Monthly Archives: August 2014

The Double Dart picnic

Forty years ago today, on 29 August 1974, I joined the Sayer family for the first of many idyllic family excursions.  This was a picnic on the Double Dart (ie the East and West Dart Rivers combined) below Dartmeet, Dartmoor, and the details … Continue reading

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Barbara MacDonald, my feisty friend

Today my feisty friend Barbara MacDonald (1912-2002) would have been 102 years old. She fought for Dartmoor’s livestock and landscape, she loved to burst the pompous bureaucratic balloon, and she was a straight talker with a great sense of fun.  I wrote … Continue reading

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Live and let live—but not on the bridleway

The former Live and Let Live pub on the edge of Booker Common, west of High Wycombe in Bucks, has been extended and converted into a private house, with planning permission for two houses on the adjacent land, which was the pub … Continue reading

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England’s coastal access underplayed

The Guardian‘s Travel section ran a feature on Saturday 23 August about coastal access in England.  Only it wasn’t about coastal access, it kept referring to the ‘coastal path’.  The standfirst was: ‘Following Wales’s lead, England is opening a national … Continue reading

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Growing from the landscape

One of the many features which Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) and Henry Moore (1898-1986) share is the way their figures grow out of the landscape. Compton Verney in Warwickshire is a lovely setting for these sculptures.   Its Moore Rodin show is on … Continue reading

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White Cliffs Walking Festival

                                …the cliffs of England stand, Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay. So wrote Matthew Arnold in Dover Beach and so they stood last Thursday … Continue reading

Posted in Access, Coastal access, National trail, Public paths, Ramblers, Walkers Are Welcome Towns, walking | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Wiltshire model

I might have gone whizzing through the village of Coombe Bissett in Wiltshire last week had I not spotted an enticing sign for coffee at the local shop.  I was on my way to Martin Down a few miles on, … Continue reading

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A walk for Joan of Wight

Rookley is a small village in the centre of the Isle of Wight.  It is not a tourist hub but it’s a special place for the Isle of Wight Ramblers. Here for many years lived the late Joan Deacon (1936-2012). … Continue reading

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Kites versus flights

We were on top of Ivinghoe Beacon, the eastern outpost of the main Chiltern escarpment in Bucks, on a glorious summer’s afternoon last month.  The boys, grandsons of my partner Chris who were visiting from Australia, got out their small … Continue reading

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Grouse grouse

There’s nothing new about grouse-moor controversy.  This year it’s about the threat of hen harrier persecution by game keepers.  A quarter of a century ago it was about common-land legislation. Twenty-five years ago today, the Open Spaces Society arranged for a … Continue reading

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