Day 2 - Belvedere to Eynsford - 16 miles

(click photos to enlarge)

    The ancient site of the Pilgrims' Ferry across the Thames. This is where pilgrims would cross the river coming from the north.

    The lonely path along the Thames. The mud at low tide (as seen in the prior picture), is not only messy, but dangerous. Numerous signs warn against the danger of drowning in the mud, which would be a horrible end indeed.

Afternoon tea outside Holy Trinity Church, Dartford.

      The interior of Holy Trinity Church (1080). Contained a chapel to St. Thomas Becket (destroyed by Henry VIII), and was an important stop for pilgrims.

Now the path begins to enter wooded areas, often for miles at a time, only to emerge... open fields, at the end of which... find a lovely church with an entrance gate decorated with dried hops (St. Martin's, Eynsford)

    St. Martin's (built right after the Norman conquest of 1066). This was the church that started Becket's troubles with the king. St. Thomas appointed a parish priest to this church, an appointment that was contested by a local noble. Becket excommunicated the noble, the king got involved, and Becket eventually relented. Yet, the first breach was made, and further difficulties were to come.

    Is there anything more romantically English than a path covered with vegetation leading into the distance? This was also a common sight along the way.

     This picture shows how this ancient route is certainly not a well-traveled, paved thoroughfare. Following the traces of the dirt path, you arrive at the wall of vegetation to the left of the house, finding...

    ...grape vines with fruit. Can you see the wooden stile beyond the vines? Turning to the left and entering the stile, you walk through another narrow, heavily vined path...

...and reach another marvelous vista.

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