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.
After meeting at New Malden station 15 Polys set off to follow the Beverley Brook to the Thames. We passed New Malden golf course and after going under the busy A3 we were soon in the lovely woodland of Beverley Meads and Fishponds Local Nature Reserve. We followed the brook along the edge of Wimbledon common, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and crossed over into Richmond Park, also an SSSI and National Nature Reserve, at Robin Hood gate. Here we were pleased to find toilets, the ladies all holding the door for each other so only spending 20p altogether. Good for us, but not so good for the council coffers! We stopped at the café near Roehampton gate for lunch. This was fortunate as we had a brief downpour and the picnickers were also able to come inside out of the rain. The afternoon took us through Palewell Common to Barnes Common, where two members peeled off to make their way home from Barnes Station. We then descended to the Thames through Putney Lower Common and along past the boat houses to Putney Bridge. Here most participants dispersed in various directions. Four of us retired to the Bricklayers Arms where Sandra very kindly offered us a drink to celebrate her recent birthday. It was agreed by all that the walk had been ideal for an autumn day when the weather was rather unsettled.
Once we had all settled in our rooms in the spacious Conwy YHA or in accommodation in town, we all met up for an informative tour of the ancient extremely attractive town of Conwy following the town trail the castle and town walls. We then found eateries.
Saturday 14th October
Saturday 14th October the Stroller section of the Poly Ramblers crossed the Conwy River by its elegant suspension bridge heading along the estuary and along the wide shoreline to the west shore promenade on the edge of Llandudno. After lunch they took the tramway to the Great Orme Summit which opened in 1902 and is one of only three similar ones in the world.
The hikers met at Conwy Castle to get the bus to Llandudno Palladium. We started the walk by exploring Llandudno pier built in 1877. We then visited Happy Valley Gardens before continuing our walk following the North Wales coastal path walking beneath Limestone cliffs, eventually reaching the Rest and be Thankful Cafe with its range of delicious cakes. We were treated to some extensive views and some wild goats clinging to the steep cliffside. We then descended towards the West Shore passing a village created as a decoy in World War 2. We had lunch at the West Shore completing our walk via the sand dunes and along the estuary before completing our walk back in Conwy.
Sunday 15th October
The Poly Ramblers strollers walked along the top of the town walls to join a nearby footpath leading to Bodlondeb woods, they walked alongside a marina finishing up at the coast. They had lunch at the Mulberry pub, so called because some of the floating harbours used on D Day were made there. In the afternoon they joined the North Wales coastal path to climb up Conwy Mountain to a viewpoint overlooking the estuary.
The hikers started their walk along Conwy Quay before starting the climb over the southern flank of the Conwy Mountain following the North Wales coast path. We stopped to admire the views of the coast before dropping down into a gully to reach the Synchnant Pass. We went through Dwygyfychi village and then had lunch on the beach. We walked on a cycle path, next to the road, going through the mountain tunnel before reaching the dunes to Morfa Conwy. We walked aside a golf course and around Conwy Quays Marina before finishing our walk at Conwy Castle.
Monday 16th October.
The Poly Ramblers headed up the Synchant Pass from the youth Hostel passing the Oakwood Estate built in a Mock Tudor style. We walked across fields passing a number of Llamas following a track past a lake with wonderful views before a short walk along the road and rejoining our route back to the youth Hostel.
Eleven Polyrambers set off from Westhumble rail station on a six mile circular walk including the village of Mickleham, woodlands making up Norbury Park and the Druids Grove with its fine specimens of ancient Yews.
The weather was unexpectedly fine with only a couple of quick showers passing through. The only pub on route was closed when we passed by, but we were later afforded fine views of the Mole valley including Box Hill from where we picnicked.
The final leg of the walk became a bit of a challenge as the previous day’s wet weather had made sections of the chalky path slippery, but by using poles or holding somebody’s hand everyone managed to stay upright!
Near the end we encountered a large herd of Jersey Cows requiring navigation around certain deposits in the grass using a heads down rambling technique!
Finally, the leader perfectly timed the return to the rail station so that fellow ramblers only had a couple of minutes to wait for a train back to London!
16 members of the Poly Ramblers Club met at Hanwell Station to begin our walk to Richmond. I had warned about the short platform at Hanwell but had failed to mention that not all trains stopped there resulting in one member ending up at Hayes and Harlington. We stopped to admire the Wharncliffe Viaduct, one of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s first great projects, before following the Capital Ring along Fitz Herberts Path named after a couple who petitioned the council for a path to join up the Brent meadows with the Grand Union Canal. We walked along the Grand Union Canal after our first stop at the popular Fox Pub to browse at their market. We continued our route towards Brentford diverting off to admire the fruit trees planted by a local group planting fruit trees for foraging along the canal and adjoining meadows. We crossed the canal at Gallows bridge and then past Clitheroe Locks to Boston Manor Park via a newly renovated wooden bridge, where we stopped for tea or ice cream at the newly opened café. We reached the Brentford Docks via a pontoon, the footpath being temporarily closed due to the construction of a new bridge across the canal. Our next stop was Syon Park, owned by the Duke of Northumberland, where we had lunch at the Garden Centre café. We reached the Thames at Isleworth with attractive views up and down the river. We followed the Thames Path continuing through a gateway and a short walk along the pavement led us to another Thames Path notice which returned us to the river. After a further short walk along the Thames, we crossed Richmond Bridge and continued towards Richmond. A walk across Richmond Green brought us to Richmond Station.
The Polytechnic Rambling Club – Walking with friends