On Wednesday we set out from Woodchurch 4 guys and Rosemary and reached St Michaels, Tenterden via Susans Hill and a pretty if rather well trafficked route. There we picked up the cycle route 18 heading for Tunbridge Wells, making for Hole Park at Rolvenden.
The weather and the May countryside were `perfick' as H E Bate's, Pop Larkin is wont to say. Bluebells under the trees, Queen Anne's lace frothing along the roadsides, and hawthorn and appleblossom piled along the hedgerows.
On reaching Hole Park we paid our entrance and went for w alk round before lunch. The house and estate have ancestral memories for Peter, as both his mother and aunt were in service there in the 1930s. They even met their respective husbands at a dance in Rolvenden village Hall . Who knows what romantic walks, the two happy couples took beneath the trees and winding paths of the Dell.
The Ha Ha was a great attraction and John managed to make great friends with a cow. The rest of the grdens were magnificant and Norman is determined to return for one of their wistaria trees ,(perhaps he can take the cow back for John as well!!) A light Lunch in the old stable block was very good with local Biddenden wine and a special locally brewed beer for Norman, served personally by Lord Barham. Martin was especialy taken with the mechanism of the old stable clock ,although somewhat suprprised to find it stuck on winter time, as it struck twelve as we waited for lunch at one. No doubt the Mad Hatter has his tea there as well.
After lunch a further stroll through the Dell laid out in the early 20's with camellias. azaleas and rhodedendron and now a magnificent sight combined with the May foliage and the bluebells.
Rather reluctantly leaving on our bikes we rode on through Rolvenden towards Wittersham, where Rosemary took a break and waited for the pick up wagon. The rest of the group cycled the long way back to Woodchurch across the Moor.