A picturesque countryside view on the North Downs Way

Matthew de Lange Trail Warden Walk Diary Part 3 Oxted onwards

12th December 2016

Oxted to Otford

Today's stretch was from Oxted to the pretty village of Otford.  A bit too much of the time today was spent walking on roads - crossing the M25 and through Otford -  so not the best stretch but a pleasant enough day with an abundance of pheasant. I startled quite a few but they got their own back scaring the wits out of me on occasion flying up near my feet.

 I passed the last of the remarkable large wooden seed carvings celebrating the Surrey Hills area of outstanding beauty and also the first NDW milestone as I passed from Surrey into Kent telling me that I was still 77 miles from Dover.

I think I also today encountered the first stile on the Way. Mostly stiles are being removed to improve accessibility (I think) so seeing one today actually made me realise how I hadn't seen them so far. Is that because it's been Surrey previously? Or pure co-incidence? Ho hum.

Otford to Wrotham

Hint of autumn chill but another lovely sunny day for the shortish stretch from Otford to the implausibly pronounced Wrotham (root-um).  Splendid steep climb out of Otford straight up Otford Mount - the good news being that from there it was pretty much level or downhill all the way to Wrotham. Uneventful, apart from the really striking sight of a large black and white horse completely still, watching me ascend towards it in the woods.

Less pheasant today - though lots of small wildlife - of interest also to the glorious birds of prey hanging in the air. There's something arresting about the sight of birds of prey circling - one can't but look up at them and admire.

Pleasant scenery but the stretch I enjoyed most was the last 2 miles into Wrotham walking dead straight along a well maintained stretch of the Pilgrims' Way - a leafy lane with warm sunlight shafting across the path.

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