Walk Reports and Photos 2020 (Jan - Mar)

Osterley Stroll, Saturday 14th March 2020

13 walkers, 17 miles - leader Dave Williams.

12 of us set off from Osterley on an almost balmy Spring day & were joined en-route by a latecomer..
Unfortunately the leader was suffering from a long-standing injury which slowed his pace but in the true spirit of the LDWA soldiered on regardless.
To add to our misfortune our planned coffee stop at the Syon Park Garden Centre didn't happen as it had gone out of business!
However inspite of this adversity we carried onto our lunch stop at Richmond  & suitably fortified we resumed our odyssey through Richmond Park, across Ham Common & along the river path to Kingston where a number of slopers abandoned the walk.
After a tea stop in Bushy Park the rest of us carried onto to Hampton Court.without any further misfortune

Photograph by Dave Williams.

Clapham Junction to Crystal Palace, Midweek Pop-Up Tuesday 10th March 2020

19 walkers, 14 miles - leader Ron Williamson.

A most enjoyable walk following for the greater part the route of the second half of this year’s Capital Challenge. It is somewhat of a surprise, therefore, to report that, despite efforts to ease the burden by avoiding all signs of mud , nearly 70% of today’s walkers failed to complete the course.

The climb to the heights of Upper Sydenham took its toll as two locals opted for an early bath rather than face the possible embarrassment of losing their way in the maze so close to their homes

The remaining fickle south Londoners in our midst sloped off a mile from the finish claiming that they needed to return to the centre of their universe (Clapham Junction) in order to find their way home. Fortunately our guides for the day, Joelle and George were of sterner fibre and ensured that those of us from north of the river safely traversed the treacherous dinosaur habitat of Crystal Palace, so that there were six survivors to enjoy the Moon and Stars at Penge.

Photographs by Godfrey O'Callaghan.

Waterloo to Clapham Junction, Midweek Pop-Up Tuesday 3rd March 2020

17 walkers, 14.5 miles - leader Ron Williamson. Mud rating 0/10

A carefree stroll along an interesting route which was enjoyed by all. Thanks to Joelle and George for ensuring that we kept on the correct track throughout the day..

Photographs by Godfrey O'Callaghan.

A Sevenoaks Circular, Saturday 29th February 2020

8 walkers, 18.2 miles, 1,484ft of ascent - leader Ian Fairweather. Mud rating 10/10

Awaiting walk report from leader.

Photographs by Ian Fairweather and Gavin Fuller; more by Ian and Gavin on the group Facebook site.

A Sussex and Surrey Semi-circle, Saturday 22nd February 2020

15 walkers, 18.8 miles, 1.156ft of ascent - leader Gavin Fuller. Mud rating 10/10

15 walkers convened at Horley for a walk which had needed to have a rejigged opening few miles due to a landslip taking out trains to the original starting point. The noise of Gatwick accompanied the opening section, which then joined a Sussex Border Path in need of some serious maintenance, with flooded and mudded sections making going interesting to say the least. A wet autumn and winter resulted in further mudbaths in the morning, although once the afternoon session got going after some slow café service the mud quotient thankfully diminished. The group survived the hillier rigours of the North Downs and rolling countryside around Caterham and Coulsdon to arrive at the station just in time for the next train, and only 20 minutes later than hoped for.

Photographs by Gavin Fuller; more by Gavin and Ian Watson on the group Facebook site.

The Tarmac Walkers Go Further East, Tuesday 18th February 2020

14 walkers, 15 miles - leader Ron Williamson. Mud rating 2/10

Today’s route was a north south linear route featuring; the borough top of Waltham Forest, two lost rivers, Walthamstow village and Wetlands, and Viking Leyton, before crossing the Queen Elizabeth Park to reconnect with Fish Island and paying homage once again to the home of football.

Our start at Chingford on the edge of Epping Forest with the heights of Pole Hill and the environs of Stratford at the finish were familiar ground to all, but in between our perambulation led us to through unknown territory. An interesting route with the highlights being the unexpected heights of Larks Wood, the preserved remnants of Walthamstow stadium, the contrast between the original Walthamstow village and today’s High Street only a few hundred yards apart and the path alongside the Dagenham Brook which for years was a no go area but now a place of recreation for Leytonians.

A dry day except for a cold squally shower which caused us to take shelter and cancel a tour of the appropriately named Wetlands.

Photographs by Gavin Fuller; more by Gavin and Ian Watson on the group Facebook site.

Round About Richmond, Sunday 16th February 2020

9 walkers, 17.5 miles - leader Lonica Vanclay

9 of us intrepid walkers ignored the dire weather forecast and shrugged off the train and tube delays and cancellations in order to walk 17.5miles.  The wind was very light but the rain seemed to get steadier and colder through the day - until it stopped and the sun even shone more or less when we finished at the station.  Nowhere near as bad as predicted though.  In the morning we followed the Thames from Kew to Kingston where the Waitrose cafe served most of us very well indeed.  The afternoon was through Richmond Park.  We did see deer and experienced lots of wet soggy ground but minimal mud.

Photograph by Ian Fairweather.

Farnham to Brookwood, Saturday 8th February 2020

18 walkers, 18.7 miles - leader Andy Shoesmith. Mud rating 10/10

Report yet to received from leader.

Photographs by Gavin Fuller; more by Gavin and Ian Watson on the group Facebook site.

Dorking Circular, Saturday 1st February 2020

15 walkers, 18 miles - leader Jerome Ripp

Peter Buchwald was indisposed so I took over this walk, my 99th lead for the group with vital technological route finding support from Ian Fairweather. Glorious early spring sunshine, daffodils and great views. Peter had kindly sent me the GPX files but I varied the route quite considerably. From Dorking  we took the Pilgrims Way trackway below Denbies vinyards and the Downs which gave us a mud free start rather than the muddy North Downs Way. Wotton estate and great view across the valley to the isolated church. The Greensand Way south to Leith Hill gave us the opportunity to revel in plenty of muddy trails. A welcome cuppa by the tower and across to The Plough Inn at Coldharbour for lunch. A new path for everyone took us around Anstiebury hill fort then over to south Holmwood church, the substantial Holmwood Common and North Holmwood church. A final climb and great view on part of the Deepdene trail then back to Dorking.

Photographs by Ian Watson on the group Facebook site.

The Tarmac Walkers Go East, Midweek Pop-Up, Tuesday 28th January 2020

19 walkers, 11.4 miles (12.4 miles for those who went to the Wetherspoons) - leader Ron Williamson

The industrial waste lands to the financial heart of the city, the curse of racial intolerance to the acceptance of many waves of immigrants ,the brutality of villains to the public spirit of the philanthropists, the ravages of war to the restoration of neighbourhoods.

This area has seen it all and today we were able to appreciate so much of its rich history and also witness the amazing ongoing transformation of vast tracks of industrial wilderness as the legacy of the Olympics continues to act as a catalyst for what seems to be a never ending regeneration.

Only 12 miles but a lot to see and thanks to a local resident, who invited us to visit the roof garden of his apartment block, we were also able to enjoy a bird’s eye view of a large part of our route.

If you want to follow in our footsteps clues to where we went can be gained by visiting here

Photos by Gavin Fuller; more by Gavin and Ian Watson on the group Facebook site.

Greensand Devil, Saturday 25th January 2020

11 walkers, 20 miles - leader Nigel Heys

Eleven people started from Milford Station, those who had arrived by train having had an extended journey owing to engineering work. They went from there to Witley a typical old Surrey village. They climbed from there to the Greensand Way which was followed for a time before starting the long climb to the Devil's Punchbowl. The Bowl  was filled with mist. We then continued to Gibbet Hill (see group photo) still in the mist. It was downhill from there to lunch in Grayswood where most people used the Wheatsheaf. 
After lunch we climbed up a field then under a fallen tree before reaching Chiddingfold. Then it was on to Witley Station (in Wormley!) rejoin the Greensand Way until Hambledon. Finally we crossed a golf course being rebuilt before taking the road back to Milford Station. 

Photo by Nigel Heys

A London Walkabout, Saturday 18th January 2020

18 miles - leader Ian Fairweather

Start of the walk was from Ravenscourt Park Underground Station where the leader Ian Fairweather convened with 24 other walkers.  There were at least two new LDWA members along with visitors from North York group who were down for the Winter Tanners the next day.

Weather conditions were excellent with bright sunshine for most of the day. The walk route took the group through Ravenscourt Park then south to the banks of the Thames and across Hammersmith Bridge towards the London Wetland Centre.  We then proceeded past the site of the Olympic Studios to Barnes Green and through various footpaths towards Mortlake.  The magnificent tomb of Sir Richard Francis Burton was visited and then the group went onwards to lunch at the North End of Kew Bridge.  After lunch we continued west along the north bank of the Thames, through Brentford, Syon Park, Isleworth and over Twickenham Bridge to Richmond Green.  Through Richmond, up to Richmond Park to Henry’s mound and then down to Ham and back along to Richmond Bridge, Marble Hill Park and Turners House in Twickenham finishing at the railway station.

A few of the group left at lunch and a few at Richmond but most continued to the end.

Photos by Ian Watson on the group Facebook site.

Sun, Sea and Sand 2020, Friday 10th January 2020

28 walkers, 14.5 miles (16 miles for those who reached the elusive Weatherspoons) - leader Ron Williamson

No rain, no snow, no mud, no hills, no navigational problems, hardly a challenging walk; just a great opportunity to enjoy each other’s company without having to worry about where to place our next step. A chance to witness a murmuration, watch seals swimming in the Thames, visit a life boat station 1.3 miles out at sea and walk on a sandy beach leaping effortlessly over the groynes. Then as the sun disappeared in the west a chance to observe a majestic full moon appear in the eastern sky and combine with the refracted rays of sunlight to produce the most awe inspiring sunset.

A few yards to the station to board a waiting train to end the day, but half of us wanted more and decided to walk to the nearest Wetherspoons which mysteriously seemed to have been relocated ? It was therefore some half hour later, and now in the dark, when our walk concluded and as promised our winter blues had been blown away

Photos by Gavin Fuller and Godfrey O'Callaghan; more by Gavin and Keith Lane on the group Facebook site.

Sunningdale to Staines, Saturday 4th January 2020

38 walkers, 18.5 miles - leader Kate Copeland

The morning was mostly within the grounds of Windsor Great Park, thus many of the sights to behold were royal in nature - Virginia Water (possibly named after the Virgin Queen), the Queen's Totem Pole, Duke of Cumberland's Obelisk (where we stopped for elevensies and the leader's time-keeping was rightly held to account), the Royal Lodge and then on to the Copper Horse.
We were disappointed not to see any deer in the deer park, however this was quickly forgotten as we basked in the brilliant sunshine and blue skies that burst out halfway down the Long Walk. There was some discussion about how long the Long Walk is. A quick internet search suggests it is 2.65 miles. The group was clearly ready for lunch as they covered this distance in 35 minutes!

Two of our number left us at Windsor. However, Carol joined us which was a lovely surprise.
The low, winter sunshine stayed with us until dusk which meant that the Thames between Windsor and Staines was looking its prettiest. The weeping willows were almost fluorescent in the light.
We arrived into Staines at about 4.45pm and deposited several of the team at their second Wetherspoon's of the day. The rest eschewed tea in favour of the train back to London.

Photos by Gavin Fuller; more by Gavin and Stephen Lannon on the group Facebook site.

New Year Hangover Buster, Wednesday 1st January 2020

36 walkers, 11 miles - leader Susanne Waldschmidt

The gloom of the grey morning skies was dispelled by the appearance of a large and jolly band of walkers at the Monument.  All 36 of them. 

We explored Roman Walls, walked past over 40 City churches, admired the works of art scattered around the city, tramped through endless alleyways without anyone getting lost.

It was nice to hear from LDWA members, who thought they knew the City well, that they had discovered many corners that they knew nothing about.

With the very large group size the pace was somewhat slower than on a standard walk, with an impressive average speed of 2 mph.  Nobody seemed in a great hurry though and we managed to finish around 1630.