Day 8 on the Pilgrims Way

The day began with a scramble up a bank to get to the footbridge over the A22 and re-join the way. Getting there had been quite difficult as I returned to Godstone and crossed the roads, making up the M25 and A22 roundabout. I’d seen a dead deer by the roadside. Then, there was no easy way up to the footbridge, so I ended up holding on to ivy and scrambled up the bank.

Today’s Pilgrim’s Way followed the North Downs Way (NDW) at first.

Early on, I came close to a large stag with antlers, that strode away and was gone.

After the way diverged from the NDW, I walked on enjoying the scenery but soon found the instructions no longer matched what I was seeing. I saw about twenty deer that all decided to run away together. I clambered through a fence and, using google maps, found that I could re-join the NDW up the road.

The Pilgrim’s Way and NDW went together for a mile or so, and climbed to a view across the M25 valley.

To rest my knee, I sat on a bench. Then looked for my water bottle but it was gone, probably during the scramble up the bank. I had nothing to drink. But there was a light rain. The path went down below a quarry, and then climbed up a chalk path running with water. I wasn’t going to die of thirst and knocked raindrops from haws and rosehips to get some water from finger tips to mouth. I tried a mouthful from a cattle trough – not a good idea because the water though clear had lots of leaves at the bottom. I even walked along with my mouth open to the rain.

The chalk path led to the highest point of the whole walk, round the enclosed Titsey Place and its park. Then the path left the NDW and went down beside a field with lots of pheasants who ran away or took flight as I approached.

The next stop was Titsey Church. I was quite lucky that it was open since it is only open a few hours a week and should not have been open in October. There were no books of any sort inside so it was not a used church. There were pews, a pulpit, and font, and stain glass windows. In a side chapel was a beautiful marble lady and a elderly bearded gentleman, one on either side, reclining . I signed the damp visitors book but could not see the writing of the Australian Pilgrim I usually saw ahead of me. I found the pilgrim’s stamp in the porch in a box and stamped my card. By now it was raining hard.

For the rest of the day’s walk to Westerham Hill, the Pilgrims Way followed a road called Pilgrim’s Lane. It had a little traffic, and I saw two horses, and a farm called Pilgrim’s Farm. It was also flooded in places so I walked though the water on my heels.

The first fields had lambs, and then after crossing a road there were vines. A tractor machine was harvesting the grapes. The lambs had been in Surrey and the vineyard in Kent.

I caught a bus back to Oxted and then returned home this evening. I will look for a clear run of a few days where I can do the Kent part of the Pilgrims Way.

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