Walk Reports and Photos 2019 (Sep - Dec)

Hampshire Stroll Saturday 12th October 2019

6 walkers, 20 miles - leader Nigel Heys

Six people gathered at Farnham Station in appropriate weather for walking St. Swithun's Way. The route to the Way passed through the older parts of Farnham. We followed St. Swithun's Way for most of the morning with a stop at Bentley Church to have a sheltered break. We passed Pax Hill formerly owned by Baden Powell but now an old people's home, without a boy scout in sight. We visited the church at Upper Froyle and passed an Austin Healey restorer having an open day. 
We left St. Swithun's Way to head to Holybourne for a lunch break at the White Hart. In the afternoon we passed Neatham Mill the headed to Binstead Church where we viewed Montgomery's grave (see photo). The route then passed through Alice Holt Forest  and back to Farnham Station.

The Tarmac Walkers Go Upmarket Tuesday 8th October 2019

22 walkers, 14 miles - leader Ron Williamson

The second Tarmac Walkers meet of the season was enthusiastically anticipated by the host of members who gathered outside Sloan Square station on an overcast autumn day.

Hopefully expectations were fulfilled as we spent the day wandering through some of the wealthiest neighbourhoods of London, in our best Gore-Tex we mingled with the rich and illustrious probably creating a new fashion trend.  A mid afternoon monsoon quickly emptied the boulevards of pedestrians but clothed in this new vogue the LDWA were undeterred. until we reached the next station, that is, when half our number decided that enough was enough.

The rain soon stopped, however, and exploring Mayfair and St James added an additional interest filled four miles to our walk.

47 places of the 50 listed on our itinerary, which can be downloaded from https://www.ldwa.org.uk/lgt/downloads/London/TWA_go_upmarket_OCt19.pdf., were visited, three being bypassed in our dash to seek shelter from the elements.

It was, therefore, left to just 10 of us to confront the eco-warriors guarding our destination of Trafalgar Square. The late afternoon sun must have calmed everyone as all was peaceful and the uniforms of the warriors far more bright and cheerful than our own.

Photos by Ian Watson; more from Ian, Barry Arnold and Charlotte Minchell on the group Facebook page

Not the Christmas Walk Saturday 28th September 2019

13 walkers, 19 miles - leader Neil Cook

Report not received from leader.

Alliteration G Goodnestone x2 Sunday 22nd September 2019

9 walkers, 23 miles - leader Peter Jull

A clashing Sussex Stride distracted and engineering works deterred all bar 9. Across the longest railway footbridge in the country led to Faversham’s peaceful land of the dead through which the route out of town was found. New reinstatements and old reinstatements newly cultivated out confounded way finding until a genuine de-hopped hop garden, once ubiquitous here but now a scarcity. Goodnestone No1’s tiny and now defunct church was viewed inside and photographed out. Much orchard country and many minor roads reached The Woodland Trust’s mostly unwooded Victory Wood where a bench provided elevenses and later, views back across the Swale. Into properly wooded Blean "easy to get lost in" Woods with it’s up to 7-way path junctions, a few GPS consulting hesitations found the exit onto the easy to get lost on University of Kent at Canterbury’s campus which was less perfectly perambulated. Two of us being employees found themselves unexpectedly passing their places of work but were able to access its comfort facilities. Partly down the ex-railway Crab & Winkle line into the city, picnicers perched peacefully by the riverside while pubbers found their target unopen ‘til 2pm. Adjacent pizza & chip shops provided sustenance partaken at a bus stop beside the decidedly un-peaceful A28. Out of city on the Stour Valley Walk to turn up above Fordwich and across Christchurch University’s playing fields where faces known to one were trialling fresher rugbyists while others practised rarely seen lacrosse. Dry into woods, before reaching the exit it was showering. Into more woods, before reaching the exit it was dry. Forced by forecasts into carrying waterproofs all day they were never needed more than this. Down past solar farm & fishing lakes to cross the gurgling Nailbourne at Littlebourne’s mill then much big arable and the finish was literally in sight but Goodnestone No 2 had not yet been reached. More big arable found its Fitzwalter Arms open but far too late. Its bigger church abuts stately gardens unseen behind their high walls. A track (long), paddock (big) arable (big) & road (fairly long) hooked back to reach the finish at Adisham station after 8½ hours and transport home.

Photos by Peter Jull

Escape from Dagenham 2019 Midweek Pop-Up Friday 20th September 2019

12 walkers, 15 miles - leader Ron Williamson

A gloriously sunny day which was enjoyed by 8 walkers from London group and 4 from Essex & Herts.

Our escape from Dagenham led us 9 miles eastwards virtually to the M25 which became today’s boundary. The urban expanse of our starting point seemed far away as we enjoyed the rapidly maturing woodlands of Thames Chase, which now covers many acres of former gravel pits and industrial wasteland. In addition to well-maintained public footpaths there has now been established many miles of walkways open to the public.

We were informed that next year will be the 30th anniversary of this project and to mark the occasion a 30-mile hike, visiting most of the trust’s woodlands, is being planned. A possible contender for inclusion in our next year’s walk programme!

Our return journey followed the Upminster Circular walk which conveniently led us back to our destination at the end of the District Line.

An escape which probably exceeded most people’s expectation and although never very far from suburbia included less than two miles of pavement bashing.

Photos by Ian Watson

The Return of the Tarmac Walkers Club Midweek Pop-Up Thursday 12th September 2019

18 walkers, 11 miles - leader Ron Williamson

Another day another time and another chance to start our wanderings with a visit to the roof top of 120 Fenchurch Street to gain a panoramic view of our planned exploration. A stroll through Borough, Newington, Waterloo and Lambeth was the agenda and with so much to see it was no surprise that a few short cuts were taken so as to finish on time

My personal highlights include the sign for Axe & Bottle yard, Lambeth Workhouse where a young Charlie Chaplin once lived, the mosaics hidden away in dingy railway arches, and the history of Lambert in stone on the millennium path in Archbishop’s Park. So much of to see but we still had time for a most relaxing afternoon tea in the late afternoon sunshine.

Details of the places visited can be accessed at: https://www.ldwa.org.uk/lgt/downloads/London/South_of_the_river_part_2_2019.pdf

Photos by Barry Arnold; more by Barry on the group Facebook site

Sevenoaks to Tonbridge Saturday 7th September 2019

14 walkers, 20 miles - leader Jerome Ripp

The original leader was indisposed so at the last minute I took over the role. I had walked substantial parts of the route on other leads but without the benefit of an official recce there were some moments of doubt. However I had several assistants within the group with knowledge and technology who ably supported me so that we could enjoy a pleasant early autumn day with some splendid Kent scenery. There were fine views of Bough Beech reservoir from the Greensand ridge and the long descent into the Low Weald took us to lunch at the Henry 8th pub in Hever. Here we played the role of extras in a wedding at the church opposite, the first of several that we passed en route. The afternoon section mostly followed the Eden Valley Walk with some variations and a stop at the picture book village of Penshurst where a local lady was keen to impart lots of historical information. Tonbridge station was reached at 5.30 exactly as stated at the start but there were only 10 of us. One had left officially at lunch but 3 others had succumbed to the temptations of photos and berries: Since Pillbox was one of them, I am confident that they all reached a safe haven and are not wandering round the Kent countryside.

Photos by Ian Watson on the group Facebook site