Current Strolls Programme

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Current Strolls Programme

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2008 - 2018  Archive of Strolls Programme and Photographs please ACCESS HERE

LATEST PROGRAMME - 2019 Strolls Programme (January to December)

Saturday 5th January 2019. Farnham Circular. Conductor: Jill Goddard. Start Farnham Station 09:25 (London Waterloo 08:30) and return at 28 and 58 minutes past the hour.

Route description: The walk visits the north east corner of Hampshire, via tracks, field paths, quiet lanes and woodland. We will leave Farnham on the St Swithun's Way, detour to the village of Crondall and reach Bentley for lunch.  We come up to the villages of Binsted and Wheatley before crossing into Alice Holt Forest where we can get tea before taking paths back to the station.

 Explorer 145. Distance approx. 20 miles. Click HERE for photo.

Saturday 19th January. Sevenoaks to Oxted. Linear walk over the border from West Kent to East Surrey. Conductor: Helen Franklin. Start Sevenoaks Station (please meet inside the main entrance) at 09:12 (London Charing Cross 08:40, Waterloo East 08:43, London Bridge 08:49). Direct trains back to London Victoria every 30 minutes or London Bridge one an hour from Oxted.

Route description: One of my favourite places to walk not too far from home is Sevenoaks and the beautiful Knole Park. On a winter’s morning, as we pass through Knole, we will see deer springing through the foggy woods as we pick up the Greensand Way and follow its route to Oxted. The walk is varied and there are some stunning views to be seen in good weather. Our lunch stop will be in Ide Hill, where there’s a choice of a community shop, The Cock Inn pub, or BYO - plenty benches around the green. In the afternoon we travel towards Toys Hill and Chartwell, stopping at the Carpenter’s Arms in Limpsfield Chart for a drink. Tea and coffee available in the pub, not just alcohol! Just a few miles to the end of the walk in Oxted.

Explorer 147 and a bit of 146. Distance approx. 17miles.  Click HERE for photo.

Saturday 2nd February. Devilish journey from Hassocks and Fishersgate (linear). Conductor Janette Platt. Start Hassocks railway station 09:10 (08:11 from London Bridge). Return trains from Fishersgate at 10 and 41 minutes past the hour.

 Route description: What this stroll lacks in length it makes up for in 'undulations' (and, weather permitting, views). Plus being one of Janette's strolls it has to have a bit of cultural heritage too! Note: we have a fairly late lunch stop so bring a snack for elevenses to keep you going.

From Hassocks we head straight for the hills, initially the lower slopes of Wolstonbury Hill (topped by an Iron Age hill fort) and then Newtimber Hill, along whose flanks we take a pleasant contouring path before dropping down to Saddlescombe.

From here we head for the Devil's Dyke, a natural steep sided dry valley cut into the chalk upland of the South Downs. To the right of us, as we make our way along a path which hugs the valley side, we will be able to make out the banks of another Iron Age hill fort on the opposite side of the valley. A quick break for elevenses will be taken at the view point opposite the Devil's Dyke Hotel, within said hill fort, before we set off once more through a gap in the fort ramparts and along the top of the South Downs escarpment.

A slight detour from the South Downs Way takes us to the earthwork remains of a small Norman motte & bailey castle and a little used path along the edge of the downs.

A shortish distance after the YHA we turn right and start our gradual descent to Bramber and lunch at the Castle Inn Hotel. Those who have brought a picnic lunch could eat it at the church or in the grounds of the Norman castle, both of which are nearby.

After lunch those who have not had lunch at the castle can take a quick look at it before we head for the River Adur. After a shortish walk along its banks we turn to start our climb back onto the South Downs via Beeding Hill. After a final gentle climb up Thundersbarrow Hill (passing the Bronze Age 'Thunders Barrow' on the way) we finally start our descent into Fishersgate with the lights of the town in front of us.

Explorer 122. Distance approx. 17.5 miles.

Saturday 16th February. Little Kimble to Haddenham. Linear walk in North Chilterns. Conductor Lynne McKenzie. Start Little Kimble Station 09:10 (London Marylebone 08:13). Return trains to Marylebone from Haddenham and Thame Parkway at 13 and 38 minutes past the hour. Buy a return to Haddenham and Thame Parkway.

Route description: In the morning, we follow the Aylesbury Ring north through farmland to Dinton where we can admire the Manor and church while we partake in cake. We continue on to Waddesdon for lunch at The Lion pub or the Coffee Shop (10 miles).After lunch we head up and over Lodge Hill passing the 19th Century Waddesdon Manor. Heading south we reach Nether Winchenden and on to Cuddington for a potential tea stop at the Crown Pub, light permitting. It is then just over 2 miles to Haddenham and Thame Parkway Station following the Outer Aylesbury Ring.

Explorer 181. Distance approx. 17 miles.  Click HERE for photos and report.

Saturday 2nd March. Henley Circular. Conductor: Kate Copeland. Start: 09:50 Henley Station. (08:42 from London Paddington, change Twyford). Return trains every 30 minutes. Parking at Henley station is about £4.50 per day. Free on-street parking can be found with a little determination and time to spare.

Route description: We leave Henley via the Oxfordshire Way, taking in Middle Assendon and Bix Bottom. At Maidensgrove we pick up the Chiltern Way, passing through the pretty deer park at Stonor. Thence onto Southend, Turville and Fingest where we stop for lunch at the Chequers PH.  From here we head south to Skirmett, and Hambleden. Then at Mill End we cross Hambleden Lock to walk along the Thames back into Henley for an optional tea stop at The Chocolate Cafe. Lovely views, some of the prettiest villages in England, plus this is the land of kissing gates rather than stiles!

Explorer 171.  Distance approx. 17.5 miles. Click HERE for photos.

Sunday 17th March. Sunningdale and Windsor Park Circular. Conductors: Gail and John Elrick. Start 09:30 at Sunningdale Station (London Waterloo 08:39). Return trains at 25 and 55 minutes past the hour.

Route description: We spend most of the day exploring some of the very attractive 2,020 ha. (5,000 acres) of Windsor Great Deer Park. We will of course visit the well-known attractions, including Virginia Water, The Valley Gardens and the Long Walk but we will also visit some of the less frequented areas of the park. Lunch will be taken in Windsor and tea in the Park, details to be advised nearer the time.

Explorer 160. Distance approx. 20 miles.  Click HERE for photos.

Saturday 30th March. At the Chalkface - an Eastbourne Circular. Conductor: Clare Kirkbride. Start Eastbourne Station (meet by ticket barriers) at 10:14 (London Victoria 08:16). Trains at 01 and 25 past the hour to London Victoria. Assistance dogs only because of livestock.

Route description: Through historic Eastbourne inland on the South Downs Way to Jevington, Cuckmere Valley for lunch.  Then Friston Forest, panoramic viewpoint above Exceat, the Seven Sisters, Birling Gap (tea), Beachy Head, finally returning inland to the railway station.

 Explorer 123. Distance approx. 20 miles with drop out at 12 miles.

Sunday 31 March Additional Stroll Conductors Gail and John Elrick  Click HERE for photos.

Saturday 13th April. Farnham to Guildford (linear). Conductor: Jill Goddard. Start Farnham Station 09:55 (London Waterloo 08:53). Drivers could park at Woking, Guildford, Aldershot or Farnham and use trains. Regular return trains to London from Guildford.
Route description: This walk starts and ends on the North Downs Way and follows the route of the River Wey.  It takes in woods, common, heath and farmland, riverside paths and villages.  We take a route via Crooksbury Hill and Puttenham Common to Shackleford for lunch and then to Peper Harrow and Eashing before reaching Compton and a tea stop at Watts Gallery.  We return to the North Downs Way and end the walk along the River Wey.

Explorer 145. Distance 18 miles.  Click HERE for photos.

Saturday 27th April. Epsom to Dorking (linear) Conductor: Keith Lane. Start Epsom Station 09:27 (London Waterloo 08:54).

 Route descriptionThe route ascends to Epsom Downs and undulates to Walton on the Hill, Banstead Heath and Colley Hill before descending to Reigate Heath and lunch at The Skimmington Castle PH, (about 9.5 miles). After lunch we head for The Plough, Leigh for tea before heading for Dorking Station.

Explorer 146.  Approximate distance 18 miles.  Click HERE for photos and report.

Saturday 11th May. Chilterns Villages: Chalfont & Latimer to Amersham (linear). Conductor: Nick White. Start Chalfont & Latimer Station 09:28 (London Marylebone 08:57). Regular half-hourly return trains from Amersham.

 Route description:  This is a lovely walk through the Chilterns, only a short train journey from London.  We leave Chalfont & Latimer station to join the Chess Valley Walk past Latimer House following, then crossing, the River Chess and past Chenies House.  We then join the Chiltern Way through Carpenter’s Wood and Philipshill Wood to the attractive town of Chalfont St Giles for elevenses.  We then continue through Coleshill and Winchmore Hill to Penn Street for lunch at The Squirrel pub or picnic on the green. Then it’s on to Little Missenden and returning along the South Bucks Way to Old Amersham for tea.  After tea, it is a 20 minute walk up through a wood to reach Amersham station.

Explorer 172. Distance approx. 19 miles.  Click HERE for report.

Saturday 25th MayLeatherhead Circular. Conductor: Helen Franklin. Start Leatherhead Station 09:13 (London Victoria 08:25, London Waterloo 08:24).

Route description: A delightful route through the Surrey countryside. Plenty of good views. In the morning we head south from Leatherhead towards Friday Street. Lunch options: benches for picnics around the pond, or the Stephan Langton Inn – no packed lunches on their premises please. The afternoon takes us back north towards Ranmore Common, passing the YHA’s Tanner’s Hatch, then on to Bockett’s Farm Barn Tea Room for our afternoon tea. A short distance back to Leatherhead station for frequent trains back to London ends the day.

Explorer: 146. Distance approx. 20 miles.  Click HERE for photos.

Saturday 8th June.  In Darwin's Footsteps (Circular). Conductor: Simon Lloyd. Start Hayes Station 09:48 (London Charing Cross 09:07). Can also be reached by frequent 119 bus from Bromley South or 353 from Orpington stations.

Route description: The morning heads across ancient Commons (Hayes and Keston via the London Loop) passing William Pitt’s Holwood estate and the Wilberforce Oak, then to pass Downe House, home of Charles Darwin for lunch in Downe. After lunch we walk in the meadows and woods where he experimented and devised his thesis on the way to the more than 2,000 year old yew trees in Cudham, from there via fields and woods to High Elms Country Park, the past estate of the Lubbocks, friends of the Darwins, for tea (Green Roof café, visitor centre, and exhibition). The evening section returns to Hayes visiting Farnborough village and church, finishing across the north of Keston Common.

Explorers 147, 162. Distance approx. 20 miles

Saturday 22nd June. Hurst Green circular. Conductor: Lilian Chelli. Start Hurst Green Station 09:34 (London Victoria 08:51). Trains back to Victoria every half hour.

 Route description: An amended version of a stroll we did a couple of years back. The morning section is via Staffhurst Wood and Crowhurst Church. Lunch is at the historic Red Barn PH near Blindley Heath.  There’s plenty of room inside and out. In the afternoon, we follow quiet field paths via South Park Farm to reach Bletchingley for tea. Tea is at Lamington’s Tea Room. There’s an evening section of about 6 miles along the Greensand Way with attractive views south.

Explorers 146 and 147. Distance approx..20 miles.  Click HERE for photos.

Sunday 14th July Cowden Circular Conductor: Kate Copeland. Start at Cowden Station 09:54 (London Victoria 8.55 or London Bridge 8:42, both changing at East Croydon to catch the Cowden train at 09:23) Return trains are hourly. There is free parking at Cowden Station.

Route Description: From Cowden we strike out eastwards into the gently undulating countryside. We pass through Chiddingstone Hoath, Smarts Hill, Poundsbridge (where locals often stop for a quick dip in the River Medway - feel free to join them!), Speldhurst Wood and the excellently named Modest Corner. Lunch is at the rather smart Kentish Hare PH in Bidborough (9.5 miles). After lunch we begin our journey back, passing Upper Hayesden, briefly joining the Eden Valley walk, before rising to get views of Penshurst Place. From Penshurst we continue westwards towards Wellers Town and Hill Hoath. At Mark Beech we have the option of a tea stop at the Kentish Horse PH before the final mile to Cowden Station. We will pass countless oast houses along the way and if we see any other pubs with 'Kentish' in the name we may have to stop at them too! 

 Explorer 147. Distance 18 miles.  Click HERE for photos and report.

Sunday 28th July East Croydon toWoldingham (linear). Conductor Dave Williams. Meet at East Croydon station at 09:32 (London Victoria 09:16). Return trains to London from Woldingham are at 05 and 35 mins. past the hour. (Woldingham is 1 stop outside Zone 6 ! )

 Route Description: An 18 mile stroll taking in Croham Heights, Purley Beeches and Old Coulsdon where we pause for lunch. In the afternoon we cross Farthing Down and Happy Valley before passing Chaldon Church with its famous ' Heaven & Hell ' mural before continuing on to the NDW which we follow to the finish at Woldingham

Explorers 146 and 161. Distance 18 Miles.  Click HERE  for photos.

Saturday 10th August  Beacon Beckons, (linear from Berkhamsted to Tring).Conductor: Bola Baruwa. Start at Berkhamsted station, Herts, 08:51.(London Euston at 08.24 - Buy a return ticket to Tring.) Car drivers can leave their vehicles at Berkhamsted and catch the train back from Tring (3 every hour, journey time 4 or 5 minutes).

Route Description: A linear walk to Tring, via Berkhamsted Common, Whipsnade Zoo, Tree Cathedral, Bridgewater Monument, Ashridge Estate and Ivinghoe Beacon. Morning break at Whipsnade Zoo café.  Lunch stop at the Red Lion pub, Dagnall. Possible afternoon tea stop at the Bridgewater monument NT café.

 Explorer 181. Distance 21miles.  Click HERE for photos and report.

Sunday 25 August Herne Bay to Canterbury East (linear) . Conductor: David Hoben. Start Herne Bay at 09:25 (St Pancras 08:25). Frequent return trains from Canterbury East. Car drivers can park at Faversham, and catch train to Herne Bay

Route Description: From Herne Bay station; follow Oyster Bay Trail (which is also a Sustrans route) to Whitstable for lunch - many cafés and pubs or picnic lunch. This to be followed by the Crab & Winkle Trail, the route of Britain’s first passenger carrying railway, the Canterbury and Whitstable line (1830), to end at Canterbury East station.

 Distance 15 miles (approx.).  Click HERE for report.

Sunday 15 September Godalming Circular. Conductors: Gail and John Elrick. Start Godalming Station at 09:34 (London Waterloo 09:10). Regular return trains.

 Route Description. We will pass through some very pretty countryside and small villages. The route is yet to be finalised as this is a  late entry to the programme but the morning will most likely take in Compton and Puttenham with lunch at Tilford. The afternoon will include Elstead Common and Milford returning to Godalming.

 Explorer 145. Distance 20 miles (approx.).  Click HERE for photos and report.

Sunday 29 September


Overton Circular.  Conductor Lynne McKenzie. Start Overton at 09:16 (London Waterloo 08.13).  One train back every two hours and we shall be catching the 16.58 back from Overton; unfortunately this means there shall be no afternoon tea break.

 Route Description:  In the morning we leave Overton heading towards the Harrow Way and crossing the railway line using the only two stiles we shall encounter.  We walk onwards through lovely shaded paths to Watership Down.  We shall follow the gallops taking in the wide open views of the Hampshire countryside.  At White Hill we descend Freemantle Park Down to follow more gallops to Kingsclere for lunch (10 miles).  Kingsclere offers all the walker could wish for in a lunch stop - 3 pubs, 1 tea shop, a Spar, newsagent, public toilets (hopefully open) and a shaded spot in the graveyard of the church with benches for those with picnics.  After lunch we head back towards the edge of Hannington to reconnect with the Wayfarer's Way (which we encounter earlier in the day) with more wonderful open views and some lovely quiet paths to meander back to Overton and the 16.58 train. 

 Explorer 144.  Distance approx. 18 miles.  Click HERE for photos.


Saturday 12th October Redhill to Edenbridge (linear). Conductor: Keith Lane. Start Redhill Station 09:18 (London Victoria 08:39).  Buy a return ticket to Edenbridge Station.

Route description:   In the morning we predominately follow the Greensand Way to Tandridge Park.  Lunch at The Barley Mow PH (9 miles).  After lunch we follow a variety of local footpaths to Crockham Hill via Merle Common, Staffhurst Wood and Guildables Park.  Refreshment stop at The Royal Oak PH (15 miles).  Then downhill to Edenbridge Town Station.

Explorers 146/147. Distance approx. 19 miles.  Click HERE for photo and report.

Sunday 27th October Berkhamsted Circular. Conductors: Gail and John Elrick. Start Berkhamsted Station at 09:24 (Euston 08:55) Return trains 07, 19 and 40 mins past the hour.

Route Description: Autumn is usually a good time for walking in the Chilterns with the rich autumn colours, particularly in the beech trees. This stroll, which focuses on the Ashridge Estate should be very pretty with long winter views if the weather is kind. Lunch will probably be in the Bridgewater Arms in Little Gaddesden and tea, if time permits, will be at the NT café at the Bridgewater Monument (used by Bola in her recent stroll and it was very nice). We finish the walk along the towpath of the Grand Union Canal into Berkhamsted.

Explorer 181. Distance approx. 18 miles.

Saturday 9th November Coulsdon South Circular. Conductor: Lilian Chelli. Start Coulsdon South Station at 09:09 (London Victoria 08:39).

Route DescriptionA walk through unspoilt countryside close to Central London. The morning route passes Chaldon Church and crosses Alderstead Heath.  We then follow field paths to the Sportsman PH in Mogador.  After lunch, we cross Banstead Heath, and walk through Banstead Wood.  Tea is in Banstead Village.  Then a walk of about 3 miles brings us back to our starting point.  There are frequent trains back to London.

Explorer 146. Distance about 20 miles.

Sunday 24th November Circling Weir Wood Reservoir.  A circular stroll beginning and ending at East Grinstead. Conductor: Janette Platt (Henderson). Start East Grinstead station at 09:49 (London Victoria 08.51). Return trains at 12 and 42 minutes past each hour.

Route description: A pleasant stroll through rolling countryside around Weir Wood Reservoir. We leave East Grinstead, walking westwards along the Sussex Border Path before turning our steps south opposite a lovely 16th century Manor House (Gullege) which can be glimpsed through the trees. Passing lovely mill ponds at Fen Place Mill we eventually climb through the trees in Minepit Wood before passing Gravetye Manor (also 16th century, now an upmarket hotel) before descending to West Hoathley and Sharpthorne (possibly stopping for morning coffee here, in view of the late lunch stop). The Priest House at West Hoathly is a 15th century Wealden hall house, now a museum, and is really cute. Picking up the Sussex Border Path again we turn east for a late lunch at The Red Lion at Chelwood Gate, one of the original entrances into Ashdown Forest.  After lunch we start to wend our way northwards, through the north-western part of Ashdown Forest. Emerging from Ashdown Forest we have our first, and only view of Weir Wood Reservoir to the north. Turning east again we head for Brambletye Manor farm with its three phases of building: a medieval moat, a ruined 17th century manor house and a more recent manor house. Here we have the choice of a quick scoot along the disused railway track back to East Grinstead or a path through fields in the same direction.  If dark, the
former may be better!

Explorer 135. Distance: approx. 19-20 miles.

Saturday 7th December. Farnham Heathlands Circular. Conductor: Jill Goddard.  Farnham Heathlands Circular.   Start Farnham Station at 09:30 (08:23 from Waterloo)

Route description: Starting from the station we will head out of the town into Bourne Woods and on to Frensham Ponds (chance for coffee) and then over Devils Jumps and tracks and lanes to Thursley village for lunch.  The afternoon route will take us over Thursley and Hankley Commons to Tilford (chance for tea) and back to Farnham via Crooksbury.

Explorer 145/OL 33.  Distance approx. 18 miles.

Saturday 21st December Lynne’s Oranges and Lemons Walk (in reverse).  West from Stratford to Trafalgar Square. Conductor: Lynne McKenzie. Start 09:00 at Stratford Underground Station.

Route description: From Stratford Station we make our way through the Olympic Park to Hackney Marshes and on through many green spaces of East London.  Lunch stop in Victoria Park where there are many eating options.  We make our way along the Regent's Canal on to Mile End, the City, and to go the length of Fleet Street to Trafalgar Square.

 Explorers 173 & 174. Distance approx. 17 miles.