20th October. Manningtree

There were 15 on this  walk, led by Sandra, in the heart of Constable country on a beautiful, sunny autumn day. We followed the Essex Way through the countryside to the pretty village of Dedham where we had lunch. We had time to visit the church, which has a painting by Constable, and the art and craft centre. We continued along the river Stour and strayed into Suffolk up to East Bergholt, the birth place of Constable, where we stopped for a look at St Mary’s church and bell cage. Then it was off to Flatford Mill, previously owned by Constable’s father, and its National Trust tea shop where we had tea and cakes. Most of us chose pumpkin and walnut scones which were delicious. Another two miles took us back to Manningtree station after a lovely day in the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Manningtree Station has a flourishing café and bar offering real ale. Some of us took  the opportunity of sampling this, enjoying the late afternoon sun. Coming off the London train,  I noted a fair number of souls, wearing their Bollocks to Brexit badges . A number of club members attended the march too so perhaps all is not yet lost. Thanks to Sigrid of Morley Ramblers, whose walk Sandra borrowed and who came with us to make sure we didn’t stray. Thanks to Dominique for the majority of the  text and to Pam for the lovely main photograph.


Five intrepid walkers set off from London only to arrive at the start and find no leaders in sight.  We had been to the station, but had to park about ten minutes away. The five agreed to meet the leaders halfway.  We set out on a sultry day with the crows singing Enrico Morricone spaghetti western tunes, as the sweat poured out of the follicle challenged leader’s head.

The walk took us through sunny autumnal scenes and a vista of surrounding hills, meadows and woodland. We also passed through the historic hamlet of Bassetts with several 16th century timbered buildings.  Two walkers got very excited every time fallen sweet chestnuts were found on the walk and the writer took a tumble not looking where he was going!  Shaggy Parasol mushrooms were also spotted, but not collected for later consumption.  Just as well, as I later found out that edibility is a bit touch and go!

A picnic lunch took place outside the Rock pub I didn’t think would be reached in time with refreshments then taken inside.  Early into the last stage of the walk it became apparent that the train travellers could catch an earlier than planned train back to London.  An agreed increase in pace through satisfyingly crunchy fallen leaves ensued, despite the squirrelling chestnuters hanging back to collect more rich pickings en-route.  The usual brief encounter with Alpacas, a typical traditional British countryside scene, made us all feel at home (well walkers home kind of thing)!

Kim.  Photos by Ida, Siew Kee and Kim


Saturday 6 October 2018: Hampton Court to Teddington and Richmond – Linear

Although it was rather wet, we had a pleasant short walk along the Thames from Hampton Wick, saw all the boats and had a nice lunch at ‘Tide End Cottage’ next to the Anglers Pub. Solvig joined us for lunch, after which we continued on towards Richmond. It was a shame about the rail strike but despite all the difficulties we were able to enjoy each others company and get some much needed weekend exercise.


Photo by brian gillman, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54092578

Sunday 23 September 2018: Chess Valley – Rickmansworth to Chesham (Linear)

Five intrepid walkers met at Marylebone station togged up for the dire wet weather which was forecast and which we had already experienced on our respective ways from home, not seriously expecting to meet any other Polyrambler at the station! However the sky lightened up as the train made its way to Rickmansworth where we met up with Gillian and Stuart. The morning was still wet but we made good headway along the Chess valley. The Chess was Continue reading Sunday 23 September 2018: Chess Valley – Rickmansworth to Chesham (Linear)

Saturday 15 September 2018: WANBOROUGH to GODALMING (LINEAR)

Because of a train strike, Wanborough station was shut, so 13 Polyramblers took the train to Guildford and the bus to Normandy (don’t know the origin of the name and Wikipedia is vague about it) and walked to the start of the ramble at Wanborough station. It was a lovely sunny day and, after following field hedges, we reached Wanborough great barn, built 630 years ago by the Cistercian monks of Waverley Abbey. It was heritage open day so we were able to visit the barn but no time to have coffee and cake in the lovely church. We walked uphill along a wooded path to the A31 dual Continue reading Saturday 15 September 2018: WANBOROUGH to GODALMING (LINEAR)