Monday, 28 July 2008

Messing about on the river

We've had a steamy hot weekend here in Kent, so what better than to spend some time meandering along our local riverbank. Saturday was 'River Festival' day in town and boats have been gathering to celebrate this annual event for the past week. As our house is a short walk from the river, we decided to stroll into town for an ice lolly and take a peek at the boats decked out in their finery, before yomping upstream along the towpath, making a brief, but entirely essential, pitstop at the Malta Inn.

View from Maidstone Bridge

Ice-cream refresher!

As you can see, the river festival was a lively affair, full of hot sweaty bodies enjoying the colourful array of boats, as dancers, stall holders and fairground rides competed noisily for their attention. I quickly snapped a few photos to share with you, before slurping a refreshing orange lolly and heading eagerly away from the crowds, to the relative peace and leafy cool further upstream.

Allington Castle, tucked away on the other side of the river

My favourite boat of the day, the 'Little Lamb', a tiny steam boat

The riverside Malta Inn at Allington Lock
The 'Allington Belle', Maidstone's Mississipi style paddle boat!
All in all, we walked in a big loop for about three solid hours until we reached the Malta for a swift half (in my case, although not Stuart's!) then trudged the last half mile homeward bound ... why is it, that bit of the walk is always uphill?! Once through the front door, we flung some lovely fat sausages on the barbecue, opened a chilled bottle of Chardonnay and settled down to a few hands of cards and a couple of games of draughts in the garden by candlelight, while dusk fell.

A well earned pint!
So sorry, but no, my new show bear didn't get finished this weekend! He's underway though and I'm sure I'll have him ready to show you very soon. We have so little summer in the UK, it would have been such a waste not to enjoy a weekend full of it while it is here!


  1. Well, I should say...get out and smell the roses and the coffee....use the sunny days to full advantage. Stuart absolutely has the right idea!! All the crowds and bright plastic stuff doesn't appeal to me much..but the little boat was cute... and the peaceful bits of the walk were pretty...

    not enough summer weather to let it get away... soon enough it will be cooling off again ..or raining...and then you will need to stay indoors....don't miss it

  2. Ooooo Paula ; this is a real "Best of British" tourism post (yay !)Looks absolutely idyllic . It's all too easy to forget the charm of places that we're right on top of . What a great day out !
    Huggies , Ruth

  3. I think you're absolutely right Vee! The hubble and bubble didn't really take our fancy either, but I did enjoy the spectacle of the river in all its gaiety! There's something entirely therapeutic about being by the water.

    Ruth, I couldn't agree more and I'm determined to get out and about to make more of our local area this summer. It seems crazy that we know places further afield better than our own back yard!


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