhere along the way, and when we stumbled on a group that included several little lambs, we got really excited. I hadn’t thought about there being lambs, despite it being Spring, so it was a pleasant bonus to see them. They were so cute!
As we continued to walk through the fields, we started to doubt ourselves. The route mentioned a road, but we couldn’t see one anywhere. We listened out for traffic and couldn’t hear any, but decided to carry on walking anyway. Eventually we did reach a quiet road, and attempted to follow the route to the next step. We ended up on a field full of crops, and or doubts continued. Surely we weren’t meant to be trampling all over this poor farmer’s crops! But it seemed to fit with the route, so we carried on.
At the edge of the field, we found a stile and climbed over it. We were definitely on the right track now, heading towards a church mentioned in the route description.
Kenardington church is very pretty, surrounded by beautiful country views. The problem with it was, there were several stiles to choose from, and we ended up going the wrong way… I think. We turned back, taking an exit that took us to a road. We were sure this wasn’t the way we were meant to go, but after checking our location on her phone, Dayne felt sure that the route we were going to take would be the wrong direction. We decided to stop following the printed out route quite so closely, instead using Dayne’s phone to work out which way to go.
After walking a little more, we came across a lane. We weren’t sure at all if we were in the right place, but after coming across a sign at the next stile saying “Shooting in Progress”, we decided to follow it anyway. We were heading in the right direction, according to Dayne’s phone, even though it didn’t seem to match the route description.
At the end of the lane, we found another road, which we followed until we found an entrance to another field. We’d pretty much abandoned the route description by this point, choosing to wing it instead.
This method paid off eventually, and to our surprise, landmarks we passed started to match up to the route description. “Our new motto should be, we doubt ourselves but we get things right anyway.” Dayne joked. After stumbling across a lovely yellow field, we passed an ancient burial ground known as The Mound.
By this point, we were feeling rather pleased with ourselves. We’d thought we had completely gone off track during our walk, but then we’d ended up where we were meant to be. Perhaps we weren’t so bad at following directions after all!
The last leg of the walk took us through another field full of sheep and lambs, and then we were back in the village again. Feeling a little worn out after walking 5 or so miles, we stopped at The Black Lion pub for a glass of Coke. We did consider staying around and getting dinner there, but it was only 3 o’clock. Neither of us felt up for walking anywhere else, so in the end, we decided to head home.
Our walk in Appledore made a really nice change from our usual shopping trips, and we have decided to do things like this more often. I’d also quite like to take this route again, as the views were so pretty. Perhaps I’ll go back there soon on a sunny afternoon.