We decided that with the dog Zoid in tow, or trying to tow as is his won’t, to walk the village and the roads taking a note off the direction of the footpaths etc.
Learning from the Dog Friendly Pub website that The Bell in Iden was a dog friendly pub we directed our tyres there. We had to make a stop off at Chartham in Kent, close to Canterbury to retrieve a coat my sister had left there the day before when collecting her car. She had had a slight altercation with another driver – she didn’t but the cars collided – not her fault and the car was fixed up through the insurance. A driver not paying full attention to what he was doing, but more on that line later.
The slight diversion meant that we had to cross Kent to East Sussex to Iden village close to Rye and on the hills overlooking Camber via Ashford. The wonderfully congested, totally out of phase and overloaded lights controlled intersection of the A20,M20 and
A2070 was the subject of our caustic comments but with a little navigation from the passenger seat we managed to negotiate the lines of cars to our chosen road.
After that the drive down to the Romney Marshes toward Lydd, through the outskirts of Rye – crossing the Rother River and up the hill to Playden and then to Iden was a pleasant drive. We agreed that the change between Kent landscapes and Sussex happens as we cross the Romney Marshes and as a result walking in the area is an exciting change.
Iden village consists of a cluster of houses around the centre crossroads and a hedged green where a lawn bowls green is set up, the church and playing fields, you can walk through the churchyard to reach the fields which boasts a fenced children’s playground
and a cricket ground set against a background of trees.
We had a cup of coffee and an ale at the pub: Zoid was given a dog biscuit and introduced to the owner’s dog – who is delightful – and afterwards we took a stroll down to the church and the cricket ground. Rain! Big drops almost far enough apart to dodge and Zoid running for the nearest shelter hating the rain and getting wet. Sunshine and a picture with raindrops flashing down – strange.
We watched the cricket for a while enjoying one incident as a player spat the dummy and threw his bat away when he was clean bowled. Temper, temper. And with a nibble at blackberries on the way back we repaired to The Bell for lunch. If the sandwiches we had are anything to judge the food by then we can recommend the place to anybody. The menus is excellent featuring local produce and much free range produce. Note also that as well as the pub there is a local store and people we spoke to seemed to like that.
Other than the attraction of lunch at The Bell Iden and the surrounding area has a fascination of its own being close to the ancient town of Rye and close to the Romney Marshes which on our walk we caught glimpses of. The bonus was to walk down a farm track exploring the route of a footpath and seeing a flock of Swallows close to the farm flying down from their power wire perches and skimming the newly harvested crop fields and the cattle paddock catching insects. Too fast to take pictures of but a delight to watch the birds kept us entertained for while until we needed to go.
All we need now are some decent maps to plot our walking – one rule is caution when taking tracks when you have no map; they know where they are going but you don’t, so don’t unless you do. Fair enough? But for us, the area around Rye and other parts of Sussex (by the sea) are our oyster. (I have tried raw oysters and my opinion of them is unprintable)
On the way back we noted that the rules of the road, especially speed limits, seemed to have been cast aside by a few drivers. We agreed that it must be the Bank Holiday Weekend that encouraged them to believe the rules do not apply to them. Also a most disturbing thing was when we were travelling on the narrow road toward Leeds village a driver, impatient at the line of cars doing the 40 mph limit, overtook them and was forced to cut in tight to avoid us. If we had been going any faster ourselves we would have had a head-on smash – I think
manslaughter of one inconsiderate macho and probably badly injured driver would be the charge. We had to settle for a blast on the horn and angry, rude gesture.
Still, let’s finish off with a quiet game of bowls?