All posts by Dominique

Tring to Berkhamsted: 7 July

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.

Mary King

Saturday 23 June 2018: Saxon Shore Way (1) – Gravesend to High Halstow (Linear)

Nine Polyramblers for this Kent walk on a hot and sunny day. After leaving Gravesend and its industrial estate, we walked along the Thames and marshlands described in the map as « danger area ». But Martin reassured us by saying that the army range is only used during the week. It was quiet and we only met a couple of fishermen and hordes of horses with their foals. We passed a fort built by General Gordon before Higham Creek.  The path near Cliffe Fort was quite overgrown. We turned inland along Cliffe Creek and Cliffe Pools RSPB Nature Reserve – where we saw a couple of avocets – before reaching our lunch stop: the Six Bells Pub in Cliffe. After a short break, we continued our walk through farmland and orchards, passing Cooling Castle and Northward Hill RSPB Nature Reserve. We did not stop to sample the strawberries in the field but Anna, who ate a few on the recce, told us they were delicious. An exhilarating climb of a 50m high hill was recompensed with chocolate from Martin. We reached High Halstow where we waited for the bus to Strood. We caught the javelin train to Gravesend where we changed for a train to London.  The walk was supposed to be 9.5 miles but there was some disagreement about the length and it is being investigated.  After verification, it seems the walk was 11.9 miles.  Continue reading Saturday 23 June 2018: Saxon Shore Way (1) – Gravesend to High Halstow (Linear)

Wednesday 20 June 2018: Evening walk in Clerkenwell

17 walkers for this London walk on a lovely summer evening starting from Farringdon, one of the earliest stations to be completed (1863). We made our way to the Clerk’s Well which was rediscovered in 1924 during building work. The walk then took us to the Sessions House – which is now a Masonic Hall, the Marx Memorial Library (it was originally an 18th century school for poor Welsh children and later was the home of ’20th Century Press’ where Lenin published), the old Hugh Myddleton School (named Continue reading Wednesday 20 June 2018: Evening walk in Clerkenwell

Friday 25/Tuesday 29 May 2018: Bad Reichenhall (Bavaria)

On Friday night, 25 Polyramblers met at the Wieninger Schwabenbrau restaurant in Bad Reichenhall for a nice dinner after travelling there by different means. The main party had reached Salzburg at lunchtime and, after a pleasant bus trip, arrived in Bad Reichenhall. After settling in our room in the Vier Jahreszeiten (4 seasons) hotel, we had lunch at Cafe Reber where the cakes are to die for. Then some of us visited the old salt works while others went to the spa. We met late afternoon for a tour of the very nice town. We went to the Royal Spa Garden where we saw the inhalatorium, we sampled the salty water in the rotunda, saw and heard a number of churches and went to the old town. Quite a full day. Continue reading Friday 25/Tuesday 29 May 2018: Bad Reichenhall (Bavaria)

Easter Saturday: Black Park and Langley Park (Berkshire)

Danny kept up his usual standard for Easter Saturday, attracting a crowd of 24 walkers to Langley in spite of very uninviting weather.  After a short walk along the canal we headed into the vast Langley Park Estate, once home to the Duke of Marlborough, with a lake designed by Capability Brown, an arboretum and rhododendron gardens. Admittedly it wasn’t the best type of day to appreciate these features but the weather gradually improved and the walking was easy with only muddy paths to contend with.  After five miles we left the park and headed for lunch at the Crooked Billet at Iver Heath which provided good, reasonably priced food and friendly welcoming staff.  By the time we left the pub the sun was out.  Nine walkers left to get the bus back to Langley, fortified by chocolate eggs (thanks Danny) and the rest carried on for the last two or three miles through the Park Estate, passing some exotic waterfowl and an impressive display of daffodils.    On the last stretch our path was impeded by a fallen tree which took a bit of team work to negotiate without crawling on the muddy trunk.  A very pleasant day.