Sixteen members of the Polyramblers walked the Saxon Shore way from Dover to Deal. The numbers were impressive as it was also the final of the women’s Wimbledon tennis championships and the football third place playoff for the World Cup.
We started with the Banksy graffiti art depicting Brexit. It was painted on a building due for demolition but luckily Dover Council agreed to keep it, as it provided much needed colour to a rather run-down area.
We continued along the cliff tops dropping down to St Margaret’s bay where we had lunch and Harriet enjoyed a swim. It was a beautiful day with lots of sunshine, a mild breeze and wonderful views.
After lunch we continued our cliff walk to Kingston Downs where we dropped back down to sea level and continued past a large number of memorial benches to finally reach Deal.
We just had time for a much needed drink before catching the train back to London.
An ideal walk for me to lead as I really just needed to remember to keep the sea to the right of me!
Despite soaring temperatures and the England world cup match, 9 polyramblers turned out for the walk. The advantage of the conditions was that there were far fewer people on the Ridgeway than would be normal and the heat was made more bearable by a gentle breeze. Lunch in the Valiant Trouper in the pretty old village of Aldbury was excellent and as it was a football-free zone (i.e. no TV) there weren’t many customers so we were very well taken care of.
We noticed after lunch the heat had intensified as we set out up a steep path out of the village up to the Bridgewater monument on the Ashridge estate. From there we turned into dense woods, which provided much welcome shade, though on reaching the edge of the woods at Northchurch common we, for a brief moment, lost our direction. Getting back on track again, we started out our descent from the hills down to the Grand Union Canal. We then followed the footpath along the Grand Union canal into Berkhamsted. We had been oblivious to how the football match was progressing until we walked passed a Football Club on the banks of the canal and deduced from the loud cheers England must have just scored.
Despite more frequent water stops than normal, I suffered an attack of heat stroke and almost passed out on the journey back to Euston where I was taken to the medical room and attended to by a First Aider. Everyone will be pleased to hear I made a speedy recovery and slept it off after I got home.
It was a hot day to walk 13 miles with no pub until the end but that didn’t deter 11 Poly Ramblers. Led by Jackie, we started at Goring and were soon heading uphill through woods to arrive on a ridge. Much of the walk was in woodland, which was just as well as the sun was roasting out in the open. Stuart had intended to do a shorter, lower level walk but we kept bumping into him around every corner so in the end he stuck with us. After a nervy encounter with a frisky group of young heifers we were back in woodland and stopped in partial shade to eat our sandwich lunch. We had a lovely surprise when Geoffrey produced a bottle of prosecco to celebrate his first 40 years in the Club. Congratulations Geoffrey and hope you have many more years of walking. Continuing on we came to a clearing with lovely views of the Thames below, the first we had seen of it all day. We headed steeply downhill, towards the river we thought, but no, we were soon going back uphill until we reached the village of Whitchurch on the Hill. Jackie googled for a possible icecream shop but in vain. We continued downhill and before too long we were on the outskirts of Whitchurch on Thames where we found our first pub of the day. Most of us decided to stop for a refreshing drink before crossing the river at the Toll Bridge into Pangbourne and the train.
For the second walk on a hot and sunny weekend, thirteen ramblers gathered at Watford Tube Station for a ‘strollers’ walk towards Rickmansworth. The length of five miles was immediately added to by a few hundred yards taken in the wrong direction by the leader before he realised his mistake! After the false start, we entered a busy Cassiobury Park and went towards the Grand Union Canal which runs through it. We joined the towpath and headed south. The promised kingfishers did not appear but we did see a moorhen and a dead carp!
After a couple of miles, we left the canal and walked across Croxley Common Moor which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of the variety of its plant life. On the far side we stopped under the shade of a tree for a celebration of Geoffrey’s forty years with the club. He said a few words about his memories and then we toasted him with some bubbly.We then joined the Ebury Way, a traffic-free path along the route of an old railway line, for a mile or so before reaching the canal again. The towpath from here to Rickmansworth was lined with houseboats of all sizes and colours. We stopped a couple of times to feed the wildlife including a family of swans with five hungry cygnets. The White Bear pub was a welcome site at the next bridge and we quenched our thirst & appetites there. Finally a short stroll through the town via the parish church took us to the station for our journey home.
Twelve Poly Ramblers convened at Liverpool Street last Saturday, a last minute change of terminus after we discovered the day before that the train we had intended to catch from Kings Cross had been deleted from the timetable. All went smoothly en route other than a jobs-worth ticket inspector giving some of our group a ticking off for having tickets that were only valid on the Cambridge route. Continue reading Icknield Way stage 8 – Icklingham to Knettishall Heath→
The Polytechnic Rambling Club – Walking with friends