Walk Reports and Photos 2019 (May - Aug)

A Weald Away Saturday 24th August 2019

16 walkers, 20 miles - leader Nigel Heys

Sixteen people gathered at Balcombe Station on a sunny Bank Holiday Saturday. They saw the incredible brickwork of Balcombe Viaduct end route to Ardingly Reservoir for the morning break. Afterwards we went through Ardingly College then down and up steep slopes to reach the Bluebell Railway. It was on to West Hoathly for the lunch break at "The Fox". Most people got what they wanted despite the bar queue being out of the door!  In the afternoon we heard the Bluebell Railway again, passed Gravetye Manor and stopped in another part of West Hoathly near the Priest's House for a break. The final section passed the Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst Place before returning to Balcombe via a cricket match.

Photo by Nigel Heys; more by Nigel and Ian Fairweather on the group Facebook site


Putney Circular and Parks Thursday 22nd August 2019

8 miles - leaders Gail & John Elrick

Report to be received


Gems of East Surrey Saturday 10th August 2019

5 walkers, 21.4 miles, 2,940ft of ascent - leader Ken

Weather the day before was severe with heavy rains and strong winds during the night. On the morning of the event the air was still very damp and the prospects did not look good. However the Met Office had given a forecast for bright weather (albeit) with a yellow warning for wind. In the event the weather in the morning was a bit showery with a pleasant sunny afternoon. I don’t remember it being especially windy. The alternate rain/sun of previous weeks led to a number of paths becoming overgrown, in fact I made an inspection of the route (with some cutters) four days beforehand and spent about an hour cutting down one path which had become completely impassable. I also found than one stile was barred with electric tape (designed to be seen by horses) which, with great reluctance, I also cut down. I had taken the opportunity to invite some members from Beckenham Running Club to join us. On the day we had one from BRC (an LDWA member) and three from London LDWA. I have no idea whether it was the weather conditions that stopped more people going or just my reputation as an incompetent walk leader. I spent a great deal of time pioneering a route which incorporated paths not shown on O.S. maps and which I didn’t know existed myself until I went out and researched them. I suppose I wondered in the end whether it had all been worth it. I’m extremely grateful to the few who did show up. I think I will need to give myself a break before I volunteer again. The route can be seen on the attached map and altitude profile (available here). We had a lunch stop at Tatsfield where there is a pub, tea room, and seats round the duckpond. I don’t advise anyone to follow the route on their own, without getting further information from me first, as some parts are quite intricate and they would likely get lost.


Chiltern Circular Saturday 3rd August 2019

18 walkers, 21 miles - leader Nigel Heys

Eighteen people left Chorleywood around 9am and crossed the first main road to pass Chenies Manor. They then went down to the River Chess and followed the Chess Valley Way to Latimer. They then climbed up through a wood and along the ridge before dropping down to Old Amersham and a break in the attractive Memorial Gardens (see picture). Two stayed to sample the town while the rest continued along the Misbourne valley to Little Missenden. They then climbed up to Penn Wood and stopped for lunch by the cricket pitch in Penn Street. Despite the match starting and the Squirrel having six real ales the group managed to walk the Chiltern Way back to Chorleywood in the afternoon. The bull encountered paid little attention to the group. The afternoon stop was in Chalfont St. Giles churchyard.

Photo by Nigel Heys; more by Gavin Fuller on the group Facebook site


Saunderton Figure of Eight Saturday 27th July 2019

13 walkers, 19.4 miles - leader Lynne McKenzie

13 walkers arrived at a wet and cool Saunderton station on Saturday morning.  The overnight rain and some overgrown paths meant soggy trousers (or wet legs for those who had braved the weather in shorts) and socks for some but the drop in temperature from those experienced during the week was very welcome.

Through the morning we were amongst crops of barley, wheat, oats and maize.  There were a number of climbs in the morning as we made our way up onto the Ridgeway. After passing through the village of Bledlow we went up and over Chinnor Hill where we were rewarded with a banana break.  Moving on we had to tackle a number of slippy and wide stiles as we headed towards Radnage and up to Bledlow Ridge.  Skirting the edges of field we headed back to Saunderton at the end of the top of the Eight.

Passing the station was too much of a lure for over half the group who after a drink in the pub caught the 13:50 back to London hopefully satisfied after a morning of beautiful views in the Chilterns.

Undeterred by the weather the remaining six carried on towards Bradenham Manor where the local cricket team was in action.  The leader reached for her map as the group made their way along the length of Naphill Common.  A Common which takes strength of character and being happy going a little of course as many paths converge from various angles.  Successfully leaving the Common we encountered another game of cricket at Downley.

The leader strode out across Downley Common (despite the reservations of a local man that she knew where she was going) towards West Wycombe and the Hellfire Caves.  The timing of trains allowed us the opportunity to have a cup of tea and cake at the Caves.  Luckily we were well sheltered when the heavens opened.  We lingered until the rain subsided to begin our last climb of the day up to the Dashwood Mausoleum.  A lovely walk through the trees back to Saunderton in fine time for the 17.50 train.

A good time had by all I believe on a perfect day for a walk.

Photographs by Ian Fairweather on the group Facebook site


Robert the Steam Engine Thursday 25th July 2019

6 walkers, 7 miles - leader Dave Williams

6 of London Group's finest assembled at Stratford for a saunter to the far flung reaches of the Olympic Park. 

Barely had we started than we were hit by thunder & lightning followed by a downpour of biblical proportions but thanks to the leader's meticulous planning we were actually proceeding through the Westfield Shopping Centre at the time & after taking cover for 5 minutes, the rain abated and we were able to proceed on our way.

Passing such delights as the Olympic Stadium & the famed ' Cathedral of Sewage ' we paused for a short break in the still sweltering conditions at Bow Locks before reaching the Wetherspoons at Canary Wharf for some well-earned sustenance.


West Sussex Literary Trail Part 3 Saturday 20th July 2019

7 walkers, 19 miles - leader Peter Buchwald

Grey skies turned to tropical blue

Summer rain to scorching heat

The rolling Downs beneath our feet

Lush woodland in its summer prime.

 

Goodwood racecourse below us

A string of pearls bathed in light

Views afar of the Isle of Wight

Inlaid in the glimmering sea.

 

Our group that day respected

Time honoured walkers habits

No one set the pace by racing

No one rushed to be home early

For an evening appointment

No problem with a late lunch.

Photographs by Peter Buchwald; more from Barry Arnold are on the Group Facebook site


Egham to Bourne End Saturday 13th July 2019

15 walkers, 22 miles- leader Dave Williams

15 hardy souls set off from Egham for a stroll into the unknown & they were not to be disappointed with an abundance of culture keeping them entertained along the way!

Windsor, the designated lunch stop was reached all too soon where some of us took advantage of the glorious summer weather to picnic on the lawn in front of the Castle before adjoining to the local W'spoons for a well-earned pint.

One 'sloper' abandoned the walk here & it wasn't long after we set off along the river that a 2nd 'sloper' succumbed and on reaching Maidenhead four further 'slopers' decided to head for the hills.

A very welcome ice-cream stop soon revived any flagging spirits & the remaining nine walkers soldiered on to reach our destination, the riverside village of Bourne End just after 6pm.

Photographs by Paul Lawrence; more from Bola Baruwa and Barry Arnold are on the Group Facebook site


The Twickenham Sausage Wednesday 10th July 2019

11 walkers, 8 miles, leaders Gail and John Elrick

The title of the walk referred to the shape of the route, sadly not to refreshments being provided. In fact the aim of the walk was to take in houses and points of interest from Twickenham as well of course exercising our legs! 

The first highlight of the walk was to visit the amazing exuberant statues of several naked ladies disporting themselves among the vegetation close to the riverside and Eel Pie Island. Slightly stunned by them we proceeded via the grounds of York House (the very upmarket Council offices) to the alleyways of Old Twickenham and their pretty Georgian cottages and our next interesting house, Orleans House. This gets its name as it was used for a brief period by the Duc d'Orleans, Louis Philippe (later King of France) when exiled from France and is now a gallery. After a brief perusal of the exterior the team were swept through the grounds and via a door in the wall towards the really posh part of Twickenham. This contains the glorious Georgian (and some Victorian) buildings of Montpelier Row and the house used by Walter de la Mare and another house occupied by Tennyson and Pete Townshend (but not at the same time).  Reeling from this it was nice to enter the grounds of Marble Hill House, and to watch some local lads playing cricket. Skirting the house itself (former home of the Countess of Devonshire and mistress of George II) the route neatly took us back to the river and towards one end of the sausage at Richmond Bridge. 

Leaving the Middlesex side of the River the Bridge took us to the Surrey side where we were able to admire the cattle (Belted Galloways) in Petersham Meadows and gaze across to the riverside we had just travelled along. This section gave everyone the opportunity to concentrate on striding along the towpath as far as Teddington Lock and the other end of the sausage. After crossing the lock back to Middlesex sadly now we had to abandon the river as there is no path here but we had two treats in store, a look (outside only) of the Waldegrave Arms, supposedly used by the Great Train Robbers before and after the event in 1963. Then a short distance further and by way of complete contrast a view of Strawberry Hill House, Horace Walpole's Gothic masterpiece. A short foray into Radnor Gardens enabled us to return to the river and thence to our local Wetherspoon where we were able to enjoy a drink of Twickenham's local ale, Naked Ladies!

Photograph by John Elrick; more by Iain Fairweather are on the Group Facebook site


Chichester Hills Saturday 6th July 2019

18 walkers, 21.7 miles, 1,699ft of ascent - leader Gavin Fuller

16 guinea pigs turned up at a sunny Chichester to experience our current webmaster’s debut walk as a leader. A warm-up on the shady Centurian Way was soon followed by a steady climb to the nature reserve of Kingley Vale, which was so warm at the top that plans for a lunch taking in the views had to be abandoned for some shadier spot, whilst one member decided they needed to take in spiritual sustenance at Chichester Cathedral instead.

Rolling countryside then followed to a much-needed drink stop at the Partridge in Singleton, where a latecomer finally met up with the group.

Suitably refreshed and drinks bottles topped up the group then tackled the pull up to the second 206m high hill of the day, namely The Trundle, where by dint of expert timing the views were supplemented by the sight of an air display for Goodwood’s Festival of Speed below.

The descent to Chichester was surprisingly unaccompanied by sounds of revving engines and the like from said festival, and inevitably once in the city the siren call of Wetherspoons was too much for some of the party to ignore!

Photographs by Gavin Fuller and Bola Baruwa; more from Gavin are on the Group Facebook site


West London Walkabout Wednesday 3rd July 2019

8 walkers, 7 miles - leader Aysen Bekir

8 of us set off on a sunny Wednesday evening through Battersea Park, threading our way through the thousands turning up for JP Morgan's Corporate Challenge. We managed to steer our way uninterrupted through the park, enjoying the sculpture, landscape and history as we sniffed the barbecue aroma coming from the vast catering operation next to the corporate hospitality marquees preparing for the post-race jollies. While walking along the stretch of river from the Peace Pagoda to Albert Bridge we were pitted against the hundreds of runners streaming past us in the opposite direction, heels thundering, chests heaving and breath heavy in our ears.

Our attempts to exit the park were subject to delay and diversion as we waited for the next tranche of runners to pass before we were allowed to cross to the gate. Once we'd made our escape, the walk continued without further interruption across to Chelsea, passing various historic sights including the Moravian burial ground, Chelsea Physic Garden and Royal Hospital, and then on towards Millbank to the spot where 19th century POMs (Prisoners of Millbank) stepped down into the prison boats taking them to the convict ships in Woolwich for their journey to Botany Bay. The last stretch took us through the peaceful back streets of Pimlico to Westminster Cathedral, our final point of historical interest before a well-earned drink at the Willow Walk by Victoria Station.


SoDNaP 20 Saturday 29th June 2019

11 walkers, 20 miles - leader Roderick Smith

SoDNaP 20. Ten of us met at 09:00 at Petersfield Station for a walk in the South Downs National Park, Britain’s newest National Park. On a cloudless day we walked into the centre of the town to join the route of a potential 50-mile challenge from the (Wetherspoons) Red Lion. We headed north to the Hangers Way; Steep Church; and the steep climb up the Shoulder of Mutton hill to the Poet’s Stone memorial to Edward Thomas (known for his poem ‘Adlestrop’ inter alia). There were fine views of the South Downs. A last look back down the hill from the summit, before a steep descent to Oakshott, and a brief stop at the Hawkley Inn for tea and coffee. A steep climb of Noar Hill preceded lunch in Selborne.

We checked the outside of Checkpoint 1, and, in Selborne Church, saw the stained-glass window of St Francis preaching to the birds (over 100 are shown); sadly not enough time to visit the Gilbert White / Oates (of the Antarctic) Museum. We were joined by a second Ian and eleven of us climbed the ZigZag path built by Gilbert White and his brother over 200 years ago. A walk along byways took us to the ‘pub-with-no-name’ aka “The White Horse”. Two decided to follow an alternative route to Petersfield, and nine of us continued in very hot conditions to Froxfield Green. Thence, leaving the SoDNaP route, to Lythe Farm and Petersfield Station in time to catch the 17:45 to Woking and London. Thanks to members from London, Surrey, Thames Valley, and Wessex for an enjoyable day in splendid countryside. Over 2,000’ of ascent; 20 miles walked in 8’40” on one of the hottest June days for 40 years.

Photographs by Gavin Fuller and Roderick Smith; more from Gavin and Ian Fairweather are on the Group Facebook site


Park 6 Central Wednesday 26th June 2019

9 walkers, 8 miles - leader Aysen Bekir

There were 9 of us on a cloudy and breezy evening up town. We headed towards Primrose Hill, passing hundreds of park-goers seated on the hillside enjoying the spectacular view. Into Regent's Park, we paused in Queen Mary's rose garden to enjoy some of the 12,000 rose bushes arrayed there. 'Double Delight' was a particularly favoured variety. About a mile of pavement bashing to get to Hyde Park and from then on we flowed through the greenery, watersides and lushery of 4 parks, and on out to Lord Moon of the Mall for end of walk refreshments.


Sunlit Uplands of the Chilterns Saturday 22nd June 2019

10 walkers, 21 miles - leader Bola Baruwa

Sunlit uplands (no unicorn)
of the Chilterns delivered! 
10 walkers including the leader, Bola enjoyed a hilly 21 miles walk in the Chilterns from Leagrave to Harlington, Bedfordshire. 

Despite replacement bus, we arrived at Leagrave in good time.
The star attraction was Barton Hills National Nature Reserve, a downland and woodland with fantastic views, We also had the pleasure of visiting the source of the River Lea, Warden Hill, Lilley Hoo, Telegraph Hill, Pegsdon hills & Sharpenhoe Clappers.

We had a glorious day, though was hotter than expected, hence couple of retirements. 

The group had a 40 mins lunch stop in The Raven, Hexton.  Hexton has a quirky village shop, namely, Country Matters with just about everything on sale and the all important tea room.

We arrived at Harlington station just after 5pm, followed by a short bus ride back to the hubbub at Luton station. 

Photographs by Barry Arnold; more from Barry and Paul Maddocks are on the Group Facebook site


A Lambeth Walk Saturday 15th June 2019

22 walkers, 18 miles - leader Ian Fairweather

We started at 10.00am having waited 15 minutes for latecomers due to a cancelled train from Clapham Junction. There were 22 starters including the leader. Weather conditions were fair with no rain.

 

This was a repeat of a walk I have led in 2016 and 2017. There was slight disappointment in West Norwood Cemetery as Mrs Beeton’s grave had been removed for restoration. We stopped for 45 minutes lunch in Brockwell Park.

 

There was an additional pub stop at the Fentiman Arms near the Oval for refreshments as it was hot. Some people retired to Vauxhall Park. The walk finished at Blackfriars at 5.15pm. There were about 15 completers.

 

No injuries.


Awayday in Norfolk Midweek daytime Pop-up Tuesday 11th June 2019

9 walkers, 10 miles - leader Ron Williamson

Having booked their rail tickets in advance, today’s intrepid walkers were determined to get their money’s worth despite the forecasted dire weather forecast. Three planning an overnight stay in Cromer had their preparations blown away whilst a fourth decided that a day’s decorating was the best option even at the expense of an unused rail fare.

The grim prediction proved to be accurate as we alighted at the forlorn Cromer station to face an onshore gale and driving rain. Resolutely we set forth and fortunately the first 8 miles were inland where some shelter was available from the worst of the storm. The first check point at Felbrigg Hall was reached without incident and revitalised after an extended coffee break it was time to locate the Norfolk county top of Beacon Hill. No problem but also no views as all was a sea of grey.

Now downhill through extensive National Trust woodlands which kept us immune from the worst of the weather but presented a few navigational problems. With a promise of a tea shop ahead, dodging the spray from traffic along a short road section was an added entertainment.

Alas the tea shop was shut! The now drenched and down hearted crew unanimously decided that enough was enough and decided to make haste to the nearest town to seek refuge. A quick visit to the promenade confirmed that to continue along the shore would be fool hardy and that an amble along the beach eating ice cream somewhat unconventional.

So we finished in Sheringham some two hours early and 6 miles short of our objective. Now followed the best part of an hour drying out and eating fish and chips in a local cafe before catching an early train to Norwich and believe it or not locating a rather posh recently opened Wetherspoons close to the station. “A great waiting room”

A good day out with a soggy cold walk but having the bonus of warm company

Photographs by Gavin Fuller; more from Gavin are on the Group Facebook site


Essex Heartlands Saturday 8th June 2019

10 walkers, 21 miles - leader Ron Williamson

The 175 year old, Tudor style, grade 2 listed building of Ingatestone station was the starting point for today’s walk. All had come prepared for the promised wet and blustery conditions, waterproofs seemed a wise decision as within a mile we were thoroughly drenched, not by the weather it must be said but by ploughing through a field of head high crops.

The leader promised that the worst was now over and miraculously the weather gradually improved, the forecaster rain failed to materialise and by mid-afternoon the threatened gales had become a welcome cooling breeze. Only a couple of footpaths with waist high nettles slowed progress for one poor soul who had insisted on bare legs below the knees.

Ingatestone is only 20 miles from London and 27 mins by train, but the only opportunity to purchase refreshments, passed on our 21-mile journey to the centre of the city of Chelmsford was in Roxwell, where the village shop was open but even here the pub was closed. A good walk, far from the maddening crowd, if you are able to eat alfresco, so a dry warm day needs to be booked.

Photographs by Keith Lane


Alton Circular, Saturday 1st June 2019

21 walkers, 21 miles - leader Lonica Vanclay

It was a beautiful sunny day so 21 people were there at Alton ready to join me for the walk. Hampshire at its wildest and finest. 

Woods and wheat fields and grand sweeping vistas.....the enjoyment of which was only heightened by the profusion of nettles hiding the paths, the array of stiles some of which were definitely eroded, makeshift and shonky and most exciting and unexpected of all (given it was high summer) a little boggy bit where we all had a chance to cool our feet.

Just 3 of us missed the train by a second and had to wait half an hour till the next one.

Photographs by Gavin Fuller; more from Gavin on the group Facebook site


Braintree to Maldon, Midweek Pop-up Thursday 30th May 2019

5 walkers, 18 miles - leader Ron Williamson

A walk which utilised two way marked routes North to South through mid Essex.

The John Ray Walk starts conveniently at Braintree station and visits locations associated with an extraordinary man heralded as the father of English natural history. A comprehensive guide can be downloaded which describes the life and achievements of the 17thC botanist. The visitor centre at the huge medieval barns of Cressing Temple proved to be an ideal refreshment stop. The last mile is at present difficult to follow as the official way seems to traverse a building site for a new housing development with no diversions indicated, probably best to stick to the main roads.

The Blackwater Trail closely follows the route of the former Witham to Maldon Railway. A pleasant green corridor between the two towns passing through the villages of Wickham and Langford the main points of interest being the only surviving wooden railway viaduct in the country and the restored station at Langford whose station master was the first female to hold such a position.

A satisfying stroll in unfamiliar country the unexpected bonus being the barns at Cressing Temple well worth a visit if you are in the area.

Photographs by Godfrey O'Callaghan



Hadrian Hundred Volunteer Weekend Friday 24th-Monday 27th May 2019

Leader Susanne Waldschmidt

As promised the weekend proved to be a subtle blend of Wetherspoons, walking, waitressing and of course a wall.

14 of us descended on Hexham Town to help out at Headquarters for the Hadrian 100.

After seeing off the 100 on Saturday morning we enjoyed a little tour round Hexham with its beautiful abbey. Then we took the AD122 bus to Hadrian’s Wall to walk the first 16 miles of the 100 Route in reverse. This was a stunning walk along the most iconic part of the wall. Soon a most wondrous site was to be seen, walkers coming at us from the opposite direction. First a few runners and then the hordes arrived. Hadrian had not made it easy for walkers. Some were already looking tired with the relentless ups and downs. After a welcome break for snacks at Checkpoint 2, just before it closed, we continued to a nice pub next to the first checkpoint. We were all glad to be walking the wall the easy way. The weather was still OK but soon clouds were to be seen in the distance and we even felt the odd spot of rain.

Not much usually happens at Headquarters until Sunday afternoon. However it soon became clear from early morning that the weather had turned out even worse than expected with heavy rain, strong winds and fog on Cross Fell in the middle of the night. The trickle of retirees rose into triple figures. The Northumbrians were overwhelmed. Our multi-skilled London force quickly organized itself into 2 groups to deal with baggage and to serve food and drinks to exhausted walkers. There wasn’t even time for breakfast.

It was a long 24 hours though there was a buzz in seeing walkers come through the door having completed one of the toughest 100s ever. We all managed to snatch a few hours of sleep but one stalwart kept going the whole time. There was a mutiny from one Londoner who refused to serve teas but then he had a lot of baggage to deal with!

We set off on Monday to enjoy some culture (not Wetherspoons) in Corbridge Roman town, where some of us enjoyed a fascinating tour of the site. The weekend ended with a farewell drink in the Angel Corbridge. It had been almost as exhausting as the 100 itself, but the camaraderie and wonderful countryside had made it all worthwhile.


Hills of the North 2019, Tuesday 21st May 2019

19 walkers, `16 miles - leader Ron Williamson

This is one of my favourite London walks made extra special by the 18 members who were able to join me on a glorious spring day. We were privileged to be joined by one of our newest members Carolyn (no. 44299) on her first walk with the LDWA and Joy (no 10) whose memories go back to the very beginnings of our organisation.

A visit at the very start to the roof garden at 120 Fenchurch St with its stunning view over the City set the precedent for the remainder of the day as our effort were rewarded with sweeping vistas from Primrose Hill, Parliament Hill, Highgate and Alexandra Palace.

A very busy day visiting The Royal Exchange (posh loos), Guildhall Art Gallery, Roman Amphitheatre, and the Metropolitan Achieves with time for the mandatory coffee and lunch breaks and even afternoon tea in the sunshine at Ally Pally.

Thanks to all who came for contributing to a most enjoyable day.

See you next year!

Photographs by Godfrey O'Callaghan; more by Charlotte Minchell can be seen on the group Facebook site


Sea Flight, Saturday 18th May 2019

22 walkers, 20 miles - leader Roderick Smith

22 walkers from London and Kent Groups met at Folkestone Central Station, and set out at 09:50 on a 20-mile social walk on a warm day; no rain occurred although showers had been forecast.

We walked to the seafront (a Spitfire provided a dramatic flypast), and turned east to the Cinque Ports 100 checkpoint 10 before climbing to the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne and a brief refreshment halt where a 23rd person joined the Group. Along the North Downs Way to Dover Marina, and the Eight Bells for lunch. Sadly, views to Dungeness and across the Channel were obscured by thick mist; the clifftop views were quite breath-taking nonetheless.

After lunch, we climbed the Cinque Ports 100 route to the Blériot Memorial (110 years in July since he landed in Britain). Thence to the Cinque Ports 100 HQ at the Duke of York’s Royal Military School. After crossing the busy A2, we entered the fields of Bere Farm where the farmer kindly escorted us through two fields of very inquisitive cattle. We reached St Margaret’s, close to the Cinque Ports 100 checkpoint 12; some chose to head back to Deal, the original terminus for the walk but abandoned because of rail engineering works, and some headed back to Dover for an earlier return to London. The majority descended to the Pines Garden Tea Room and Museum; Fred Cleary provided a connection between Ron’s City Plaques walk of 12 April 2019 and this walk.

After refreshments, we walked to the South Foreland Lighthouse, and back to Dover at 17:35 via Fan Bay and the Langdon Visitor Centre. A small micro-brewery pub provided a welcome break while waiting for the return train to London. A successful and enjoyable, warm, rain-free day out.

Photographs by Barry Arnold on the group Facebook site


The Thames Riverside, Thursday 16th May 2019

8 walkers, 8 miles - leader Peter Buchwald

The walk was completed in about 2 hours 15 minutes.  Weather was perfect, warm and sunny.

Photographs by Peter Buchwald


The North London Connection, Saturday 11th May 2019

17 walkers, 20 miles - leader Ron Williamson

The objective of today’s walk was to find a varied route of some 20 miles within the M25 starting and finishing at an underground station in North London. Our hard-worked joint secretary deserved a lie in so where better to start from than his local station at which he managed to be last to arrive with only two minutes before start time.

Damp and dismal weather seemed to be reflected in our surroundings of Ballards Lane, however our spirits were quickly lifted as we followed Lover’s Lane across Dollis Brook and beside Finchley Golf Course. After barely one mile it was time to remove waterproofs and enjoy what became perfect conditions for walking.

With the sun now on our backs we crossed hill and dale as we topped out at Totteridge, passed Duck Island on the climb to Whitings Hill, and scurried between Arkley and Barnet on our way to the highest point of the morning, the aptly named Ridge, our lunch stop.

A group “weigh in” at Crossoaks Farm weighbridge and soon we were heading West along the Hertfordshire Way towards Letchmore Heath. Now walking into the late afternoon sun we crossed far reaching fields of oil seed rape and enjoyed a fly pass as we traversed London Elstree Aerodrome. A circumvention of Aldenham reservoir and a short stretch of the London Loop and we were within touching distance of our destination, but the crux of the route was yet to come.

The wide panoramic view from the recently opened London Viewpoint at Wood Farm Nature Reserve was now before us. Wembley Stadium and St Mary’s church on Harrow Hill, Alexandra Palace in the East and Heathrow to the southwest and over The City to Box Hill in the South a site worth a 20 mile walk.

Now all downhill through Stanmore Country Park to emerge from the undergrowth at the end of the Jubilee Line and another grand day in London’s fascinating countryside.

Photographs by Gavin Fuller, more by Gavin and Barry Arnold on the group Facebook site


London to Brighton Part 4, Saturday 4th May 2019

9 Walkers, 18 miles - Leader Jerome Ripp

The 4th and final section of the London to Brighton odyssey had been held over from last year due to transport issues. A sunny day with a bitterly cold strong wind and the last of the bluebells to admire in the woods. A steep climb up Wolstonbury hill and then some Open Access land encouraged the leader to add a loop around the appropriately named Round hill. Another stiff climb from Pyecombe and we were ready for an early lunch at the lovely Wildflower cafe at Saddlescombe farm with delicious home-made cakes. A section of the South Downs Way and then a long descent from the hills through Hazelholt Bottom and then in complete contrast to the loneliness of the hills, we hit the south coast urban sprawl. At Southwick we crossed Shoreham harbour to follow the last 4 miles of the Monarch's Way back to Brighton with an ice cream stop on Hove lawns to provide sustenance for the final stretch.