On a very hot Mayday bank holiday weekend, 29 Polys gathered at Tower Hill for Dan’s 70th birthday walk to Blackheath. Pushing our way through the crowds of tourists, we walked round the Tower of London, and through St Katherine’s Dock and on to Wapping, Shadwell and Limehouse. By the time we reached Millwall Dock on the Isle of Dogs, it was a very hot and thirsty party of walkers that enjoyed a birthday drink courtesy of our leader – thanks, Dan!. The rest of the walk took us through Mudchute Park and City Farm where there were donkeys, pigs, chickens, pigmy goats, sheep and lambs to be seen. We then arrived at Island Gardens for a magnificent view of Greenwich and the Cutty Sark, and the even stranger sight of an enormous cruise ship moored nearby. Then it was through the foot tunnel for a late lunch in Greenwich, which several people had in Wetherspoons with others sampling the fare on offer in the local markets. Most of the group left at this point but a stalwart party of 8 continued to Blackheath, last seen heading for the Royal Observatory.
Remarkably, 17 brave souls and 1 dog turned out on a wet day for a walk from Woldingham with an absolute guarantee of mud. I had altered the morning route to avoid some of the worst of it, and this involved some lane walking. At the North Downs Way viewpoint, high above the M25, we encountered an even larger group from the Southbank Ramblers who were doing a similar walk and stopping in the same pub. We sped on and arrived before them, only to find that they were short staffed in the kitchen and some dishes arrived late. However, well refreshed, we set off again in rain that was by now heavier, with only 1 member opting for the bus. Continue reading Saturday 3rd February. Woldingham to Oxted→
Another fine autumn walk enjoyed by 8 Polyramblers on a day which remained mild and misty, with only the odd spot of rain. At Box Hill and West Humble station, there was a very large walking party assembling but we set off and never saw them again. We walked through Denbies vineyard and up onto Ranmore Common with great views over Dorking and Box Hill. The trees were a glorious colour and we had a carpet of autumn leaves underfoot. Dropping down into the valley, we passed Milton Court, a Grade II listed 17thC house, now the UK HQ of an American company called Unum which offers insurance products to employers. Clearly a profitable business! Continue reading Saturday 18th November, Boxhill to Dorking→
A total of 15 Polys met at Amberley station for a walk in perfect weather. A much larger walking group left the train at the same time, so we sped off just in case they were heading in the same direction. We had a short walk along the river Arun, then through Amberley village with its castle, thatched houses and delightful cottage gardens, then across country to Parham Park where the picnickers had their lunch. The pub lunchers enjoyed sandwiches in the garden of the nearby Crown Inn, in the company of goats, rabbits and guinea pigs. We were pleased to see that none of these featured on the menu. To celebrate the first day of Geoffrey’s retirement, he treated us all to glasses of Prosecco and Harriet produced an excellent cake. Continue reading Saturday 1st July. Amberley circular→
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→
The Polytechnic Rambling Club – Walking with friends