Egerton Idyll – Greenand Way

My agenda for Wednesday 8th April was empty. The forecast for the Ashford area at the weekend looked grim, so I set my emails to “out office” and headed out to Egerton once again.

The master plan was to roll the last three stages of The Greensand Way into one, and clock up 16.9 miles en route to Ham Street station.

Setting off from Egerton and hoping to be able to find my way back to the car at the end of the day was a bit of gamble.

Would I manage to catch a train and reach Ashford (where hopefully I might grab a cab), or dare I dream of getting a cab all the way back even from a destination which is out in the sticks.

The doubts set in from time to time, would my start time of 11:15 am be early enough for me to reach the end?

Such were the thoughts rumbling away in my mind, as the bin men pulled into the community hall car park and scouted round for an indication of the route.

I found it, a small stick & icon pointed towards a track in the corner of the close, and I was up and going with delightful sound of a chiffchaff up ahead of me.

Would I catch a glimpse? The bright sunshine was causing my view to “white out”. Then there it was almost within touching distance above my head, chiff chaff, chiff chaff, came the call.

Ah, moments like this feel so special. Curiously the start of the walk was on the highest point of the greensand ridge with the southern elevation sloping away quite severely.

I can’t begin to explain what a “buzz” the early bird sighting and beautiful view gave me less than 5 minutes after I’d left my car.

Then came my first distraction, a work phone call as I was trying to make out a chaffinch and a few other garden birds. My route veered south, but I’d been disoriented by the conversation and ended up off track almost immediately.

Climbing back up the hill I spotted where I’d gone wrong the waymarker was set back from the road (no wonder I missed it).

Some beautiful buildings, an oast house and a concrete driveway and then it was out into the fields and my ears priced up to the sound of a wren within the brambles of an old quarry.

There was a pretty strong breeze, but incredibly the weather was umpteen times better than the day’s forecast.

What a start!

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