For a country so far north, walking in the snow is a rarity and a treat. Not that we can indulge in skiing, cross-country or otherwise, just a trudge through the usual muddy paths, now whitened and hardened by snow and frost. My treat was, on Saturday, the commencement of the Greensand Way: a long distance walk that wends its way from south-west Kent up over the Downs and the Surrey Hills to Haslemere.
The first section takes its course from Ham Street, a small village south of Ashford and circles Ashford to the West before striking out towards Sevenoaks. The path is level and clearly signposted. It was rare that we needed to resort to the map. The ramble involves fields and woods and villages. There is little elevation on this part of the path: even streams are a rare encounter.
Yet, the scenery was uplifting, even if the rolling white ended in the march of fields. One special moment was that vast expanse, cleared of crops, white snow mingled with the brown earth and a stark electrical tower planted in the middle of sight. One does not appreciate the countryside of the home counties for their wilderness but for their punctuated vistas of nature, suburb and pub.
And the occasional surprise: a pet cemetery tucked away in woodland with crosses raised to Twix, Hammy and Puda Cat. Purrfect!