Current Strolls Programme

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Current Strolls Programme

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2008 - 2017  Archive of Strolls Programme and Photographs please ACCESS HERE 

LATEST PROGRAMME - 2018 Strolls Programme (January to December)

Sunday 7 January. Alton to Farnham linear. Conductor: Jill Goddard.Start 09:31 at Alton station (08.07 from London Waterloo). Return trains from Farnham at 00 & 30 minutes past each hour.

Route description: This linear route takes us through the rolling Hampshire countryside from Alton to Farnham. We head south west from Alton towards East Worldham and on to Froyle before going up to Well  for lunch.  The afternoon route takes us down to Dogmersfield and the Basingstoke Canal before tea near Church Crookham and then up to the heathland north of Farnham.Explorers 144 & 145.

Distance approx. 18 miles.

Saturday 20 January. Henley Circular via Marlow.  Conductor: Kate Copeland.Start Henley station at 09:50. (08.42 from London Paddington, changing at Twyford). Note: some trains may be leaving 10 mins earlier on this date due to engineering works. Any updates will be posted on the web site and e-mailed to members nearer the time. Return trains every half hour.

 Route description: In the morning we walk alongside the Thames to Temple Island, the pretty village of Hambleden and a brief communion with the Chiltern Way at Marlow Common before dropping down into Marlow for lunch (9.5 miles). Numerous pubs and cafés in the town. In the afternoon we take the Thames Path past Bisham and Hurley, turning inland at Aston via Remenham and a brief reunion with the Chiltern Way to reach Henley. Optional tea stop at The Chocolate Cafe. Stunning Thames vistas, beech woods and plenty of red kite sightings.

 Explorer 160. Distance approx. 17 miles. Click HERE  for report.

Sunday 4 February.  Guildford Circular. Conductors: Gail and John Elrick. Meet Guildford station at 09:12 (London Waterloo 08:30). Frequent return trains to Waterloo.

 Route description: We leave Guildford via Pewley Down where we should get extensive views of the countryside from the top, then we descend and return to the tops at Chinthurst Hill. We use much of the Greensand Way to reach The White Horse at Hascombe for lunch. After lunch we wend our way to Farncombe Boathouse for tea at Hectors then follow the Wey Navigation back to Guildford.

Mainly Explorer 145. Distance approx. 20 miles.  Click HERE for photographs and report.

Sunday 18 February. St Margaret's (Herts) circular. Conductor: Lynne McKenzie. Start St Margaret's Station at 09:25 (08:42 from London Liverpool Street - or Seven Sisters at 08.53 - changing Broxbourne 09.15). Two return trains an hour at 19 and 49 minutes past each hour.

 Route Description: This walk follows the Hertfordshire Way out of St Margaret's through green fields, along the River Ash and cross country to Barwick Ford where we join the Harcamlow Way.  We meander to Wadesmill for lunch at either The Feathers Inn or The Anchor.  The shorter afternoon rejoins the Harcamlow Way to Cold Christmas and back over some muddy fields to finish along the Lea Navigation into St Margaret's with a cup of tea option at The Jolly Foresters

Explorer 194. Distance approx. 16 miles.  Click  HERE  for photographs.

Sunday 4 March. The stroll originally planned, 'In Darwin's Footsteps', is cancelled and will be replaced by the following stroll.  

Richmond to Kingston linear. Conductors: John and Gail Elrick. Start Richmond Station at 09:31 (09:09 from London Waterloo or District Line). Frequent return trains from Kingston.

 Route Description: The route can be flexible depending on the weather but our plan would be to visit Richmond Park and Ham Common in the morning with a lunch stop at Teddington (lots of pubs, cafés, etc.). In the afternoon we plan to go through Bushy Park and Hampton Court to cross the Hampton Court Bridge to East Molesey where we can explore the Rivers Ember and Mole and take tea. After tea we will recross the river to enter Home Park and wend our way to Kingston and the finish in Kingston (return trains to London and good facilities including a Wetherspoon!).

 Explorer 161. Distance approx. 18 miles.  Click HERE for photographs and report.

Saturday 17 MarchDorking circular. Conductor Keith Lane. Start Dorking station 09:50 (London Victoria 09:01). Regular return trains to London.

Route description: In the morning the route undulates along the North Downs Way, over Colley Hill and Reigate Hill for a picnic lunch. Hot drinks available from the café at Reigate Hill where there is a picnic area and toilets.  After lunch the route descends to Reigate Heath and on to The Plough PH, Leigh where, no doubt, Guinness will be available for those wishing to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Thence back to Dorking Station via Strood Green and the Coach Road.

Explorer 146. Distance approx. 18 miles. Click HERE for photographs and report.

Monday 2nd April (Bank Holiday Monday) Thames Valley circular.  Conductor: Janette Platt. Start Reading station 09:40 (London Paddington 09:08). Regular return trains to London Paddington.

Route description. From Reading Station we head straight for the south bank of the River Thames to pick up the Thames Path heading west. Shortly after passing Tilehurst station, we turn inland to pass through Purley on Thames before joining the Berkshire Circular Routes to Tidmarsh (passing by some WW2 pillboxes on the way). We then head back towards the River Thames along the banks of the River Pang, crossing the Thames at Pangbourne and stopping for lunch at the Greyhound in Whitchurch-on-Thames (named after the original Saxon 'white church').  After lunch we pick up the Thames Path again (north bank this time) heading west.  As we emerge from Lower Hartslock Wood we head steeply uphill and make a brief stop at the top to take in the lovely view towards Goring gap. After a brief detour into Hartslock nature reserve (for another lovely view over the Thames valley) we start on the return journey to Reading via Whitchurch Hill and Mapledurham (where there is a grand Elizabethan House, and a church which was the setting for the Eagle Has Landed), eventually crossing back over the Thames at Caversham Bridge to return to Reading Station.

Explorer 159. Distance approx. 20 miles.  Click HERE  for photographs and report.

Saturday 14th April. Haslemere Circular. Conductor: Jill Goddard. Start Haslemere station 09:20 (London Waterloo 08:30)

 Route Description: The route is an interesting mix of woodland, heath and farmland and there are opportunities for great views.  We walk west from Haslemere over Marley Common to join the Sussex Border Path and then take the New Lipchis Way to cross Stanley Common and up to Woolbeeding Common.  We drop down to Fernhurst for lunch (pub stop) and then climb up onto Black Down, rejoining the Serpents Way and the Sussex Border Path.  We descend through farmland to Grayswood and back to Haslemere, where there are cafes etc for tea.  

 Explorer 133. Distance 19 miles.  Click HERE for photo.

Sunday 29th April Southend-on-Sea (linear) (from Pitsea to Thorpe Bay). Conductor: David Hoben. Start Pitsea station 09:46 (Fenchurch Street 08:55). Regular return trains from Thorpe Bay.

 Route description: We follow the Thames Estuary Path to Hadleigh Castle (morning coffee), and take a tour around the castle remains (extensive views). We then follow the Southend Millennium Walk to Westcliff on Sea for lunch (Rossi). After lunch we continue on the Millennium Walk (including to the end of Southend Pier and back) to Thorpe Bay.

 Explorer 175. Distance approx. 18 miles.  Click HERE for photos and report.

Saturday 12th May. Gravesend to Borough Green (linear). Conductor: Dave Williams. Start Gravesend Station 09:36 (08:39 Charing Cross, 08:48 London Bridge). Return trains from Borough Green at 24 and 51 past the hour to Victoria

Route Description: An 18 mile linear walk from Gravesend to Borough Green, roughly following the London Countryway with lunch at Sole Street.

Explorers163 & 148. Distance 18 miles.

Saturday 26th May Greenwich to Westerham (linear). Conductor: Neil Cook. Start Greenwich DLR Station at 09:30 Return bus from Westerham (no. 246) to Hayes Station/ Bromley South Station for frequent trains back to London.

 Route Description: in the morning we walk from Greenwich along the Waterlink Way through Deptford, Lewisham, Catford and Lower Sydenham. We then continue to Bromley, where we stop for a quick coffee. We head towards Keston Common and on to Downe for lunch, (choice of pubs). After lunch we walk through Biggin Hill, and via the North Downs Way down to the pretty town of Westerham.

 Distance approx. 18 miles.  Click HERE for photos and report.

Saturday 9th June Paddock Wood to Headcorn (linear). Conductor: Lilian Chelli Start Paddock Wood station 09:30 (Charing Cross 08:41) Train times to be confirmed nearer the time There are regular trains back to Paddock Wood and Charing Cross.

 Route description: A classic linear walk through the orchards, woods, and meadows of Kent. In the morning we climb to the picturesque village of Brenchley.  We then follow the High Weald Landscape Trail to Goudhurst where there are impressive views over the Kent countryside.  Lunch is at the Star and Eagle. The afternoon route passes through Old Park Wood and Hocker Edge.  Tea is at Sissinghurst Castle.  In the evening we walk through the fields to Frittenden, and along a back lane to the old village of Headcorn.  

 Explorers 136 and 137. Distance approx. 20 miles.  Click HERE for photos and report.

Saturday 23rd June  Knockholt Circular. Conductor: Helen Franklin. Start Knockholt station 09:19 (Charing Cross 08:35 direct, or Charing Cross 08:45 and change at Orpington.  Or Victoria 08:28 to Orpington and change trains there onto Knockholt). Trains run half-hourly back to London.

Route description: Crossing Broke Hill Golf Club, we make our way through Pratt’s Bottom, and along undulating paths towards High Elms Country Park, for a ‘comfort’ stop. We then pick up the London Loop to Downe Village. Pub lunch at either the George and Dragon or the Queen’s Head (need to recce) or picnic in the village, plenty of benches available. In the afternoon we pass Downe House, home of Charles Darwin, and on through farmland and woodland towards Knockholt Village. We then start to head back towards the station, stopping at Arthur’s Café in Coolings Nursery for tea, on the way.

Explorer 147. Distance approx. 18 miles.  Click HERE for photos.

Saturday 7th July. Guildford Circular. Conductor: Jill Goddard. Start Guildford Station 09:33 (London Waterloo 09:00). Regular return trains to London.

Route description: An undulating walk with a good mix of downs, woods and farmland paths. We start on the North Downs Way before heading across Blackheath and to Shamley Green for lunch. The afternoon takes us further on the Greensand Way before heading over to Cateshall and returning to Guildford alongside the River Way.

 Explorer 145. Distance 20 miles.  Click HERE for photos.

Saturday 21st July . Ashurst Circular. Conductor: Kate Copeland. Start Ashurst Station 09:57 (09:07 from London Bridge, East Croydon 09.21). Or take the 08:55 from London Victoria, arrives Clapham Junction 09.01 and change East Croydon. Return trains  53 mins past the hour for return journey to London Bridge of 57 mins. There is free parking at Ashurst Station.

 Route Description: From Ashurst station we follow the Sussex Border Path and High Weald Landscape Trail to Withyam (7 miles), accompanied by the River Medway for some of this stretch. We keep on the High Weald Landscape Trail, via Five Hundred Acre wood, onto Ashdown Forest for a picnic lunch (10 miles).  After lunch we start heading back North, via the Vanguard Way and Pooh Bridge, to Hartfield for our refreshment stop (14 miles). Here we have the choice of The Anchor Inn or Piglet's Tearooms. It is then a pleasant stroll via the Forest Way Country Park and Sussex Border Path back to Ashurst Station. A very rural walk with some stunning views.

 Please bring a packed lunch. We will pass a pub at Withyam where we can fill up water bottles on a hot day. Our main refreshment stop will be in Hartfield. In case of bad weather we may choose to have an early pub lunch in Withyam.

Explorer 135. Distance approx.18 miles. Click   HERE   for photos and report.

Sunday 5th August. Walking in the footsteps of Buckinghamshire Suffragettes - Wendover to High Wycombe (linear). Conductor: Lynne McKenzie.  Start Wendover Station 09:45 (08:57 from London Marylebone Station). Trains from High Wycombe at 12, 30, 51 and 57 mins past the hour.

 Route description: In 2018 as we celebrate the centenary of (some) women first winning the vote this walk will take in historic sites tracing the women’s suffrage movement in Buckinghamshire. In the morning we leave Wendover to head towards Princes Risborough with views of Chequers en route. In the afternoon we pass through Saunderton where the station was burned down by Suffragettes in March 1913.  We then aim towards West Wycombe passing the Caves and Mausoleum to finally arrive in High Wycombe.

The lunch stop will be in Princes Risborough.  There is the opportunity for tea at the Hellfire Caves in West Wycombe.

 Explorers 172 and 181.  Distance approx. 20 miles.  Click  HERE  for photos and report.

Sunday 19th August. Haslemere Circular. Conductors: Gail and John Elrick. Start Haslemere station 09:32 (London Waterloo 08:30). Return trains 17 and 42 mins. past the hour.

Route description:  A stroll that includes some of best scenery in Surrey including the Devil’s Punchbowl, Gibbet Hill, Golden Valley and Whitmore Vale. Refreshment stops still to be finalised.

 Explorer 133. Distance between 18 to 20 miles.  Click  HERE for photos and report.

Saturday 1st September. 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.  Distance approx. 18 miles.  STROLL CANCELLED DUE TO RAIL STRIKE.

Saturday 15th September. Hollingbourne Circular. Conductor: Nick White.Start: Hollingbourne station 09:31 (London Victoria 08:25). Regular hourly return trains from Hollingbourne.

Route description: A walk in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). We climb a hill to enter the Hucking Estate, owned and managed by the Woodland Trust, and then follow the North Downs Way to White Horse Wood Country Park and Thurnham for lunch (The Black Horse Inn). After lunch we continue to Leeds Castle and a walk along the right of way through the grounds of "the loveliest Castle in the world". We then return to the station with an opportunity for drinks at Eyhorne Street on the way.

Explorer 148. Distance approx. 18 miles. Click  HERE  for photos and report.

Saturday 29th September.  Loop de Lewes. Conductor: Helen Franklin. Start Lewes Station 09:53 (08:46 London Victoria, 08:53 Clapham Junction, 09:03 East Croydon). Return trains 21 and 48 mins. past the hour.

Route description: Leaving Lewes Station, we head up through this pretty town, for a chance to visit the ‘Loos’ de Lewes, before as we begin our walk on the Meridian Way. Heading NE into the South Downs National Park, we gain glorious views of undulating hills and Brighton in the distance. Picking up the South Downs Way, we begin to head south crossing the A27, where there is a water stop. We continue on towards our lunch stop at The Juggs pub in Kingston near Lewes, there is a bench nearby for a picnic.

After lunch we head back up onto the South Down Way, at Swanborough Hill, for more stunning views. We stop for a break mid-afternoon at Rodmell, some homemade afternoon snacks will be provided. We then follow the Sussex Ouse Valley Way, for a simple stroll back to Lewes station.

 OL11. Distance approx. 20 miles.

LATEST STROLLS - OCTOBER TO DECEMBER

Sunday 14th October. In Darwin’s Footprints (circular).  Conductor: Simon Lloyd. Start at Hayes (Kent) station 09:44 (London Charing Cross 09:00). Return trains at 02 & 32 minutes past the hour. There is also a quick way to Hayes provided by Helen as a local lass and that is to catch a train to Bromley South and then bus 119.

 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 Downe village to pass Down House, home of Charles Darwin, to walk in his meadows and woods. Skirting Biggin Hill's edges, we reach The Blacksmith’s Arms, Cudham. After lunch, 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.

Sunday 28th October. Clandon Circular. Conductors: Gail and John Elrick. Start Clandon Station at 09:32 (London Waterloo 08:32). Return trains at 31 mins past hour (direct) and 57 mins (change Surbiton).

Route description: A very pretty stroll showing the best of Surrey. The morning stretch to Westcott takes us along the upper parts of the North Downs with, if clear, excellent views towards the South Downs . Lunch is at Westcott, at the Prince of Wales (TBC) or a  picnic on the village green. The afternoon walk will include a pleasant walk along the valley bottom then returning to higher ground and Clandon Downs to return to the station. Tea/afternoon refreshments TBC.

Explorers 145/146. Distance approx.20 miles.

Sunday 11th November. Hendon and beyond (linear) Conductor: Dave Williams.  Meet Hendon Central Station 09:15 (Edgware branch of Northern line).

Route description: An 18 mile linear stroll in the North London environs. Taking in a disused railway line before we pause at the War Memorial along the Ridgeway which I aim to reach at 10.50 to pay our respects and observe the 2 minutes’ silence at 11.00 on the centenary of the Armistice. We then proceed along the Dollis Valley Greenway to Totteridge & Whetstone where there's a choice of options for lunch including The Griffin PH. The afternoon route is at present a mystery (even to the leader!) but will be revealed in due course.

Sunday 25th NovemberHarrow on the Hill to Trafalgar Square (linear). Conductor: Keith Lane. Start Harrow on the Hill 09:09 (Marylebone Station 08:57).

 Route description: Ascending to St Mary’s Church on Harrow on the Hill, famous historical landmark with views to London, we then descend to stroll across the playing fields of Harrow School, and onto Northwick Park, Preston Park, Fryent Country Park, Barn Hill, and Welsh Harp to Hendon Park for coffee (7 miles).  Shortly afterwards we follow the Dollis Valley Greenway to Hampstead Heath, Parliament Hill and Hampstead Heath Village for a multi-venue lunch stop - Public House, Starbucks, Tea rooms and even a M&S (13 miles).  After lunch we head for Primrose Hill, Regents Park, Marylebone, Mayfair, Green Park & St James’s Park to end at The Lord Moon of the Mall.

Distance approx. 18 miles.

Saturday 8th DecemberEpsom Circular. Conductor: Lilian Chelli. Start Epsom Station 09:29 (London Victoria 08:47) (times to be confirmed). There are regular return trains to central London.

Route description: From Epsom we climb to Epsom Downs, and cross the racecourse to reach Headley Church.  Later we cross an attractive area of open downland known as Mickleham Gallops, before descending to Mickleham Village.  Lunch is at the Racing Horses PH.  In the afternoon we climb Box Hill, walk along the North Downs Way, and pass through the woods of Headley Heath.  Tea is at the Grey Dove Village Café  in Walton on the Hill.  The evening section is mainly downhill along Ebbisham Lane and Chalk Lane.  .

Explorer 146, Landranger 187. Distance: approx. 19 miles.

Saturday 22nd December. Beckenham to Greenwich (linear). Conductor: Helen Franklin. Start Beckenham Junction Station 09:19 (08:32 London Bridge or 08:58 London Victoria).

 Route description: This walk will largely follow sections of the Green Chain Walk from Beckenham to Woolwich, which is greener and more pleasant than one imagines for suburban London. At the Thames Barrier, we will pick up the Thames Path for an easy jaunt to Greenwich.

In a change to the usual strolls feeding arrangements, the walk will include a decent tea/coffee break at Oxleas Wood Café (approx. half way) which offers hot snacks/drinks and has stunning views over the surrounding area. We will then make our way to The Gate Clock pub (Wetherspoon) in the heart of Greenwich for a drink and/or meal. A chance for us to have a Christmas get together! If you wish to eat, I will be booking a table upstairs well in advance and will send out an email in due course to get an idea of numbers.

Explorer 162.  Distance approx. 18 miles.