Many people complain about the British weather, and sure, the grey skies and frequent bouts of rain can be a downer, but when the sun shines there’s no better place to be than outside exploring the countryside. With the forecast predicting sunshine all weekend myself, John, Rob and Emma all loaded the ciders and smores and headed to Etherley Farm in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
After eagerly setting up the tents, we decided to explore the area and ventured off into the woods in search of adventures, blackberry foragin’, and shade. Instead, we found something….unexpected.
Sure enough, there sat the menacing beasts themselves, just beyond the gate.
We tiptoed past them, and headed back towards the fields to play one of Britain’s greatest summer pastimes – cricket.
In between rounds of cricket, we also squeezed in another Great British Summer pastime: cider tasting and BBQs!
After stuffing ourselves with burgers, Rob’s ‘special’ campfire baked beans and salad, we soon got down to the serious of campfires , roasting marshmallows and making up our own constellations.
We arose late the next morning, to a sky of ominous grey clouds, that soon unleashed all its fury on us.
Undeterred, we hunkered down under layers of raincoats, boots and sweaters and headed into Leith Hill, where I found a rather convenient shelter to wait out the downpour.
Meanwhile, John surveyed the land and decided he liked the woods very much and took it upon himself to claim ownership of the Duke title for the area, as well as its grounds.
The rain gradually dissipated throughout the day, just in time for Rob’s biology lesson on the evolutionary history of ferns and their structural makeup. Unfortunately for Rob, our interest waned around the time ‘dinosaurs’ were mentioned, and he had to console himself with the surrounding views as we discussed the ever important topics of dinosaur noises and who would most likely survive in Jurassic Park.
Near the end of the trail, we came across an antiquated rope swing that oscillated just over the edge of the hilltop and over the trees below. Of course, if you find an amazing swing in the middle of glorious countryside, there’s only one thing to do.
After several bouts of dizzying spins, we stumbled, damp from the dripping tree branches and soaked swing, towards Leith Hill Tower. Luckily for us, the clouds had subsided just in time for us to clamber to the top and enjoy the panoramic views.