Creating Accessible Walks in Kent

It’s not till it happens to us that we deal with situations that are life limiting or life changing.

So sometimes we really do have to try and understand being in someone else’s shoes to help, support and have some understanding of life for them.

For a while now I have been working with Wild with Wheels looking at providing accessible walks for people with a range of physical, mental and neuro diverse needs.

The simple act of walking, which some people, unfortunately are unable to complete, means they are limited to where they can go and what they can do. I am grateful to have this opportunity to help people with these accessibility issues to get out and enjoy nature.

Over the next two months over eight walks, I’m going to be sharing my time with people who would like to join me in getting outside. Every walk will have been pre-assessed to ensure the enjoyment and safety of all participants. From visiting Dover Castle and meeting the choughs to Solleys Ice Cream Parlour being out in the countryside and Pegwell Bay a real treat by the sea.

All the current walks are in the Sandwich, Deal and Dover Area with Gini the lead at Wild with Wheels also offering walks in these localities and Folkestone. As the work and team expands with Gini’s guidance there will be more happening across Kent but it will take time. We will be lucky to have Gini along on several occasions during the eight weeks I am currently leading.

If you’re interested in coming along to one of the walks, then please book by:

Phone: 07787 181550

GOGA Wild with Wheels (Free accessible guided nature experience) 8 weeks Tickets, Wed 7 Jun 2023 at 10:30 | Eventbrite=0  

Follow all the walks on both Tamsin | my_jones_life (@my_jones_life) | Instagram and Wild with Wheels (@wild_with_wheels) | Instagram and here on the blog.


Walking the North Downs Way

In 2021 I worked with Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Pied A Terre Adventures to become a North Downs Way ambassador. I have always loved the outdoors and was excited to share some of Kents beautiful scenery with others.

Then suddenly and unexpectedly my husband passed away and I needed time to support my family and come to terms with what had happened. I have used walking continuously enjoying the time and space the outdoors gives me.

Now in 2023 I would like to share with others the beautiful scenery in Kent and have set up guided walks that people can join for FREE.

My first walk is on Friday January 13th from Bekesbourne to Canterbury and is approximately 5k, if you would like to join me then book your place here.

With lots more exciting things to come in 2023 be sure to follow me on Instagram.

Standen House and Gardens – Christmas 2022

I took a slight detour today as I had a meeting in Tunbridge Wells, and I was travelling from Sussex. Standen House Christmas display had been brought to our attention last week and I am so glad I had time to make a visit.

The house and gardens created in the 1890’s by the Beale family has one of the most beautiful displays of Morris and Co work I have seen. Still today it has a cosy family feel to it and with the Christmas trees and decorations even more homely.

Each Christmas tree has a theme including the wishing tree, cup tree and a display of beautiful paper baubles inspired by William Morris.

As a part of the Christmas events there is a family pantomime trail through the garden, on those crisp autumn days this would be a great way to get outside and explore with the family. And you can enjoy the twilight openings to see the lights twinkle in the dark on the 10, 11,17, 18, 22 & 23 December, 3.30pm–6pm (last entry to the house is at 5pm).

Standen House and Gardens is a National Trust Property, memberships are great value and there are so many beautiful places across England, Wales and Northern Island that you can visit.

Monopoly Lifesized – London

As a part of a family weekend, we visited Monopoly Lifesized, and this is what we thought.

We had good fun and played on the city board but…

Price for six was £307 and we discussed at the end and decided it was expensive for what it was. In total there were four teams of six so 24 people in the room with four staff for the entire game. If you were a group of less than six you may be put with another group. Each team had a playing piece, our playing piece was great throughout the game. Some rooms were small and tight for 6 adults standing. The game lasted 90 minutes and we were kept busy the entire time. We did really well (we won) but some families with young children didn’t do so well with winning properties by completing the activities set. Some of the tasks would have been too high up for smaller children to read and complete.

The decor was great, and the game could be absolutely amazing if some adjustments were made.

The prize for winning was £5 to spend on pictures only, they take the pictures and are £20+, this seems a little pathetic and tight considering the cost and we didn’t use it.

Staff on entry and in the shop were ok but I felt like just a number to them and that they just wanted us in and out, a real shame as the characters were brilliant.

I booked a table at the Top Hat the restaurant and bar and I spent £57 for, 3 Pepsi, 2 cocktails, a glass of champagne and a red bull.

It was good fun we just felt it was expensive for what it was, and I was then sent a link to get 25% off my next visit the day after we visited!

Become a ranger for the day

So it’s nearly time to head to Kenya with The Big Cat Sanctuary.
So to celebrate I am running a competition to for one of you and a guest to become a ranger for the day.

To win this fantastic prize all you have to do is make a donation to my just giving page by 24th September 2022, all proceeds go straight to The Big Cat Sanctuary. For every £1 donated one entry will be entered, a random winner will be selected and announced online whilst I am in Kenya. Please note the winner will be announced online with details of how to claim, please do not accept any emails or messages contact me directly if you have any questions. Please ensure you leave your name in the comments section of your donation so I ensure you are entered.

The voucher will give you and one guest the opportunity to work alongside one of the keepers and help them tend to their beautiful cats. You will possibly assist with the cat feeding routines, possibly help providing enrichment items and hopefully leave with some fabulous photos of the day spent with some of the most awesome cats on the planet.
A light buffet lunch will be included. Your day will finish with the opportunity to hand feed one of the big cats.
No travel or accommodation is provided in this prize.

Please share with friends and family so that we can raise as much money as we can.

Important things when travelling

When travelling it’s very important to do and have some basic things, these include but are not limited to:
✅ have travel insurance
✅ research your destination so that you have a basic understanding of culture and things to be aware of whilst visiting
✅ check health requirements such as recommended or required vaccinations

If I hadn’t had travel insurance when Martin (my husband) passed away whilst we were abroad l don’t know what I would have done. They helped and guided me through the process of returning Martin back to the UK and paying for everything that was needed to do this. At that time the last thing I needed was more worry. I am also very lucky to have had such amazing friends that were travelling with us and supporting me.

You never think it’s going to be you but you just don’t know and if you’re happy to travel then you should make sure and be prepared to take on everything that comes with that.

Founders Hall – The Covid Bell

Made during the pandemic, between 2020 and 2021, Grayson Perry’s elaborately decorated bronze bell marks this unprecedented period whilst celebrating London’s great bells and their long history in marking time, mourning death and celebrating life.

You can visit Founders Hall to see the Covid Bell and more during this years open house including Sunday 11th September, Wednesday 14th September, Thursday 15th September and Friday 16th September.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Later this month I am off to work with The Big Cat Sanctuary’s conservation partners at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya where I will learn more about the work that they undertake and support them in completing daily tasks.

Follow me to keep updated with the trip, win some fabulous prizes and take part in Q&A sessions.

Check out my fundraising page here.

Reconnect with Nature with Out to the Woods

With our fast-paced world where we are at the end of the phone or email in an instant connecting with nature is something that we should give time to.

Sunita and the team at Out to the Woods are based in Bicknor Kent and have created just that a woodland school in ancient woodland that is offering experiences to all ages.

What is Out to the Woods?

Out to the Woods is a Community Interest Company (CIC); they are a social enterprise, and their aim is to promote well-being and resilience by reconnecting the local community with nature.

What is Forest School?

“Forest School is an inspirational process that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve, develop confidence and self-esteem, through hands on learning experiences in a local woodland or natural environment with trees.”

Forest School is a specialized approach that sits within and compliments the wider context of outdoor and woodland learning.

-Forest School Association-

Experience the Outdoors

Yesterday I was invited to experience some of the experiences that they offer, and I learnt how to make and cook chapatis and dahl; I also got to try the spiced potatoes which were delicious.

I was also lucky enough to make flower crowns with Avril and it was great fun playing and learning how to create my very own flower crown.

Woodfired Chapatis Experience – If you’re looking to book this experience, you get to choose to make Indian flat bread (chapatis) and lentils (dahl) OR you can choose to make stuffed Indian breads (parathas) from spiced cauliflower or spiced potatoes. Next date Sunday 10th July.

Flower Crowns – please contact the team at Out to the Woods to discuss having this added to an experience or if you would like to visit them to enjoy the woodland and just make flower crowns.

Friday Woodland Tots – enjoy some time with your little ones with these sessions each being themed around a well-loved toddler book. You will get the chance to build dens, cook on the fire, make crafts, play in the messy kitchen and more. Next term starts 9th September.

So why not take a bit of time out to enjoy nature and the tranquility of one of the woodlands of Kent and enjoy one of the Out to the Woods experiences.

Canoe Wild

With many rivers and lakes in the UK exploring them safely whilst having fun is key. The excellent Canoe Wild in Grove Ferry Kent is a must if you are in the area. You can explore the River Stour using one of their canoes, SUPs or kayaks. Running from Grove Ferry and Fordwich or you could even take a trip down river to Plucks Gutter. They also do a raft building session at the Fordwich site so if there is a group of you this would be great fun activity.

They also have collaborated with ‘Euro cycle Adventures’ and ‘Cols Kent Bike Tours’ for a ‘Pedal and Paddle’ adventure break and day trips.

The River Stour

The second longest river in Kent originates as the Great Stour in Lenham and flows towards and through Canterbury where it becomes tidal and then finally enters the sea at Pegwell Bay.

The river drains many of the marshland areas with Stodmarsh National Nature Reserve being one. Stodmarsh National Nature Reserve hosts the largest reed bed in the Southeast making it an ideal place to bird watch. So, if you love nature your sure to be happy here.

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