Walk Reports and Photos 2019 (Jan - Apr)

Farewell New River, Saturday 27th April 2019

16 walkers, 19 miles - leader Peter Aylmer.

A walk of two halves - a largely wooded first half, much of it in Hertfordshire's only National Nature Reserve Broxbourne Woods, and then a second half that principally followed the remarkable early 17th-century watercourse the New River. And splendidly placed for lunch, the county town of Hertford, with an up-to-date Wetherspoons for those who like that sort of thing.

In Broxbourne Woods - the northernmost limit of the hornbeam tree in England, we found - we crossed the Roman Road of Ermine Street and encountered a tree-sculpture trail. Out of the woods, we had a short break at the village of Bayford, before dropping down close to the railway (largely out of sight thanks to tree cover) into Hertford - other than a small ring road, a town that hasn't been mucked around with too much. After lunch we were soon at the Gauge House by the River Lea, starting point of the New River, which was to be our guide all the way back to Broxbourne station. It's a remarkably varied stretch, sometimes close to road or railway but more often quiet and pastoral, though with a grittier industrial section near Rye House. At Ware we even held up a bus so that a pair of ducks could make it away from the road and back to the river! The sun finally made an appearance as we managed the final mile past the grand houses of northern Broxbourne.

Photographs by Peter on the group Facebook site


Dunton Green and The North Downs Way, Saturday 20th April 2019

17 walkers, 18.5 miles - leader Adam Pode.

No report received for this walk.

Photographs by Barry Arnold on the group Facebook site


Timeball and Telegraph Trail Pt 5, Chilham to Deal, Sunday 14th April 2019

13 walkers, 27 miles - leader Peter Jull.

A giant from Dorset seduced away several stalwarts and engineering works messing travel plans may have deterred others so it was 13 who left Chilham to retrace up Julliberrie Down back to the Trail proper. Through woods, budding bluebells were not yet blueing the undergrowth as they would in a week or two. Down and up Yockletts Bank is the steepest climb of the day and the valley views from the top impressive but short and one sided so not a semaphore spot.  Through a pinking orchard we’re too soon for the soon to come full effect. A rape field is fully yellow though before down and up to Bossingham village hall at a timely moment for lunch. Chairs stacked outside surreptitiously supplemented its jubilee bench. On a day when sheltered sunshine was warm but exposed cloudy was chilling, the stop coincided with a cloudy spell so we soon moved on. Down and up to reach a later field, two resident horses quietly joined the queue for our exit stile but they weren’t Aintree entrants so were left behind. Down and up some more and the peaceful rurality enjoyed so far was noised away by traffic as we approached and crossed the A2 but soon blown away on the breeze as we reached telegraph station No1 of the day on Barham Downs at Womenswold. Crossing the approach field had a better view of the Admiralty bound line of sight though a gap in nearer hills which was blocked by trees at the actual spot as was the Deal bound view.  A mid-afternoon, two thirds distance, stop in Nonington churchyard caught a sunny spell allowing a longer linger. With downs and ups now shallower the hill on which Telegraph Farm marks the spot is only relatively high and new (<200 years) trees block the view again. A more narrowly reinstated rape field yellows trousers before the busiest road walked on all day which was still not very. More fields to minimise the urban distance of the last stretch into Deal and 27 miles was done in 9 hours at the Timeball Tower on the seafront. Debbie Wilkes, Cathy Waters, Jackie Barker, Peter Jull, Rex Stickland, Michael Headley & David Thomas from Surrey, Kent and London groups completed all 5 legs and 103 miles of the Timeball & Telegraph Trail.

Photographs by Peter Jull, more by Barry Arnold on the group Facebook site


High Weald Drifter, Pop-Up Walk Saturday 13th April 2019

6 walkers, 20 miles, - leader Andy Davies

Six set off on the High Weald Landscape Trail on a cool but fine day passing Standen, an Arts & Crafts house (architect Philip Webb who designed the Red House in Bexleyheath for William Morris), and the 16thC Priests House in West Hoathly which once belonged to Lewes Priory then inevitably Henry VIII. We also saw Weir Wood reservoir (1954), primroses, bluebells, steam trains with vintage carriages, and many fine landscapes and views on the way to Horsted Keynes and lunch at the very quiet and pleasant Crown Inn. Walking continued on the Sussex Border Path past lakes and ponds with more crystal clear views to the South Downs, and featured an entertaining game of 'Hide the Stile' played with a small herd of frisky bullocks. 

The leader was slightly disappointed that only one of the group identified the cinematic reference in the walk title (Clint Eastwood's "High Plains Drifter"), but pleased toward the day's end when we rounded the cow shed at Busses Farm to see a man  in a broad-brimmed hat with head bowed sitting on a bench outside the farmhouse who raised his head to smile and greet us. Was that a poncho wrapped around him? 


The City Plaques 100, Pop-Up Walk Friday 12th April 2019

22 walkers, 14 miles, - leader Ron Williamson

The task of locating the plethora of plaques listed in today’s challenge was easily achieved by our enthusiastic explorers. In total 114 sites were visited each one a vignette of the unrivalled depth and diversity of London’s past.

Details of the plaques visited can be downloaded from https://www.ldwa.org.uk/lgt/downloads/London/City_plaques_100.pdf  so that they can be used as an anytime challenge.

Some statistics from our walk:

Start time 10:48

Finish     17:39 i.e.4 mins inside the target time

Total number of plaques visited 114 commemorating:

10 sites of guild halls

21 places of worship

7 city gates

26 other buildings

17 institutions and miscellaneous

33 people

Over 200 changes in direction and 170 different named thoroughfares used

Finally special thanks to Godfrey who enthusiastically agreed to be co-leader so that we could split into two groups and thereby making it far easier to ensure that nobody was lost in the crowds.

Photographs by Paul Lawrence. More can be seen at https://photos.app.goo.gl/zG3hwLtWg1abdCuY9


South London Mega Tour, Sunday 31st March 2019

3 walkers, 19 miles, - leader Jerome Ripp

Transport difficulties caused the start at Clapham Junction to be delayed by 30 minutes.The route was a repeat of 2 summer evening walks; the morning section was Wandsworth common to join the Capital Ring to Tooting common, Streatham vale and a coffee stop in Mitcham. The vast pleasant green expanse of Mitcham common was followed by some urban footpaths which seemed to resemble walking inside a litter bin. The Wandle Trail was the next green corridor with lunch stop at Morden hall cafe. A series of parks; Morden which was a real green park, Motspur which had some footpaths and Worcester which was just a vast housing estate and finally following the Hogsmill river on the Thames Downs Link which is now a very pleasant nature reserve with the sun coming out to add some spring joy and finishing at Berrylands station


Billingshurst Circular, Saturday 30th March 2019

19 walkers, 21.4 miles, 886ft of ascent - leader Lonica Varclay

Fabulous sunny spring weather with the flowers, blossoms and even some fresh green leaf shoots out in their full glory.  18 walkers joined me for a 21 mile walk from Billingshurst through fields, woods, heathlands and river meadows and even a vineyard.  Some beautiful timbered old houses en route....and cows, horses, alpacas and a deer...and even some decent mud.  Just one short sharp hill and a few gentle rises giving great views of the South Downs and the Weald the other side.  A quintessential English spring day’s walk. Some of us raced to catch the train so not even a wait for that; others finished the day with a tipple in the very busy pub.   

Photos by Gavin Fuller; more photos by Gavin on the group Facebook site


Gipping Valley River Path, Pop-Up Walk Tuesday 26th March 2019

11 walkers, 19 miles, 315ft of ascent - leader Pete Colley

Eleven of us took advantage of the reasonably priced advance tickets to Stowmarket, deep in the heart of Suffolk. [Apologies to those who turned up on the day and fled at the £90 return fare].

After an uninspiring first mile along the River Gipping - through Stowmarket’s charmless industrial complex, home to Dulux paints and Muntons’ maltings - an authorised detour allowed us to avoid a further 1½ miles of factories and add 300ft of ascent to an otherwise gently descending river walk. The detour took us past two lonely churches and re-joined the river at the picturesque Badley Mill.

The morning section meandered through quiet meadows and past Needham Market, bathed by a delightful spring sun under blue skies. The more exotic wildlife (herons, kingfishers, otters) were clearly having a quiet day in; their more common cousins (ducks, geese, swans, cows) almost made up for their absence. The clouds arrived as we approached the lunch stop at Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm. Although we were a couple of weeks too early to cuddle a lamb, the farm café served a mean cuppa and some fine farm fare.

The afternoon section passed by several privately-owned, heavily-fenced fishing lakes that were formerly sand and gravel quarries, dating back to Roman times. On the approach into Ipswich, the boisterous A14 dual carriageway closed in but the townies among us were able to block out the traffic and focus on the meadows and rolling farmlands.

Entering urban Ipswich through the back door, the river secretly changed its name to the Orwell and demonstrated some tidal tendencies. The final stretch of riverside path gave us a glimpse of the town’s underbelly; not the prettiest of ends to a pleasant day’s stroll. Those of us who had booked an early return train headed to the station whilst a hardy bunch of travellers headed off to find some cricketers (https://www.jdwetherspoon.com/pubs/all-pubs/england/suffolk/the-cricketers-ipswich).

Photos by Gavin Fuller; more photos by Gavin on the group Facebook site


Timeball and Telegraph Trail Pt 4, Teynham to Chilham, Sunday 24th March 2019

19 walkers, 19 miles - leader Peter Jull.

Signals from The Admiralty strengthened slightly with 19 walkers rapidly reaching rural out of Teynham. South of the A2 3x horse electric across the right of way were a right irritation to get past. Picnic perfect logs atop Ospringe’s Telegraph Bank were reached too soon, so just a tree free pause to view the views the telegraph operators would have had. Down & up & down to Ospringe’s churchyard which was reached more timely for elevenses. South of the M2 it was fairly flat barring one valley crossing before a suddenly steep ascent of Windmill Hill. At the top Roman era earthworks within which the shutter station was contemporaneously described as standing are hardly identifiable, now overgrown with trees & ferns. Picnic lunchers left at benches the only slippery mud of the day sloped down to the Rose & Crown. Their kitchen was caught unprepared so longer than intended was spent in their garden basking in post equinox sunshine. Up the adjacent hill to a country park installed viewing point (nicknamed the pulpit) to see what would have been seeable in pre-tree days. Embarrassed away by Rex, Ian Paisleying loudly from the top with innocent picnickers nearby, it was back into orchard country but blossoms not yet blooming. Up to cross the North Downs Way then down with grand views of grand Godmersham Park to cross the Stour at a picturesque spot. Up the valley’s other side it was time to leave the Trail for Chilham station 2 miles off. Nearly there and the level crossing gates dropped against us. But the train was Canterbury bound and there was 5 minutes spare to get round the corner to the London bound platform.

Photographs by Peter Jull, more by Stephen Lannon on the group Facebook site


Why Wycombe is High, Saturday 23rd March 2019

11 walkers, 18 miles, 2,200ft of ascent - leader Jerome Ripp

The first walk of spring and the weather responded with a grey start steadily improving to a bright warm day. The hilly walk promised was delivered with some real corkers especially the climb out of Bryant's Bottom on the additional loop section. Lots of lovely quite dry woodland which all looked the same ( and sometimes it was!) and glorious views across valleys and isolated habitations. The morning section to the north visited Cryers Hill, Speen, Walters Ash and picnic lunch on the vast village green at Bradenham. The nearby Red Lion had metamorphosed from a pub to a coffee shop but provided adequate refreshment for all tastes. We all stormed up the next (off piste) hill, a long quiet ridge to West Wycombe and a final half loop south before the urban walk back to the station. The leader even gained an extra brownie point for providing certain members of the group with their favourite hostelry.

Photos by Gavin Fuller; more photos by Gavin on the group Facebook site


Golders Green to Stratford, Pop-Up Walk Tuesday 19th March 2019

17 walkers, 17 miles - leader Ron Williamson

“After the storm comes the sunshine,

Bursting through grey of the clouds,

Fresh damp grass smelling so sweetly,

Makes one glad to be far from the Crowds!”

George Hughes.

At last the gales and driving rain of the past two weeks abated and today’s walkers had ideal conditions as they successfully negotiated the last 15 miles of the Capital Challenge route.  Thanks to Joelle and George’s route description interpretation all went to plan and we even had time for a full circumnavigation of a certain North London cemetery. 


Timeball and Telegraph Trail Pt 3, Rochester to Teynham, Sunday 10th March 2019

18 walkers, 21 miles - leader Peter Jull

By the time trains had deposited walkers at Rochester station the cathedral bells had stopped but the sun had come out. Marched to Rochester Castle to do the bit shortcutted at the end of the last leg, 18 were force photographed in front of the keep, its streaming flag stretching its shrouds. Michael’s hat retrieved and crashing tree limb dodged the bells had begun again but only audible downwind as we crunched twiglets and larger along park paths. Rochester invisibly became Chatham and a short riverside stretch with progress preventing gusts before many steps up to the grand naval war memorial. Down the other side Chatham morphed into Gillingham. Freshly toileted and missing man found, more riverside through a boatyard with rattling rigging screaming before becoming country park. A three-bench sheltered spot sufficed for elevenses viewing tide out mud fiat grey before the biggest fence flattening faller of the day forced a furlong detour. Staying on the Saxon Shore Way a potential lunch pub was eschewed for lack of picnic comfort. The next was more timely and with nearby playground benching, but there was no room at the inn with space only in the stable (smoking shelter) and the wait for food too long. Departure coincided with a short shower but before Callum Hill was topped the sun was back lighting the views its telegraph station would have had. Blown down the other side a struggling straggler signed off at Kemsley station; the rest country parked through Sittingbourne but couldn’t avoid the trading estate that in the Kent version of Monopoly takes the place of Old Kent Road. That littered landscape left behind rurality resumed gently up to Tonge’s telegraph hill. A bonus not on the main Admiralty to Deal line but a branch to The Nore anchorage. It’s a pimple compared to other hills but enough, surrounded by flatland marsh. The next hill is higher leading to lamb land with essence of lambing shed then Conyer Creek’s incoming tide blued by the now clear sky. 50 knot winds blessedly behind us for most of the day, the abating breeze blew in right ears for the final four fields to the finish at Teynham.

Photos by Peter Jull


Waterloo to Kilburn, Pop-Up Walk Friday 8th March 2019

27 walkers, 15 miles - leader Ron Williamson

The magnetism of the Capital Challenge once again attracted large numbers eager to sample its many varied delights. Novices and veterans of the route completed its first thirteen miles with a break for refreshments at Paddington station and afternoon tea at the cafe in Golders Hill Park before descending to Kilburn station and the nearest Wetherspoons. A walk which enabled those who could not commit the time needed to complete the distance to easily leave early.

Thanks to Joelle and George for ensuring that we kept on the right track all day.


West Sussex Literary Trail 2, Saturday 2nd March 2019

6 walkers, 15 miles - leader Peter Buchwald

Marshland

The overcast sky encloaked us with gloom

As we walked through the low-lying land

The beauty of this country awakened us

To the pleasures of the fertile flood plain.

 

We had a sumptuous lunch in a rural pub

Which we left under the afternoon sunshine

While a cool South wind began to blow

Heralding the onset of a violent storm.

 

The long history of this ancient land

Can be traced through centuries back

The flat lands yielding their memories

As we passed the rustic architecture

Of thatch and box framed dwellings

To an early medieval stone castle.


Up the Clappers, Saturday 23rd February 2019

17 walkers, 18.8 miles - leader Bola Baruwa

17 walkers including the leader, Bola enjoyed a lovely 18 miles (18.8 to be precise) hilly walk in the Chilterns; starting & finishing at Harlington station, Bedfordshire. We set out in thick fog which was soon lifted by the cheerful spirit of the group; the sun came out and stayed with us for the rest of the day. The star attraction was Sharpenhoe Clappers, an ancient woodland and chalk escarpment with fantastic views. The group had a lunch stop in Lilley Arms, where I was reliably informed that the beer was good. We moved at such good pace with plenty of daylight left to find our way to Barrel Vault Wetherspoon in St. Pancras Station for Dave Williams’s birthday drink🍺. No head touch was required in the end🌝

Photos by Gavin Fuller. More by Gavin, Ian Fairweather and Bola on the London Facebook site


Timeball and Telegraph Trail Pt 2, Dartford to Rochester, Sunday 17th February 2019

32 walkers, 19 miles - leader Peter Jull

Assorted trains, buses and automobiles gathered many walkers at Dartford station. Briefly though the town centre to Central Park for a brief briefing and confirmatory count. 32 to be shepherded and oft recounted through the day. Out of town on the Darenth Valley Way then outside the M25 head for the hills to reveal the range of speeds to be accommodated. A lost count number of burnt out joy rides blotted the woodscape, perplexing how they ever got amongst such denseness. Atop the next hill a modern telecoms mast and water tower have supplanted the Swanscombe semaphore telegraph station now separated from the village by a fattened and fastered A2. 200 years of trees have obstructed the view back to Shooters Hill but moving on, winter sparse vegetation allowed glimpses of sight lines the prominence had provided towards Gads Hill. A late elevenses in Southfleet churchyard and the potential lunch pub there was passed to soon. Power professionals would appreciate the proliferation of pylons marching with us the next miles. It was peak hungry time on arrival at Jeskyns country park and the small cafe there. Its 16 inside seats were never going to be enough for us, let alone the tenfold dog walkers also exercising the park.  But February was being balmy almost under blue skies so the plentiful picnic tables sufficed. Coffee and toilets patiently queued for; with inactivity the breeze began to chill so on across fast rail and road into Shorne Wood country park instead. Safely navigated to the other side potential lunch pub two was passed too late. Last big hill past then above Dicken’s Gads Hill to where the semaphore telegraph once stood. Modern trees and houses again obscure the sight lines bar glimpses that need the telescopes they had to see 10 miles. Last stretch to the edge of Rochester then long downhill from the bottom of which, despite averaging 3++ mph all day, the leading lot gazelled ahead to ensure the 4:21 to Victoria. Now they’ll have to do the castle bit at the start of the next leg.


Pop Up Walk: Spring in the Chilterns, Saturday 16th February 2019

6 Walkers, 19 miles - leader Jerome Ripp

Considering that the leader had given less than 2 days notice of this walk, it was pleasing to see a group of 6 with one regular and 3 on their first LDWA walk.  Last week had been winter in the Chilterns, what a change of season this week with snowdrops, primroses and other flowers to herald the start of spring. From Chalfont and Latimer station, the Chess valley walk took us through Latimer park, high above the river Chess, climbing up to the Chiltern Hundreds plateau through woods and across fields, some ploughed. Via Botley and Lye Green we reached a lovely green valley reminiscent of Yorkshire Wolds before the descent to the Grand Union Canal at Bourne End with Motorway, railway and Industrial wasteland to negotiate. The Three Horseshoes at Pouchen End provided an opportunity to observe the Swing Bridge in action with Nigel nearly getting caught in the middle.
The afternoon section was along the canal to Boxmoor where we joined the Chiltern Way and followed it South, through many delightful undulations before joining the Hertfordshire Way through Flaunden and Latimer to complete our journey just after 4 p.m.
 

Winter Chiltern Hills, Saturday 9th February 2019

13 Walkers, 17 miles - leader Jerome Ripp

The walk lived up to the title; a bracing cold windy winter's day with lots of morning sun and more gloomy afternoon; plenty of Chiltern hills with approximately 1200 feet of ascent. The route was a northern circuit from Great Missenden via the Hampdens, crossing the valley at Wendover Dean and lunch at the Old Swan, Lee Gate with a most welcome fire and hot drinks. The shorter afternoon section reached the most northerly point at Dundridge manor before heading south over Lee common and Ballinger common to catch the 16.32 train as there was only 1 train an hour. A few ploughed fields and some mud but mostly good woodland and field tracks with some fine views, and not a loop in sight today!

Photos by Gavin Fuller; More by Gavin and Barry Arnold on the group Facebook Site


Timeball and Telegraph Trail Pt 1, Greenwich to Dartford, Sunday 3rd February 2019

31 walkers, 17 miles - leader Peter Jull

After a record number of enquiries about this walk it was almost disappointing that the number of starters was a not quite a record 31. Not disappointing was the frostily crisp blue sky views from the start line spectacularising Canary Wharf and closer by the walk theme time ball resplendanted by sunlight atop its Observatory building.  Off across and out the park, a mile of urban streets reached the Capital Ring. Remnant snow crunched underfoot to soon reach the vicinity of Severndroog Castle to pause and disseminate information about the semaphore telegraph station that over 200 years before stood nearby on the shoulder of Shooters Hill. Many were relieved by the relief provided by the open toilets by Oxleas Wood cafe and a debutant departed deterred by the pace. Recounting so many there and later was an added challenge that didn’t always compute.  By the time elevenses were taken at the east end of East Wickham open space, mud was becoming less solidly frozen but across a following playing field snow persisted in shady spots and scattered lumps of deceased snowmen. Green Chain Walk signs perfected our perambulation of Lesnes Abbey Wood including the 172ft high point on the walk which felt more to those expecting a flatter day. From up there a little dog befriended and followed us far so that at the leaving point the last of us felt it incumbent to phone its collar numbered owner. Good deed done and doggy entrusted to another dog walker willing to wait for the reuniting, the dog group regrouped with the main group so the whole group, 31 again with the addition of one who’s late train had given us 25 minutes head start, could proceed to the Thames. At a smooth slack tide the river was looking its best and soon led to lunch in Erith. Regathered and recounted again in the Riverside Gardens the Thames Path led out onto Crayford Marshes. Turning inland the Darent and then Cray were ebbing to exposed mud. At the edges of Dartford’s sprawl our editor led the last 5 astray and while leader searched the leading lot wandered wrong as well. But all reached the station soon enough, or later, to finish a quicker than expected delightful day’s walking.

Report by Peter Jull, photographs by Peter Jull and Roderick Smith


Circular South of Haslemere, Saturday 26th January 2019

19 walkers, 20 miles - leader Nigel Heys

Nineteen people left Haslemere Station before 9am and headed up to Marley Common to join the Serpent Trail which was followed intermittently for much of the day. We soon switched to the Sussex Border Path and then crossed to the New Lipchis Way before climbing to Woolbeding Common for a well deserved coffee break at the view point (see pictures). Then it was back to the Serpent Trail through Henley and Bexleyhill before stopping on Bexleyhill Common for a picnic lunch sitting on logs. We then cut across country for refreshments at the Noah's Ark in Lurgashall. Next we passed close to Northchapel before heading towards Black Down passing an amazing display of snowdrops in Wateredge Copse. We rejoined the Serpent Trail to return to Haslemere, where some found the tea shops more attractive than catching the train back to London.

 

Report and photographs by Nigel Heys


South of the River, Mid week POP UP Tuesday 22nd January 2019

18 walkers, 13 miles - leader Ron Williamson

Today’s walk objective was to explore the area south of the Thames no more than 1.6 miles from Tower Bridge.


After 13 miles and visiting some 60 points of interest, time and the deteriorating weather finally forced us to abandon our meanderings, leaving 12 locations on our planned route to visit on another day.
In such a small area there proved to be a wealth of historical and cultural interest and we had deliberately avoided many of the more well known sites.


Examine www.exploringsouthwark.co.uk and plan your own walk. What about 20 miles and 100 points of interest in the same area without using the same stretch of road twice or crossing your path?
You will not be disappointed when you walk it, legs and feet will be O.K. but the mind might be disorientated.


Ps Use of maps (paper or digital) during walk prohibited.


Report by Ron Williamson

 

Photographs by Godfrey O'Callaghan (including a couple by Keith Lane)


Horsham Circular, Saturday 19th January 2019

12 walkers, 19 miles - leader Ian Fairweather

12 walkers including the leader met at Horsham station and set off at 9.40am.

Conditions were light drizzle and cold for most of the morning but dryer and warmer for the afternoon.
The group stopped for lunch at 12.45pm in Warninglid. Some people retired to the pub.

We set off again at 1.25 and arrived back in Horsham by 4.00pm where some participants found a Wetherspoons.

It was slightly muddy underfoot.

Report by Ian Fairweather

 

Photographs by Ian Fairweather


Photographs by Roderick Smith


"The 2 Hams walk" Saturday 12th January 2019

8 walkers, 20 miles - leader Jerome Ripp

A rather grey gloomy day with odd bits of drizzle, almost mud-free due to the dry winter to date.
Amersham, Chesham and the low hills to the east in the morning with lunch at Ashley Green. 
A hillier afternoon with ridges and bottoms via Asheridge and Chartridge and the long valley of Herbert's Hole.
Some loops were requested en route and the leader kindly responded. An enjoyable Chilterns day.

Report by Jerome Ripp


"An Epiphany Trail" Sunday 6th January 2019

5 Walkers, 20 miles - leader Jerome Ripp

A bright winter's day, mud-free, stile-free, with minimal tarmac, a perfect day out to celebrate the end of the 12 days of Christmas.

From our start at Wimbledon station we were soon on the Commons by Wimbledon village and an off piste route via Queens Pond to Putney Vale over the A3. We continued off piste in Richmond Park to avoid the frenetic bikers via Spankers Hill Wood and White Lodge to Roehampton Gate, and Barnes Common to join the Thames path near Putney Bridge. Then followed the great loops of the river ( a walk without loops is unthinkable!)  via Barnes Bridge for lunch stop, Chiswick, Kew, Twickenham and Richmond Bridges; then a grand view of the river from Richmond Hill and a final crossing of Richmond Park to reach our final destination of Norbiton station at the appointed time of 4p.m.

Report by Jerome Ripp

 


Sea Sun and Sand, Saturday 5th January 2019

14 Walkers, 16 miles for some 13.5 miles for Slopers - leader Ron Williamson

Today’s walkers strode innocently away from Benfleet station not realising that a stimulating seasonal stroll to blow away those winter blues somehow was to develop into an invigorating robust ramble. All rose to the challenge as the roller coaster route included nearly 1200ft. of climb and the miles flew by in such great company.

Unfortunately only six of us were able to walk the pier where the wooden boards added a spring to our steps as we looked forward to another year of doing just what the doctor ordered; not sure about the chocolates , ice cream or fish and chips though.

Report by Ron Williamson

Photos by Keith Lane and Joelle Paul

 


Hangover Buster! Women’s Suffrage Walk, Tuesday 1st January 2019

31 walkers, 16 miles - leader Susanne Waldschmidt

31 walkers showed up for this walk. Weather was mild and there was even
some sunshine.
A few drop-outs but most stayed the course to the end. There were two joint
winners for the quiz, Gail and Ian, who got three points each. Good to see
a real interest in the subject from almost everyone.