Well, with all the excitement over what may be the biggest scandal of this government or just a private tragedy with no element of conspiracy, I’d almost forgotten about the fun I’d had last weekend.

Along with three friends, and coinciding miraculously with the recent heatwave, I spent three days walking a portion of the North Downs Way, one of England’s National Trails. Apart from the fact we wanted to do a long walk just for the fun of it, we were also intrigued by the various significances of this route. It’s been a pathway since Neolithic times and is thought to coincide with the route taken by pilgrims travelling from Winchester to Canterbury after the martyrdom of Thomas à Becket (although the “Pilgrim’s Way” track that often runs in tandem with the North Downs Way is a Victorian invention). And although the pilgrims in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales took a different route, starting from London, the Canterbury link was still relevant to us.

So… you don’t need to hear the minor details of the walk, but basically we walked from Rochester to Maidstone (via Boxley) on the Saturday, spending the night at a B & B in Maidstone. After a quick train journey to Harrietsham on the Sunday morning, we then walked to the amazingly picturesque Chilham, staying in another B & B there. Finally, we did the last leg to Canterbury on Monday, finishing our pilgrimage with some devout and concentrated worship at the altar of the Beer God.

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