Shawford (Hants) circular 15th August

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

Saturday 8th August Icknield Way Stage 2 Dunstable to Streatley

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

Saturday August 29th Twickenham to Richmond

Five walkers turned up for the short walk on Sat. Solvig, Nigel, Roberta, myself and Louise – a friend of mine.
The weather was wonderful. We took the walk  gently and went first on to Eel pie Island, then to York House, Orleans house and Marble Hill House for lunch. We didn’t go in the houses – just lovely to walk around the gardens and watch the boats going by on the river. The gardens at York House  were originally designed  by a famous Indian industrialist  Sir Ratan Tata who lived there long ago. After lunch, we went on the little ferry crossing and no one fell overboard. Then, on to Richmond by the river.
We finished up naturally at Costa Coffee and guess who was first in the queue for coffee and comfy sofas? Yes, you’ve got it and the rest of us were right behind! I think we all enjoyed the day.

photo by Cristian Bortes

Saturday August 1st. Bosham to Chichester

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

Sunday 26 July: Shorter Walk – Little Venice, Regent’s Park & Primrose Hill (Circular)

In pouring rain, ten heroic ramblers set off from Little Venice along the canal towards Regents Park. Enroute we encountered a band of trainee cyclists who wobbled their way past us as we stood well clear. Turning into the park, we walked beside the lake to a cafe where we had a well-deserved stop for coffee and cake. By this time the rain had eased and we continued through the park past a pair of black swans in the Rose Garden and with glimpses of llamas and penguins in the zoo. We stopped for an excellent lunch in the Pembroke Castle before climbing up Primrose Hill for a very misty view of the London skyline. Returning to the canal as the rain started again, we retraced our steps back to Little Venice passing the grandly refurbished Crockers Folly pub and the residence of Guy Gibson of Dambusters fame. On completion of this very damp walk, everyone deserved a medal but unfortunately all they got was a Fox’s glacier fruit!


Image: Canal basin at Little Venice.  Charles Drakew