Walk Reports and Photos 2017 (Jan - Apr)

South Downs from Plumpton, Saturday 29th April 2017 

24 walkers, 20 miles - Leader Andy Davies

24 people including three non-members one of whom will be doing the Oxfam Trailwalker challenge covering some of the same ground in July.

The day started with near disaster courtesy of those exemplars of good management

(fanfare please...) Southern Rail. The train was some ten minutes late at Clapham and

when we reached Haywards Heath they announced that due to this delay the train

would not stop at Plumpton! As instructed we alighted to seek advice at the station.

Platform assistant had no idea, having the air of someone listening to something on 

headphones, though he was not wearing any. I noticed a Southern driver further along 

the platform and explained the situation to him. He 'phoned control - "I'm the driver waiting 

to take the next train on to Eastbourne in five minutes time and there's a large

group of people here wanting to go to Plumpton who have been turfed off the previous

train etc, etc,". It was agreed that he would make an unscheduled stop at Plumpton.

Employee of the month award please. Meanwhile the other walkers waiting for us

called to say "er, the train we expected you to be on has just whizzed through the station".

So, the walk started around thirty minutes late.

It was perfect weather, cool breeze, partly cloudy at first, very sunny later. The ground

parched and cracked. Crystal clear views to the North Downs and Black Down, the

sea to the south, Brighton and Seaford, the Devil's Dyke and Firle Beacon. Brighton

football stadium nestling in the Downs - how did that get planning permission then?

Around us cowslips, bluebells and wild garlic (some collected for culinary use). We

passed two windmills, Jack and Jill and saw another, Oldland, in the distance.

Good beer and food served at the Jack and Jill inn, though two of our number shamed

us by eating their own food in the garden, pretending that I had said that was the

village green! After lunch we peered down at Clayton railway tunnel which may have

inspired Charles Dickens story 'The Signalman'.

We made it back in time for the 18:24 which was of course late. Various gadgets

produced differing accounts of how many miles we had covered but two of them

agreed on 20.7 so we will go with that, and a respectable 2780 feet of ascent.

A good walk in good company.

Photos by Bola



Escape from Wickford, Wednesday 26th April 2017

22 walkers, 13 miles - Leader Ron Williamson

forecast of a return to winter conditions could not thwart the determination of many London, and Essex and Herts. members as they sought to escape from their urban existence into the wilds of suburban Essex.

A gently undulating 13 miles allowed time for reflection in the visitor centre at Hanningfield Reservoir, The Nags Head Ramsdon Heath and for the privileged few The Blue Boar Billericay. Amid such distraction we were bombarded by a deluge of hail stones, and a few April showers as we explored the upper Crouch valley and its environs.

Unfortunately some escapees were captured by the enemy of sluggishness and apathy and failed to complete the assignment, however, they were caught on camera and their pictures are added below in the hope that it will inspire them to complete the course in the future.

Sevenoaks to Tonbridge, Sunday 23rd April 2017 

30 walkers, 20 miles - Leader David Strachan

Awaiiting report

Escape from Chelmsford, Friday 21st April 2017  (Mid week Pop Up)

9 walkers 15 miles - Leader Ron Williamson

Nine members successfully passed the mental and physical challenges demanded by the selection committee and became eligible to attempt a breakout from the city of Chelmsford. A sense of excitement and eager anticipation was apparent as the nine burst forth from the town station at 10:30am. The effectiveness of the selection process was proven to be 100% when 6 hours latter all escapees reached the neutral Icelandic state in Maldon High Street, from where diplomatic channels negotiated a rapid and safe return home. 

Our route had seen us navigate along the peaceful Chelmer canal, traverse dried up water meadows, circumvent the longest Ford in Essex, pass through resplendent forests full with the flowers of spring, explore a former rail line which last saw passenger traffic in 1939 and finally zig zag through the alleys and byways of the ancient borough of Maldon.

Our supplies were replenished at, The Rodney in Little Baddow and The Hurdlemakers Arms of Woodham Mortimer, where the locals were found to be welcoming and the liquid sustenance refreshing.

All that now remains is our great and final escape next Wednesday when you will be pleased to know all will be welcome with no selection process to endure.

Photos by Bola


Upsome Downs, Saturday 15th April 2017

29 walkers 21 miles - leader Keith Lane

The Saga of the numbers

29  walkers gathered at Epsom Station for the "walk of two halves".  At the lunch venue on top of Boxhill another joined but shortly after 3 female walkers decided to leave making a Dent in the numbers.. So the range consisted of 27 to 30.

The Saga of the morning

Leaving the station we walked through the park and heading for the bridleways ascending up to Epsom Downs where we headed for the highest spot close to the stadium where we could look back over London and Wembley Stadium and also looked forward to see prominent spire of the Church at Headley Heath which is where we were headed next.

Having walked through the tunnel to cross the racecourse we were walking towards the gap in the railings to cross  it again when two horses and riders came through and were following a road down towards the stadium.  Suddenly a council vehicle arrived waving at us and telling us to stop walking as apparently we were spooking the horses which I think is probably a first on a LDWA walk.  A little surprising actually as the horses looked totally unspooked I suspect that the “job worths” were making a statement at the size of the group.

We steadily ascended out to the church where we stopped for a refreshment break before undulating our way to Mickleham Downs (Mickleham Gallops) which was the highest part of the walk before ascending Boxhill. Unfortunately there is a very sudden descent using the staircase to get to the foot of Boxhill before having to ascend Juniper Tops on the open escarpment

As the morning was cloudy and relatively cold I did not expect too many people to be at the National Trust cafe but I had not allowed for an Easter egg event and the whole area was smothered by adults and children running wild through the woods and filling the queues at the cafe. However we all managed to re-fuel ourselves and continue after 45 minutes.

The Saga of the afternoon

I prophesied  that the walk would go rapidly downhill after lunch and indeed it did when we descended directly from the viewing platform to the plain below which we would spend the afternoon walking on.

Skirting round Brockham we headed in an easterly direction with fabulous views of the North Downs until we were nearly due South of Colley Hill,, enjoying warm and sunny weather, then headed South to the village pub in Leigh for the big decision of the day which was when we would leave to ensure we caught the hourly train at 18:19 which was the last train of the day.

After a discussion, in which one of the locals joined in, we decided to leave at 4 o'clock giving us another 45 minute break and in fact got to the station at 17:45. Another Dent in the numbers occurred when the late lunchtime joiner suddenly jumped on a bus rather than catching the train but the rest of us were back in London in fairly short shift.

Report & photos by Keith Lane

Photos by Ian Fairweather



Secret History of Spurs, Wednesday 12th April 2017

6 walkers, 6 miles - Leader Julie Welch

Six of us met at Tottenham Hale tube station for a stroll round some of the
sites associated with Tottenham Hotspur, including the first pitch on which
they played in 1882, and the Milford Tavern, a now defunct pub where the
players changed before and after matches. Among our number was film-maker
Jamie Hearing, who is making a documentary about people who walk LDWA
Hundreds, so we were able to help him with anecdotes and background
information. We also looked at Spurs monumental new stadium, still taking
shape, before stopping for refreshments at the Antwerp Arms, where they do a
very nice pint of Hopspur ale.

Report and Photo by Julie Welch



Petersfield: The Poet’s Stone & Wild Garlic, Sunday April 9, 2017

9 walkers, 15 miles - Leader Rod Smith

After many requests for a Sunday walk, a group of 9 met at Petersfield Station at 10:45 for a “pop-up” walk to mark 100 years to the day since the poet, Edward Thomas, was killed in action at the Battle of Arras in WWI.  The idea for the walk arose from a chat between two Committee Members, both of whom were part of the group.  The originally planned 20-mile walk south and west via East Meon was discarded, and a shorter 15-17 mile route to the north was substituted when it was found that Network Rail planned an hour-long bus ride from Woking to Haslemere.  After an interesting short walk through the town centre, we joined the Hangers’ Way (HW) for a short distance to Steep.  Both Edward Thomas and John (Day of the Triffids) Wyndham lived in Steep.  Diverging from the HW we walked through wild garlic in a shaded gully up ‘Little Switzerland’ to the Edward Barnsley furniture workshop, and along the ridge to the top of Shoulder of Mutton hill to enjoy the dramatic view down the hill and across to the South Downs.  We descended to the Poet’s Stone to read Thomas’s “In Memoriam” and “Adlestrop”.  Returned up the hill, we continued on the HW for a 40-minute lunch in Hawkley.  Minor paths took us to the trackbed of the Longmoor Military Railway and Liss Station.  All joined Tankerdale Lane and the Shipwrights’ Way to pass the rural Harrow Inn, and back to Petersfield Station for a train to London at 5pm, arriving Waterloo 19:45.  c.15 miles, >3mph moving, on a very warm, sunny day under a cloudless blue sky throughout.

Report & photos by Rod Smith

Photos by Keith Lane



Golders Green to Stoke Newington, Friday 31st March 2017

14 walkers, 11 miles - leader Ron Williamson

A short notice mid-week pop up walk attracted 14 walkers eager to enjoy the delights of a further section of the Capital Challenge route, unfortunately the leaders mobile could not be found so apologies to those unable to make contact especially to Richard who finally met up with us at the finish.

A short climb through the delightful Golders Hill Park enabled us to join the route at The Old Bull & Bush. We soon reached the immaculate Hampstead Garden Suburb and after passing through the not so Big Wood continued along Dollis Brook to reach East Finchley. As promised in the route description “The Archer” pointed the way through Cherry Tree Wood and on into Highgate Wood where the second debacle of the day occurred, a planned 30 minute refreshment break at the Cafe  lasting  almost  one and half hours, surely some of the slowest service ever encounted on a LDWA walk.

A need therefore to up the pace and where better than the hills climbing to Highgate through Queens Wood and along the straight level abandoned former railway line now London’s  longest nature reserve. Finchley Park came and went, no chance of a stop here, along the New River, where mercifully the mud of a month ago had dried up and into the wide skies of Woodberry Wetlands.

All that now remained was a crossing of the resplendent Clissold Park and a return visit to the atmospheric Abbey Park Cemetery.

The finish saw some of the party opting to add  5 miles to the route by continuing to Stratford whilst others made their way to the nearby station  leaving two to retire to the local Wetherspoons

Photos and Report by Ron Williamson (with some photos from Hampstead Garden Suburb onwards by Paul Lawrence)


Crystal Palace to Nunhead, Wednesday 29th March 2017

6 walkers, 6 miles, leader Peter Buchwald

There were six of us, distance was 10km (6.2 miles), many park gates closed which made the walk a bit longer than expected. 

Photos by Corinne Thompson


Going Loopy part 3, Banstead to Hatton Cross, Saturday 25 March 2017

13 walkers, 21 miles, leader Peter Aylmer

Seven of us braved the rail replacement bus from West Croydon to Banstead on a sunny but breezy morning, and immediately set off across Banstead Common. Unfortunately, the bus didn't go to Banstead station itself, where six more were waiting ... All resolved thankfully thanks to the use of mobile phone technology. 

This stage of the Loop starts high, gets low and then stays there - in elevation terms, not loveliness quotient. After a mile and a bit of (mostly well-heeled) housing we came to the welcome open space of Nonsuch Park - one-time hunting grounds for Henry VIII - and not far from there, in Ewell village, we picked up the Hogsmill River at its source, which the Loop follows almost all the way to the Thames at Kingston, our lunch stop.

Soon after we were in Bushy Park, one of the great Royal Parks. The Loop traverses it for over two miles, and without doubt it's one of the highlights of the entire trail. Plenty of deer, plenty of daffodils, and plenty of Londoners - us included - simply having a good time. After a lengthy road stretch, we picked up another Thames tributary the Crane. It was beside us most of the way to the finish, apart from a diversion through Hounslow Heath, once a highwayman's haunt and still with a wild feel to it. The last few yards are beside the busy A30, but we were safely under the canopy of Hatton Cross tube a few minutes in advance of the promised 6pm.

Photos by Peter Aylmer




Royston to Cambridge, Sunday 19th March 2017

14 walkers, 21 miles - Ldr Lonica Vanclay

14 people walked the 21 miles from Royston to Cambridge.  The flowers were 

flowering, the skies were big, the fields were wide and the paths were

mostly straight.  And we'd never seen so many solar panels growing in fields

before! Oh and hardly any mud.


Photos by Bola who even managed to be in one



Waterloo to Golders Green, Friday 17th March 2017

12 Walkers  15 miles - Ldr Ron Williamson

A rare opportunity of a Friday daytime walk encouraged 12 members to meet at Waterloo station to walk the first 12 miles of the Capital Challenge. 

With time to spare we were able to appreciate the many points of interest on route and the relaxed pace allowed  inscriptions to be read and photo to be taken. Nevertheless after allowing for a  lunch stop in Regents Park and tea in Golders Hill Park  we averaged approx. 2.8 mph.

We had all but completed the days walk 30 minutes early so a democratic vote was taken as to whether to end by proceeding to the planned finish at Golders Green station or use the time to visit Kilburn on St. Patricks day. Seven opted for the easy and safe option and five the longer and potentially hazardous journey to the heart of Ireland. 

In the politically fashionable manner, the minority carried on in their own way regardless, leaving Paul to ensure that the majority reached their destination. Meanwhile the rebels enjoyed an off piste additional 2 miles which enabled the author to explore 5 new alleys and AN Other  to increase his “Spoons” collection.

Thanks to all who came, I had a really enjoyable day and hope you did too, and special thanks to those involved in creating such an interesting walk with clear route instructions. 

 Photos by Keith Lane (first five) and Paul Lawrence


Classic Thames Chiltern views, Saturday 11th March 2017

5 Walkers, 20 miles - Ldr jerome Ripp

With a cloudy morning, there were only fleeting glimpses of the classic views but there was plenty of classic mud on offer to compensate.

We followed the Chiltern Way through various woodlands and hillsides to Whitchurch church for a morning break in the church porch where a local

lady gave us a potted history of the changes in Reading over recent years. Via Mapledurham we continued on and off the Chiltern Way to the Packsaddle at

Chaizey Heath for lunch. A northern loop around Reading suburbs lead to Sonning Bridge (tea with Theresa? not quite as our boots were too muddy)

A final 4 miles along the Thames path did provide views of the Thames with Reading station being reached at exactly 5.00 with 20.0 miles on the GPS as promised by the leader. 



The Bells of London Town, Thursday 9th March 2017

10 Walkers, 10 miles, - Ldr Ron Williamson

A walk inspired by the nursery rhyme:

The Bells of London Town

"Gay go up and gay go down
  To Ring the Bells of London Town
"Oranges and Lemons" say the Bells of St Clements
"Bullseyes and Targets" say the Bells of St Margarets
"Brickbats and Tiles" say the Bells of St Giles

"Halfpence and Farthings" say the Bells of St Martins

"Pancakes and Fritters" say the Bells of St Peters

"Two Sticks and an Apple" say the Bells of Whitechapel

"Maids in white aprons" say the Bells of St Katherines
"Pokers and Tongs" say the Bells of St Johns

"Kettles and Pans" say the Bells of St Annes

"Old Father Baldpate" say the slow Bells of Aldgate
"You owe me Ten Shillings" say the Bells of St Helens

"When will you Pay me?" say the Bells of Old Bailey

"When I grow Rich" say the Bells of Shoreditch

"Pray when will that be?" say the Bells of Stepney
"I do not know" say the Great Bell of Bow                          

Here comes a Candle to light you to Bed
Here comes a Chopper to Chop off your Head
Chip chop chip chop - the Last Man's

All locations visited with the exception of St Johns which is inside the Tower of London


Pre walk refreshments from The Yurts (St Katharines Precinct)

A visit to the shop at Whitechapel Bell Foundry (recommended but be quick closes in May)

The bell at Shoreditch rang especially for us.

Read the full information of the Oranges and Lemons verse here

Tring Circular, Sunday 5th March 2017

10 Walkers, 20 miles - Steve Plested

Despite the rather grim weather forecast 10 hardy souls joined me at Tring, it was raining at first but as we walked along the canal the clouds broke up and 2 kingfishers were spotted just as the sun came out.

We walked along the canal for a couple of miles with the towpath gradually getting more muddy, and then ventured on to the Aylesbury ring and open countryside, generally sunny and rather breezy but the threatening clouds seemed to keep passing us by fortunately.

We saw a number of hares racing around and the occasional roe deer in the distance with red kites above at times. The going underfoot was generally ok but with the odd field of clinging mud just to make things more interesting.

After a late lunch in a barn on a pick your own farm (obviously not open for trade) we headed for the sting in the tail and the first proper bit of rain. The ups and downs of the ridgeway path and plenty more mud beginning with a steep ascent to Ivinghoe Beacon which reduced some members to their hands and knees, but it was worth it for the views, or so most said.  There were a few falls due to the slippery conditions but all eventually arrived safely back at Tring. 

Photos by Godfrey O'Callaghan

Capital Challenge Marshalls, Saturday 4th March 2017

15 Marshalls, 28 miles - Susanne Waldschmidt & Gordon Parker

15 walkers met outside the BFI in very clement conditions and set off at a fast pace to explore this enjoyable and interesting route.  

By the time we got to Hyde Park the group had split into three sections:

Rod Smith out in front 

Julie, Mary and Tony in next

Then the also walkers.

And the results are:

Rod Smith - 6 hours 46 minutes

Julie Welch, Mary Dumble and Tony Cartwright  - 7 hours  47 minutes

Aga Geborek, Dave Williams, Ed Benham, Gordon Parker, Hazel Stokes, John Pestle, Keith Lane, Rob Myers, Ron Williamson, Susanne Waldschmidt - 9 hours 36 minutes

Colin Saunders - 10 hours 10 minutes but he claimed the goumet award

Report & photos by Keith Lane (sorry too busy reading the route description (!?!) to take any more)

Basildon Highlife, Wednesday 1st March 2017

10 walkers, 11 miles - Ldr Ron Williamson

Another dry day greeted the walkers as we set out to explore the heights of Basildon. Entering woodland adjacent to Laindon station the first of many hills was soon defeated and in no time we were enjoying the open space surrounding Westley Heights.

An aborted refreshment stop due to refurbishment of The Crown, only increased the resolve of the expedition party who embarked on a 3 mile diversion to visit Dunton Plotlands.The 'Plotlands' consisted of 183 small plots of land sold at auction in the first half of the 20th century to people who built weekend cottages, holiday bungalows or smallholdings there. Many of the purchasers building weekend cottages came from London and evacuated here during the 2nd World War. The creation of Basildon New Town resulted in their compulsory purchase although the majority of the land was  never developed and is now part of a nature reserve where one of the original bungalows has been restored and opened as a museum.

After a break at the visitor centre we reclimbed the hill to near The Crown and continued via. Hall Wood, Coombe Wood and Oakwood to One Tree Hill (all part of Langdon Hills Country Park).

Following our nose we negotiated a way across Basildon Golf course and then headed North through more greenery to finally reach tarmac a few 100yds from our destination Basildon station or the local Wetherspoons.

It is a credit to the Town Planners that we could complete 11 miles all within 3 miles of the Town center  with  half a mile on tarmac and only 8 roads to cross.

A worthwhile exploration with not too many hills.

Photos by Chris Williamson

Greenwich to East Croydon, Saturday 25th February 2017

18 walkers 18 miles - Ldr Peter Buchwald

There were a couple of problems at the start.

Tracy was 11 minutes late, she phoned me from a hidden account (so I

couldn't ring her back), I said I would wait for her and did wait for 5

minutes, but had to set off at 09:05 due to public demand.

I missed Patrick, who e-mailed Adam Dawson a few days before the walk,

because I think he was waiting at the Cutty Sark ship rather than the DLR

station.  I did ask whether he was there at the station, but didn't think to

look for anyone when I passed the ship.

Report & photos by Peter Buchwald


Walthamstow Wander, Sunday 19th February 2017

19 walkers started, 19 miles - Ldr Dave Williams

19 of us assembled at Walthamstow for a quite urban but mud-free saunter.

There was plenty to keep the walkers interested including the famous Middlesex Filter Beds, the first few miles of the 2012  “100”, & a couple of Victorian chimneys!

To the leader's immense relief the W'spoon's at Canary Wharf had re-opened after it's refurbishment for our lunch stop , although apart from a lick of paint it was hard to work out what exactly had been refurbished!

A couple of the less hardy souls departed but we were joined by a couple of part-time walkers & a pleasant amble along the Thames with the undoubted highlight of the day, the ascent of Stave Hill being accomplished with the magnificent views it afforded from the summit!

A majority departed at London Bridge, with just 6 making it to the end at Liverpool St., where 3 of us adjourned to the W'spoons for a well-earned pint or 2!

Photos by Keith Lane

St Albans Circular, Sunday 12th February 2017

17 walkers, 20 miles - Ldr Steve Plested

The weather forecast was not too promising but 17 hardy souls and a labradoodle joined me at St Albans .

We set off along the Ver Valley way in the rather gloomy weather but at least it did not properly rain, had some misty views of the cathedral and a lucky few glimpsed a kingfisher before heading through Bricket Woods and on to the lunch stop. The landlord though not serving food was happy for those that wanted to eat their sandwiches inside and another walker joined us.  The afternoon saw us heading off on the parts of the Hertfordshire Way and on to the Grand Union canal with still no improvement in the weather although it did seem a little warmer. After a few hills and some open countryside we were soon passing what was once Butterfly Paradise before finishing with some Roman remains in Verulam Park.

The distance was almost exactly 20 miles and we arrived back at St Albans with everyone claiming that they had enjoyed the walk including those for whom this was their first outing with the LDWA and would be coming back for more.

An Escape from Harold Wood (Linear), Wednesday 8th February 2017

7 walkers 10 miles inc. Dairyman diversion - Ldr Ron Williamson

An escape was almost impossible as we struggled  to reach the start. All trains being cancelled between Upminster and Romford the leader managed to reach Harold Wood by other means only to be confronted by the message 'No trains from Liverpool Street untll further notice'.  Miraculously, completely unannounced, a train pulled into the station  and off stepped Dave, we agreed to wait for 20 mins to see what would transpire when within 5 mins TFL found another with 5 extra walkers aboard. Such excitement obviously overcame the station staff who erroneously stated that there were no Loos at the station when in fact they were on the other platform.

Well able to cope with the stress and confident that things could only get better the  mass break out began some 15 mins behind schedule.

Our spirits were first lifted by a short encounter with an old friend The London Loop, and then the rapidly maturing Thames Chase , what a fine asset this proving to be for outdoor lovers!

A muddy transverse of ancient Tyler's Common , a fight through the more or less impenetrable Jermain's Wood and we had lost all pursuers before crossing the motorway bridge into Essex.

Onwards and upwards along well maintained field edge paths, and we soon regained cover from the oak and birch trees of Warley Gap.  A quickening of pace along a short road section and we reached our lunch time hide a way The Greyhound  on time.

Suitably refreshed and confident  of achieving our goal  we were ready to enjoy the rest of the walk.

The massive ancient trees in the former park land of Thorndon Hall soon surrounded us as we began to head Northwards towards our destination .We were by now so convinced  of our ultimate success that we took time to seek out uncharted routes through Hartswood and King George's Park.

A final devious course enabled an  undercover approach to within 500 yds of The Dairy Man and time for sustenance.

But all was not over yet , the downhill walk to the station taking us past the doors to The Spread Eagle  a  celebrated real ale pub  so another diversion was called for

So what started out as a near disaster ended with cheers all-round

But we all know what  a good walk can do!

Going Loopy part two, Saturday 4th February 2017

20 walkers, 21 miles - Leaders Peter Aylmer & Neil Cook

Peter Aylmer was due to lead this walk but due to "Delhi Belly" he decided to drop out at Addington Hills after our first photo call from the viewing platform looking towards London (not much could be seen).

We continued through mud and yes sunshine to Kenley for lunch.  We set off later than intended towards Coulsdon via Happy Valley .  4 walkers dropped out at Coulson South, the remainder continued on towards Banstead.

Report by Neil Cook

Photos by Bola

St Paul's to Greenwich, Wednesday 1st February 2017

10 walkers, 7 miles - Ldr Paul Tilley

10 were out, including myself.  7 miles to Greenwich from St. Paul's via north bank of Thames, Docklands and Mudchute Park in 2.5 hours.

Pleasant weather and luckily no rain.  No untoward incidents and 6 ended up in Wetherspoons!


Watford (the home of Wetherspoons) circular, Sunday 29th January 2017

9 walkers, 20 Miles - Ldr Godfrey O'Callaghan

A hardy, compact group of nine - all male - headed off from Watford Junction anticipating rain for most of the day. The clouds hung low but it wasn’t until well after lunch that rain arrived and it was only for the last hour that the heavier stuff began to fall. Not really, then, a day for lingering and enjoying scenery. The morning pace was good, helped in no small measure by the mostly firm surfaces. The walk firstly headed through picturesque Cassiobury Park, and then along the Grand Union canal - which, at that point, meanders around quite a bit - before heading into the countryside proper. Lunch was at the Green Dragon in Flaunden where we found a quiet, old fashioned side room to ourselves. The afternoon session served up a more traditional mix of farmland mud and slippery conditions - offering some kind of joy to those who wanted to test their new boots! At the finish a detachment headed briskly off for a session at Wetherspoons - well, what else does one do in the home town of said organisation?

Photos by Keith Lane & James Benjamin

“R2R” Rickmansworth to Richmond, Saturday 21st January 2017

13 walkers, 24 miles - Ldr Jerome Ripp

Glorious winter day crispy cold, full sunshine. We were away just before 9 from Rickmansworth for a linear traverse of West London suburbs using a green corridor as a type of alternative London Loop.

South over a huge hilly golf course and soon into Ruislip woods to the Lido. The Hillingdon Trail lead to a very early cafe lunch stop at Ickenham, this being the only inhabitation actually on the route.

The northern section of the Dog Rose Ramble gave good views over to Harrow on the Hill and Wembley stadium; a long section on the Grand Union Canal, almost frozen over and then into Osterley Park to see a magnificent sunset. The last vestiges of daylight brought us to the Thames path to reach Richmond at 5.30.The distance was some 20% greater than advertised but this leader is very generous.

Photos by Bola (uploaded from Facebook)

Kingston to Richmond, Wednesday 18th January 2017

6 walkers, 6 miles - Ldr Douglas Robinson

On a cold frosty evening, six hardy souls and one dog set off from Kingston to walk the Thames Path to Richmond. It was a lovely quiet walk with only a few bits of mud and ice to contend with. Various points of historical interest were passed and the evening ended with a quiet drink in a Richmond pub.

Erith to Petts Wood, Saturday 14th January 2017

24 walkers, 17 miles - Ldr Chris Hedley

A good turnout for the fabulous first two stages of the London Loop.  The walk starts with dramatic views down the Thames, soon followed by the reeds and mud of the Darent, and then by the charm of the Cray, which we followed most of the way to Pett’s Wood.  The Cray suffers a bit from litter but has been extremely well-managed by volunteer conservation groups and others. At the impressive Hall Place outside Bexley we encountered some gas works on the London Loop route, causing a bridge to be shut.  No advanced warning as there would be for traffic, no diversion sign when you get to the blockage and nothing on the website.  Not good enough.

The Sea is on your right, maybe left (Midweek daytime), 11th January 2017

13 Walkers, including 3 first timers, 11 miles - Ldr Ron Williamson

Glorious spring like weather greeted us as the hardy winter walkers promenaded along the 8 miles of Southend's sea shore some taking the opportunity to walk on the beach or even eat sandwiches sitting on the sand. The resilience of the party was tested to the core, however, during  the optional  additional  2.6 miles walk on the pier, the return leg of which was into the teeth of a North Westerly gale, so some of those holiday calories were burnt off and those who needed  a challenging walk were not completely disappointed.

The majority of the party retuned home from Shoeburyness, but four were seen to be running off to the nearest Wetherspoons , well as far as the bus stop.

For the second time in succession the pier was not conquered as this time we were thwarted by health and safety regulations which due to high winds excluded us from the final 60meters, however, another attempt to reach the summit of our Everest is scheduled for next October.

Report by Ron Williamson

Photographs by Keith Lane

South London Extravaganza, , 7th January 2017

23 walkers, 14½ miles - Ldr Chris Hedley

Walking from Deptford Bridge and its busy High Street and market up the Creek to visit the statue of Peter the Great where the Ravensbourne reaches the Thames.  We then struck west to New Cross, Telegraph Hill and Nunhead Cemetery, the official toilet desert of London but a place where bubble and squeak still thrives.  Thence to Peckham and the amazing Choumert Square where the road is so narrow there is room only for a path and flowers but definitely no motor vehicles.  Then through Georgian squares and across arterial routes in Camberwell and Stockwell to what was once the biggest bus garage in the world.  Then on to the prosperity of Clapham and the vibrancy of a Saturday afternoon in Brixton.  Everyone impressed by the urban renaissance that is South London 2017.

2017 Hangover Buster - Monopoly Walk, 1st January 2017

18 walkers, 13 miles – Ldr Susanne Waldschmidt

You have been stopped by a New Year Parade and will have to miss 10 goes

Amazingly in spite of weather 18 Monopoly enthusiasts showed up.  The toilets in Marylebone Station proved a revelation.  Obviously Network Rail had heard about my walk.  The walk was as challenging as any in the moors.  Cowboys, Indians, nomadic Arabs and scantily clad cheer-leaders (had no-one told them it sometimes rains in England) impeded our progress and we failed completely  to reach Northumberland Avenue, but luckily we managed to get to Vine Street over and over again.  Then the heavens opened and we arrived cold and wet at the Electricity Board where hot coffee, flashing lights and modern art revived us.  It did all prove a bit too much for some but 10 stalwarts battled it out to the bitter end to commemorate the Mr Moneybags Award to Colin in The Parcel Yard of Kings Cross Station.  A very enjoyable walk.  Once again LDWA Camaraderie had won the day and defeated the elements.