Rye to Hastings – A Self-Guided Walk

On one of the first days after the lockdown here in England was eased, Ellie & I did the Rye to Hastings walk for the third or fourth time. It’s one of our favourite walks and this time around we did it without a guide. How to get lost on a coastal walk I hear what you’re saying: why would anyone need a guide for a coastal walk? You simply walk along the coast. Water to your left, land to your right, right? What’s the challenge? Oh well… there are plenty of more talented navigation experts out there, but it’s not that we are the only people that sometimes get lost on coastal walks. You will, of course, usually have a pretty good idea of which direction your destination is, broadly speaking. However, you might not always have a clear view of the sea and there are many cases where […]

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Panshanger Park and Hertford Castle – Another walk with ‘Go London’

Ellie & I have been doing walks with Gary Bebb’s fabulous ‘GO London’ hiking group for more than two years now. A few weeks ago we joined him and 20 other hikers on the “Panshanger Park, Chadwell Springs, and Hertford Castle” hike. The 18km (12 mile) walk which involves 118m of ascent (all added up) and takes about 4 hours to complete, is classified as “Beginners Hike.” No complaints from our side. We had just come out of lockdown hibernation and weren’t going to climb Everest anytime soon. No maps, instructions, or directions This blog post does not include any maps or specific instructions. It is not aimed at enabling you to do the walk on your own. It is instead intended to give you an idea for what to do on London weekends if you should ever be bored. If you don’t live nearby, hopefully you’ll still enjoy some […]

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“Secret Berkshire” – 19km Goring Circular Walk with ‘Go London’

Ellie & I have been doing walks with Gary Bebb’s fabulous ‘Go London’ hiking group for more than two years now. Yesterday we joined Neil (Neil Froggitt) and 20 other hiking enthusiasts for the “Secret Berkshire – The Hollies and the North Wessex Downs” walk. It is my understanding that this walk is also being referred to as Goring Circular Walk, even though it was slightly amended by Go London. This blog post does not include any maps or specific instructions. It is not aimed at enabling you to do the walk on your own. It is instead intended to give you an idea for what to do on London weekends or – even if you don’t live nearby – show you some of the beauty that one can find near The Big Smoke. Even if you’re an experienced navigator we’d still highly recommend the tours offered by Go London, […]

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Kitesurfing (well, for now: kiting) near London with The Kitesurf Centre

I had been wanting to learn how to kitesurf for quite a while. So as soon as the last lockdown was over and it was possible to book training sessions again, I booked one of the first sessions available near London, a two-hour personal training session. The Kitesurf Centre There are quite a few options of learning how to kitesurf within a doable distance from the Big Smoke. I picked The Kitesurf Centre in Camber Sands near Rye, about 95km to the southeast of London (135km by car or train), roughly two thirds of the way from Brighton to Dover on a beautiful beach. A Family Business The kitesurfing school has been founded by two brothers, Thomas and Tristan, in 2007. Both of them had run a number of watersports companies around the world until then. They were joined by brother #3, Rupert, a few years later. All three men […]

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Open Water Swimming at West Reservoir Centre, Stoke Newington

A few weeks ago, I’ve decided to pick up open water long-distance swimming. This is why I started to check out open water swimming venues in and around London. When I grew up in Germany, my buddies and I would always go wild swimming in rivers and lakes, often several times a week, twice a day during summer. My parents, who grew up in the Bavarian town of Passau, at the confluence of the mighty Danube, the Inn, and the Ilz rivers, when they were 8 or 9 years old, they swam across the Danube zigzagging between the mighty freight ships heading towards the Atlantic Ocean from the Black Sea or vice versa. Here in the UK in the 21st Century visiting a lido as a grown-up is already considered to be quite adventurous. Wild-swimming has the sound of anarchy and is about as reputable as wing-suiting or base-jumping.   […]

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