Well the weather might have been dire for most of my recent holiday in Kent but it was compensated by other things..
My fella and I had a windswept day out at Whitstable which we love as a trendy seaside harbour and beach, and although it was sunny, the wind was terrific. We had coffee and doughnuts at a beachside cafe then went to our favourite seafood restaurant on the beach for fish and chip lunches. We were blown along the beach when we went for a walk afterwards, and I felt I was getting a wind tan if nothing else that day!
The next day we decided to go along the Medway River estuary area to see what sort of area it is driving through little villages from the Gillingham area to the Isle of Sheppey bridge, we had a nice walk in the Riverside Country park and along an old causeway to Horrid Hill (where smugglers were hung in olden times) and took photos of rusted ships stuck in the mud. After lunch in a lovely country pub on the river we headed inland and found Lynnsted which was a typical Kent pretty village and I found inspirational for photos.
The following day we went to Chislehurst, a very expensive and upmarket borough, 10 miles from London and where the houses are mega expensive but a lovely area to have a picnic in the little park sitting by the duck pond, and later on found the delightful and picturesque village of Farningham which I totally fell in love with. What a pretty village, quiet, old, on the River Darent, with a shabby old hotel by the small bridge and a folly bridge next to it, an ancient churchyard, a couple of shops, and an eclectic mix of houses, I adored the place. My head was spinning at one point as I have never had the experience of wanting to take loads of photos of absolutely everything in a 360 degree angle! I took loads of photos, and we had a glass of chilled wine sitting in the gardens of the hotel as the sun went down and soaked up the atmosphere of that delightful village.
We also went to another place I loved, Ightham Mote (the word “IGHTHAM” is particular to Kent in that it isn’t pronounced “Eye-Ger-her-tham” as it looks like it is, but actually “Eye-Tum”) and Mote as in the old word for Moat. Its a National Trust property and I expected it to be a lovely place because of that, but it was even better as far as I was concerned, since it was a Medieval stone house set in a square moat, with wonky tiled roofs, stone mullion windows, little bridges across to it, and ooodles of history, plus pretty gardens, and a couple of lakes, pure bliss for me!!! We spent five happy hours there, took loads of photos, went up the tower to take aerial photos of the grounds, and I loved it all. The water setting made the old house as far as I was concerned.
Even on the grey and windy days we went out to find the sea crashing in at Herne Bay, and had doughnuts on the pier, went in the amusement arcade, had a bite of lunch, and a walk in the wind by the crashing waves soaking up the sounds of the sea pounding in, the smell of the sea, the fell of the terrific wind, and I felt really exhilarated due to it all, before it started raining fully. English seaside in the rain seems to be part of my childhood holidays too!
We also had a delightful day out when we went to Wisley Royal Horticultural Society Gardens in Surrey – the first time either of us had been there and loved it. Beautiful gardens, and many water features of ponds, rills, streams, lakes, pools, and waterfalls. We were delighted to find the beautiful Bonsai collection, gorgeous flowers and plants, and happily spent five solid hours there walking around, taking photos, and finding loads to look at.
The next day we went to the delightful town of Rochester and had a lovely walk around the cathedral, castle, town which Dickens is most connected with as he based a lot of his books on buildings in that area. As the afternoon sun set it was a joy to capture the buildings in the golden sunshine, and eventual shadows which always makes a street setting more interesting I think!
The last day the skies were grey and bleak so we went to Knole Park at Sevenoaks, a medieval Bishops Palace in its own deerpark, where the deer wander around quite happily looking so pretty with the house behind, and I’m sure would look even better if the sun was shining on them!
I can always tell if I’ve had a good holiday by the number of photos I’ve taken, but its a shame that very few of them were taken in full sunlight, just overhead clouds in most cases.