Latest walk reports Saturday 12th September 2020


London 25th Anniversary Walks, Saturday 12th September 2020

East London

7 Walkers, 17 miles - leader Lonica Vanclay

7 of us set off from Stratford for a 17 mile walk through the Olympic Park, Hackney Marshes, Stamford Hill, Finsbury Park then Parliament Hill, Primrose Hill and Regents and Hyde Parks to the meeting point in St James Park for a delightful toast to the London LDWA for its 25th birthday. It was lovely weather and with lots of greenery and chat en route and at the gathering, it made for a most enjoyable day. Here's to the next 25 years of the London LDWA.

Photographs by Lonica Vanclay; more by Ian Watson on the Group Facebook site

North London

6 Walkers, 17.5 miles - leader Godfrey O'Callaghan

In the end, Colin was the only person to start at Oakwood; everyone else meet at Totteridge and Whetstone. Colin, who has been having trouble with his ankle decided not to go any further. There were two reasons for that – his ankle felt sore after a mid-week walk and he was expecting (and excited) about proofs of a novel he has recently completed – and they were arriving that morning. I will put in a plug for him here. The book’s title is Fifty Paces Forward! a murder mystery for walkers containing all the usual activities of a modern-day novel - the word ‘Fifty’ might give a clue. The book will be available at a special price for LDWA members. 

If one artistic personality wasn’t enough we had another in the shape of Samoan-born Aivale Cole. Her website provides a better introduction to her than I can. Just listen listen to her wonderful voice. I only learnt about Aivale after Susanne emailed me. This was her first walk and she did well to get through it.  

The Dollis Valley Green Walk was followed for the first half of our walk; a pleasant meander along the water course in well wooded surroundings and dappled sunlight. At one point it follows a road for a short distance, passing under the impressive Dollis Valley Viaduct that carries the Norther Line to Mill Hill East. 

Eventually the route turns to the different but no less delightful landscape of Hampstead Garden Village. However, before that, it passes through Little Wood. There took a break in a leafy glade featuring a secluded outdoor theatre. A local dog walker reminded us not to leave litter. Then on to Big Wood before reaching the homes and buildings of the Garden Village itself. The transition from village to Hampstead Heath extension is nicely thought out, even a little grand. and nicely sets one up for the path to Hill Park and the splendid surroundings of Pergola Gardens. They are a delight and we took our lunch break there.  

Crossing Hampstead Heath it was fairly easy to find a quiet route but eventually the packed summit of Parliament Hill had to be faced for the view and obligatory photo over London. We moved quickly on though to Gospel Oak where we entered the eye-catching terraces of Oak Village and then, in contrast, the area of Lismore Circus.  

There was a short transition between town and country as we headed towards Primrose Hill and Regents Park.  We took some time to enjoy Queen Mary’s Rose Garden and the surroundings of the Inner Circle.  

The remainder of the walk to the finish wandered through and around Paddington Street Gardens, The Wallace Collection, Grosvenor Square, Mount Street Gardens, Shepherds Market before the finale of Green Park and St James’s before crossing the Mall to find Lonica, Paul and Adam, leaders of three other anniversary groups. The only thing to do then once all groups were assembled was to have a few photos taken by Gavin and open the Prosecco - Pop! 

Photographs by Godfrey O’Callaghan

South-East London

10 Walkers, 13 miles - leader Paul Lawrence

Photographs by Paul Lawrence; more by Julie Welch on the Group Facebook site

London Parks and Riverside

6 Walkers, 14 miles - leader Adam Dawson

Our walk on Saturday followed the first half of the sadly-cancelled 2020 Capital Challenge and was one of a number of walks held to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the formation of the London Group. 

From St James’ Park we headed east to follow an anti-clockwise loop taking in, among other notable locations: Green Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Holland Park, Brompton Cemetery and Battersea Park. We took a brief diversion down Hyde Park Gate to check out Winston Churchill’s former residence, before breaking for a picnic lunch in Holland Park. 

As we made our way back round the loop to St James Park again, we crossed over Battersea Bridge where, very much to our surprise, we spotted a large black seal taking a leisurely swim in the murky waters of the Thames.  

The warm sunshine throughout the route made the walk particularly enjoyable and brought out an abundance of late summer flowers to add colour. The welcoming glass of Prosecco in St James Park, kindly organised by Marie and Colin, added the final touch to a perfect day out.  Even the social distancing rules couldn’t dampen the enjoyment of catching up with old friends and familiar faces at the end.

Photographs by Adam Dawson

The four London walks toast 25 years of London LDWA. Photograph by Gavin Fuller


South Downs Bonanza

6 Walkers, 25.3 miles - leader Jerome Ripp

There was a late change to the planned route as it was felt that finishing in Brighton on the last Saturday evening before the new Covid 19 restrictions might be risky with the crowds of people.

Hence it became a circular from Hassocks and 25 miles for the 25th anniversary of the London group seemed appropriate.

One person missed a train connection but was able to meet up at the Jack and Jill pub at Clayton without any loss of time. We were in the hills all day starting to the west with Wolstonbury Hill, Newtimber Hill, Devils Dyke, Fulking Hill with a section of the South Downs Way. The Sussex Border Path took us to the edge of the Brighton conurbation then Monarch's Way over Benfield and Round Hill and another section of the Border Path took us east of the A23 and up to the Chattri Indian war memorial for a well-deserved late lunch.

A zigzag route north east with views over Brighton and the Amex stadium over Stanmer Down and back to the South Downs Way. Then a straight route along the windy ridge, Ditchling Beacon, the Jack and Jill windmills at Clayton and descent to the hamlet of Clayton, the only habitation of the day and finally back to Hassocks to complete a 9-hour circuit of almost exactly 25 miles.

A perfect celebration walk, with ideal weather and ground conditions.

We are all looking forward to doing 50 miles for the 50th anniversary.

Photographs by Jerome Ripp




6 Walkers, 21.3 miles - leader Andy Shoesmith

Photograph by Andy Shoesmith


4 Walkers, 7 miles - leader Ron Williamson

Photographs by Pete Colley and Dave Williams