Strolls Archives and Photo Gallery 2018

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  Route description plus some reports and photographs (follow links)

January 

 

 Alton to Farnham linear. Conductor: Jill Goddard.

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.

20

Henley Circular via Marlow.  Conductor: Kate Copeland

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 stroll report

February 

 

Guildford Circular. Conductors: Gail and John Elrick.

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.

18

St Margaret's (Herts) circular. Conductor: Lynne McKenzie.

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.

March

 

4

Richmond to Kingston linear. Conductors: John and Gail Elrick.

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.

 17

Dorking circular. Conductor Keith Lane.

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.

April  

 2

Thames Valley circular.  Conductor: Janette Platt.

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.

 14

Haslemere Circular. Conductor: Jill Goddard.

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.

29

Southend-on-Sea (linear) (from Pitsea to Thorpe Bay). Conductor: David Hoben.

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.

May

 

 12

Gravesend to Borough Green (linear). Conductor: Dave Williams.

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.

 27

Greenwich to Westerham (linear). Conductor: Neil Cook. 

 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.

June

 
9

Paddock Wood to Headcorn (linear). Conductor: Lilian Chelli

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.

23

Knockholt Circular. Conductor: Helen Franklin.

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.

July

 
7

Guildford Circular. Conductor: Jill Goddard.

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.

21

Ashurst Circular. Conductor: Kate Copeland.

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. Explorer 135. Distance approx.18 miles.

Click   HERE   for photos and report.

August

 

 5

Walking in the footsteps of Buckinghamshire Suffragettes - Wendover to High Wycombe (linear). Conductor: Lynne McKenzie.

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. Explorers 172 and 181.  Distance approx. 20 miles.

Click  HERE  for photos and report.

 19

Haslemere Circular. Conductors: Gail and John Elrick.

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.

September 

 

1

STROLL CANCELLED DUE TO RAIL STRIKE.

 15

Hollingbourne Circular. Conductor: Nick White.

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.

29

Loop de Lewes. Conductor: Helen Franklin.

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.

Click HERE for photos and report.

October 

 

 14

In Darwin’s Footprints (circular from Hayes).  Conductor: Simon Lloyd.

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.

Click HERE for photos.

 28

Clandon Circular. Conductors: Gail and John Elrick.

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.

Click HERE for photos and report.

November

 

11

 Hendon to Cockfosters (linear) Conductor: Dave Williams.

Route description: An 18 mile linear stroll taking in a disused railway line before we pause at the War Memorial near Mill Hill School to observe the 2 minute silence at 11:00 on the centenary of the Armistice. We then follow the Dollis Valley Greenway/London Loop to Barnet for our lunch stop at The Red Lion (pizzas & Sunday Roast). After lunch we largely follow the London Loop through the picturesque village of Monkton Hadley and onto Cockfosters where we divert into Trent Park for our tea-stop. Then a short stroll to Cockfosters Station (end of the Piccadilly Line).Distance 18 miles.

Click HERE for photos.

25

Harrow 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.

Click HERE for photos and report.

December

 

 8

Epsom Circular. Conductor: Lilian Chelli.

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.

Click HERE for photos.

 2

Beckenham to Greenwich (linear). Conductor: Helen Franklin.

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. Explorer 162.  Distance approx. 18 miles.

Click HERE for photos and report.