All posts by Hilary

Guildford Circular 17th April 2021

This was the first walk since lock down in December & it was a gorgeous reminder of why we would get up early on a Saturday. As we left Guildford we gazed at the curious sight of a huge hedge, sprayed with pink paint & chained to the ground. Hedging being much in demand & supply being short, hedge theft is big business now in Surrey & householders with large front gardens take what steps they can to deter persons who come in the night with forks & spades. An old sunken path took us out into fields where, being fairly flat, we saw more sky than most of us have seen for months. Then a meadow with three llamas dozing in a nice warm scrape they must have made & being gazed at with total concentration by a Westie, temporarily deaf to his owners’ irate calls. Just outside Chillworth we admired two fine pigs who, when younger, were covered with curly sheep-like wool but now just looked like abandoned rugs as someone said. After Chilworth’s ponds & water channels we took a small path that wended its way up the hill under dappled sunlight. through carpets of bluebells, celandines, wood anemones & violets. So beautiful was it, particularly after having been confined to a built-up environment for months, that we kept stopping to listen to the birdsong & enjoy the peace. We had a picnic in the sun at St Martha’s, high up on the North Downs Way & then walked down through the very different, more coniferous woods to the cafes & delights of Guildford.      


chiswick and Hammersmith Circular Walk 13th Dec. 2020

Ten Poly Ramblers met at Turnham Green station to begin our walk with a tour of the Bedford Park estate. (Norman Shaw architecture) A number of artists and poets lived here including WB Yeats. We then went onto Stamford Brook and into Ravenscourt Park a very traditional London Park with a lake and gardens and a tennis court. Both Danny and Sandy attended schools in the locality and shared memories of their escapades in the park. We continued to a café and toilets where at this point three of our walkers diverted into a local garden centre café whilst the rest of us continued on our route. We left Ravenscourt Park to cut across Hammersmith to reach the subway under the A4 to join the Thames path at Furnival Gardens. High tide resulted in a group split headed by Danny going a longer way round leaving Marga and myself to wade through a few yards to re-join the ramblers at Hogarth’s grave by the side of St Nicholas Church where some group members went inside to admire the interior. The current church dates from 1882-84 when most of the building except the tower was demolished and rebuilt at the expense of the brewer Henry Smith of the nearby Fuller, Smith and Turner brewery. We walked through Chiswick old cemetery to cross Burlington lane and into Chiswick House grounds. We had lunch (including mulled wine for a few of us) at the main café by Chiswick House followed by a wander around the grounds kindly led by Stephen who with Rochelle and Cathy had finally caught up with us! We completed our walk by leaving the grounds and under the subway back towards Chiswick Park Station. A very enjoyable pre-Xmas ramble.


Leek 9 to 12 October Hikers report

Friday 9th October Orientation walk around Leek Staffordshire on the architectural trail. The walking trail around the town revealed the Victorian influence, many of the buildings were in the Arts and Crafts style. William Morris had an influence, spending long periods of time here as the town was a centre of silk textile industry, there is still the Leek school of embroidery here. We started our walk at the Nicholson War Memorial 90 ft high and made of Portland stone one of the highest in the country. We then explored the graveyard of St Nicholas Church where there are the remains of two pre-Norman crosses. We passed many fine examples of Georgian town houses and lost count of the number of pubs on route with unusual names such as the Silent Woman. Following our walk, we all dispersed to various eateries in the town centre.
Saturday 10th October Hikers walk of 12mls across moorlands, fields, finishing with a walk along Rudyard lake. We arrived at our starting point at Rudyard miniature railway and reluctantly emerged from the cars to face a heavy downpour. On a fine day the views would have been stunning we had some periods of dry weather which enabled us to stop for snacks and drinks. We walked over the Staffordshire moorlands with heather and ferns beginning to go into a lovely golden colour. We estimated that we climbed over approximately thirty stiles in varying states of dilapidation. We had a pub stop for a late picnic lunch the manager was happy for us to eat indoors and we enjoyed the local beers and ales. We finished our hike walking along the lakeside shore and ended up at the boathouse for a group photo. In spite of the intermittent heavy rain we enjoyed a varied walk. Continue reading Leek 9 to 12 October Hikers report

Circular Canal walk from West Drayton via Little Britain Lake and Uxbridge

Five Polyramblers met at West Drayton Station with our organiser Val who lead the way down Drayton High street to Trout Lane and onto the canal. I was saddened to see the significant amount of rubbish in this area, however this did not detract from the interest of the canal. There were large numbers of narrow boats, and lots of coots and swans with their youngsters. We walked along to the Packet Boat bridge to detour onto the Little Britain lake. We wandered around the lake where there were a number of people fishing and it was lovely to watch the adolescent swans and other wildlife. We returned onto the canal towpath passing a working boatyard before reaching our lunch stop at the General Elliot pub. Continue reading Circular Canal walk from West Drayton via Little Britain Lake and Uxbridge

Saturday 15th August Little Chalfont to Latimer 9 miles circular walk

Twelve ramblers met at Little Chalfont and Latimer station to begin our walk. It had rained the night before so unusually there was some mud underfoot.We walked through some woods and then followed the waymarked path over fields until we reached the river Chess. We admired a view of the tall gables of  Latimer House on route. We followed the Chess path stopping to admire a cormorant before stopping for some elevenses at Latimer village Green. Carol had thoughtfully made some ginger flapjacks for us. We continued to the Water Cress farm and climbed the one moderately steep hill of the day before reaching our lunch time picnic destination of Holy Cross church built of flint in the 12th century. The church has a number of lepers buried there. I over heard a small child taking about Leopards leaping about the graves, a slight misunderstanding!A few of us had lunch at the Cock Inn near to the church whilst the rest of us joined them for a very pleasant drink following completion of our picnic. We were lucky as the rain at this point had stopped. Continue reading Saturday 15th August Little Chalfont to Latimer 9 miles circular walk