The weather forecast for our first small group walk, post-lockdown was not encouraging – heavy rain and thunderstorms in the afternoon. In spite of this the full complement of 12 pre-booked walkers turned up at Amersham. In line with government guidelines we split into two groups of six and set off, initially on tree lined streets and then woodland paths with views across the Chess Valley. One walker turned back at this point but the rest continued down into the valley and back up the other side on a narrow lane. We passed some attractive farm properties at the top. From there we walked above the east side of the Chess valley and eventually through fields of barley and descended to emerge just above Chesham station. All this time the weather held and it was even sunny at one point. But as we ate our sandwiches in Lowndes Park the clouds threatened and half the group decided to head back on the tube. Wise decision. The remaining six set off for the final three miles back to Amersham. After 20 minutes the heavens opened as predicted and didn’t let up for the rest of the walk. We were thoroughly soaked but we can’t say we weren’t warned. Thanks to everyone who took part, especially Carol for bringing her homemade cake bites which helped to get us through the longish morning walk.
Saturday 15th February. 15 of us braved the weather to undertake a linear 5 mile London based walk from Euston to Angel. The walk took us round Somers Town at the back of Euston, St Pancras and Kings Cross. There are several remarkable buildings in this area, notable because of their residents, or architecture, or historical significance. They included the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital, The Polygon/Oakshott Court where Dickens lived and Mary Wollstonecraft (mother of Mary Shelley) died. The Sidney Estate displaying beautiful Doulton Ware ceramic panels and carved finials in the courtyard with hooks to hang the washing lines to dry clothes. The Ossulston Street Estate was impressive – influenced by the Karl-Marx-Hof in Vienna. Opposite we enjoyed visiting the Story Garden – a member of the charity co-running this site gave us an overview of the purpose of this garden for the next 3 years. We passed a Portuguese cafe – although closed at weekends it is well worth a visit and like other places in Somers Town adds to the history of the area along and also sells delicious custard tarts. Walking along the few remaining rows of Victorian houses (Brewers Company Estate), that survived demolition in the 20th century, we arrived at Goldington Buildings with an impressive entrance and coloured brick work. Then onto St Pancras Hospital which had originally been the Work House. A hidden gem is the Old St Pancras Churchyard where Sir John Soane and his wife are buried as well as Mary Wollstonecraft. There is still a very old church on this site. It has been a place of worship since the 7th century. We then passed the German Gymnasium – the first gymnasium to be built in England – now a restaurant. Lunch was spent individually exploring the development behind Kings Cross. Additional local information included the origins of the Pearly King tradition with Henry Croft who cleaned streets around St Pancras, the structure of the roof of St Pancras based on the beer warehouses up north and Sir John Betjeman’s role in saving St Pancras. We then walked along the canal towards Angel. Again there were some historical references which included the gathering of 100,000 people in support of the Tolpuddle Martyrs in 1834 in the area of Copenhagen Street. The walk ended in the Camden Head Pub – which still displays a lot of it’s original features.
15 Polyramblers assembled at Wendover Station to join this ramble. I decided to shorten the morning’s route by 1 mile to enable us to reach the lunch pub by 2pm, and more importantly to complete the ramble in good daylight. This also gave the party time to admire the new gate donated by the club, which is a short walk down a track very close to Wendover Station approach. So instead of taking extremely muddy paths via Dunsmore and little Hampden, we took Continue reading Saturday 22 February 2020: Wendover (Bucks) (Circular)→
I was delighted that 17 walkers turned up for this walk although I wasn’t certain they had all taken in what I had said about the mud! Some of them had been rather derogatory on the train about the Essex landscape – riverside flood plain – so they may have been surprised to see the steep street as we left the station! The footpath continued uphill through Benfleet Downs and Hadleigh Country Park, part of which was used for the Olympic Games mountain bike Continue reading Saturday 8th. Benfleet to Southend-on-sea→
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→
The Polytechnic Rambling Club – Walking with friends