By: Blonde Two
Coming almost straight after a blog post about the M5, this title might seem like a rather bizarre instruction. Let’s face it, walking up the M5, even if there is a Willow Man to visit on the way, is never going to be a good plan. On the other hand, there are plenty of regular car jaunts that would be much more interesting if we did them on foot.
I went through a phase of walking the 20 minutes to work and, despite often arriving quite sweaty, definitely felt the benefits. I am ashamed to say that I don’t do it anymore. My excuse is that on my way home one afternoon, some charmer threw an egg at me. They threw it out of the window so I don’t know who it was. This is probably just as well because at the time, I was ready to commit murder!
Yesterday, I am pleased to say, I made a better choice and after a visit to the ever whacky Totnes market (what else would you expect from a town that claims to be twinned with Narnia?) I parked the car at the Dartington Cider Press Centre – worth a visit if you are feeling a bit “shopping” – and walked across to Dartington Hall.
Don’t get me wrong, walking between these two Dartington visitor spots is not a long distance trek but it is a trip that I have only done in vehicular mode before. So after a mooch around the shops, I returned to the car, donned my boots and set off into the sunshine.
Almost immediately, I started finding things that I hadn’t seen before. You move too quickly in a car to take your surroundings in properly. I was struck by how very English everything was. There was a graveyard of rickety stones hidden behind a fence just begging to be explored. Then there was an avenue of oaks right next to a field of barley (cue Sting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeKE2Z-9HVM).
The hedgerows were at their English Summer best with grasses, foxgloves and cow parsley. Every square metre was packed with plants desperate to flower and spread their seed (I believe that sunshine does that to people too). I must remember to repeat the walk next Spring because there was one tall, shady bank that was packed with primrose leaves.
All in all, it was a most pleasant experience. I ended up at Dartington Hall where I sat and appreciated the very English gardens for a while before I strolled back down another lane to the car. I am definitely going to walk where I drive more often in the future.