Despite perfect weather, the day didn’t start auspiciously. Pam & Tim arrived at London Bridge in good time but without tickets, only to find the concourse filled with a snaking queue of hopeful travellers all trying to get tickets from the 2 functioning machines. The Ticket Office being likewise besieged, they managed to get through the Barrier hoping to throw themselves on the compassion of the person at the Excess Fares booth but that was similarly overwhelmed by confused families all trying, & presumably failing, to make sense of the Railway ticketing system. Pam made it onto the train but Tim, not having a Freedom Pass, didn’t which was sad as he missed a lovely day.
Ten walkers made the longish journey from Waterloo to Shawford in Hampshire on Saturday morning to meet up with leader Roy who lives in the area. Soon we were up on Shawford down and crossing the M3 to Compton Down. It was not an arduous walk, undulating rather than hilly, and Roy treated us gently, with frequent pauses for information about the history of the area.
He had certainly done his research – we learnt about the mizmaze (turf maze) on St Catherine’s Hill, the WW1 troop camps surrounding Winchester and the history of Richard Cromwell (son of Oliver) in the village of Hursley, where we stopped for lunch at the Kings Head. Roy raised the bar for leaders by providing a handout on the history of the area – which is proving a great help in writing this report! Either side of lunch we picked up the Monarch’s Way, a 615 mile footpath marking the approximate route Charles II took escape after defeat at the Battle of Worcester. All too soon we were going back under the M3 and into the prosperous commuter town of Shawford with some impressive properties. With a 50 minute wait for our train we stopped to look for fish in the Itchen Navigation and then repaired to the pub across the road in search of liquid refreshment. Unfortunately the service was so slow that most of the group gave up.
Thanks Roy for a very enjoyable and informative day. Gillian
photo of King’s Head Hursley by Peter Facey
Stuart and I met 13 walkers at Luton station on a warm, sunny Saturday morning for stage 2 of the Icknield Way. A 15 minute trip on the guided busway took us back to Dunstable where we finished in May. A long green lane took us to steep steps to cross the A5 and we continued north, stopping briefly to try some delicious cultivated blackberries growing just above a sewage works. Later we had to negotiate the diggers starting work on the A5/M1 link road. Soon Continue reading Saturday 8th August Icknield Way Stage 2 Dunstable to Streatley
photo by Cristian Bortes
My 10 mile walk around Chichester Harbour needs to be done on a good day when the water sparkles and the boats bob. On a bad day we would be walking into the teeth of a gale.
The weather did not disappoint, unlike Southern Railways which managed to make us miss our connection to Bosham. Facing a 1 hour delay, we headed for the bus. The locals were a little bemused to find 18 Polyramblers crammed onto their small vehicle. Continue reading Saturday August 1st. Bosham to Chichester