Walk Reports and Photos 2011

This page only covers walks for which we have photos. For full itinerary and summaries for 2011 click here.


Abbey Wood to Westminster, Saturday 15th October 2011

London Parks, Thursday 1st September 2011

I first led this walk last year as a hastily arranged extra walk due to public demand. This year I had time to fully recce it and to iron out a few of last year's kinks. 15 people gathered at Holland Park station. The walk started with a circuit of Holland Park including the beautiful Japanese Kyoto Gardens. Proceeding to Kensington Gardens we passed by the floral tributes on the gate of Kensington Palace to mark the anniversary of the death of Princess Diana. A circuit of Kensington Gardens followed including the Flower Gardens, Albert Memorial, Round Pound and Elfin Oak. We arrived at the Long Water to find that the Italian Gardens were boarded up for restoration. We walked down the side of the Serpentine noting in particular the new reed beds planted to attract Heron. We later passed a Heron busily eating bread on the concrete. After rounding the bottom of the Serpentine and going past the famous "Upside Down" tree and the flower garden, we left Hyde Park and entered Green Park by way of Wellington Arch. In Green Park we found that the Canadian War Memorial was also boarded up for restoration. Lastly through St James's Park in fading light to reach journey's end at Trafalgar Square. Some disagreement over which pub to use so we ended up using two. Rob

7 miles. Ldr Rob Myers

Haslemere to Guildford, Sunday 28th August 2011

Regents Park Area, Thursday 25th August 2011

My attempt to do this walk last year was abandoned late in the walk due to very heavy rain. I decided to do the walk in the reverse direction and 15 of us gathered at Baker St tube. We started with the delights of Queen Mary Gardens where late August is a good time to see the magnificient rose gardens. We then did a circuit of the lakes and then walked through the fountains of Avenue Gardens. Approaching the zoo we stopped off at the Indian Fountain in Broad Walk which hadn't produced drinking water for years and we were amazed to find that if you put your hands directly under the pipe then water came gushing out. This was part of the multi million pound investment the Royal Parks Foundation are making in upgrading ornamental and drinking fountains. We next climbed up Primrose Hill to admire the view and then walked along Regents Canal to Little Venice. Turning left we went via Paddington Basin to Paddington Station where the walk ended. I decided to use the Mad Bishop and Bear pub at the station which served a wide range of Fuller's Beers and was recommended in my CAMRA guide. It worked well. Rob

7 miles. Ldr Rob Myers

Mile End to Greenwich, Wednesday 17th August 2011

Well all 17 of us started in the rain and drizzle along the starting route of the 2012 100 - through Mile End Park, canal and Canary Wharf then Mudchute Farm and under the Thames by foot tunnel to Greenwich - at which point the rain stopped and we all oohed and aahed at the most spectacular sunset.  Along the Thames and through Greenwich Park up to the high points for views and to take it up to 6.5miles. Can't beat Dave's record of most walkers - but I reckon we get the award for most spectacular sunset!  And then a drink at where else - but Wetherspoons!

Ldr Lonica Vanclay

National Gallery tour and Hidden London, Wednesday 10th August 2011

A beautiful evening which bought out 23 LDWA members. The tour of the National Gallery added an extra mile to the walk! Amazingly enough there are quite a few paintings in the Gallery with a walking theme, including the superb Renaissance painting 'The Walk to Emmaus' where the three subjects look as though they have just completed a 100. We then walked via St James Park and the river to hit the backstreets and alleys north of the river before finishing at the Dickens Inn in St Katherine's dock. It was good to have Peter and Hilary Saw join us. Big apologies to the four people I missed before the gallery tour. There clearly are a lot of culture vultures in London LDWA so I will try and repeat this tour next summer specially for those who missed out.

7mls Ldr Susanne Waldschmidt

Silchester Circular, Sunday 7th August 2011

Epsom circular, Saturday 23rd July 2011

If you want more, look at David Clewley's collection.

Bushy and Hampton Court Parks, Wednesday 6th July 2011

When I travelled to Kingston at lunchtime there were bad problems at Waterloo due to a train failure and a person under a train, so it was with great relief that the trains were back to normal by the time people started arriving for the walk. 17 walkers gathered for the start. We walked through Kingston town centre admiring the bright and cheerful banners advertising the Kingston summer festival. Entering Hampton Court park we immediately came across the first of many herds of deer before heading for the top of the Long Water where we could see all the marquees of the Hampton Court Flower Show in the distance. We left Hampton Court park via a 750 year old oak and a golf course to reach a short stretch of the Thames Path before entering Hampton Court Palace. After passing through the grounds of the palace we crossed over to Bushy Park and lingered to admire the recently restored Statue of Diana which was designed by Sir Christopher Wren. Next we did a circuit of Waterhouse Woodland Gardens before going via Bushy House and Heron Pond to exit Bushy Park. We finished the walk at the Bishop Out of Residence pub overlooking the Thames. Definitely one of my favourite walks. Rob

7mls Ldr Rob Myers

South of Berwick, Sunday 3rd July 2011

This first Sunday in July was a stunning summers day and the South Downs were certainly a great place to be. Just seven of us started our walk from Berwick Station and just Dave Williams and I were the only ones to actually return there that evening with the others finishing at Seaford. Walking from the station round the southern shore of Arlington Reservoir we soon began our southward bearing towards the hills, aiming for The Long Man of Wilmington who looked down upon us from his hill in the distance. Up onto the higher ground we soon passed through Jevington then over some very undulating but bone dry terrain to reach the coast at the Belle Tout Lighthouse near Beachy Head. Soon after this we had our first stop at Birling Gap where we all had a well deserved drink and some an ice cream too. We then continued the classic walk over the Seven Sisters and down into Cuckmere Haven, up to Exceat Bridge and back to Seaford Head before our descent into Seaford. We had such amazing views looking back east to the gleaming, brilliant white cliffs along to Beachy Head and the sea was a lovely shade of greenish blue, especially where it met the cliffs and mixed with the chalk. After Seaford there was only more walking for the indefatigable Mr Williams and myself and by now it was turning very hot and muggy indeed. We pushed on though up to Bishopstone, then across the Downs to the South Downs Way on the main ridge near Firle Beacon. After yet another bite to eat and more drink with a nice pause looking north with a delightful expansive view from the Downs we continued along the South Downs Way. We soon left it however to descend from the hills for the last time that day to cross a few fields into Berwick village and a very uneplanned but welcome pub stop. Our final couple of miles saw us join the Vanguard Way and a final walk eastwards back to the station. A lovely but tiring days walk.

38mls Ldr Mike Ratcliffe

Osterley to Kew, Wednesday 29 June 2011

22 people turned up at Osterley station for this walk which equalled the summer evening walk attendance record. The walk swiftly proceeded to Osterley Park where we looked at the famous NT house first built by Thomas Gresham in 1576 and completely remodelled by Robert Adam in 1761. We then wandered through the grounds admiring the trees and lakes and left the park by crossing the M4 and joining the Grand Union Canal at Hanwell Locks. Now a Scheduled Ancient Monument this is a flight of 6 locks which drops down 53 feet. We stopped to admire Brunel's Three Bridges Lock where a road bridge is on top of another bridge carrying the canal which is in turn on top of a railway line. We followed the Grand Union Canal to Brentford Lock where we saw the remnants of the local boat repair industry. A short walk along a very attractive section of the Thames Path took us to Kew Bridge where we headed via Kew Green to the Railway Tavern at Kew Gardens station. Most people stayed for a pint or two reflecting on a very satisfying walk. Rob

9mls Ldr Rob Myers

Trent Park circular, Wednesday 1st June 2011

21, including several recovering from the 100, had a brisk walk around the perimeter of the park with a loop inwards to the house and lake. We saw the massive 1702 obelisk placed there in 1934 by the super-rich Philip Sassoon (to be seen from the honeymoon bedroom of the Duke of Kent), then the Anglo-Saxon Camlet moat, then a ditch of 10-foot-high poisonous giant hogweed, and so to the mansion with its classical sculptures and history including the imprisonment of Hess before itbecame an emergency teacher training college whose estate was preserved as green belt. We missed out the final fields of buttercups but were pleased to have extra time at the Cock and Dragon pub with its good Thai curries where Jerry joined us after failing to find us or the house or obelisk.

7mls Ldr Peter Russell

Faccombe Foray, Saturday 28th May 2011

The forecast was for a mainly cloudy day with a possibility of showers and a fresh breeze.   Thirteen of us, including several people new to the group, met at Kintbury Station, near Newbury, for a walk over the Berkshire Downs to Faccombe and back. Our start was delayed by latecomers, but by 9:45 we were on our way through Kintbury. Our route took us south past Titcomb Manor and across Inkpen Great Common, then south to climb over the eastern shoulder of Walbury Hill, which at 297m is the highest point in the Home Counties. It was cool and breezy on the ridge.  We descended to Combe for elevenses, before re-ascending to the conspicuous radio mast on Combe Hill. A long descent to Combe Bottom followed, after which we walked west down the valley before climbing steeply again to Linkenholt. A walk across field paths took us to Netherton, from where there was three quarters of a mile on a minor road, uphill, to the Jack Russell at Faccombe for lunch. Those who did not want to eat in the pub were able to use some rather worse-for-wear picnic tables by the village pond. Service at the pub was slow, and it was nearly an hour before we were able to set off again; the weather was grey, cloudy and breezy; those people eating outside got rather cold. After lunch a descent northeastward was followed by the last major climb of the day, over the shoulder of Pilot Hill. Our descent took us along the edge of a quarry, with a sheer drop to our left, then north to East Woodhay and onwards to Ball Hill. We carried on north through sunshine and showers to Hamstead Park, where the three people who had come by train sped on ahead to catch the 17:46 train, for which time was tight. Our route took us through the park to Hamstead Lock on the Kennet and Avon Canal for the last two and a half miles along the towpath. One of our party, who was suffering from severe blisters, decided to stay at the lock and wait for her friend to pick her up in her car; the rest of us made our way back to Kintbury, having covered approximately 21 miles with 2500 feet of ascent; we were pleased to find when we got there that our train travellers had caught their train.

21mls Ldr Steve Singleton

Essex Way, Saturday 7th May 2011

After 2 dry months there was heavy overnight rain and it was a great relief that it had stopped by the time the walk started and weatherwise it turned out to be a very pleasant day. 15 of us gathered at Manningtree station including 4 locals. From the station we climbed up to Lawford Church to join the Essex Way. We passed through the town of Manningtree and walked along Mistley Walls NNR to see the boats and mute swans on one of the more beautiful places on the Stour Estuary. From there we passed through the pretty villages of Mistley and Bradfield to rejoin the Stour, where we walked along the shoreline to reach Wrabness NR. I didn't think that the Essex Way did justice to the NR so I added a diversion up to the top of the reserve where we had a drinks break whilst enjoying views of the old Royal Naval School across the Stour on the Shotley Peninsular. From the drinks stop we passed by a green burial ground before arriving at All Saints Church. The church built in 1100 is famous for the fact that the bell tower collapsed in the 1700s and the bell was removed to a temporary outside cage where it has remained since. The group got spread out when members  decided whether to buy any of the home made jams left by the roadside. Passing through Stour Wood and Copperas Wood we arrived at Ramsay and got good views of the Ramsay Windmill. Lunch was at the Castle Inn. The Castle Inn is a very quiet village pub which was bizarrely the scene of a 12 hour police siege in 1979 when someone held the landlord hostage. The siege did not end happily as police had to shot dead the assailant. Anyway we all sat outside and enjoyed some good beer "Woodforde's Wherry" and some reasonably priced food. In the afternoon I added another "extension" to the Essex Way to include an additional 2 miles of sea wall around Hamford Water. After that Harwich gradually came in view. We passed the caravan site and the beach huts before reaching the lighthouses of historical Harwich where the walk and the Essex Way ended. A really enjoyable walk!

20 miles. Ldr Rob Myers

Fords and Hills of Herts Circular, Sunday 27 March 2011

Despite losing an hour's sleep to the putting forward of the clocks, 21 people turned up on time and enjoyed a 20 mile circular walk from Ware in weather which became increasingly warm and sunny as the day went on. Nobody actually qualified for a free pint by walking through all three fords before lunch at the pretty village of Standon (if you want to know why, try looking up "Standon ford" on Youtube), but the three brave souls who did two fords got a pint anyway. The attached pictures illustrate a range of fording techniques, from Paul's Careful-not-to-create-waves, via Rod's I've-got-waterproof-socks-so-there, to Steve's "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" And at the end there was still plenty of daylight left in which to get home.

20 miles Ldr Nick Marshall