All posts by Michael

SAT JULY 2nd THAMES VALLEY ESTUARY PATH PART 3: STANFORD LE HOPE TO PITSEA (ESSEX) (Linear) 9 miles.

We go through the Thurrock Thameside Nature Park and Stanford Warren Nature Reserve again. Corringham, Fobbing and Vange Marshes. The villages of Corringham and Fobbing, where, in 1381, the Peasant’s Revolt started. The walk ends in Pitsea but we can make a detour to Wat Tyler Country Park where you can learn all about explosives, nitroglycerin and have a cup of tea.

Buy OPDR to Pitsea. Dep. Fenchurch Street (Shoeburyness train) 9.53 (West Ham 10.03 Barking 10.08) arr. Stanford Le Hope 10.43. Lunch at the Bull in Corringham or bring picnic. OS LR 177. Leader Dominique

photo of Pitsea Marsh by Dudley Miles

SUN 3rd JULY MAYFIELD LAVENDER FIELDS from COULSDON SOUTH with LBR (Circular) 6 miles.

Steepish upwards slope at start but otherwise flattish terrain. Meadows and views to be described, path across lavender field to the Oaks Park café for picnic lunch stop. Woodland trail after lunch and return to Coulsdon South station. Possibility of bus ride back from the Oaks Park. Meet at Victoria station, near main line ticket office at 9am to team up with London Blind Ramblers. Dep 9.46 arr Coulsdon South (zone 6) 10.23. If you would like to come and help guide our blind friends, please contact Pam NOW to register your interest. EX146,161. Leader Pam

photo by Peter Trimming

Saturday 11th June Berkhamsted to Tring

I arrived at Euston early and Geoffrey did too so we were able to have a chat about railways while waiting.  We were a bit late arriving at Berkhamsted, having been held up by a slow train ahead of us.  12 of us set off from Berko, after a further delay while I fiddled with my new pole.  I had been worried about a narrow muddy path on one section of the walk.  However what was muddy in March was bone dry in June and I didn’t need to use my steep alternative route.

We started the steady climb to Berko Common, enjoying extensive views on a bright sunny day.  Although I have done the walk several times I still managed to take a wrong path.  Fortunately I was able to correct my mistake with the aid of my OS Maps app.  I attribute my mistake to the fact that the map shows a path which does not exist on the ground,  and realise that some people might see a slight contradiction here.

Continue reading Saturday 11th June Berkhamsted to Tring

Kew Gardens May 22nd. Walk with blind ramblers

Fifteen blind ramblers and helpers and nine Polyramblers enjoyed a wonderful day in Kew Gardens. We started by ascending to the Temple of Aeolus, the god of wind, who thankfully was not active that day. In fact it was beautifully sunny between the clouds! Walking back through plant evolution in the Evolution Garden we reached the colourful Rock Garden where we listened to the waterfall before passing through the Alpine House, describing the insectivorous plants in the pond on the way. We smelled crushed fallen leaves of the Eucalyptus trees before experiencing the different climatic zones of the Princess of Wales Conservatory. Homage was paid to the bee at ‘The Hive’ a structure created by Wolfgang Buttress which several of us entered to further explore and listen to the local bees humming in the key of C major!

Continue reading Kew Gardens May 22nd. Walk with blind ramblers

MAY 2nd Bank Holiday Monday, Box Hill and Westhumble to Dorking, plus Dorking loop

The Saturday walk had attracted 24 walkers so I was pleased to have a turnout of 13.I was impressed to learn that 10 of them had been on the Saturday walk too – hats off to them. It was good to have Sandra with us for the 1st time in a few weeks. From Boxhill and Westhumble Station we made our way uphill to the west, passing through Dobies Vineyard to join the Pilgrims Way. The wooded section was alive with birdsong and the open stretch gave us sunny views across the valley towards  Leith Hill. Turning downhill and crossing the railway we passed along Milton Street, lined with some very attractive 17th century and older houses. Entering woods we climbed up to a ridge with a gazebo, where we sat and appreciated views both to the north  and Box Hill and to the south towards the South Downs.

Continue reading MAY 2nd Bank Holiday Monday, Box Hill and Westhumble to Dorking, plus Dorking loop