A group of 16 Poly Ramblers and 3 guests gathered in Marlow on a mild and sunny November morning.  The sky was blue and the autumn colours were fantastic.  We knew that rain was forecast later but hoped we might avoid it.  We headed towards the river, pausing briefly to admire the larger than life statue of Olympic rower, Sir Steve Redgrave.  We crossed the town bridge and left the river behind, heading south across fields to cross a busy dual carriageway into Bisham Woods.  There we had a short stop to sample Stuart’s homemade Anzac biscuits – very appropriate for the centenary of Armistice.  Continue reading SATURDAY 10th NOVEMBER: MARLOW and COOKHAM DEAN (CIRCULAR):

Autumn Weekend in Ashbourne (Derbyshire)

Following on from the success of our previous weekend in Darwin Forest we booked lodges at Sandybrook Park in Ashbourne. On the Friday afternoon we settled into our lodges and prioritised party plans for the weekend to celebrate birthdays.

Our orientation walk was via the Tissington trail to Ashbourne. We arrived at St Oswald’s church dating back to 1240 and home to many artefacts about local history. We were lucky enough to be shown around by the vicar who was happy to expand on the churches’ historical significance.

Continue reading Autumn Weekend in Ashbourne (Derbyshire)

3rd November. Shiplake circular

Fifteen Polyramblers met at Paddington to join the 0942 GWR train to Twyford.  This train gathered up 5 more members at Ealing and one more at West Drayton. At Twyford the 21 of us crossed the footbridge where we joined the little train to Shiplake.  From the unstaffed halt at Shiplake (actually at Lower Shiplake), I phoned our numbers through to the lunch pub.  Then we proceeded straight off the platform down a few steps onto a gravel path, then south down a lane and a path onto the Thames Path. Soon we were passing the rugby field pitches of Shiplake School, with  rugby players in action, situated by the riverside. Continue reading 3rd November. Shiplake circular


We had a beautiful walk on Saturday weaving our way between Hampshire & West Sussex. It was mostly through light woodland & on such a lovely sunny day, the sunlight filtering through golden leaves was very uplifting! We had a look at the curious Tuxlith chapel & its more modern neighbour, St Luke’s, both appearing to be in the middle of the wood. The chapel was built in the twelfth  century & is now considered ‘redundant’, presumably because it’s so small, but is ‘under the care of the Friends of Friendless Churches.’ St Luke’s is Victorian & not so  romantic but still a lovely church & clearly well used.

Lunch was at Flying Bull in Rake- not a gourmet pub, thank goodness- but friendly & efficient.

The afternoon took us through more woodland & we had a good refreshment stop at the Deer’s Hut in Griggs Green. After that we found ourselves going past Foley Manor where one of our number remembered having spent holidays as a child & learning to swim. We got to Liphook station in good time & without having lost the small, autumn leaf coloured dog who honoured us with his company.



12 Polyramblers on this walk, or 13 if you count Stuart who missed the beginning of the walk and only found us at the end. But there could have been 15 as Mary and Joyanna did not find the group and went exploring on their own. The Grosvenor family has owned 100 acres of Mayfair since 1677 when Sir Thomas Grosvenor married Mary Davies, heiress to part of the Manor of Ebury. This area took its name from the May Fair – an annual two week long fair of vice and impurities, held until well into the 19 century. The walk took us away from busy Marble Arch and Oxford Street to quiet streets lined with beautiful 18 and 19 century houses and mews for their stables and servants. We passed Grosvenor Square, the second largest square in London and went to South Audley Street where the Halloween decorations outside the Thomas Goode shop were amazing. Mount Street has lovely houses with terracotta decorations. We also saw, outside Number 2 the ornate lamp post with a trap door which was used by the Soviet Embassy as a dead letter drop during had Cold War. This was revealed when a double agent was extracted from Russia. We followed Bourdon Street, Avery Row and a maze of narrow lanes before reaching Brown Hart Gardens, built on top of an electricity transformer station. In the middle of Mayfair are model dwellings built in the 19th century to house the poor which must be worth a lot of money now. We passed Claridge’s Hotel, went up Davies Street and finished the walk at Bond Street Station.

If anyone would like to redo the walk in daylight the details can be found here