I only learnt recently about the link of Reading and Caversham as centres of pilgrimage with Reading Abbey (founded by King Henry I in 1121) which possessed over 230 relics including the hand of St James and Caversham where the shrine of Our Lady of Caversham was situated. 12 Poly Ramblers joined me on a sunny but cold day to learn about the history of Reading and Caversham. Continue reading READING HISTORY AND ST JAMES WAY- 6 December mid-week walk
In spite of the wet conditions and a discouraging forecast, 15 Poly Ramblers gathered at Ruislip station for a walk through woodland, open countryside and canal towpath. The rain had largely stopped by the time we set off but the sun failed to make an appearance all day. Even without the sunshine the woodland of Bayhurst Country Park and Ruislip nature reserve was lovely, although the HS2 works we had to divert around were a little less lovely and some of the stiles were in poor condition. Eventually the route took us to woodland above Harefield Parish Church and a peal of bells heralded our arrival (or maybe they were for the wedding). We made our way uphill to Harefield Village and then down, up and down again to reach the Grand Union canal towpath. We headed north and stopped at the Coy Carp pub for lunch. After refreshments we continued north on the towpath to Rickmansworth where the majority of the party went in search of tea. Having searched in vain for an independent tea shop we ended up in one of the chains.
It was lovely to see Julie again on a visit from Brisbane. She enjoyed the weather if no-one else did.
Gillian. Photos from Joyanna, Hilary, Melida and Gillian
Ten intrepid Polys met at Totteridge and Whetstone station on a bleak, wet morning. They were rewarded by an unexpectedly lovely walk, all within the London Borough of Barnet, and some good
weather including quite a bit of sunshine. After walking for a short while along by the Dollis Brook, we briefly passed through some typical suburban streets before reaching Totteridge green and from there on to Darlands Lake Nature Reserve, where we followed the Folly Brook. The terrain was extremely waterlogged but fortunately a raised walkway has been installed. In the spring wild anemones, rare snakeshead fritillary and wild garlic flowers can be found here. Darlands Lake used to be the boating lake for the grand Copped Hall, which dominated the hillside. We emerged from the woodland into what used to be the the parkland of Copped Hall and made our way steadily uphill towards Totteridge Lane with its grand houses. By this time the sun had come out and we were able to enjoy views all the way to Canary Wharf. The area is extremely rural, with farms and stables, as it is protected as part of the greenbelt. We stopped to picnic in the grounds of the church in Mill Hill, just before it started to rain, and enjoyed a drink at The Three Hammers Pub. We passed the Sheepwash Pond where animals were washed before being driven to London for slaughter. We struggled to drag ourselves out of the warmth of the pub, but after waiting for a heavy downpour to stop, we set off and again the sun came out! The afternoon took us through several soggy meadows before we went uphill to Totteridge Common and from there back to the tube station. We agreed that we had been lucky with the weather and that this walk should be repeated in future in the spring to appreciate the flora.
Susan (photos by Hilary, Susan and Gillian)
It rained heavily during most of the walk but our small group of 8 polyramblers were all geared up for it! We walked through many parks and woods, Coney hill Park, Sparrows Den, Spring Park woods, Shirley Heath, Cheyne wood, Three Halfpenny wood, Addlington Hills (we had our lunch stop under trees near the viewpoint there), Bramley Bank, Littleheath woods, Selsdon wood, Farleigh Common (where the weather picked up). Happily, the sun stayed out for us on the final hour of our walk and it was a short wait for the 403 at Hamsey Green.
Photos by Hilary and Rochelle