If you are in search of a unique and beautiful corner, you might be seduced to explore the Marsh. If you are a poet or artist you will never forget this incredible land.
Starting right at the foot of Lympne Hill near Hythe and stretching to Winchelsea, it is surrounded on one side by hills and on the other side by the sea, which used to cover this entire area, and has now left us with a real jewel! Lying at your feet are miles of fertile land and green pastures, with hundreds of sheep grazing peacefully.
Driving fast through this landscape is very unwise. The roads, narrow and sinuous, are bordered by treacherous dykes that actually act as boundaries in the fields. It is just as well that there are numerous signposts indicating directions, as it would be frustrating to navigate this maze of small avenues. Try to leave your car and absorb this peaceful quietness, only broken by birdsong. A sheer paradise!
You will find many delightful little bridges, a few isolated farms, houses hiding among lush gardens, some hamlets and many medieval churches, enough to tantalise your desire to paint. Trees with twisted branches grow in abundance on the side of these dykes – mainly poplars and willows, which add the perfect touch to create a pastoral scene.
Like other artists, I have spent many hours travelling around in search of the perfect inspiration. I did not have to go far.
Each season comes with new delights. Spring is really special with its lambing time. What bliss it is to watch all the newborns happily jumping in the meadows, the air filled with the scent of fresh new growth and the sound of birds - who needs more to be happy?
Summer comes with its blinding light, bathing the entire landscape, sending shimmers through the early morning dew upon the grass. Herons stand still on the side of the dykes, waiting for a frog or a fish, and nesting swans, butterflies, insects and birds are all so busy in the heat.
Autumn brings delicious colours, farmers harvesting and the wonderful tranquillity of the land getting ready for its long winter sleep. November arrives, hiding this countryside with thick fog, and the December chill adds a crisp blanket of snow.
It feels as if I have discovered a bygone era, a place that deserves to be celebrated by poets, preserved and honoured by artists. It holds a fascination. I need go back there again and again and so will you.