Walk Reports and Photos 2018 (Jan - Apr)

 
 
Guildford Circular, Saturday 28th April 2018
 
10 walkers, 23 miles - leader Andy Shoesmith
 
We had 10 walkers, who all made it round. Turned out to be about 23 miles. Grey day, but no rain, but plenty of mud in sections. Also lots of bluebells!
 
Report by Andy Shoesmith
 
 
 

Five Hills, Four Parks, Two Spoons, Wednesday 25th April 2018

12 walkers, 7 miles - leader Pete Colley

Undeterred by the premature loss of a hill and the gain of a mile, 12 of us set off to explore the heights, sights and delights of South London. My first walk as leader went more or less according to plan, with only a small number of hesitations, repetitions and deviations.

The route: Forest Hill (‘The Capitol’ Spoons), Havelock Walk, Horniman Museum & Gardens, Dulwich and Sydenham Woods, Sydenham Hill, Dulwich College, Belair Park, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Dulwich Park, Herne Hill Velodrome, Knight’s Hill, Brockwell Park, Herne Hill, Ruskin Park and Denmark Hill (‘Fox on the Hill’ Spoons)

Seen off by a double rainbow, past a building housing an overstuffed walrus, we navigated our way through the woods. Next, a tollbooth where sheep were charged at 2 1/2d (per sheep or in total? Who counted them through? How did they stay awake?). Skirting Dulwich, the highlight (for most) was the track meeting at Herne Hill Velodrome, where Sir Bradley (and many others) discovered his legs.

On through Brockwell and Ruskin Parks, with views over the city, we arrived at Denmark Hill intact and, on the whole, cheerful. Might do this again sometime…  

Report by Pete Colley

Photographs by Julie Welch 

 

Haywards Heath to Three Bridges, Saturday 21st April 2018
 
10 walkers, 20 miles - leader Peter Buchwald

A gallimaufry of ancient woodland
Interspersed with grass meadows
Rivers ruining red with oxide of iron
Viridiaian grass on the brown earth.

Bluebells and primroses in flower
Gave colour to the forest floor
Old hammer ponds shimmered
Between the trunks of ancient trees.

Forges once used the wood and water
Fashioning guns and ploughshares
From the locally produced iron ore
These forests now stand silently
In memory of an ancient industry
Once common among these forest groves.

 

Report & photographs by Peter Buchwald

 
 

3Ws and a B(Hive), Sunday 15th April 2018

11 walkers, 19 miles – leader Julie Welch


With our injured route designer Colin providing a cameo role by popping up along the way to cheer us on, eleven of us set off from Wembley after posing for the camera outside the national stadium and hotfooted it via the Capital Ring (which included a magnificent 360 degree panorama over North and North-west London) and Roe Green Park to The Hive, home of Colin’s team, Barnet FC. From there it was a muddy but enjoyable yomp along part of the London Loop to Aldenham Reservoir for an early lunch stop, an exciting crossing of Elstree Aerodrome field and runway, and a refreshment stop at The Round Bush pub. At nearby Aldenham village, we picked up the Hertfordshire Way and then the Ver-Colne valley Walk, which took us alongside the very lovely Colne river to Watford. The weather, which had been overcast but pleasantly mild, had turned to rain by the time we reached Watford F.C.s stadium at Vicarage Road but fortunately by then we were close to the inevitable journey’s end – Wetherspoon’s Moon Under Water in Watford High Street. Many thanks to Colin for putting together such a great route.


Report and photos by Julie Welch


Richmond Park, Wednesday 11th April 2018

6 walkers, 7 miles - leader Colin Saunders

We were 6 yesterday: Gordon P, Dave W, Hilary S, Casilda (Spanish lady), another Dave whose surname I can’t remember, and me.  The walk went according to plan though the distance was actually just under 7 miles, and conditions underfoot were very wet: Richmond Station, East Sheen Common, Bog Gate into Richmond Park, Roehampton Gate (toilets), White Lodge, Pen Ponds, Isabella Plantation (toilets), Thatched House Lodge, Kingston Gate to Kingston station and the Kings Tun ‘Spoons.  At Thatched House Lodge we were buzzed by the parks police and a security officer as it was getting dark and it’s the home of Princess Alexandra, but I had taken the precaution of agreeing the route and time in advance with the park superintendent so they were sent on their way, as were we.


Edenbridge to Tonbridge, Saturday 31st March 2018

6 walkers, 18 miles - leader Keith Lane

4 mudlarks triumphed over the confusion and travel disruption to start at Edenbridge Town Station  2 potential mudlarks didn’t manage to overcome the difficulties. The 4 mudlarks waded through mud and standing water to climb Up Crockenham Hill and followed the mud to Mariners Hill, Chartwell and undulated their way to French Street and on to Toys Hill  At Ide Hill (the lunch stop in the middle of the planned walk) there were 2 more mudlarks awaiting them. Now there were 6 mudlarks but not for long as one decided to cut short the walk and follow the Greensand Way to Sevenoaks. Now there were 5 mudlarks descending through the mud to the Medway Valley.  4 of the mudlarks reached Tonbridge Station just in time to miss the 17:19 to Victoria.  Two mudlarks decided to head for the Wetherspoons to meet up with the sole mudlark who had gone there directly. Now there were 3 mudlarks. 1 mudlark stayed in the Wetherspoons and the 2 remaining mudlarks caught the 18:19 train to Victoria to get home and start the cleaning up operationSurprisingly, the 4 then 6 then 5 then 3 then 2 mudlarks endured the mud, water-logging , confusion, travel disturbance and, some heavy rain with remarkable good humour and forbearance and even seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Report & Photo by Keith Lane


Streatham Common to South Wimbledon, Wednesday 28th March 2018

4 walkers, 7 miles - leader Peter Buchwald

There were 4 people including myself, 11.71km and we saw some amorous toads on the path towards the end.

 


Sevenoaks Circular, Saturday 24th March 2018

 
9 walkers, 21.0 miles - leader Jerome Ripp
 
A mild if cloudy spring day for a hilly (800 metres ascent) route, mainly to north of town; Daren’t valley path lead to North Downs and a break at Knockholt. The long wooded ridges above the Darent took us into Shoreham for a picnic lunch by the river and one of the group departed north which saved the leader the trouble of losing the required 10%. East into the remote area of an abandoned golf course with a loop around the appropriately named Round Hill to the promised pub at Romney Street. Despite being on the new map, it had bitten the dust some 2 years ago so for liquid refreshment we pressed on through more hilly woods to the North Downs way and the glorious view above Kemsing. The Bell Inn was still alive and open for much needed refreshment and then down to Seal and a final section in the lovely Knole park before arriving back at Sevenoaks station which was fortunately in the same place as we had left it in the morning, just in time for a train. All well planned as usual by the leader!!

 


Hampstead to Wetherspoons, Thursday 22nd March 2018

 
7 walkers, 6.5 miles - leader Godfrey O'Callaghan
 
Seven including the leader met at Hampstead for an enjoyable seven mile evening romp. We began by visiting Hampstead Parish Church, the last resting place of a few notable people including two that made a significant contribution to our lives. John Constable the artist is interred there and so is John Harrison the clock maker. The later being the subject of some discussion for a while. Harrison solved the problem of calculating longitude by inventing the marine chronometer. From there we used a few back lanes to reach Jack Straw’s Castle and then on to the heath visiting the view points of Parliament Hill and another adjacent to Kenwood House. We transferred to Park Walk via Highgate roads full of exclusive residencies. Ultimately, of course, we headed for the closest Wetherspoon’s pub to Finsbury Park Station but we were in for a shock - it as no longer a Wetherspoon’s. I had been two years previously. The leader had become a sad victim of too much dependency on Google information. The taste of curry which had been lingering on some lips was replaced by the taste of disappointment. At the end we were joined by two others who had made their own way having missed the start. 

 


Capital Challenge Marshalls Walk, Sunday 18th March 2018

 
8 walkers 28 miles - leader Gordon Parker
 
8 people ignored the apocalyptic weather forecasts promising a mini-Beast from the East and left the BFI on the South Bank at 0830. It was neither as cold nor as icy as we had feared: the wind was very cold but nowhere near as strong as we expected. Colin Saunders waved us off and departed with his sore Achiles Tendon to th eTrafalgar Square 'Spoons for breakfast.
Too cold to snack outdoors we stopped for lunch at the cafe in Golders Hill Park and for a warm drink at the Coal House Cafe in Woodberry Wetlands.
 
With a great sense of satisfaction it took us 9 hours 42 minutes to reach the View Tube Cafe.
 
Report by Gordon Parker

Photograph by Jean O'Reilly

 


Greenwich Circular, Thursday 15th March 2018

 

8 walkers, 7 miles - leader Lonica Vanclay

 

8 of us in total walked quickly in a figure of eight through just about every corner of Greenwich Park - and very nice it was too.  Then across the wide open expanses of Blackheath with lots of London's near and far lights all around us before heading down for a short stretch along the river to complete the almost 7 miles.   Did the rain hold off..... yes!  Just not quite enough time or light to admire all the architectural wonders......for that come in summer (6th June!)

 

 


Staines to Rickmansworth pt 2, Tuesday 13th March 2018
Northwood Hills to Rickmansworth
 
4 walkers, 11 miles - leader Godfrey O'Callaghan

Mud! Slippery mud, squelching mud, pull-your-boots-off-mud. The heavy rain of yesterday left the ground saturated. The intrepid though do not give it too much thought - or, rather, give voice to the thought apart for the odd expletive. So we squelched and slithered our way across Ruislip Woods and along the Hillingdon Trail - with probably the best signage of any trial in the country - to eventually reach the Colne Valley and the Grand Union Canal. On the way we stopped to look over the graves in the Anzac cemetery at Harefield Church. The Colne Valley, shared with the Grand Union Canal is a watery landscape shared with old gravel pits now filled with water and water fowl. Four of London Group made the walk which began at Northwood Hills Station and finished at Rickmansworth. The day was cloudy with a little sun at times but still so that the watery world provided plenty of mirror like reflections. A good outing nicely finished off at the Wetherspoon’s in Rickmansworth


Winter Lee Valley Circular, Sunday 11th March 2018

20 walkers, 18 miles - leader Lonica Vanclay

20 people came out with me on the 18 mile walk with mud and hills in the morning; lunch at Waltham Abbey then through just about every inch of the Lee Valley Country Park in the afternoon.  We took in 19 (or was it 20?) sculptures and managed to avoid the rain.   A repeat with an extension in June is on offer - and by then the trees will be green and it will all look very different. 

Report & photographs by Lonica Vanclay


Wilkes & Liberty (Parliament Square to Clerkenham), Wednesday 7th March 2018

12 walkers, 8 miles - leader Chris Hedley

12 people came along for a fun evening celebrating the life of 18th century
libertarian MP John Wilkes. We discovered riots and scenes of carnage on
the roundabouts and squares of central London on a cold bright evening.


Christmas in the Chilterns, Saturday 3rd March 2018

4 walkers, 17 miles - leader Peter Aylmer.
 
When the walk title was set, it was meant only to be a simple play on our lunchtime pub stop, in the hamlet of Christmas Common. Little did I know then that we would spend the whole day in the snow-girt landscapes of Christmas-card-Dickensian tradition! Alas - on a day when the national LDWA walks page turned into a sea of red thanks to cancellations - the weather might have cut the numbers a bit; that, and the unconventional means of access, the very wonderful Oxford Tube motorway bus that drops you just below the Chiltern ridge. But our dedicated hard core thoroughly enjoyed their tramp to the beautiful isolated church at Swyncombe, past last-chance toboggan families, up and down through wooded dells - who knew the Chilterns could have so many hidden side-valleys? - and finally through the National Nature Reserve at Aston Rowant. By now the thaw was starting to set in, and ahead of us we could see darker clouds. A quarter-hour into our bus ride home, the rain began, sweeping away the snow.
 
Report and Photographs by Peter Aylmer
 

 

Staines to Rickmansworth, Thursday 1st March 2018

No walkers, no miles - leader Godfrey O'Callaghan

The walk didn't go ahead. There was no one at the start. It didn't surprise me. The trains were badly disrupted. Three group members contacted me to say they would not be there. It is rescheduled for the 13th.

Report by Godfrey O'Callaghan

 


Croydon to Woldingham, Saturday 24th February 2018

23 walkers 18 miles - leader Dave Williams

23 walkers ( inc. 2 laggards ! ) turned up to help the leader celebrate his 54th. birthday.
Suffice to say that no one was left disappointed  ( well, nearly no one ! ) as the walk had something to please all tastes including a death-defying descent, spectacular tumbles, plenty of culture ( the leader's speciality ! ) & to top it all a master class in leadership skills !!
Against all the odds everyone survived, the only casualty being 1 poor soul who tried to negotiate 1 of the descents on his backside !
And to top it all we reached the finish in daylight having covered just on 18 miles.
The mean average age of the Group was approx. 105 !!!

Photograph by Keith Lane

 


Staines to Ruislip, Thursday 22nd February 2018

4 walkers 19.5 miles - leader Godfrey O'Callaghan

Four group members turned out for the walk from Staines, but not to Ruislip Manor as planned, for along the way various other destinations were introduced. The day began cold and inhospitable and the landscape was a bit that way too as it had little going for it for the first hour and half. But when once we were clear of industry, waste and motorways the sun came through and things, and the scenery, improved quickly and the walk took on the aspects one might associate with a path alongside a winding river course in level country. There were delights such as long stretches of snowdrops, a protected sun bathed seat outside of golf course club house (presumably for members!) and the kind of light and reflections that abound around water. A pop up is, perhaps by definition, unrehearsed with no recce having been done and is in some sense a route into the unknown - for the leader. Most walks are probably a route into the unknown for everyone else. By Uxbridge Dave was in need of a Wetherspoons and so he went his way. Then Chris from Woolwich announced he had his walking legs on and begged to increase his pace, aiming for a destination unknown, even to himself at that point. Shortly after Paul and your author turned for West Ruislip station as Paul had a tickets to the opera. So we never reached Ruislip Manor at all. Such is the flexibility of a pop-up. It was my first and I think I like the idea. I had lazily estimated 16 miles but Paul’s digital mileage calculator showed it to be 17.5. But it was a pop up.

 


Atmospheric London, Wednesday 21st February 2018

10 walkers, 7 miles - leader Ian Fairweather

Walk went well. About 7.1 miles.  Finished at 8:35pm

 

 


 

Lewes Ascents, Saturday 17th February 2018

10 walkers, 20 miles - leader Christopher Hedley

We had a really excellent walk on Saturday with outstanding weather on an outstanding route.  I think photos may have been put on the London Facebook page. 

There were 10 LDWA members with an average age of about 45, who managed 32 km and 1,250 metres of ascent in almost exactly 7 hours walking

 


Cultural and Historic East End, Thursday 15th February 2018

13 walkers, 7 miles - leader Gordon Parker

13 people including 3 first-timers joined me on a fine clear night for a 7 mile walk from Mile End and Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park via Bethnal Green and Shoreditch to Liverpool Street Station. Notes of some of the places of interest we passed and a GPX track are attached.

Report by Gordon Parker

 

Click below for the description of the walk

Mile_End_to_Liverpool_St_Feb2018.pdf

Click below for the GPX file

ME_to_LivSt_Feb18.gpx

 

 

 


 

 

Option C, Sunday 11th February 2018

22 walkers, 17 miles - leader Peter Jull

Despite an unintended clash with The Punchbowl, 22 gathered under clear blue skies and sheltered from the forecast strong winds at Higham station including one Neil Higham (eventually). Split half from Venus and half from Mars one from Sussex spoilt an equal split betwixt London & Kent. Once off road it was across fairly flat fields to the village of Cliffe. Leaving through the churchyard revealed a sparkling in the sunshine and positively perceived view across the Medway estuary, albeit dominated by the Grain oil terminal,  which was over appreciated by one who paused too long photographing and when combined with a bush break was lost off the back. Mutual mobile numbers enabled successful recovery directions to be given. A lakeside gravel track was a break from mud but weaving round plentiful puddles added distance. More weaving through puddly sheep fields was beside a well graffitied freight train waiting to collect gravel from the quarrying that had created the lakes. Across its tracks a few times (twice unintentionally) and Chalk churchyard was chosen for a picnic lunch stop. Walking on was ear bitingly exposed during explanations of which fields would succumb to the cutting and tunnel entrance of the Lower Thames Crossing Option C and across the golf course which would soon become two halves. Local youths on off road motor bikes were churning up woodland paths used to traverse between two footpaths in fields nearest the new A2 junction which will be truncated by the connection. Heading for home involved skirting Shorne Woods Country Park and village and Dickens’ Gads Hill home with up and downs now more pronounced. Gathering clouds had produced only one brief whitey shower before the final fields down to the station completed a pleasant winter walk.

Report & Photographs Peter Jull

 


 

Pymmes Brook Trail & the Marshes, Saturday 3rd February 2018


20 walkers, 18.5 miles - leader Jerome Ripp

Colin Saunders has been working on a revised route for this North to East London trail and writing a new book. Injury prevented him from leading the walk but he had sent me a detailed draft and bravely turned up for the start to provide short talk and introduction to the route. We set off from High Barnet station with grey overcast skies and thin drizzle which was with us for most of the day. A short distance on the London Loop to reach the headwaters of the Brook flowing out of Jacks Lake and then followed it through a variety of parks to our lunch stop after 8.5 miles at Palmers Green where there was  something for everyone’s taste with a choice of picnic in the churchyard, multiple coffee shops or the Alfred Herring Wetherspoons pub. 
Colin’s route description was superb throughout and navigated us through/under/over the dreaded North Circular to Pymmes Park where his new section started, heading south east through the back streets of Edmonton to Tottenham Marshes and the Lea Valley walk where we rejoined the Brook for its final showing before it plunged into the river Lee. A final fast stretch along the towpath and Hackney March should have lead to the official walk finish at Hackney Wick but with the Overground not working, some peeled off early but most of us made it to the alternative finish at Stratford station. 


Report by Leader Jerome Ripp

 


Rickmansworth Circular, Sunday 28th January 2018

21 walkers, 19 miles - leader Godfrey O'Callaghan

21 people turned out for the walk from Rickmansworth on Sunday. The day started dull and cloudy and mainly stayed that way except for a couple of hours earlier on. The walk first headed through the town, stopping to take in the Wetherspoon’s on the way - named after William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, who once lived in Rickmansworth High Street. From there it was on to the canal before turning uphill and inland by way of Croxley Green. A navigational error at one point took us through a private wood where we found the most magnificent display of Snowdrops where followed a polite conversation with the lady of the manor on who’s estate we had blundered. On then, across an open landscape to Church End where we had a short break and some lucky enough to be offered spare coffee at the church. From there we dropped down to the Chess Valley before climbing to Chorleywood common and The Swillet. Further on we passed a construction site for HS2. Lunch was in the open overlooking one of the many lakes along the valley. Water birds provided some good entertainment. The route then joined the Hillingdon trail and, a little later, the London Loop where some worthwhile mud was found. A descent of Moor Park golf course proved a fitting finale, crossing clean earth and passing the stunning Grade I listed Palladian mansion, now the Moor Park Golf Club club house. Once more back in Rickmansworth data from various devices was discussed and a consensus reached that the distance was 19 miles - or as near as dammit!

 

Report & photographs by Godfrey O'Callaghan



An Ecclesiastical Odyssey again, Mid week daytime Pop Up, Friday 26th January 2018

22 walkers, 13 miles - leader Ron Williamson

Start  10:50   Finish 17:15

A break in the wet and windy weather of the past week enabled the "Pop Uppers" to enjoy this second ecclesiastical odyssey in a sunny City.

With only a few brief excursions outside the boundary of the square mile some 13 miles were covered with over 500 ft of climb, although the G.P. S. readings once again varied alarmingly.

Our Hall of Fame now lists 34 members who have completed the course, inc. 4 stalwarts on two occasions.

Whilst the Role of Shame shows that one member has attempted the challenge twice but failed to finish on both occasions. (probably on purpose, he likes his picture taken)

A comparison between yesterday and last year, for those interested in such things.

 

 

Jan 2018

Nov 2017

Sites passed                                                                        

 

58 (100%)

58(100%)

Of which extended visit                    

 

17

10

Named thoroughfares used                                          

 

192

179

Significant changes of direction (intentional)                                              

 

241

223

Significant changes of direction (unintentional)            

 

0

2

Walkers lost and never found                                            

 

0

0

Walkers sloping off                                                              

 

3

3

Challenge Completed by

 

19

19

Report by Ron Willamson

Photographs by Keith Lane 

 


Selborne and the Hangers Way, Sunday 21st January 2018

2 walkers, 15 miles - leader Chris Hedley

I had just one hardy soul turn up for my Liss to Selbourne walk yesterday to walk over in the rainforest on extremely muddy tracks. Nevertheless, we had an uplifting and invigorating walk, really getting a god feel for the place.  We took the opportunity to visit three superb local churches with some really wonderful old yew trees.

 


Sea, Sun and Sand, Mid week daytime Pop Up, Friday 19th January 2018

14 walkers inc. 1 guest, 16 miles for some, 13 for most,and 1160ft of height gain - leader Ron Williamson

Once again the pop-uppers were blessed with glorious weather as we returned to the sunshine capital of the U.K..  Our route from Pitsea station negotiated the former marshland of Pitsea and Benfleet  before climbing steadily towards the heights of Thundersley  from whence a roller coaster route returned us to the outskirts of Benfleet before crossing farm land, and into Hadleigh Country Park.

An ideal spot for lunch at the Salvation Army Cafe, adjacent to the Olympic mountain bike course, encouraged the leader to modify the planned route and add one or two extra hills. 

After lunch, therefore, our thighs continued to burn as we descended steeply to the Thames flood plain only to climb again to Hadleigh Castle: an exercise to be repeated three further times at Leigh, Westcliff and finally Southend itself.

This invigorating warm up stimulated our female contingent to request a walk extension of 2.66 miles to the pier head  and back. Who could refuse such a request?  Well the majority did having sensed the close proximity of the local Wetherspoons. So it was only 4 members  who had the privilege to  watch the sun dip into the sea at the end of a perfect day.

Report by Ron Williamson 

Footnote - St. Margaret's Church - Bowers Gifford  (see photograph)

There has probably been a church on the grounds since Saxon times and the original would have been made of wood.

A stone church was built by Sir John Giffard in the early fourteenth century and traces of this building still remain in the South wall (circa 1320) and West doorway. The church was a gift of the Lords of the manor, the Giffards, who eventually gave their name to the small village of Bowers Gifford. Sir John fought in the battle Crecy and there is an incomplete brass of him in full armour in the Sanctury.

The church is built mainly of Kentish ragstone with a tower and wooden spire which was added in Tudor times. In the bell tower, which is reached by twenty five steeply winding steps, three bells are housed, all of which are original fourteenth century. The bells are amongst the oldest in the County and are still rung regularly. There is also a fifteenth century Piscina (free standing basin for washing sacred vessels) and a sixteenth century wooden Font cover. The glorious East window made by ( Lavers, Barraud, Westlake ) won a Gold Medal at the Paris Exhibition of 1870 and was installed at the church in 1871.

Footnote added by Keith Lane

Photos by Keith Lane

 

Photos by Gavin Fuller


Photos by Godffrey O'Callaghan


 


“Walk to the Abbey” Saturday 13th January 2018

21 walkers,  20 miles - leader Jerome Ripp

Starting at Radlett, we were soon into woodland and across fields to join the Hertfordshire Way heading east to the first of 5 Motorway crossings over the M25 near the south Mimms service station. Another fine stretch of woodland lead to the remote North Mimms church and estate park. Lunch at the Crooked Billet in Colney Heath was a very pleasant affair with huge plates of cheesy chips being shared around.


The rather grey murky weather steadily improved over the day and some blue skies appeared for the afternoon section on the Watling Chase Trail around the peaceful Willow lakes passing first a family of geese who seemed to be on their afternoon stroll and later a delightful pram train ride near the family outing farm.

Now following the rivers Colne and later Ver, we headed north to reach our destination of St. Alban’s cathedral above Verulanium park, just as the sun set. Walking through the market area as it was closing lead to the only split up of the group all day but fortunately all made it by some method to the station just before 5. A most pleasant walk in such a built up area and surprisingly no natural wastage.

Photos by Gavin Fuller

 


Jubilee Walkway, Wednesday 10th January 2018

3 walkers, 6 miles - leader Colin Saunders

Here’s a report of Wednesday’s walk, such as it was.  As you know, I’m crocked at present but went to Leicester Square station at the advertised time.  Three members turned up: Paul Lawrence and two unconnected new members, Stacey Holloway and Richard something.  I gave them each a route description and they set off under Paul’s guidance.  All three said they would only do the Western Loop of 6 miles then go home.  However, Dave Williams was recce-ing his proposed tour of central London Wetherspoons for a future walk and joined me in the pub while the others were walking.  On our way back to Leicester Square, we bumped into the three walkers on their way to the pub!  I didn’t waited for them there as planned as they had told me they’d go straight home, but they seemed to have enjoyed themselves and the newbies said they would go again.

 


Into Hampshire, Saturday 6th January 2018

16 walkers, 19 miles - leader Nigel Heys

Sixteen people braved the cold to start the walk from Farnham Station. They walked through the park by the River Wey and through the old part of the market town before climbing onto the downs and crossing into Hampshire. The undulating route was through fields and woods to the luch stop at the Hen & Chicken at Upper Froyle. Suitably fortified the return route was through Upper Froyle with religious statues in niches on the house walls and past a wedding at Froyle Park. The group then passed Montgomery of Alamein's home at Isington Mill before climbing the downs and dropping down again to Bentley Station. The route from there to the end at Farnham Station was mainly along the railway with alpacas and horses in the fields. Despite the mud the dry weather made it an enjoyable walk.

 


Hangover Buster: Hawksmoor Churches (Linear), New Year's Day 2018

31 walkers, 11 miles - Leader Susanne Waldschmidt

Clearly Hawkesmoor Churches draw LDWA members like wasps to a jar of marmalade.  31 were gathered at Russell Square Tube, for our inaugural walk though I wasn’t too sure if we hadn’t picked up a couple of London Walks folks as well.  I did warn everyone this was going to be an 11 mile walk, visiting all 6 of the churches.  Lovely relaxing walk with lots to see on the way. The stunning mural in Cable Street was clearly a revelation for many in the group.  No New Year Parades, almost no traffic and no crowds till we got to Greenwich.  The weather was kind and it wasn’t too cold.  The morning cloud disappeared and by the time we got to Greenwich there was a beautiful view of the sun setting over the river.  A nice porter let us into St George in the East with its church within a church.  No one got lost or dropped out until Greenwich.  At the end many of us were treated to an after hours visit of St Alfege by another nice person, while others slipped off to Wetherspoons for their spiritual refreshment.
There were 4 non-members though not too easy to keep track of everyone.