Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What's left after the staycation, the nocation ? A day out in countryside

As a result of Labour's magnificent management of Britain Plc, many of us including me, no longer have the opportunity once or twice a year to admire this country from afar, my own preference being Majorca or New York, now more distant than I ever thought possible.timesquare
I have been lucky in past years to afford to travel and will no doubt do so again, currently the choice is stark, since work can be scarce, irregular, and available at short notice, so a planned break is not possible, so even the staycation, is not practical, so its the nocation for me this year. punch and judy
Still even having the odd day here and there is better than nothing, and certainly there are worse places to find yourself unable to take a proper holiday, even with little money, here in Thanet we have various attractions in the summer months where you can find yourself entertained for free, at events like the folk festival in Broadstairs or the Dippers and Dunkers event in Margate or just have a trip down the beach.

Obviously a proper break generally is experiencing the unfamiliar, something we don't encounter on a daily basis, so the highlight for my year so far, was driving a few miles out of town with Mrs Me, the objective to take a stroll round the gardens at Goodnestone, as it happened, this didn't happen, since driving into the village around lunch time, the pub looked more of a priority destination, than some blooming gardens.fitzwalter arms
aviewfromfitzwalterarms Fortunately Mrs Me agreed and we had a leisurely lunch at the Fitzwalter Arms, the set menu around fifteen quid a head, a bit more refined than my taste buds are use too but very good and as important, a pleasant dining area, with the pub located in a beautiful and tranquil village.

Having relaxed till about three, we took the short walk toward Goodnestone Park, decided that given the time, it was too late to embark on a tour of the gardens and anyhow the village church was open, so we took a gander, around the church instead, followed with a walk in the countryside around the village.churchgoodnestone
Not having a OS map, we walked vaguely in the direction, suggested by a Public Footpath sign, as with pretty much all these pointers, they always seem hazy the further you walk from them, so within a minute, you have little confidence of the direction your walking and being in unfamiliar territory, you half expect to be challenged with some shot gun toting farmer, requesting you get offa their land, this didn't happen and we walked unimpeded coming across a pen populated with what looked like from a distance a colony of miniature velociraptors ( during this week the papers had been full of cloned cows, giant rats and miniature pigs) however on closer inspection I realised they were in fact err baby turkeys.turkeys or velociraptors
That was highlight of our ramble, we returned to the car, having a final encounter with nature, a playful field rat scampered across the road, field rat as I adjusted my newly acquired Iphone Sat Nav app Skobbler (not bad for the price) only £1.19, and set a course for Wickhambreaux, where we enjoyed another another walk and probably caused the residents to consider the downside of living, in such a visually perfect village, as we fanaticised about escaping the cultural riches of Margate.wickhambreaux
Hopefully I will get to visit Goodnestone Park another year, still if you have nothing spoiling and time on your side click here for details, but make time for lunch in the local.


  1. Would you REALLY prefer to be in New York instead of some of Kent's beautiful villages & countryside? I know I wouldn't...

  2. Err to be honest, Peter that's a tough question, there are some fantastic places here in Kent, and on a good day

    Its maybe a case of horses for courses

  3. NY, East Kent, Villages and Coast? my thought as someone who lives 90 MILES! from NY and it only costs about $60 dollars to travel on the train, less if you book in advance, but also had the good fortune to be born in Margate, live in Ramsgate, Wingham and Staple, I love NY, was there only 2 weeks ago, but like Boston more :) but for shear value for money, beauty, and atmosphere it has to be East Kent for me, very little in the US is for free, although I have some good pointers from a friendly NY native, on cheap admissions to museums, and of course Central Park is free to roam, but every where is so noisy and intense.
    Boston is more civilized, and could not get over how cheap the parking was in the centre on a sat! $16! 5 us it cost with petrol $60 at most.
    East Coast, Bike, sandwiches, I can do a fantastic day on the cost of the routing round the cupboard and fridge, for a picnic, I can explore pill boxes, churches, beaches, fortifications in Dover, there are so many options, for almost free entertainment, embress your novaccation and enjoy, I have to pay for my local park and beach which is rubbish on top of my taxes which are nearly $8,500 a year for bin collection, no light! but I will say they do a damm fine job of clearing the roads of snow the whole 3 times a year they need to do it! and they really don't care about how they do it, no mail for a week after they bulldozed our mail box :( oh and my taxes pay directly for my Kids education :) they start part time 3 hours a day next Monday, for a year and then they go full time next year, I am paying for PE, Art, Ect 3 days a week for this year.. they are 6 in Jan... welcome to the USA!

  4. Well said H for the grass usually only appears greener from the other side.

    I too grew up in East Kent but spent much of my adult life living in the sun, sitting by the pool and drinking sundowners but, and it was a big but! There were a range of nasty snakes and spiders, the water rationing was severe (don't even go there on the colour of the stuff that came out of the taps) and anything that wasn't nailed down under the eyes of the Rotweiller got nicked. Public services were a joke and the drive into town involved dodging potholes the size of bomb craters, avoiding over loaded buses that hogged the middle of the road and not stopping for anyone or anything even if dressed as police.

    Now happily back on the East Kent coast and no longer checking behind the loo before settling for the daily constitutional. Plus, pleasure of pleasures, I can drink my tap water without boiling, straining and sterilizing it first.