Here’s a brief overview of my walk from Shooters Hill to Canterbury, and what I’ll be up to each day. You can follow my daily progress on Twitter @dansimpsonpoet or on the hashtag #romanresidency, and I’ll be regularly updating this site with text and photos as I go along!
Day 1: Monday 29 September – Shooters Hill to Dartford
A 7 mile walk from the pinnacle of Shooters Hill, with a beautiful view over London, to Dartford. I’ll be joined by David Walsh, a PhD student at Kent, for part of the journey. I’ll be passing through Welling, Bexleyheath, Crayford, and end in Dartford – where I’ll spend a few hours with Mike Still from Dartford Museum scanning artefacts and learning more about Roman Bexley.
Day 2: Tuesday 30 September – Dartford to Rochester
Day 2 is the trickiest – the 14 miles of the Roman Road here is now the A2, which is dangerous to walk (and walking around defeats the objective of traversing the old Roman Road!). I’m going to take a bus down the A2 for completion’s sake, and will then spend the day in Rochester Guildhall Museum with Jeremy Clarke – in workshops with school children and on a tour of the town with adult learners. It’ll be a chance to share some of the writing I’ve done so far!
Day 3: Wednesday 1 October – Rochester to Sittingbourne
Back to walking – 10.5 miles through Rainham and Newington, ending at Sittingbourne. Another Kent PhD student – Catherine Hoggarth – will join me along the way to talk Roman roads and bridges. I’ll end the day at Sittingbourne Heritage Museum.
Day 4: Thursday 2 October – Sittingbourne to Faversham
A packed 7.5 miles as we get deeper into Kent. Just outside Sittingbourne is Teynham, with nearby Bax Farm and a Roman villa. I’ll meet Dr. Paul Wilkinson along the way to look at that, before making my way to Stone Chapel and Maison Dieu to meet the Faversham Society.
Day 5: Friday 3 October – Faversham to Canterbury
I’ll have a look around Fleur de Lys Heritage Centre in Faversham before tacking the final 10 miles or so. Just outside Canterbury is Bigbury Camp, where I’ll meet PhD student Andy Bates. Then it’s off to Canterbury and the Roman Museum to present the work I’ve made at a special event!