The Blean, the Beach, and a Boot Fair

We weren’t sure what to do today.  We ended up having an adventurous, eventful, and beautiful day.

We began our day by starting a (rather long) walk on the Crab and Winkle Way (a foot/bicycle path connecting Whitstable and Canterbury).  Along the way, we realized that we were going to pass by the Church Street Boot Fair, which I had meant to hit this weekend anyway.  It was really fun — a true flea market, with all kinds of stuff up for grabs.  There were some vendors who clearly frequent these sorts of events, with collectibles, furniture, or cheap packaged goods, but most of the sellers were people who just filled their cars up with stuff they want to get rid of, and lay it out on tables or blankets in front of their parked cars.  We scored some Bob the Builder toys (currently the favorite bedtime story character for the kids), a toy ambulance, a toy tractor, a toy monster truck (Charlie’s into them, alas), a couple of bins for toys, some muffin tin liners (I needed some badly), some tupperware-type containers, and the big score: a £2 beach shelter.
Boot sale (roughly half the field)

After the boot sale, we loaded our booty (get it?) in our trusty yellow tote bag (one of the best purchases I ever made — did I mention that?) and kept walking toward the Blean.

A sign post on our way
Funky mile post on Crab & Winkle Way

We walked through a farm or two, and some cows came to say hello. They were very happy cows.
Cows come to investigate
Mutual admiration

Off to the Blean Woods!

The Blean is an ancient forest which spans a wide area between Canterbury and Whitstable.  From the brochure on The Blean:

For a thousand years The Blean has remained one of the largest and most distinctive areas of woodland in the south east, covering some 3000 hectares – over 11 square miles.  Not only is most of this classified as “ancient woodland” but over half is recognised as being nationally and even internationally important for wildlife.

We only peeked our noses into the woods a little ways before turning back, but it was really lovely, and we’ll be back often.
Lots of uphill...
Trails through the woods

We stopped to explore a little road in the woods. There were lots of blackberries!!! Unfortunately, lots of ants, too. (We were able to put the boot fair tupperware to use.)
Stretching their legs
I see berries!
Berry-picking machine
Momma helps
Showing off flowers and berries

And back down the hill!
Charlie dashes on the downhill section

Then, we returned to town and found the Open Harbour Day festival going on..
Another day, another festival (Harbor Day)

The kids napped in the stroller
Too much excitement for Charlie
Neat old tug
Neat old sloop
Lovely old wooden boat
Stopping for a snack
Lovely day at the beach

Our fabu beach shelter. This was our boot fair score!
Trying out our new shelter!
Momma reads in the shade
Time to do some digging
The girls go look for shells

I found an oyster!
An unopened oyster!

And then we came home and played in our new shelter some more.
Shelter's a big hit at home, too
Explaining something
Happy to see momma

And an exceptionally good day was had by all.

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