Walk Reports and Photos 2020 (Jan - Apr)

Round About Richmond, Sunday 16th February 2020

9 walkers, 17.5 miles - leader Lonica Vanclay

9 of us intrepid walkers ignored the dire weather forecast and shrugged off the train and tube delays and cancellations in order to walk 17.5miles.  The wind was very light but the rain seemed to get steadier and colder through the day - until it stopped and the sun even shone more or less when we finished at the station.  Nowhere near as bad as predicted though.  In the morning we followed the Thames from Kew to Kingston where the Waitrose cafe served most of us very well indeed.  The afternoon was through Richmond Park.  We did see deer and experienced lots of wet soggy ground but minimal mud.

Photograph by Ian Fairweather.

Farnham to Brookwood, Saturday 8th February 2020

18 walkers, 18.7 miles - leader Andy Shoesmith

Report yet to received from leader.

Photographs by Gavin Fuller; more by Gavin and Ian Watson on the group Facebook site.

Dorking Circular, Saturday 1st February 2020

15 walkers, 18 miles - leader Jerome Ripp

Peter Buchwald was indisposed so I took over this walk, my 99th lead for the group with vital technological route finding support from Ian Fairweather. Glorious early spring sunshine, daffodils and great views. Peter had kindly sent me the GPX files but I varied the route quite considerably. From Dorking  we took the Pilgrims Way trackway below Denbies vinyards and the Downs which gave us a mud free start rather than the muddy North Downs Way. Wotton estate and great view across the valley to the isolated church. The Greensand Way south to Leith Hill gave us the opportunity to revel in plenty of muddy trails. A welcome cuppa by the tower and across to The Plough Inn at Coldharbour for lunch. A new path for everyone took us around Anstiebury hill fort then over to south Holmwood church, the substantial Holmwood Common and North Holmwood church. A final climb and great view on part of the Deepdene trail then back to Dorking.

Photographs by Ian Watson on the group Facebook site.

The Tarmac Walkers Go East, Midweek Pop-Up, Tuesday 28th January 2020

19 walkers, 11.4 miles (12.4 miles for those who went to the Wetherspoons) - leader Ron Williamson

The industrial waste lands to the financial heart of the city, the curse of racial intolerance to the acceptance of many waves of immigrants ,the brutality of villains to the public spirit of the philanthropists, the ravages of war to the restoration of neighbourhoods.

This area has seen it all and today we were able to appreciate so much of its rich history and also witness the amazing ongoing transformation of vast tracks of industrial wilderness as the legacy of the Olympics continues to act as a catalyst for what seems to be a never ending regeneration.

Only 12 miles but a lot to see and thanks to a local resident, who invited us to visit the roof garden of his apartment block, we were also able to enjoy a bird’s eye view of a large part of our route.

If you want to follow in our footsteps clues to where we went can be gained by visiting here

Photos by Gavin Fuller; more by Gavin and Ian Watson on the group Facebook site.

Greensand Devil, Saturday 25th January 2020

11 walkers, 20 miles - leader Nigel Heys

Eleven people started from Milford Station, those who had arrived by train having had an extended journey owing to engineering work. They went from there to Witley a typical old Surrey village. They climbed from there to the Greensand Way which was followed for a time before starting the long climb to the Devil's Punchbowl. The Bowl  was filled with mist. We then continued to Gibbet Hill (see group photo) still in the mist. It was downhill from there to lunch in Grayswood where most people used the Wheatsheaf. 
After lunch we climbed up a field then under a fallen tree before reaching Chiddingfold. Then it was on to Witley Station (in Wormley!) rejoin the Greensand Way until Hambledon. Finally we crossed a golf course being rebuilt before taking the road back to Milford Station. 

Photo by Nigel Heys

A London Walkabout, Saturday 18th January 2020

18 miles - leader Ian Fairweather

Report yet to be received from leader

Photos by Ian Watson on the group Facebook site.

Sun, Sea and Sand 2020, Friday 10th January 2020

28 walkers, 14.5 miles (16 miles for those who reached the elusive Weatherspoons) - leader Ron Williamson

No rain, no snow, no mud, no hills, no navigational problems, hardly a challenging walk; just a great opportunity to enjoy each other’s company without having to worry about where to place our next step. A chance to witness a murmuration, watch seals swimming in the Thames, visit a life boat station 1.3 miles out at sea and walk on a sandy beach leaping effortlessly over the groynes. Then as the sun disappeared in the west a chance to observe a majestic full moon appear in the eastern sky and combine with the refracted rays of sunlight to produce the most awe inspiring sunset.

A few yards to the station to board a waiting train to end the day, but half of us wanted more and decided to walk to the nearest Wetherspoons which mysteriously seemed to have been relocated ? It was therefore some half hour later, and now in the dark, when our walk concluded and as promised our winter blues had been blown away

Photos by Gavin Fuller and Godfrey O'Callaghan; more by Gavin and Keith Lane on the group Facebook site.

Sunningdale to Staines, Saturday 4th January 2020

38 walkers, 18.5 miles - leader Kate Copeland

The morning was mostly within the grounds of Windsor Great Park, thus many of the sights to behold were royal in nature - Virginia Water (possibly named after the Virgin Queen), the Queen's Totem Pole, Duke of Cumberland's Obelisk (where we stopped for elevensies and the leader's time-keeping was rightly held to account), the Royal Lodge and then on to the Copper Horse.
We were disappointed not to see any deer in the deer park, however this was quickly forgotten as we basked in the brilliant sunshine and blue skies that burst out halfway down the Long Walk. There was some discussion about how long the Long Walk is. A quick internet search suggests it is 2.65 miles. The group was clearly ready for lunch as they covered this distance in 35 minutes!

Two of our number left us at Windsor. However, Carol joined us which was a lovely surprise.
The low, winter sunshine stayed with us until dusk which meant that the Thames between Windsor and Staines was looking its prettiest. The weeping willows were almost fluorescent in the light.
We arrived into Staines at about 4.45pm and deposited several of the team at their second Wetherspoon's of the day. The rest eschewed tea in favour of the train back to London.

Photos by Gavin Fuller; more by Gavin and Stephen Lannon on the group Facebook site.

New Year Hangover Buster, Wednesday 1st January 2020

36 walkers, 11 miles - leader Susanne Waldschmidt

The gloom of the grey morning skies was dispelled by the appearance of a large and jolly band of walkers at the Monument.  All 36 of them. 

We explored Roman Walls, walked past over 40 City churches, admired the works of art scattered around the city, tramped through endless alleyways without anyone getting lost.

It was nice to hear from LDWA members, who thought they knew the City well, that they had discovered many corners that they knew nothing about.

With the very large group size the pace was somewhat slower than on a standard walk, with an impressive average speed of 2 mph.  Nobody seemed in a great hurry though and we managed to finish around 1630.