All posts by Michael

10th October Saxon Shoreway

I was joined, alphabetically, on the walk by Anna; Harriet; Irene & Les. Having taken a very slow train out of Victoria changing at Sittingbourne, we set off from Swale station with a scramble down a bank onto the fore-shore of The Swale. A drowned valley, which in Roman times would have been twice as wide, separating the Isle of Sheppey from the mainland. A cable Ferry operated for centuries from here. We were treated to the sight of the 1960 road/rail vertical lift bridge being raised to allow the passage of a yacht, and Continue reading 10th October Saxon Shoreway

Hampton Court to Fullwell


Seven Polys plus leaders Sandra and myself  met at Hampton Court station. A surprising number of people got off the train, this due to a bank holiday fair in the palace grounds. We hadn’t seen each other in person for 6 months and comparing notes, we all seemed to be in the cautious category regarding the Virus.
It was a touch autumnal and crossing the Thames bridge towards the palace, some of us already wished we had brought our gloves. Turning down the towpath towards Kingston, we were amazed to see 3 women swimming in the river. They were towing orange markers, but seemed to wearing ordinary cozzies rather than wet suits. All power to them. A brief internet search suggests that this is the second best wild swim site in London (after Hampstead ponds obs) partly because of the easy sloping bank access on the Surrey side.
We were not alone in walking the riverside path but there was plenty of space and everyone was observing social distancing.
We turned into Home Park, the large space to the east of Hampton Court Palace. We walked along the Long Pond, with its lovely view of the Palace in the distance. Walkers were far outnumbered by Canada geese. Continue reading Hampton Court to Fullwell

News from Grazalema


As most of you know, the club had a trip here in June 2015 and this is where our web master Clive lives. I’ve been in touch with him on and off since March. At the beginning, it seemed that the village was isolated from the virus, although there were cases in Ronda. Things have become progressively gloomier over the last 6 months and here’s his latest on how things are in the village.


Businesses over here are dropping like flies… I think now the penny has dropped exactly how much they relied on the UK, German and US visitors… I am not sure how long some places in Grazalema will remain open. Places like Rumores and the Simancon seem to be keeping their heads above water but others are obviously struggling. In Ronda 20 bars shut down permanently last month.
The coronavirus is increasing again and we have cases all around us in the villages. Apparently, Ronda only has 2 available intensive care beds available… Spain registered almost 2000 new cases over the last 24 hours. Goodness knows what will happen when the schools re open next month.

Continue reading News from Grazalema

Tuesday 4th February Evening walk :Battersea Power Station’s First Light Festival

17 Polyramblers for this evening walk starting from Sloane Square. We passed the Duke of York’s Headquarters, built to provide a home for children of soldiers’ widows, which is now the home of the Saatchi Gallery and where the Tutankhamun exhibition is taking place. Then we continued to the Royal Hospital Chelsea, built by Christopher Wren. None of the Polyramblers meet the criteria to live there. There are carol services in the Wren Chapel in December Continue reading Tuesday 4th February Evening walk :Battersea Power Station’s First Light Festival

1st February Guildford circular

After a week of damp and dull weather, some improvement had been forecast and 16 of us stepped off the train into watery sunshine. A number of us hadn’t been to Guildford and were surprised to see the remains of the castle and it’s well manicured grounds, virtually in the town centre. (Yes, it is town, despite having a cathedral. City status is apparently granted by the monarch, and although applications have been made in the past,  they have been unsuccessful.)  We headed steadily uphill past increasing larger and desirable houses emerging onto Pewsey Downs. By this time the sun had come out properly and we enjoyed extensive views towards the South Downs. Continue reading 1st February Guildford circular