Saturday 13th. Coulsdon circular

Nineteen Polyramblers set off from Coulsdon South station in search of real countryside in zone 6. Within minutes we reached a path through ancient yew trees along which we walked for almost a mile before entering Happy Valley. We climbed uphill and followed a terrace enjoying impressive views and the wild flowers before dropping back down into the valley bottom and continuing to Coulsdon Common. Crossing from Greater London into Surrey brought us to the North Downs Way and the Surrey Hills. We stopped for lunch at the Harrow pub’ which served real ale but according to Kim the most boring three real ales in the country! He was somewhat placated by a good, if expensive, craft beer. Suitably refreshed we followed an undulating path with good views of Greensand Hills to the south and also the London skyline. Leaving the North Downs Way we admired the attractive fifteenth century Tollsworth Manor before walking through Alderstead Heath and visiting Chaldon Church famous for its Doom wall-painting dating from around 1200. Passing between fields of wheat and barley we re entered Happy Valley and onward to Devilsden Wood where Old Nick did his best to get the leader lost. Team work and technology saw us out of the wood and onto Farthing Down an important archeological site with evidence of human activity for some 6000 years. We crossed the Down disappointed at being unable to identify the Saxon burial mounds but charmed by the song of skylarks and retraced our route back to Coulsdon South station.

Yes we found countryside, even wild raspberries, and some of us had not walked over 10 miles for a while or were nursing ailing limbs so well done to them.


Saturday 6th. Chessington circular

The promise of various wild life appeared to attract a goodly number of the nineteen participants to the Chessington walk last Saturday. However the peregrine falcon turned out to be a wooden sculpture, the beetle seen was not so rare and there was no sign of any badgers! However the sight of a dromedary camel and some antelope provided reasonable compensation, I think.We started with a short climb to Winey Hill for extensive views of south-west London. We then skirted the World of Adventures theme park before entering Chessington Wood and then on to Ashtead Common. Passing a number of City Of London coal tax posts and the anglers by the Stew pond, we continued through Epsom Common before reaching our lunch stop at the pleasant Cricketers pub by Stamford Green. We left four of our number there and, in the afternoon, headed back to Chessington South via the local parish church and Horton Country Park. With just a few minutes to spare, we caught our train back to town in a relaxed mood after a gentle ramble in the sunshine.

Tring circular 9mls 29.06.19

The walk will go down in the Polyramblers history as taking place on the hottest day of the year with a temperature of over 30 degrees.A further challenge became apparent at Euston station when our train for Tring was cancelled owing to a shortage of drivers.Undaunted Jennifer and I caught the train to Watford Junction where we met up with Peter Tarl our walk leader and Andrew one of our ramblers in time to catch the train to Tring. Unfortunately, Chris another of our intrepid group had also arrived at Euston and caught a later train to Tring.Eventually six of us including Sunita started our walk from Tring station. We followed the Ridgeway for the beginning of our walk, we then walked through Tring Park for a welcome shady break from the heat. We then linked up with the Chiltern Way before arriving at our pub stop the Half Moon.We enjoyed a leisurely lunch before starting back via the Chiltern Way. We met with young people doing the Duke of Edinburgh award and a scout leader waiting for a number of scouts that Andrew had spotted going in the wrong direction.We ended the walk following the canal path from Cow Roast locks back to Tring Station where we caught our train without any delay.Many thanks to Peter Tarl for a lovely scenic circular walk on the hottest day of the year.Hilary

Peddars Way, Stage one: Knettishall Heath to Swaffham 21-23 June

The Peddar’s Way begins at Knettishall Heath in Suffolk and runs for 46 miles north to finish at Holme-next-the-sea on the north Norfolk coast. The path is characterised by being very straight and of course pretty flat.  In this trip I aimed to get us half way to the coast. Thetford is the nearest town to the start point but is severely lacking in affordable accommodation. For this reason most of the group stayed at the Best Western in Bury st Edmunds, while Geoffrey and Harriet stayed in the only B&B in Thetford.  The Bury st Edmunds group enjoyed an excellent meal at Francela’s in the town centre while the Thetford group ate with Harriet’s god daughter who lives locally. Continue reading Peddars Way, Stage one: Knettishall Heath to Swaffham 21-23 June

Saturday 15 June 2019: Ockley to Warnham (Linear)

This is indeed “a beautiful walk through an unspoilt countryside of fields, woods and gentle hills,” as captioned and explained in detail by the excellent Time Out Book I / Saturday Walkers Club. In my group survey of the members on the walk, Geoffrey described it as “An exhilarating walk through woods and fields on the Surrey/Sussex border”. Continue reading Saturday 15 June 2019: Ockley to Warnham (Linear)