Walk Reports and Photos 2015 (Jan-Jun)

From the last stop in London, 30 June 2015

7 people

7mls - Ldr Peter Aylmer

Seven of us made it through the chaos of last night's travel (Network Rail most likely suffering from the wrong type of heat). An excellent walk on a perfect warm summers evening.   The remains of last week's ill-gotten pub quiz winnings were successfully spent in Cockfosters' Cock pub afterwards. Commiserations to those who didn't make it!!


Uckfield to Ashurst - Ashdown Forest Traverse, 27 June 2015

21 people

21.7mls - Ldr Paul Lawrence

After first visiting Buxted Park and the location of its 'lost village' and later some unusual rock formations, we made a crossing of Ashdown Forest on sections of the Vanguard Way and Wealdway stopping at the Forester's Arms at Fairwarp for a welcome lunch and drinks in the warm weather. Then ascending to one of the Forest's high points at Camp Hill Clump and some cooling breezes, we descended to join the High Weald Landscape Trail and a teastop at Hartfield Village. The final section was along the Medway valley and Sussex Border Path . Ashdown Forest is a former hunting 'forest' with large open areas with wide tracks and is one of the largest remaining areas of lowland heath habitat in Britain and is mostly accessible to walkers. Views extend southwards to the South Downs and northwards to the greensand ridge and the North Downs. It was a past centre for the iron industry and the first blast furnace and is crossed by the track of a Roman road. The walk included 2100 ft of ascent. At Buxted Park, the site of a 'lost village' lies near the church, but there is little to see of the original location of the village after the then landowner, the first Lord Liverpool, politician, close adviser of George III, and father of a Prime Minister in Victorian times, 'encouraged' the villagers to relocate to make the grounds of his mansion more secluded, a process known as 'Emparkation'. The first military iron canon was cast in the village. Thanks to Andy Davies for backmarking!


Wanstead flats and park, 24 June 2015

18 people

7mls-Ldr Peter Aylmer

A very pleasant trot round Wanstead Flats and Park on a gentle summer evening. Amazingly, the team won £25 at the pub quiz afterwards! The walk was a wonderful prelude to a great social evening.


Photo by Peter Aylmer


Summer Solstice Sunrise Hampstead, overnight 20-21 June 2015

11 people

15mls-Ldr Adam Pode

Eleven night-owls joined Adam for this nocturnal outing to view the midsummer solstice.   It was not quite as dark as the attached photo shows when the group arrived on Parliament Hill in time for the sunrise but, sadly, no sign of the sun unlike Stonehenge.   The group enjoyed an early breakfast in Soho to complete the occasion.


Photo by Adam Pode


Tree spotting in Richmond Park, 18 June 2015

5 people

8mls-Ldr Paula Buckton

A smaller turnout than usual for this lovely summer evening walk in Richmond park. We suspected some regulars were otherwise engaged in the Lakes and Scotland. But 5 members and one guest enjoyed the balmy summer evening trotting around the park, circumnavigating the deer, resisting running off with the clothes of three skinny dippers in the lake and gathering leaves for later identification in the tree spotting competition. Dave surrendered his prize early on and just about managed to identify a nettle leaf. Pillbox grasped his small collection so tightly, he struggled to identify any of the soggy mush he ended up with. David made a valiant effort but Peter stormed the winning position with a rucksack full of leaves he proceeded to identify. Paula had to acquiesce to his knowledge as her tree app, purchased at great expense for judging purposes, died with her phone battery. Peter took home first prize (a chocolate orange) David scoffed his second prize without offering them round and pillbox saved his maltesers until he could find a straw to eat them. Paula's friend Pam enjoyed the walk and joined everyone in the pub for a few beers. What a treat you all missed!!!

(No photos yet)


Knockholt to Slade Green, 13 June 2015

14 people

18mls-Ldr Peter Buchwald


Map: http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=51.409238~0.216281&lvl=12&sty=s&cid=8FAACB80CCF76E1A!174


A lonely horse gambolled up to us
Enjoying our company at a stile
A farmer took a break from her work
To show us the overgrown path we'd missed. 

We crossed the rolling verdant land
To a large country inn on a green
The babbling river flowing happily by
In the rolling grassy Kentish downlands. 

We strolled on to Crayford's marshes
Wild flowers yellow and purple at our feet
Flittering butterflies around us red and black
An old moated castle slowly sinking away.


Photos by Catherine Fox and Peter Buchwald


Hampton Court to Kingston, 10 June 2015

8 people 

7mls-Ldr John and Gail Elrick

On leaving Hampton Court Station we entered the Palace Grounds admiring the roses and then passed into the tranquillity of the  new Kitchen Gardens. Exiting Hampton Court via the Lion Gate we passed into Bushy Park where we immediately spotted the first group of deer of the evening. This proved to be just welcoming party, except for the Woodland Garden  where both deer and dogs are forbidden (to their mutual frustration) we saw deer everywhere!  

Passing through the aforementioned gardens we reached the newly restored Water Gardens and then took a route to view the site of the hut occupied by Eisenhower when Bushy Park become the location for the planning of the WW2 D Day Landings. By now the Park was looking extremely attractive with the rich summer sun starting to set and casting a rich glow over everything. Leaving the Park we headed for our final destination, the Weatherspoon pub in Kingston. On arrival we were rather surprised to be confronted by a very fierce lady Bouncer who firmly pointed us to the correct door for entry. There we were met by a slightly less fierce, but bigger, male bouncer. We were duly interrogated, but finally allowed entry!

Photos by Roderick Smith


Steven's two loops , 7 June 2015

9 people

20mls-Ldr Steven Muster


Nine people attended the walk. Three came via the rail replacement bus. As it was a small group we did the walk a faster pace than usual, starting at 9:30 am and finishing by 3:40 pm!   Two Loops walk, from Benfleet to Hadleigh Castle and then walking round Canvey Island.   A brilliant, sunny day!

Photos by Steven Muster

(see also https://www.flickr.com/photos/redbridgerambler/sets/72157645265035726 for some photos from the recce, a few months earlier)



Wandle Trail, 3 June 2015

13 people

9mls-Ldr Andy Davies

Seven of us started out at Waddon and a further six joined at Carshalton station. Fine weather and we enjoyed walking the Wandle Trail which follows the river very closely all the way to the Thames through a succession of parks - Beddington, Ravensbury, Morden Hall and King George's among them. Three new members were on their first outing with us. At the end of the walk six of us enjoyed a drink or two in the Alma while others made their way home. 

No photos yet


Lea and Stort Valley explorer, 31 May 2015

8 people

20mls-Ldr Steve Plested


8 people turned up for my walk and seemed to enjoy the riversides and woodlands explored despite the occasional rain showers, we walked at a good pace and without a lunch time pub stop were back at Cheshunt after 7.5 hours with the added bonus of hearing a cuckoo calling close by during the walk. 

No photos yet 


Green Park to Tower Hill, 28 May 2015

13 people

8mls-Ldr Peter Russell

The Royal parks and Thames embankment had much to look at on a  bright evening.

The walk had 13 takers and was 8 miles without doing the loop around the round pond.

Highlights were the pelicans roosting on their rock, a zig-zag dazzle camouflage 1916 warship and, of course, a social beer and curry at Wetherspoons near the Tower of London.


No photos yet 

Chess, Misbourne and Colne valley explorer, 24 May 2015

19 people

20mls-Ldr Adam Dawson

An unusually interesting walk which started with an unexpected encounter with Batman at Rickmansworth station (on his way to a Super Heroes convenion, apparently) and included a trip to a bit of Portugal hidden away in the Chalfonts - at the famous Madeiran custard tart shop in Chalfont St Peter.   On the way, we explored three valleys, dodged the rain, and had a picnic.   And the diversion at the end to avoid the sewage works had the additional benefit of leading to lakeside cafe - a perfect end to a great day out, with Rickmansworth and environs looking their Spring finest..

GPX file if you'd like to follow the track yourself, can be dounloaded from:


Photos by Adam Dawson



Mortlake to Richmond, 20 May 2015

8 people

6mls-Ldr Douglas Robinson

Eight people and a dog enjoyed the leisurely stroll from Mortlake to Richmond. The weather was fine and clear making it a perfect evening for walking. 

Interestingly we passed from the eastern hemisphere to the western one before returning to the eastern one again at the end of the walk or, at least, we would have if we had done the walk before 1888. That was when the meridian line moved from Richmond to Greenwich. 

Of the eight walkers, one was from Australia and one from new Zealand. Is this the furthest anyone has come for an evening walk? 

Finally, we ended the walk in a quiet pub in Richmond.

No photos yet



Wild Garlic, 16 May 2015

21 people

21+mls-Ldr Roderick Smith

A group of 21 met at Petersfield Station at 0930 on Saturday 16 May.  We walked through the town stopping briefly at M&S for lunchtime sandwiches; via The Avenue to The Lake before returning to The Hangers Way to Buriton.  We stopped beside the Church with its Bonham-Carter memorials and a timelessly tranquil village pond, before climbing steeply through the old chalkpits and on to yummy light refreshments at the Queen Elizabeth Visitor Centre.

Passing Butser Ancient Farm, we climbed in hot sunshine to the top of Windmill Hill, and, continuing south, enjoyed far-reaching views to Boniface Down more than 20 miles away on the Isle of Wight.  After Blendworth Farm we turned east to Finchdean for a picnic lunch in the centre of the hamlet.  The George pub was very busy hosting the owners of 100 high-powered Mercedes AMG cars.

After lunch and past South Holt Farm we entered woodland with several acres of wild garlic in full flower before reaching the isolated St Hubert’s Chapel, Idsworth.  We saw the Chapel’s medieval wall paintings, and continued north to Huckswood Lane and east along Cowdown Lane.  The grand-sounding but rather less-imposing Ladyholt Park preceded a steep climb out of a bucolic valley up to Ditcham Park School.  From Coulters Dean Farm we descended the Milky Way through more wild garlic and back to Buriton.

We returned along country paths to The Lake, arriving at the station by 1740 after more than 21 miles in 8 hours.  A great day out in superb weather enjoyed by members and friends of many nationalities from London and Wessex Groups.

Photos by Roderick Smith

Additional photos by Bola Baruwa

Deer and Azaleas, 13 May 2015

16 people

6mls-Ldr Roderick Smith

A group of 16 met at Richmond Station on a lovely warm sunny evening.  We walked across The Green and through a former gateway to Henry VII’s palace, down to a dry Thames Path, past St Helena Terrace and the Quinlan Terry-deisgned Richmond Terrace.  Thence across Petersham Meadows to a restored grave marking the place of Vancouver for whom the Canadian City is named.  Having crossed the main road, we climbed the hill to King Henry’s Mound for an excellent view of St Paul’s Cathedral, and a hazy view of Heathrow.  Past a drinks reception at Pembroke Lodge and on to the  Isabella Plantation where the azaleas produced a magnificent display of colour this year.

Through the little-known Tercentenary Plantation, and up to Spanker’s Hill Wood, we briefly enjoyed a distant view of Pen Ponds before stopping in front of White Lodge, home to the Royal Ballet School.  Passing through the broad avenue of Duchess Wood, we turned right to Two Storm Wood and Conduit Wood before leaving the Park through a now closed-for-the-night Richmond Gate.  

A brief stop to admire the “classic-Turner” view from Richmond Hill before a quick walk to The Green where some caught the fast train back towards Waterloo and others adjourned for a well-earned drink and natter in the Railway Tavern.  8 miles completed by all 16 in 3 hours on dry ground.

Photos by Corinne Thompson

Additional photos by Roderick Smith

South Downs from Plumpton, 9 May 2015

16 people

20mls-Ldr Andy Davies

A figure of eight walk through the South Downs.

A few fields in we met a ghostly shepherd lad with a rough hewn stick who walked with us to the top of the downs before fading back to Ditchling. We paused to enjoy the first full view of the downs at Streat Church and note the V shaped group of trees planted to celebrate Victoria's jubilee in 1887. A profusion of cowslips on the slopes of Streat Hill, then as we headed for Stanmer Down the rain started. Spectacular bluebell vista in Highpark Wood. After Standean the rain stopped; sun and wind combined to dry us for lunch at the Jack and Jill. The weather continued to improve as we headed east to Black Cap and then through farmland back to the station for the 6.28 train. Most seemed to agree this was an excellent walk.

Photos by Bola Baruwa

Southfields to Barnes, 6 May 2015

6 people

6mls-Ldr Andy Davies

6 of us enjoyed this stroll on an overcast and very blustery evening, but at least it did not rain.
We walked through Wimbledon Park, up to the village, passing the first building Richard Rogers ever designed, across Wimbledon Common and Putney Heath then down Putney Park Lane to the Marc Bolan memorial and on to Barnes Common. After seeing the others to Barnes Bridge station Andy retired to the Bulls Head for refreshment (well somebody has to keep the pubs going).

No photos yet!


Hampstead Heath Walk - circular, 3 May 2015

23 people

20mls-Ldr Catherine Fox

Met 23 people, including some new members. Circular walk from East Finchley. Morning, through Highgate Woods, a section of the Capital Ring, then circular route on Hampstead Heath, including parks on outskirts of heath, through woods, alongside ponds and past playing fields. Past number of viewpoints of Central London, getting progressively clearer through the morning.

Lunch stop in Highgate village and Waterlow Park.

Afternoon, through Finsbury Park, Harringay, Hornsey to Alexandra Palace, then home.

Photos by Catherine Fox and Jane Rosoux


In Darwin's Footsteps, 26 April 2015

15 people (appx)

20mls-Ldr Paul Lawrence

(Walk report details to follow).

Photos by Mafe Sukhia


Crystal Palace to Forest Hill, 22 April 2015

13 people

6mls-Ldr Marita Sanders

A great spring evening walk, expertly led by Marita. Visited Crystal Palace, Dulwich Woods, One Tree Hill, and Forest Hill.

Photos by Roseanne Hughes


London Group’s Magical Mystery Tour "You'll never walk alone", Friday 17 - Sunday 19  April 2015

14 people

Various mls-Ldr Paul Lawrence

A report by our guest correspondent, Susanne Waldschmidt:

13 walkers joined Paul Lawrence for a weekend of culture, heritage, football and of course walking in Liverpool.  We wasted no time on the Friday exploring the stunning Waterside, which had set the stage for mass migrations of people to the Americas as well as a brutal industrial scale trade in slaves.

On the Saturday we set off, under blue suburban skies, to walk along the coast and sand dunes North of Liverpool.  We passed strange humanoid sculptures emerging from the waves.  Further on harassed ducks tried to keep their large families in order.  We continued along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal passing locks, docks and mammoth warehouse blocks.  On we went past Billy Fury, Razzle Tazzle boats, giant palm trees and a pagoda until we got to Penny Lane.  After 20 miles we at last found a bus shelter near the middle of a roundabout and returned to the City Centre for a well deserved evening meal.

On Sunday Paul had even more wonders to show us. A Protestant Cathedral and a Catholic Cathedral, Grade 1 listed Gents Urinals (no grades for the ladies), Chinatown, neo-classical buildings, Liver birds and the home of Brian Epstein.  Later some of the group made the pilgrimage to Anfield while those of a different cultural persuasion hit the excellent museums.

Our LDWA City Break had been a great success thanks to Paul’s brilliant organization and his encyclopaedic knowledge on just about everything.  What better way to round off the weekend than a Ferry across the Mersey.

Photo by Susanne Waldschmidt

Additional photos by Bola Baruwa


Petersfield circular, 19 April 2015

10 people

23 mls-Ldr Jerome Ripp

A group of 10 enjoyed a wonderful 22 mile walk in the Hampshire hills on an ideal spring day, cold but lots of sunshine. West of Petersfield took us to the hill above East Meon and then south along the ridge to HMS Mercury and a section on the South Downs Way and Monarchs Way. Picnic lunch in the hills and then a glorious section round Old Winchester Hill before a descent to the fleshpots of a countryside experience, which meant loads of cars and people looking for entertainment and food. Our entertainment was finding hidden valleys, walking up lots of hills, climbing gates, running across the A3 and a speedy finish to catch our train. A great day out.

Photos to follow

GPX track of the walk (with slightly modified ending) courtesy of Linda Pan



Godalming circular, 11 April 2015

21 people

20 mls-Ldr Jenny Caddy

The walk went well. There were 21 in total on it. The route was mud-free. We had light rain for the first 45 minutes and in less than an hour there was sunshine for the rest of the day. Apart from the lack of leaves on trees it could have been summer. In the afternoon we stopped briefly at the village shop in Hambledon for ice creams.

Photos to follow, if I can locate any!

Tulip Fever (with Kent), Sunday 5 April 2015

13 people

20 mls-Ldr Peter Jull

13 walkers, mostly Kent members with fewer from London (defying National Rail’s Easter Sunday engineering works attempts to derail travel plans) and two from Sussex gathered at Sole Street station.

The rationale for this walk being squeezed into the schedule turned out to be spurious as the expected release date of the film Tulip Fever was delayed but concerns over further spuriousness caused by fog on the day of reconnaissance that nothing would be seen anyway were allayed by the trees still being devoid of foliage which meant better views were possible of Cobham Hall where the outdoor sets of canalside Amsterdam were shot.

The "unlucky 13 walkers" missed an early turning and followed a substantial loop to get back on route.

On to the first climb of the day up to the Darnley Mausoleum and early elevenses. The bulk of the day’s 2000ft of ascent followed and with it, more of the descent, including down from Holly Hill at 25% which would have been “adventurous” if the recent mud hadn’t dried underfoot. Space was at a premium but those wanting food at the Neville Bull in Birling were squeezed in at premium prices.

Emerging from lunch the morning’s light cloud had cleared to blue skies and most spent the afternoon in shirtsleeves. Found lurking in the churchyard was our friend "Pillbox" having made his way there on his own after arriving by a later train. Real tulips were spotted in a garden as we left the village then, as the scarp of the North Downs loomed ominously closer, a photo stop was made at Coldrum Longbarrow before tackling the long climb. From the top of Trottiscliffe Country Park a decaying woodland path was bushwhacked, our contribution to keeping it open. Soon there was just one more hill to climb, one more lane to follow, one last park to cross and we were safely back at the station, the morning miss (mostly) forgiven.

Photos by Peter Jull

Jewels of the Pilgrims Way, Saturday 4 April 2015

15 people

23 mls-Ldr Adam Pode

Fifteen walkers, including two potential new members, joined Adam for this excursion round the North Downs, taking in Kemsing church, Chevening House and Oxted Downs.   Going was quite hard in places after recent rain but brightened up to bring haze and mist, and a glimpses of spring sunshine to bring out the best of the views from the Downs.

Photos by Bola Baruwa

Another Blitz Walk, Bermondsey and Rotherhithe to Waterloo, Wednesday 1st April 2015

11 people

7mls-Ldr Adam Pode

Ten walkers joined Adam to take advantage of the lighter evenings for an interesting walk taking in lots of old churches, war memorials plus a couple of parks..

Visiting sites commemorating the WWII London Blitz in 1940 and 1941.

Photos by Paul Lawrence


London Parks Way  (pt 2 of 3) - Hammersmith to Trafalgar Sq, Saturday 28th Mar 2015

30 people

20 mls-Ldr Rob Myers

The prospect of a mud-free walk and decent weather attracted a record turnout of over 30 walkers for Rob's exploration of some of London's best parks.   A great day out was had by all, with lots of interesting sights en route - as the photos show...

Photos by Corinne Thompson, Bola Baruwa and Paul Cutmore 

Welwyn Garden City circular, Sunday 22nd March 2015

7 people

22  mls-Ldr Steve Plested

An elite group of seven joined Steve for his exploration of the Hertfordshire countryside.

It was a good day weather-wise and the first walk for a while with virtually no mud.  All participants said they enjoyed the countryside, weather and lack of mud.   This more than made up for the disappointment of not needing towels to dry feet after the river crossing, - which was at its lowest level..

No photos this time 

The Downs from Chichester, Saturday 14th March 2015

19 people

19 mls-Ldr Peter Aylmer

19 walkers from London LDWA, with a few also from Surrey and Sussex, joined Peter for this walk around the South Downs.   Peter reports that:

"We kept up a good pace on the old rail line out of Chichester until cutting up through a large metal-detecting party onto the Downland section, taking the short pull up the scarp slope to the north end of Bow Hill ridge. From here there's a long descent through a broad dry valley to Staughton, passing the pub there before a lower hill-section to the Barley Mow at Walderton. We'd phoned ahead with the news that roughly half of us were eating, and they kept a table - good food, great beer choice, prompt service, perfect!

In the afternoon we took a little loop round part of the Kingley Vale National Nature Reserve, past Tolkeinesque yews so old they can't be dated, across the open ground of the vale itself, and off-piste (deliberately!) through a dark coppice where even the shortest of the walkers had to duck. From there, the bridleway over Stoke Clump took us back - on what at first seemed like a bee-line to Chichester Cathedral - towards the rail line, and home..”

Photos by Peter Aylmer, Keith Lane and Bola Baruwa

Additional photos by Jane Rosoux

Mortlake to Richmond, Wednesday 11th March 2015

4 people

6 mls-Ldr Douglas Robinson

Four people and a dog enjoyed the gentle stroll by the river to Richmond. It was a calm and peaceful evening with few other people out and about apart from the rowers and canoers on the river. As a result of the large bends on the river, the walk was notable for crossing the meridian line twice (not the current meridian in Greenwich but the one that preceded it in Richmond.)

Finally, the Princes Head on Richmond Green provided a good end to the walk as it ticked all the boxes - good beer, good food, football on the TV and happy to have the dog..

(No photos this time I’m afraid)

One More Ham and Venison Wrap, Sunday 8th March 2015

25 people

19 mls-Ldr Andy Shoesmith

Just a brief report this time.   Walk went well. 25 set out. Sunny at first but clouded up and cooled down. 6 departed after lunch. No rain

No photos this week I’m afraid 

From Dormans to Oxted and Round About, Saturday 28th February 2015

20 people

20 mls-Ldr Dave Williams

“Guest report” from Adam Dawson:

Twenty walkers joined Dave Williams at around 9:14 for an excellent walk north along the Greenwich meridian from Dormans to Oxted.   The heavy drizzly rain, which was not forecast to arrive until the afternoon, persisted all day but failed to dampen spirits on this cheerful outing.   After a brief stop for refreshment by the picturesque church at Lingfield, we followed the Kent/Surrey border up to Oxted, where we enjoyed an efficient and good value lunch at (of course) the Wetherspoons by the railway station.   After lunch, we headed off east, following parts of the Greensand Way, and passing through the churchyard at Limpsfield where the musicians Frederick Delius and Sir Thomas Beecham are buried.   From Westerham, we looped to the south and then west, through the (rather muddy!) woodland back to Oxted, completing a “P” shaped walk over the day.   Most of the group caught the 17:53 train back to London from there, though some of the hardier members returned to Wetherspoons for a curry and a pint.

Many thanks to Dave for a very enjoyable and sociable day’s walking.  For anyone interested, a GPX file of our walk can be downloaded from here: http://bit.ly/1K34Upj

Photos by Bola Baruwa and Adam Dawson 


Kingston Riverside, Deer and Parkland, Thursday 26th February 2015

5 people

8mls-Ldr Jerome Ripp

5 hardy walkers braved the February cold and the mud on the Thames towpath for a brisk 8.5 mile route through Richmond Park mostly off-piste from Kingston Gate to Richmond hill. Deer were mainly in hiding as they knew about the cull that was to start later in the evening so we got out in time as well. There were some fine views of London skyline from the ridge and some unknown areas of the park for even the cognoscenti.

Linear from Hassocks to Hove, Sunday 22nd February 2015

8 people

23mls-Ldr Margaret Romanski

Eight hardy souls joined Margaret for this excellent walk through the Downs in the face of stormy weather. In the event, the ladies proved hardier than the men, with five turning up compared to a much less impressive showing of just three from the men!

Around the Wells and Rocks, Saturday 14th February 2015

15 people

18.5mls-Ldr Jane Bates

15 walkers decided to join Jane on her Valentine’s day hike along the Kent / Sussex border. Jane reports that:

”The morning was misty but we made good progress across minor roads and footpaths to Eridge park where we took a permissive almost invisible path through Saxonbury woods to Saxonbury Tower where we had a brief break. By then we all knew that good views came with a penalty, the unrelenting up and down of the High Weald.

Then on to eventually pass Bowles rocks, one of the famous rock climbing areas to our slightly earlier than advertised lunch stop at Boarshead. I had to warn everyone to switch off mobile phones as pub is a mobile phone free pub. The panel by the entrance door with the 'killed' mobile phones made sure they all took my advice. The slightly leisurely wait for food gave plenty of time to chat and get to know each other and allowed the lunch time shower to pass.

Then on to Harrisons rocks and then to Groombridge where we looked at the model railway perfect spa railway station before navigating to the north of Tunbridge wells before dropping down through Rusthall and Tunbridge Wells commons before a final touristy finish through the famous Pantiles where we almost 'took the waters' before finishing at Tunbridge wells station just after 5 after 18.5 miles only slightly muddy miles.”

One happy walker summed up the day with a text message afterwards “The walk yesterday was SO lovely Jane! Thank you SO much! Great scenery, lovely people, pub and atmosphere and brilliantly led! Hope to meet you again soon in your gorgeous part of the world!”. Sounds like a great day out!

Winter on the Downs - Linear, Saturday 7th February 2015

14 people

20mls-Ldr Jerome Ripp

A group of 14 enjoyed an invigorating winter walk with multi-coloured mud in cold but bracing conditions from Wivelsfield south with the magnetic attraction of the south Downs pulling us on. A brief tour on top, then via Plumpton Agricultural college to the Jolly Sportsman at East Chiltington for lunch. The reception for muddy walkers was frosty rather than jolly but service was quick, food good and soon we were back up towards the Downs at Blackcap. A tour around and then some excitement climbing over barbed wire before sanity returned and into Lewes to finish 20 miles and in time for the 16.52.

Peter's Ancestral Trails, Sunday 1st February 2015

16 people

17.5mls-Ldr Peter Jull

On Sunday 1st February 5 from London (Bulla drove & 4 on the train) and 11 from Kent congregated at Hollingbourne station for 9am and Peter’s Ancestral Trails No1.

The walk began with a substantial session of collecting claggy, clingy Kentish mud as shoes turned to diver’s boots across unreinstated arable fields, dodging from wood to wood. The strenuousness left one straggler struggling and when we’d got to Thurnham (Peter’s great grandmother was baptised 1856) when she graciously offered to drop out and follow her map for a few miles at a gentler pace.

Sadistic mud was followed by a sadistically steep climb straight up the North Downs scarp. Breath catching mixed with breath taking views while the strong wind blew your breath away. Over the top a sprinkling of snow on the ground was passed and later followed by a snow flurry or two but for the rest of the day only a biting wind impaired the weather for walking.

Regrouping at Thurnham Castle (no relations) was followed by a tree hugging/fence clinging very steep and slippery descent of the motte. The rest of the morning was gentler varied terrain, passing Bicknor and with some views of Sheppey and glimpses of Essex. Stile congestion kept the field strung out and counting them off at the last turn to lunch went 10,11,12…wait…wait…uh oh three down!

Back to the road, into the village where straight on would have taken the missing three, round the long way to the pub to find a GPS had got the missing three there anyway. Speedy service at The Sun, Bredgar allowed a quick afternoon arable start. The flinty soil of these higher fields made them less arduous despite their size. A stretch with seesaw stiles and unopenable gates hampered the crossing of a deep valley approaching Wormshill (Peter’s 13 greats grandfather born c1440). A few more large fields and it was downhill, gently, all the way back to Hollingbourne.

Merstham to Putney, Saturday 24th January 2015

19 people

20mls-Ldr Peter Buchwald

19 people turned up for an excellent day’s walking. The group enjoyed blue skies and a crisp cold winter day, a lot of mud and a good choice of pub for lunch. Pleasant afternoon along the Wandle with a tea stop at Merton Abbey Mills finishing at about 17:30 at Putney station.

North Greenwich to Canary Wharf, Wednesday 21st January 2015

15 people

6mls-Ldr Paul Lawrence

Preceded by a return trip on the cablecar across the Thames, the Emirates Air Line, the walk linked the 02 to Canary Wharf along the Thames Path, crossing the Thames through the Greenwich Foot Tunnel and using pedestrian walkways along the old docksides across the Isle of Dogs to end at the Ledger Building Wetherspoons for a drink and meal. En route we visited the Old Royal Naval College and walked on atmospheric riversides that were the sites of past shippping and seafaring industries.

Photos by Paul Lawrence (cablecar) and on the walk by Adam Dawson 

North of Trafalgar Square, Sunday 18th January 2015

25 people

15mls-Ldr Susanne Waldschmidt

Susanne had 25 hikers at the start in Trafalgar Square today  - but lost a couple en route to watch football!   (Suitable punishment is being devised..). One keen LDWA member even came down from Cumbria to join the walk. Another excellent hike with much of interest en route via St James's Park, Green Park, Mount Street Gardens, Manchester Square, Regents Park, Primrose Hill, Parliament Hill, Kenwood, Golders Hill Park for cafe lunch, Hampstead Garden Suburb, and the Capital Ring to East Finchley - slightly over 15 miles from 09:00 to 15:35. The photos show some of the highlights from Sunday’s outing.

Ivinghoe, Ashridge and Tring circular, Saturday 10th January 2015

26 people

19.3mls-Ldr Adam Dawson

26 of us ventured out into the wilds of North Hertfordshire for an exhilarating 19.3 mile trek round the Chilterns.   We started at Tring station at 09:17 then headed to Ivinghoe Beacon along the Ridgeway. En route we were soaked in a heavy rain shower but it brightened up by the time we reached the summit revealing clear views for miles in all directions. Then headed to Studham for lunch via the Icknield Way and pausing to spot Widlebeest as we skirted Whipsnade Zoo. We saw animals lurking in the distance which am pretty sure were Wildebeest but others confidently assured me were actually donkeys...

After a quick lunch in the Red Lion we returned via the Ashridge Estate to the Bridgewater Monument (the 3rd Earl of Bridgewater was the "Father of Inland Navigation" according to the plaque). Pause for a quick cup of tea at the NT café then down through the beechwoods to the Grand Union Canal near Cow Roast (yes, really) then along the towpath in gathering gloom, returning to Tring by 17:10, just in time to avoid needing head-torches.

A glass of red wine and a hot bath well deserved for all participants!

GPX file for anyone interested in the technology is attached here:


Nunhead to Falconwood, Sunday 4th January 2015

11 people

18mls-Ldr Laurence Foe

11 walkers attended Lawrence Foe's linear walk from Nunhead to Falconwood on Sunday 4 January 2015.   This included a Shropshire based walker who stayed with her daughter in London at the weekend. Lawrence led the group on a branch of the Green Chain walk via three cemeteries which held much of historic and social interest for the group:  WW1 memorials, lavish family tombstones, strange edifices. The group also climbed One Tree Hill and had a good panorama across Central London. The walk continued along a disused railway line in Sydenham Hill Woods, had a short break at Crystal Palace Park and stopped for lunch at the public golf club house in Beckenham Place Park.  The club house terrace affords grand sweeping views across the golf course.

Perhaps the highlight of the afternoon was a massive 'Father Christmas' collection outside a private house near the Downham woodland walk. This attracted much attention for the group.The group arrived at Falconwood station before dusk and Lawrence was congratulated on a carefully planned walk which held much interest.

Mainline Stations Walk, Thursday 1st January 2015

11 people

8mls-Ldr Susanne Waldschmidt

Very successful walk and the weather was kind to us. 11 people including Susanne. No drop-outs though the walk was slightly longer than advertised at  8 miles. The 4pm start worked well so we had some daylight walking along the canal and festive lights brightened the rest of the walk. It was also a lovely quiet day. Almost too quiet. To our dismay many pubs were shut and even a station (Cannon Street) had not seen any moving trains that day. At last we repaired to a hostelry near London Bridge at just after 7pm.