Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Kingston to Houns-Tout

As Spring evening walks go it takes a lot to beat the walk to Houns-Tout.is just about perfect. You start in the woods, surrounded by the songs of countless birds and the smell of a mass of wild Garlic. There are sounds in the undergrowth too: there are deer here  (their tracks are everywhere), Foxes too I expect, or perhaps a Badger!

The smell of the Garlic gets less subtle, almost heady, as I reached the open grassland and everything changes. Beautiful golden light and clean fresh air replaces the gloom of the trees and the trek along the ridge gives some of the finest views you will see anywhere. A pair of Buzzards circle high above calling in the way that only Buzzards can.

Houns-Tout itself is incredible and needs to be experienced. Standing on the outcrops high above the rocks listening to the waves break on the beaches of Chapman's Pool and Freshwater is a fine way to watch the Sun go down.
The walk back along the ridge is no less worthwhile and, last night, both Sika and Roe Deer joined me as well as a Hare or two, the ever-present Rabbits, a Fox and a distant Badger. It was almost dark when I reached the woods and the smell of Wild Garlic replaced the clean, salty air that I had become used to..
I enjoy walking through the woods at night, but it is a massively different place than it was earlier. The air was cool, no longer warmed by a dying Sun, and the excited songs of countless small birds had been replaced by their larger, darker relatives. During the day I would take time to investigate the sounds in the undergrowth too, probably a deer or Fox or Badger, but at night a voice deep inside my mind tells stories of more ancient times. These times of Wolves and Wild Boar have long since disappeared and the undergrowth holds no dangers for me now, but I will leave the deer or Fox or Badger and let it wander unseen as, all of a sudden, I seem unable to silence that little voice. There is an edginess to night-darkened woods that adds to the fun of an evening walk and is one of the reasons why I enjoy them so much.


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