MORE DETAILS: A Christmas walk inspired by a Victorian Clerk

Sat 19th Dec 2015

Walk Details:

Event Details Updated
Event details updated 11/12/15 (see "General Notes"): 1. The start time is now 09:09 2. There is now a morning coffee stop 3. Lunch will be later & in the vicinity of Hampstead Heath Station and not The Spaniard Inn (decided too crowded and expensive) 4. And a mud warning is included
Event Type
Group Walk
Region
Southern England
Local Group
London
Distance
18ml.
Start Time
09.09 NOT 08.24
Route
Meet at Harrow-on-the-Hill Stn (Marylebone Stn 08.57 NOT 08.12)

Start Harrow and walk towards London to finish at the Christmas tree and crib in Traf Sq after gawping at the London Christmas decorations. Christmas drink and valediction at the Lord Moon on the Mall (lunch stop in the vicinity of Hampstead Heath Station)

General Notes
Expanded route notes added 11/12/15: Meet at Harrow-on-the-Hill Stn (Marylebone Stn 08.57). In the morning the route follows the Capital Ring via St Marys Church and the grounds of Harrow School before heading South through Hampstead Garden Suburb to Hampstead Heath & Parliament Hill. Mid-morning coffee stop at the Cafe in Hendon Park. Lunch stop in the vicinity of Hampstead Heath Station (approx 12 miles) - Pub, a large Starbucks, various refreshment emporiums and a free public toilet. After lunch the route passes over Primrose Hill, through Regents Park, and wends its way through Marylebone, Mayfair, Soho & Covent Garden viewing London Christmas decorations and another free public toilet. We finish at the Christmas tree and crib in Trafalgar Square before a Christmas drink and valediction at the Lord Moon on the Mall. Santa hats and white beards optional. 18.0 miles at a sociable 3 mph. Be prepared for some mud in the morning
Start and Finish

Entry Details:

Cost

Walk Report

A Christmas Walk Inspired by a Victorian Clerk, Saturday 19th December 2015
38 walkers, 18 miles - leader Keith Lane
"I thought a buzz was building up about my walk. I had a couple of texts from prospective walkers and when I got to Harrow on the Hill station at 08:45 there was a good sprinkling of the usual suspects. But nothing prepared me for the stream of LDWA members marching through the ticket barriers from the scheduled Marylebone train - a real jaw-dropping moment.
I am not sure if 38 is a record number in the annals of London LDWA but surely it has to be for a leader who has not led a weekend walk for the LDWA before!
We marched up the Hill to St Mary's church where I told anyone in ear shot all about Nathaniel Bryceson (he could not have thought his diary entry would have inspired such a gathering 169 years later).
Gordon volunteered to be back marker and we set off for the coffee stop although it was becoming increasingly obvious that ordering coffee would be totally impractical so I announced that it would be cancelled but we would go up to it as there are free toilets next to it. It didn't occur to me that being a Jewish cafe it would be closed on Saturdays and certainly not that the toilets would also be closed for the same reason. When we got to the next toilets at Hampstead Heath northern extension there was a sizeable queue.
Changing the lunch stop proved to be a blessing because of the variety of venues that could accommodate most tastes and numbers. A few members left the walk at the lunch stop and using side streets alleyways & courtyards it was an unproblematic walk into London until we hit the tsunami of shoppers as we tried to navigate our way across Oxford Street. The group was reduced to 10 members after we regrouped as some left and others got lost. This must be another record. However when we got to the crib at Trafalgar Square walkers who had made their own way appeared and others were in the pub.
Fortunately, contrary to our fears the pub wasn't packed and we gathered round a table with our very own Father Christmas and a festive time was had by all.
Photographs by Bola Baruwa and Keith Lane

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