Its been a little while since I did a walking with wheelchairs post so I'd like to tell you about some walks we came across during our summer holiday to Rye. Literally a few minutes stroll from our holiday cottage In Rye Harbour was a fantastic nature reserve with miles of paths and trails to explore....there were at lease three good circular walks which vary in length that you can do. While we were there (and had the proximity and time) we went out on numerous days and decided to try some of the various routes.
Sometimes if we get the opportunity, we like to try and investigate what the terrain is like in advance of taking Heni out with us as if gives us a better idea of which chair to use for her (i.e. normal W/C or Pneumatic Tyre /all terrain chair!)
On one of the days, Hubby and I decided to go out on a run and as we hadn't donned our running shoes in a while, we wisely made our first outing the shortest route (Walk 1- going round letters A to E.... and back to A!) It was probably about three kilometers in total.
The first part of the route takes you directly out to sea along a smooth tarmac road with the river Rother inlet on one side... at the other side of which is the lovely Camber Sands beach around the corner...
...and the "lakes" on the other side with Winchelsea cliffs in the distance
We had lots of energy to begin with as the path was nice and smooth and was dead flat...... except for the mound of beach gravel which we had to run up)
.....but then our lack of fitness began to show and when the going got a bit tough... we ended up walking and talking and looking for hearts shaped rocks (again).
The Second time we went to the reserve I took The hungry boy and Daughter number Two out on the bikes and we did the "Walk 1 route" again as D2 is not a keen cyclist.... trying to keep the distance to a minimum!
I noticed this time however that from A-D was tarmac but the remainder of the this route was a gravel path.... something I had missed on the first time round and a consideration for bringing Heni out another time!) However ... if you were to carry on along the seafront (traveling from points C, D, F, G, H on the map above)the road was nice and smooth! I don't particularly like out and back routes, always preferring a circular one instead given the choice..... but you take what you can get when it comes to wheelchair routes... and it would still be a lovely walk to do.
The next Day Hubby, Hungry boy and Me went on a longer route taking the "Walk 3 route" on our bikes.
We passed the old Mary Stamford Life Boat Hut and stopped to check it out and read a little bit about he history of the place......it had been abandoned years ago after a tragic accident where all the life boat crew had been lost at sea....
I liked the little poem that someone had pinned to the decaying wooden door...It made me think of the book I had just read in Italy the week previous by Atul Gawande On "Being Mortal"
We went past the ruined Camber castle (dating back to the 11th century)
... and after getting lost a few times we eventually made it back to Rye Harbour in one piece just before it turned dark.
When we are on holiday we tend to have "In" days and "Out" days for Heni as she doesn't tolerate a great deal of traveling here there and everywhere (without needing a sleep or a rest). As the walk was so close to the holiday cottage Heni could still go out a few times with Gemma on some of her "in" days while we were elsewhere doing other activities. On one of the days, Gem and I took H for a short walk down the tarmac road which takes you out to the gravel beach and back. She enjoyed the wind in her hair, watching all the dogs and their owners walk by.
Heni loves being outside when the weather is good and she always looks so happy to be seeing new things and experiencing different scenery...don't we all?
Each of the routes was fun to do and each one would have been very doable with an all terrain type buggy with pneumatic tyres... (that is IF you have plenty of time to walk the distance of course)... bearing in mind that Walk 1 can take up to and hour and Walk 3 is a three hour loop (when walking not cycling!) The walks looks like only a short distance but actually are deceptively further than you think!
If you have the energy or inclination you can walk all the way along the sea front to Winchelsea beach...but remember if you do that one, its a long way back again!
If you ever find yourself in RYE and Winchelsea be sure to go check these great walks out .... oh, and if you ever find one of the many pebbles we wrote messages on (and left behind for people to find ...see Making memories and traditions at the beach).....be sure to let me know!
If you want to know more about Rye Nature Reserve and the walks there you can visit http://www.wildrye.info/reserve/walks/
If you would like to see some more "Walking with Wheelchair" routes you can click on some of the links below:-
Wilstone /Tring/startops reservoir (Hertfordshire)
Grasmere Lake from Rydal car park (Cumbria)
Call for walks from around the world
Stanborough Lakes (Hertfordshire)