Walk Reports and Photos 2016 (Sep-Dec)

Slade Green, not Sleigh Green, Saturday 24th December 2016

9 walkers, 23 miles – Ldr Neil Cook

(Report from Julie Welch via FaceBook)

...Enjoying a late Christmas Eve lunch at the Thames barrier...



Darent Valley Walk, Saturday 17th December 2016

22 walkers, 15 miles – Ldr Ian Fairweather

Yes, at one point we had 22. Started with 20 and we were joined ‘en route’ by 2 more.

Weather was grey, but the rain held off. We had a 45 min lunch stop in Lullingstone Country Park. Few of us finished up in the Wetherspoons in Sevenoaks.

A grand day out.

Photos by Ian Faitweather


Shaw’s Cornered, Harpenden to St Albans, Saturday 10th December 2016

21 walkers, 19 miles – Ldr Rod Smith

A group of 21 enjoyed a day out from Harpenden Station starting at 0915. A grey overcast morning preceded light drizzle at lunch and light rain in the afternoon. We followed a route devised by Peter Aylmer initially along a former railway line from Luton to Hatfield, thence via the Mid-Herts Golf course, Lamer Park, and the two St Lawrence churches to arrive at The Brocket Arms in Ayot St Lawrence for a mid-morning coffee and tea break.

Duly refreshed we passed Shaw’s home, now a National Trust house, and continued past Stockings Springs Wood to walk beside the River Lea into Wheathampstead for lunch at The Swan. The pub provided reasonably quick service for a large group and we were on our way again after an hour. There was little time to explore the church which has substantial memorials to the Garrard family of Lamer Park, and a diminutive figure of the Antarctic explorer, Apsley Cherry-Garrard.

Via the Devil’s Dyke and Coleman Green to Sandridge for mince pies before a gentle climb and a descent to cross the old airstrip of Ellenbrook Fields and join the old Hatfield to St Albans railway line at Smallford. A brisk pace saw us finish at St Albans Station at 1645 just in time for a fast train back to London.

7:30 total time, including 1:20 for coffee and lunch, net c.6:10 moving for c.19 miles walked.

Photos by Roderick Smith


London Parks by Night & Xmas Lights,  Wednesday 7th December 2016

14 walkers, 7.3 miles - Ldr Jane Bates

14 of us met at Charing Cross, but I almost lost 2 within 100 yards of start - a record even for me. Once reunited we went down Whitehall past Women in War memorial and Cenotaph, then through St James Park, Green Park and Hyde Park before exiting by the Animals in War memorial at Park Lane. On the way we visited many other war memorials including the Canadian one, the New Zealand one and a Holacaust memorial amongst others. In stark contrast to all the memorials our walk around Hyde Park had the constant backdrop of the Winter Wonderland rather extreme attractions. Once we exited the parks we then visited all the famous and not so famous Xmas lights; Oxford Street, Bond Street, Regent Street as well as Carnaby Street, Burlington Arcade, some Xmas shop window displays and tiny littleXmas light bedecked areas such as Kingsly Court where we had to squeeze between tables. We eventually wandered back to Trafalgar Square where the famous , but not very impressive, Norweigian Xmas tree was placed. Finished just before 9 at Weatherspoons on Whitehall where eventually our booked table appeared and a few beers and usual Weathespoon fayre was partaken. Weather , dry and mild for time of year Miles - just over 7 miles, start 6 pm, finished 8.45pm Jane 

Photos by Jane Bates

Photos & trackfile by Paul Lawrence
Map with streets: Viewranger

Hendon Hobble,  Sunday 4th December 2016

15 ,15.5, 15.75 or nearly 16 miles ? Oh lets call it 17 miles - Ldr Dave Wiliams

Despite extensive travel problems on the day 19 brave souls made it to the start at Hendon.

On a bright, crisp day we finally set off some 30 mins. late on a surprisingly rural walk considering it's urban location.

There were no disasters to report apart from at the lunch stop at The Griffin pub in Totteridge where 1 poor soul had the misfortune to be served the smallest portion of apple crumble ever witnessed ( unfortunately there is no photographic evidence to corroborate the claim ! ).

Otherwise the walk proceeded with 1 walker losing the Group only to reappear later on , having claimed he became detached at a comfort stop, a very spurious claim !

Due to the leader's incompetence yet again, the walk turned out to be just over 15 miles rather than the 18 advertised for which I offer profuse apologies !



Tonbridge to Tunbridge Wells,  Saturday 26th November 2016

16 walkers 17.5 miles - Ldr David Strachan

16 hardy walkers and one dog started out from a sunny Tonbridge station at 09.40 ten mins late due to waiting on a couple of late running trains.

The morning section took us out of Tonbridge crossing under the A21 into so lovely countryside, through the villages of southborough, Speldhurst, Langton green before our lunchstop at the Crown Inn at Groomsbridge which is a pub (and food) well worth a visit if you are in that area.

After refueling with a lovely sausage sandwich we set off on the second leg of the walk which was a little shorter than the first (10.7 miles in the morning and 6.8 in the afternoon), we did a loup around the lovely Groomsbridge place and then followed the spa valley railway line from Groomsbridge into Tunbridge Wells arriving there around 16.35 allowing some of our walkers to catch the 16.40 train back to London.

I had to change the second part of the walk from Groomsbridge into Tunbridge Wells rather than Frant due to a really slippy and dangerous section through Eridge park but i think all were happy with the change as this gave them more choice of train back to London.

A good walk, good weather, good food and of course as usual with the LDWA walks ... good company!... 

Photos by Roderick Smith


An Effingham good walk,  Saturday 19th November 2016

12 walkers, 18.5 miles - Ldr Jerome Ripp
A perfect autumn day, some sunshine, clear and cold, warm as you walked and the most beautiful autumnal colours on the trees. Straight from the station onto a footpath and open common and it was an hour before we came to tarmac and 2 hours before the 1st stile. However we did encounter a whole range of bizarre stiles subsequently; non-existent, broken, half eaten by horses, slippery, and one of exceptional height which required a perilous descent. 
South on the Horsley trail, to foothills of the Downs and then a great loop to the north east to pass below Polesden Lacey and our lunch stop at the Old Barn at Bocketts Farm. Despite the crowds which the fine weather had brought out, food came quickly and we were away in under 40 minutes. A quieter section through the outskirts of Leatherhead, and farmland with some frisky horses before the final section in Great Bookham Common with several loops, finishing just as the sun went down.
Photos by Bola
Peter Russell comments on two of the photographs:  "Bottom left is an unlabelled Burdizzo clamp castrator that crushes the scrotum just above the testes.  The testes become starved of blood and shrivel up.  On the right it is a bull, not bulb, ring nose piercer.
I used both about 50 years ago."
Don’t try at home!


Harlow to Chingford, Saturday 12th November 2016

8 walkers, 18 miles Ldr - Keith Lane

The weather forecast was nearly right.  It certainly rained heavily but not all the morning only about an hour and a half and then on it was mostly cloudy so having walked 4.5 miles along the River Stort and survived (just) trying to get on a makeshift swing it was uphill to an undulating route to Upville.  The carefully planned route we took to circumvent the greens at Nazeing Golf Club wasn't necessary as it was deserted as were the riiver banks and subsequent footpaths.

The arrangeemnts to ensure we had a decent lunch in a warm pub worked well and was very welcome - The Horseshoes pub at Upville did us proud.  I said I would mention them in high places so Ron, when we are up on Hevellyn next year remind me to mention them.

After lunch we followed the Forest Way to High Beach for a hot drink before getting off the beaten track on our way to hug the old oak tree near Connaught Water.  It was to accommodate Bola the tree hugger idea and under duress, you must understand, it took five of us holding hands to circumvent it.

The beech groves, did not disappoint despite a misty dull light the colours were muted to shades of grey (maybe not 50) but never mind it was an impressionistic with expressionist black edges to the tree trunks.  Stunning.

After walking along Connaught Water we headed for Chingford Station in time to catch the 16:25 train

A big thank you to the plucky 7 who, despite the overly pessimistic weather report, joined me for a memorable and fun day.  


Photos by Keith Lane (taken on the reccee 10th November 2016 except the bedraggled ones

Photos by Bola

Escape from Romford, Wednesday 9th November 2016

6 walkers inc. 1 Guest, 11 miles - Ldr Ron Williamson

The forecasted weather for today suggested that it would be a good time to assess the effectiveness of our waterproof gear. Six staunch walkers agreed to take part in the research, with at least one other, known to the leader, declining the offer.

A variety of rain ware was evident as we departed Romford station at 10:40 but alas within 400 yds. the rain ceased only to appear spasmodically throughout the day.

Our route soon entered Lodge Farm Park, virgin territory to all including the leader, and then onwards through Raphael Park, Rise Park and into Bedfords Park with its first class information centre and tea rooms.

Suitably refreshed we headed for the historic  village of Havering Atte Bower from where the London LOOP was followed through Havering Country Park into Hainault Forest.

Another refreshment stop at the cafe by the lake and it was time for the final two miles to Dave’s home territory, making time to divert through Hainault Recreation Ground and the county park of Fairlop Waters before finishing naturally at the local Wetherspoons about 15:15.

Unfortunately waterproofs were not tested! so this task is reluctantly passed on to the next group of  admirable volunteers. 



Eighteen Miles from Haslemere, Saturday 5th November 2016,

11 walkers 18 miles - Ldr Nigel Heys

The eleven of us climbed mainly along the Greensand Way from Haslemere to Gibbet Hill through the spectacular autumn colours. After looking at the view we descended to Grayswood before stopping for a coffee break by an old road roller. From there walked along the lower slopes of Black Down before crossing farmland to lunch stop at the Half Moon in Northchapel. Suitably fortified we rose gently to Hillgrove and crossed several fields before climbing steeply up to the Temple of the Winds on top of Black Down for our afternoon break. After admiring the view it was almost all downhill to Haslemere Station.

The City by Night, Tuesday 1st November 2016

20 walkers 7 miles - Ldr Ron Williamson

The peace of a Tuesday evening on the Liverpool Street station concourse at peak commuter time was destroyed when twenty excited  LDWA members gathered for the start of their exploration of the City.

Their trust in the leader was exemplary, although perhaps somewhat foolhardy, as we ducked and dived through various lanes and alleys, invaded grand office buildings , circumvented road works and building  sites, climbed many a step and eluded countless unwavering cyclists.

One member had to leave after  5 miles and when Keith, of all people, announced he had had enough after 2 hours it seemed that  the assignment  had failed.

Thanks to the resolute determination of the remaining 18,however, mission was accomplished when Liverpool  Street station, or more appropriately for some Weatherspoons , was reached  in true railway fashion on time after  seven gruelling miles at 8.30 pm

Photo by Keith Lane



The South Downs (Linear) Saturday 29th October 2016

Polegate to Glynde

9 walkers, 17 miles - Ldr Peter Buchwald 


We walked uphill into the clouds

The damp nimbus impregnating our clothes

With freezing water and drizzle

In our own private world of mists.


The air then cleared and left a view

A crimson band above the azure sea

Cosy hamlets nestling at our feet

Under the distant glooming clouds.


In the cold and foggy cloudscape 

We talked about our little lives

Remembered conviviality long gone

 We rejoiced in the distant sea

The golden sunset the low skyline

Fields blanketed in evening mist.


Report by Peter Buchwald



To The End of the Line, Saturday 22nd October 2016

21 walkers 19 miles - Ldr Ron Williamson

Ron could not have chosen a more perfect Autumn day, beautiful sunrise as I walked to Fenchurch Station & beautiful sunset as we walked into Southend on Sea.  In between, warm in the sun but decidedly fresh when it clouded over.

The walk in Ron’s "Back Yard" started at Thorpe Bay adjoining Southend on Sea and finished at Southend on Sea i.e. a linear circular walk

The morning we walked through Garon Park and pass Mucking Hall lunching at the Castle Inn, Little Wakering.  The Publican allowed us to eat our sandwiches in the garden and even provided swings and other amusements for us to ignore.

In the afternoon we headed for Oxenham Farm and followed the coast path through MOD land passing Haven Point, the mouth of the Thames, and Wakering Stairs, start of the Broomway. Then along to Shoeburyness with it's North Sea beach and finally,as the sun was setting, beside the  glistening Thames Estuary to  Southend Pier.

Resisting Ron's "Pier" pressure some of us headed for the station whilst others weakened and joined Ron to add another 2.5 miles by walking to the end of the pier & back. 

Unfortunately, the Pier was closed so the Pier Party headed for fish & chips - the end of a perfect day.  Nice one Ron.

Report & photos by Keith Lane




Exploring the lesser-known reaches of the East End a.k.a Mile End and Stepney Squares, Wednesday 19th October 2016

14 walkers 6.3 miles - Ldr Gordon Parker

We met at Mile End Station (and learned later that it would be more accurately named Two Mile End Station) and headed straight for Tower Hamlets Cemetery (originally named The City of London and Tower Hamlets Cemetery but called Bow Cemetery by locals). This is a wild and beautiful place at which to set the scene for a journey back through time to a more rural location than the present with its 18,000/sq.km. population. 

The walk took in a muliplicity of housing, squares and open spaces, cobbled alleys and twisting lanes: 1000 years of history including the Peasants Revolt, Sir Walter Raleigh, William Booth, Captain Cook, an aboriginal cricketer who played against W G Grace, Dr Barnardo and brave firewatchers who protected huge gasholders from incendiary bombs. 

We ended off the busy Mile End Road in a quiet corner of Victorian cottages with the oldest Jewish cemetery in Britain beyond the end wall. Some of us repaired to the Half Moon Wetherspoons, others went home via Stepney Green and Mile End stations.

"Gordon is happy to be contacted about the places visited gordonparker46@gmail.com"


PDF of walk description by Gordon Parker:  Mile_End_and_Stepney_Squares_Walk_.pdf

GPX file by Gordon Parker: Stepney_Squares.gpx




The Spurs Way, Saturday 16th October 2016

20 walkers 24 miles - Ldr Julie Welch

The Spurs Way – a tour of some of the sites associated with the history of Tottenham Hotspur.  20 of us, including six newbies, set off from Tottenham Hale, well-waterproofed because of a somewhat pessimistic weather forecast, though in fact the early rain soon cleared and an overcast sky gave way to autumn sunshine. Don and Dick joined us at the mid-morning refreshments stop, the Narrowboat Café, which – though I’d alerted them beforehand – turned out to be sadly incapable of catering for such a large party. 

Our route took us through what used to be Tottenham Marshes, where we viewed the expanse of grass where the schoolboys who founded Spurs played their first matched in 1882. We then carried on up via the Lea Valley Walk to Cheshunt, the halfway point, to join the New River Path, and then Whitewebbs Way, where we had a lunch break at the King & Tinker. (Full marks to those who brought sandwiches, as the kitchen was very busy.) We left two of the newbies there enjoying lunch and carried on to Hotspur Way, the Spurs training ground, then on to Crews Hill Golf Club to salute the memorial to a famous Spurs footballer, John White, who was killed by a lightning strike while playing there in 1964. The remaining four newbies were doing well, though none had walked this far before and inevitably the pace slowed to accommodate them. 

I had recce’ed this route four times before the event, but there was obviously a glitch in my internal satnav and I took us on a much longer trek through Enfield than I meant to, which the result that a 20-mile walk was 24 by the time we reached the new Spurs stadium that is going up next to the old one. It meant a much longer day out than planned, and most had to abandon before the finale – free beer up the road at the Antwerp Arms. The four remaining newbies did admirably to last the whole distance and enjoy a pint or so of Hopspur Ale from the local microbrewery.

Thanks to everyone who attended – and sorry about the extra miles!



“A Do For Sue”  A “pop up” walk and birthday celebration, Thursday 13th October 2016

15 walkers 4.5 miles - Ldrs Keith Lane & Dave Williams

The walk was part of the evening celebration for Sue Cannell’s 80th birthday.

The evening was sponsored by London LDWA and The Surrey Walking Club both of which Sue has generously supported over many years.  The idea of an evening celebration came from Dave Williams (yes he still has good ideas but sadly now he has to write them on the back of his hand so he doesnt forget them) .  We decided that a walk and a Wetherspoon's celebration would be a suitable way to mark the event.  Gail & John Elrick gave enthusiastic practical support, not least the provision of the magnificent cake.

We met at Westminster tube station for a figure of eight themed walk. Along Whitehall Gardens to the embankment gardens and crossing over Waterloo bridge to re-cross the Thames on the Millennium Bridge we returned to Westminster exploring the St Paul’s Preservation Area notably The Cockpit Pub (which we didn't actually enter and, Wardrobe Place.  We continued to St Brides Passage and a variety of medieval streets to enter and walk through Inner and Middle Temple.  When we got back to Waterloo Bridge we were running out of time so we walked directly back to The Lord Moon in the Mail.

We had reserved adequate space at the back of the pub where Gordon Parker gave a short speech, I presented the birthday card and John and Gail Elrick supervised the cutting of the birthday cake which Sue acomplished with great skill and aplomb.

Report by Keith Lane (the cake was delicious!)

Thanks to Helen Franklin for taking the photographs


Questions from Kent - Who? Sunday 2nd October 2016            

14 Walkers, 22 miles - Leader Peter Jull

A last minute arrival from Surrey avoided us being 13 but only three fields in, some curious cows crowding round the gate we needed caused concern in some but proved readily shooable. A following field of cuter pigmy goats were less interested in coming up to play. The unattractiveness of a road section was tempered by a cycling event (highest number spotted 174), which was slowing the traffic for us as well. The Buelt valley is predominantly flat and it was nearly Bethersden before elevation changes exceeded the station footbridge by when soft sunshine was making pre-autumnal woodland delightfully dappled. The same sun warmed our lunch outside Pluckley’s Dering Arms. There was even cricket at Egerton after the only significant climb of the day up to the Greensand ridge. The previous days rain had softened the rocky on recce ploughed fields but the last was still an ankle twisting tester. But pasture was more plentiful, ‘though there were too many more close up cows (and a nosy horse) for some, and cheerful chatter throughout suggests a successful day. Dave claimed first sighting of the Who’d a Thought It hotel, the additional observational element of the walk. Without a woodland wander wondering where the way out was, we wouldn’t in the end have caught the hoped for train but waiting for the next wasn’t too long.


Orpington Parks Wednesday, 28th September 2016            

7 Walkers, 6 miles - Leader Neil Cook
We commenced walking to Newstead and Darrick Wood and down into Tugmutton Common. We crossed into Farnborough Village. This was a revisit of the checkpoint of the West Yorkshire on the London 100 in 2012. We soon entered High Elms the home of the Lubbocks until 1968. We followed the track along Shire Lane and then down into Green St. Green and then into Orpington for a clebration of three birthdays including the walk leaders 50th. A wetherspoon without Mr. Wethersppon williams.

Alton’s Northern Territories Saturday, 24th September 2016

17 walkers and 1 dog, 19.6 miles - Ldr Jerome Ripp
A fine late summer day, perfect weather for an enjoyable walk in the quiet woods and commons of Hampshire. We were soon out of Alton on a lovely hill top where we did a circuit to fully appreciate the glorious views. Any suggestion that the leader had made a mistake were of course quite inaccurate. Morning break at Shaldon church where we followed briefly the route of the Wessex 100 in reverse, which some of the group had done. Through the village of Bentworth and on to Bradley where we followed some of the 3 Castles Way which runs from Windsor to Winchester. More woods before a well deserved late lunch after 12.6 miles at Herriard. A renegade group of 6 decided to leave early; the rest of us went at a cracking pace covering 7 miles in just over 2 hours via Shaldon again and another stretch of the “100” to return to Alton via Anstey and in time for the 16.44 train. Much enjoyed by the group, especially the few extra’s "off piste” that the leader though in from time to time to keep everyone on their toes!


From Borough Market to Hoxton Square Wednesday, 21st September 2016

15 walkers, 7 miles - Ldr Chris Hedley
15 members came on this sultry late September evening with fantastic views over the Thames with the late sun illuminating the riverside buildings when crossing on the platform at Blackfriars station, which straddles the river. We then had a fascinating walk to the lively Hoxton streets via St Paul's, Smithfield, Leather Lane, Farringdon, Clerkenwell, Exmouth Market, Finsbury, St Luke's, Old Street, and Shoreditch, showing off London at its best.



Marshalls’ walks in advance of the Founders’ Challenge, Saturday 21st September 2016

7 walkers, 27 miles - Ldr Douglas Robinson (Circular from Steers Field)

Seven hardy souls and one dog did the 27 mile walk on Saturday. There was not an auspicious start when it started raining at 9.00 as we met at Steers Field car park. Fortunately it stopped within an hour and the rest of the day was dull but dry.

As usual, we found the Founders route to be lovely and interesting even though most of the party had done it before. The route is easy to follow although it was noticeable how much the storms on Thursday night had swept some of the footpaths clean of any soil leaving them quite rocky in places.

We had an extra highlight as Mike Tuke invited us to have our picnic lunches in his new house - well more like a building site - which is just off the Greensand Way. Should be great when it is finished. 

Finally, a tired and slightly muddy group strode back into Steers Field car park at about 6.20.

5 walkers, 16 miles- Ldr Catherine Fox (Circular from Godalming)

Here's a few photos of the 16 mile walk. There were 5 of us & we had fun.


Dulwich and the Uppers (Linear),  Wednesday 14th September 2016

9 walkers , 6 miles - Ldr Ian Fairweather

Walk went well. Start from North Dulwich Station, through Dulwich Park, past Dulwich Picture Gallery and the College, through Dulwich Woods into Sydenham Woods, and up on to Crystal Palace parade where we finished. 5.75 miles. Bit short of light at the end.


Going Loopy part 1, Saturday 10 September 2016

3 walkers, 24 miles - Ldr Peter Aylmer

Possibly a record low for an LDWA walk, but the rule is that if one person turns up to join the leader, the walk goes ahead. And as one of the walkers was a potential new member in Sue, it would have been churlish to have said no.

In fact the number of walkers would better be recorded as 3.25, as Neil, whose walk this was going to be until knee problems required a substitution, gamely joined up at the half way point for the next six miles. Good luck Neil, and we hope you recover soon.

A number of things conspired against higher numbers. Top was that many of the LDWA hard core were up on the London weekender in the Peak District, but a rail replacement bus service at the start, the slightly longer than usual distance, and a rubbish weather forecast must all have played their part. As it happens, the replacement bus was a luxury coach and the rain held off till late afternoon, and then was never torrential.

Credit to the Loop originators for such a varied route. Within the first hour we'd followed three rivers, Thames Darent and Cray, the Cray to be a companion until nearly half way, its water meadows at Foots Cray being especially charming. Neil joined us at Sidcup Place, a Brewers Fayre pub we decided not to bother with, for the stretch through Scadbury Park, Hawkwood and Pett's Wood, the latter two being National Trust woodland of the highest quality. There's a bit of housing to pad through on the Orpington fringes before charming rural countryside south of Farnborough and, to finish, the heathland commons of Keston and Hayes. No rail replacement coming home, just a 20 minute signal failure outside London Bridge.

One major gripe: a temporary bridge closure in Crayford Recreation Ground, without signed alternative, forced a lengthy detour. No way to treat a major long-distance path, or long-distance walkers.

Two more London Loop stages are planned for February and March - well worth making a note for.

Report & Photo by Peter Aylmer


Woodford Green Wander Wed 7 September 2016

9 walkers 6 miles - Ldr Julie Welch

Nine of us braved the Central Line in rush hour to meet at Woodford station for a 6-mile stroll through Knighton Wood and Lord's Bushes into Epping Forest. On the way we visited the site of Julie's now-demolished childhood home and, for Dave's benefit, viewed the former home of the late West Ham and England manager, Ron Greenwood. Our final port of call was The Last Post, a Wetherspoon's hostelry on Loughton High Street that was once the local Post Office.


Questions from Kent, where is Ware?  Sun 4 Sep 2016

10 people 20 mls - Ldr Peter Jull

Perhaps a larger group than the 10 who participated would have compounded the challenges, of a negative nature, to which the walk succumbed. Post recce cultivation had disguised some cross field directions, contributing to some missed turnings and too many extra miles. A sweary farmer stopped us using what looked like a signed official footpath diversion and made us use yet more hard to open gates to add to the scratchy and wobbly stiles climbed elsewhere. And then the planned lunch pub wasn’t open. The afternoon could only get better and paths were clearer, gates fewer and stiles mostly easier. When reaching The Bull at Linton everyone gathered at the door without direction and without any formal agreement trooped inside. Commendations to Helen, not just for spotting the additional observational element of the walk first, but for the eyesight to see it from so far away. Overcast skies, benevolent temperatures and a gentle breeze were ideal walking conditions and saved the day.

Report & Photo by Peter Jull