For more than ten years now, whenever I visit the UK, I go for a romp in the country with my college-buddy Dave, who majored in cartography. At a time when most college boys adorned their dorm walls with posters of scantily-clad women and Absolut ads, Dave’s walls were covered with maps, and he used to listen to the shipping lane reports on a short wave radio in his spare time. A skilled navigator, he makes a point of mocking the GPS system in my car whenever he visits. Dave and I have spent many an hour wandering through the woods and over the hills of some of the most beautiful parts of England and Upstate NY. Some of you may remember me talking about our hike from Stonehenge to Salisbury Cathedral via Old Sarum the last time I visited the UK in late 2008.
Dave used these trips (and hundreds of others he’s taken) to map out a series of easy hiking routes to out-of-the-way places of scenic and historic beauty, easily made as day-trips from London. A couple of years ago, he started English Country Walks, a tour company recently featured in the London Times.
I set aside a day of my upcoming trip for a walk with Dave, and thought it might be fun to invite some readers along, if anyone is interested. This year’s walk will be on Saturday, April 17, and will be considerably shorter than the Stonehenge/Salisbury walk. We will be starting in London in the morning and taking the train out to Sussex, from which point we will walk to Bodiam Castle and back, stopping for a nice pub lunch on the way. The walk should be about 8 miles. You can see a full itinerary along with some beautiful photos here.
It will be a nice day to get some exercise, fresh air, and (hopefully) sunshine as we take in natural beauty and a piece of history (along with a few pints of Guinness). If formal book signings aren’t you bag and you’d rather just have a chance to hang out (or interrogate me on ward theory and Arlen’s relationship with Leesha), think about coming along. You can book one of the (quite limited) spots on Dave’s site. Tell him I sent you. Bookings will be at the group rate of £55/per person, which will cover everything including the train, entrance to Bodiam Castle, and the pub lunch.
So, anyone up for a walk? If not, I’ll have to go it alone…