What a lovely day for a walk! The bluebells that were in amongst every clump of trees when we did the walkover two weeks ago had given way to wild garlic and the meadows are now full of buttercups. Horse chestnut trees are in full flower and their leaves luminously bright green despite attacks of leaf blotch in recent years. Lots of wisteria on the few houses and cottages we passed. We were blessed with warm sunshine but when the occasional cloud came over or when we were walking in the shade we could feel the icy wind still reminding us that spring has not yet fully arrived. But the ground was not muddy – in fact in some fields the soil in between the crops was cracked as in severe drought. Continue reading May 15th. Leigh to Sevenoaks
Fourteen Poly Ramblers and two guests converged on Rainham, Essex on a sunny though chilly Saturday afternoon for the last 5 miles of the London Loop. Some had spent the morning visiting Rainham Hall, others were in the pub and one or twovisited the reptile emporium. We headed off across the level crossing towards the river, led by Martin and Anna, the latter carrying a large cardboard cake box. After a mile we arrived at the banks of the Thames estuary, very industrial but not unattractive in a way. Continue reading May 14th. Rainham to Purfleet
Having just arrived from home my choir rehearsal the Tuesday before, I went to open my tablet to check something online, whereupon an email arrived from Gillian seeking a leader for this walk, as Jackie couldn’t do it due her recent ankle injury. I turned round to look at my bookshelf, and lo there was the “Time Out” book with the walk in it. And such a lovely walk in a lovely area – it has to go ahead. Continue reading Sunday 8th May. Berwick to Eastbourne
It was the perfect month to do this walk from East Grinstead and 14 of us discovered why the Bluebell Line is so named. They were in full bloom, along with primula and wood anemone. There were lots of new born lambs and enough sunshine to make it feel like Spring, contrary to the gloomy forecast of Arctic winds. We encountered several groups of laden youngsters doing the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. We stopped to chat to one of the steam railway volunteers. He encouraged us to join them in November for an 11 mile walk of the entire track (one for permanent way enthusiasts!). Only Mike actually saw a steam train, but it was going backwards. Continue reading April 23rd. East Grinstead
Beautiful walk through woods, the odd hill & Winkworth Arboretum. Lunch at The White Horse in Hascombe but the reasonably early start means that we can refresh ourselves at the Merry Harriers in Hambledon on our way – why walk past a good pub when it’s summer & the days are long? Meet Waterloo station. Buy OPDR to Milford. Train dep 9.15, arr Milford 10.05. Distance 10.3 miles. EX145/LR186. Leader: Harriet.
White Horse photo by Colin Smith