With the rival attraction of Barbara and Hazel’s walk, I was pleased that 8 of us turned up at Waterloo Station. It was the first day of the major upgrade of the station, involving closing 10 platforms. The normally fast trains to Alton were making additional stops so it was well after 11.00 am by the time we started our walk. The weather was dry and pleasantly warm but rain was forecast for later. A short climb from the station soon brought us to a fine view to the south, from where our route took us to West Worldam and towards Selbourne before turning west. It became quite overcast with spots of rain so we had an early picnic with shelter near at hand. In fact the sun came out and we enjoyed a very pleasant stop, until Pam was stung by a bee. Fortunately Irene was on hand with the necessary supplies and expertise to render prompt first aid. Continue reading Saturday 5th August. Alton circular
16 Polyramblers set out from Amersham station on what was a sunny morning, but with heavy rain forecast for later in the day. We walked downhill through woods to Old Amersham and from there across wheat fields to the village of Coleshill. Unfortunately, lack of concentration on my part meant that we took the wrong path but thanks to Stuart’s local knowledge we got back on track and rejoined our path outside the village of Winchmore Hill. From here we walked through woods and more beautiful rolling wheat fields which I think show off the Chilterns at its best and eventually reached the village of Penn Street where we an excellent pub lunch. Continue reading Saturday 29th July. Amersham circular
From the station, we walked uphill to Manningtree church where we joined the Essex Way which we followed most of the day. We reached the waterfront and followed the Stour estuary to Mistley, famous for its twin church towers and its witch finder. We left the riverside to walk across pastures, woodlands – passing old oaks including Old Knobbley – and wheat fields. We had our picnic lunch in the playing field or the churchyard before having a drink in the Strangers Home pub in Bradfield. We crossed more wheat fields before rejoining the waterfront to Wrabness Nature Reserve. We stopped at Wrabness church with its bell housed in a cage in the churchyard and at a stall selling home-made quiches and brownies. Before reaching the station, we passed Grayson Perry’s A House for Essex. 14 Polyramblers.
After leaving Chigwell we enjoyed a relaxed walk through Roding Valley Meadows Local Nature Reserve and its lake onwards up through Buckhurst Hill and then up through the edge of Epping forest and its famous oaks, then onwards to the white timber-framed Elizabethan building which is Queen Elizabeth’s Royal Hunting Lodge, built for King Henry VIII in 1543.
After lunch at The Premier Inn next to the Hunting Lodge, we headed towards the Scout Headquarters at Gilwell Park and the Yardley and Hawk Woods. After reaching a hill overlooking the King George V Reservoir, Enfield we stopped for a beak to admire the view. Finally we descended to Sewardstone Marsh Nature Reserve followed the canal and entered Enfield to reach our final destination at Enfield Lock.
This was pretty much the perfect walk, nearly 15 miles & neatly divided into 3 parts. We left Lewes via a lovely walled garden where children rehearsed for what appeared to be a mediaeval pageant or perhaps, being Lewes something more alternative, & an unusually easy-going cat allowed itself to be played with by a small child & then seemed to join its family on a blanket for a picnic. We then flew – well, something like that – up the first mighty incline onto the South Downs Way & our first glimpse of the sea. The path curved around several deep natural bowls & at 12.30 we came down to Rodmell for lunch at the Abergavenny Arms.
The second part took us over the Ouse & up a very steep hill back onto the ridge. Cooled by a pleasant breeze we kept up a good pace. The tea shop in Glynde closes at 4 so it hadn’t seemed possible for us to make it in time but, encouraged by our fleet-footedness, the leader set off at a run down the hill & through the village to secure a cream tea at the Little Cottage Tea Rooms. They did us proud & we had certainly earned it.
The third part started with another mighty climb back up to the Downs which must have helped work off some of the tea & the beautiful early evening light was a reward for our efforts. With some reluctance – at least in my case – we descended into Lewes again & indulged in a well-earned pint before getting the train back to London.