A couple of weeks ago I visited a large woodland at Blean, near Canterbury in Kent, UK. I had wanted to visit the place for some time, because I had found out that it had one of the largest areas of deciduous and ancient woodlands in the South of England. I have visited many many woodland areas in Britain over the years and I find this type to be the most pleasing, so I got the train down there.
Canterbury itself is a beautiful city, I hadn't visited for years, and as I walked across the town I reminded myself that I must return one day, just to visit the city. It is steeped in history and is really interesting visually, remaining largely unspoilt by the tourist trade which it clearly thrives on. I thought I might return out of season.
I chose to walk (I could have got a bus) up the hill past the University to the woods. It was a long hill, and as I passed the University I couldn't help wondering if the old Canterbury crowd from the psychedelic 1960's (Daevid Allen, Kevin Ayers, Robert Wyatt, Hugh Hopper etc) may have wandered about here.
I got to the woods and straight away knew it was a special place. The sun was out and was casting fabulous shadows and creating dappled light on the ground and against the tree trunks. I found a helpful map and could see that the place was so big, I would not get to see the whole of it in one day. I selected a pathway to follow and explored.
What a wonderful woodland, I had never seen so many tall oaks together in one place. It was totally unspoilt and although it looked cared for, it also looked natural, which is what I like. The wide well-trodden pathways did not upset the look and feel of the place. As I followed them I discovered streams and open areas as well as the most majestic of trees.
I took a lot of photographs that day, but this was more of an initial exploration, I will return and get to know the place better. I think my pictures will improve the more I visit. I did get a few that I like though.
Toward the end of the day I came to one of the heathland areas and the colours there were spectacular. Purple heathers, orange and green grasses creating a rich rainbow of hues.
An amazing place. Highly recommended. I can't wait to see more.
Some of the pictures I took that day have been added to the gallery: http://simonbirch.zenfolio.com/woodland