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An Unexpected Grand Day Out.
Yesterday, I was on chauffeur duty. One of Ina's huge number of cousins was getting married and she had promised to go. However, there was no way she was going to be able to get back from the reception, so she asked me to drive her down to Otford for the wedding ceremony. I could take Little Dog Draco for a walk around the Darent valley, and she could join me after the ceremony.

I have to say I didn't enjoy the drive down very much - there were any number of lunatics on the M25 and we had to queue on the QEII bridge - but Draco and I had a great time at Otford.

It's a lovely village, famous, among other things, for the duck pond in the middle of a roundabout.

Otford Duck Pond

But it also has some handsome buildings.

Timber Framed House, Otford

Draco and I took the Darent Valley Way...

Darent Valley

Bridle Path

With the odd diversion... This is the Darent Golf Course, with its magnificent specimen trees.

Darent Golf Course

And the Shoreham Cricket Ground, which is simply beautiful - a circle of grass surrounded by trees, with a handsome brick pavilion.

Shoreham Cricket Ground

The bridleway and meadows were full of Meadow Brown butterflies - scores of them, but not settling and impossible with my compact camera.

It was down one of the tracks


that I came across a few dozen of what I have now identified as pyramid orchids:

Anacamptis pyramidalis  - Pyramid Orchid

Back in the village after an hour and a half walk, Draco and I met Ina and we had lunch at the Bull Inn, a building that dates back to the 16th Century.

The Bull, Otford

Then we had a walk around the village and examined the mosaic history of the area, commissioned for the Millenium.

Roman Soldier

There are some lovely touches - I am particularly fond of this ammonite...

Half and Half Ammonite

running out from the mosaic into the concrete border.

As we picked up the car from the car park, they were playing cricket.


A great end to the day, particularly as the drive home turned out to be a lot easier than driving out.

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These are all gorgeous! Very green for this time of the year in those landscape shots. A couple definetly Britscape Photo material!

I will be posting a couple to Britscape, Chad, honest...

Thank you for your continuing support for Britscape! ;0)

Oh that does look pretty.

These are gorgeous! I don't think I've ever been down that way.

It's a marvellous village. Unfortunately, it's prime commuter belt, on the Pilgrim's Way and a conservation area. It has four pubs, a library, a village hall, a huge recreation ground, a station, regular buses, and lots of shops, even if they mainly sell antiques. The result of which, as you can imagine, is that property prices are high, even for Kent. In fact, they're a lot higher than where we live, in an expensive area of Essex. *sigh*

A really nice series of shots and so wonderfully English!

It's not an area of the country I've every visited, so it's nice to get a glimpse of what it's like.

Well, I'd never been to North Wales until Milford a couple of years back!

I'm Yorkshire born but I've been living in the London area for over 30 years, and my housemate/best buddy's family are basically Kent people (though she, as she insists, is a born-Cockney) so I've got to see a lot of Kent. It's a lovely county and, in parts, lives up to its "garden of England" nickname.

That second shot, of the half-timbered building is fantastic. Also, excellent shot of the cricket - I wonder what happened next. Looks like a very nice pitch.

The only thing that distinguished the slightly sloping and somewhat rough pitch at Shepton Mallet, was that on the appropriate Saturday evening in June, one could hear music drifting over the hill from Pilton! :)

It's a great pitch though not as good as the Shoreham one up the road, or some of those I've seen in the Weald. Mind you, for a village they also have proper tennis courts, football and rugby pitches, and a superb children's playground, four pubs, three churches, the ruin of a Bishop's Palace etc etc. And it's really quite small.

Lovely photos! I can't remember now why we were in the area but my family and I had lunch in a pub there a few years ago.

There are plenty of pubs to choose from! I love the area but it is far too expensive. (I love Sussex more, but that's another story.)

Smashing pictures. I particularly like the mosaic and the timber-framed house. I love old houses.

Click through to get the whole mosaic, if only in bits.


Edited at 2011-06-27 08:11 am (UTC)

That's really a fantastic mosaic - with a pteranodon, not less. Thanks :-)

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