Monday, May 25, 2015

Weald Country Park Walk (avoiding "Plonkers Lane")

Off message but this was a lovely 5.5 mile,  Essex pathfinder walk only 30 minutes by car from Forest Gate, London. I have been silently suffering for the last week with the "dreaded lurgy" (aka as "Man flu") so did not feel up to a full London Loop walk

The Park itself was busy being a Bank Holiday. There is a cafe and you could hand feed young deer in an enclosure for only 50p. There was also a fresh organic bread, pie and cake stall.

Outside the County park boundaries, the walk was quiet and all very lush and green apart from the commonplace white spring blossom on trees and hedges. The fields were dominated by bright yellow buttercups. It would also have been a marvellous place to visit a few weeks ago when the bluebells were in season and full bloom.

This is a very much a walk of ancient paths and lanes. We walked along what was once a medieval pilgrim's route to Canterbury and went near Day's Lane, which believe it or not used to be called "Plonkers Lane" (no comment Rodney).

A famous former resident of the local village, South Weald, was ruthless naval hero, John Jervis, 1st Earl of St Vincent. If like me, you are a fan of the historical novelist, Patrick O'Brien, you will know all about this real life former Sea Lord.

You end up back in the forest of the Country park.  We stopped for lunch at two benches overlooking a gorgeous country vista. A couple were sitting at the bench next to us with two dogs. The women asked if I minded taking their picture, sitting on the bench, since they had commissioned it in honour of her husband's late parents.

I said with pleasure and took the pictures. I remarked that my family had also sponsored a bench in the countryside to remember my own Dad.

While flowers and gravestones are very important to people, I think that commissioning a bench somewhere beautiful and special in memory of your loved ones is far more meaningful. It is obviously though a matter of personal choice. 

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