Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Spring Bluebells around Wendover

A stomach bug flattened me over the weekend, so on Sunday I missed one of the walks I had been looking forward to for months, Joe Garver leading a circular walk around Bluebell woods in the Chilterns.

Luckily Jane Rosoux went on the walk with her trusty camera. She wasn't alone, there were 48 other ramblers, led by the ever-popular Joe Garver. Joe lives in Wendover, and knows the area like the back of his hand.

This photo was taken early on in the walk. Joe is centre right, in the checked shirt.

With this many walkers, it is always sensible to appoint a backmarker. Joe had arranged for Peter, pictured below, to do the job on Sunday.

Have staff, will backmark!

At the beginning of the walk there were some very cute black (well, dark brown) sheep

But the real stars of the show were, of course, the Bluebell Woods, as these photos show...

The weather was perfect, dry warm and sunny

You can see why a backmarker is needed to keep an eye on the stragglers!


Monday, 27 April 2009

London Ramble: Bethnal Green to Charing Cross

Here is Jane's report of Robin Midwinter's walk last Wednesday (April 22nd) from Bethnal Green to Charing Cross...

Robin "...had 14 participants until the lunch stop at the Anchor & Hope pub, Southwark

when 4 dropped out.

The total distance was more like 10 miles than the advertised 8. It was a beautiful day!!

and there were lots of people about enjoying the sunshine.

The group photograph (with half of Robin, extreme right)

was taken after people had left the party.

At Limehouse Basin we were fortunate to see the road bridge on the Thames frontage swing to one side to let a yacht pass...

The route took us into Victoria Park, along the Regent's Canal to Limehouse Basin, along the Thames Path to Westminster Bridge, past the Houses of Parliament (where there were an awful lot of police about, presumably because of the budget) then through Green Park to the Mall and Charing Cross Station.

The image below shows the drained lake in Green Park partly refilled but with the pipe supplying the water from the Westbourne (the Tyburn water has always been considered too polluted) still standing proud

The final image is of a colourful flower bed by the Mall.


Monday, 13 April 2009

Easter Sunday : Richmond To Greenford

Another report from Jane Rosoux, Hampstead's intrepid Walks Organiser...

"Despite the weather being somewhat dull there was a good turnout of 19 for this section of the Capital Ring. We started off on the south bank of the Thames but soon crossed over to the north bank where the route took us along the veranda of Town Wharf."

"I like this stretch of the Thames, especially when the tide is out and boats are layed up on the mud" -

..."it is easy to imagine what the whole river might have been like in Dickens's day".

"We went through Syon Park, then made our way to Brentford Lock where the Grand Union Canal enters the Thames. Here I found the route instructions somewhat confusing, despite my having surveyed the walk in January, and we went hither and thither over various bridges before finding the towpath!"

"A little further on we passed through a covered boat dock"...

..."and then we followed the towpath to our lunch stop just over half way at "The Fox" pub at the foot of the flight of locks at Hanwell"...

..."where some members of the party enjoyed good pub food. At this point our route left the canal and took us along the River Brent where, after passing under the impressive Wharncliffe Viaduct, we soon came to a park and more toilets. Here regrettably I managed to lose one member of the party, despite the stop being around 15 minutes"

"The rest of the walk was uneventful"...

..."and when we arrived at Greenford most of the party took a short cut to the station whilst two of us continued for a further 3 miles to Harrow-on-the-Hill."


Saturday, 11 April 2009

Good Friday: Erith to Petts Wood

Jane Rosoux writes:

"Dear Steve,

"I attach photographs of the joint Hampstead and Hammersmith, Fulham and Wandsworth Group ramble along the London Loop from Erith to Petts Wood on Friday, 10th April."

"The weather was dry but dull and there were 11 in the party, including myself, at the start."

"Two of them were a Chinese couple who were not used to walking and they dropped out before we reached the lunch stop at Old Bexley where some participants enjoyed good pub food and others picnicked near the church, which has an unusual spire."

"After lunch at which 2 further members of the party dropped out the remaining 7 continued along the River Cray for the first part of the afternoon then our route took us through Scadbury Park where there were the ruins of a moated manor house which include later brickwork, the result of an attempt at partial reconstruction."

"That walk was a mere 16 miles but a Blackheath Group member told me he was going on a 19 mile walk on Sunday and a 21 mile walk on Wednesday and another man, who is not an RA member and normally walks on his own, is starting a sponsored walk along Hadrians Wall on the 1st May when 24 walkers (with back-up) will be aiming to walk the 90 miles from Walls End to Bowness on Solway in 3 days!"


Monday, 6 April 2009

Eastbourne Ups and Downs.

Jane Rosoux, Hampstead Group Walks Organiser, sent these photos from the walk this Saturday lead by Patrick Tso.

"Dear Steve,

"I attach a few photographs taken on today's ramble from Seaford to Eastbourne..."

"The journey via the 8.17 am train from Victoria was uneventful and the six in the party at the start of the walk comprised three from the Hampstead Group (including Patrick, me and a new member), two from the South Bank Group and one from the North West London Group. A seventh participant (a female friend of Patrick's) joined us at the lunch stop at Exceat."

"The walk began shortly before 10.00 am and we soon had a strenuous climb up Seaford Head. Unfortunately, although dry the sky was disappointingly dull and overcast and we could only imagine the dramatic view of the Seven Sisters which we would have had on a clear day. We then walked north on a dyke beside the Cuckmere River, crossed the valley to Litlington and a little later had another strenuous climb up Snap Hill in Friston Forest before dropping down to Exceat for a welcome lunch break after just over 10 miles."

[In Litlington, they care about little things. SR]

[But not everything is as you would expect. SR]

"In the afternoon the clouds lifted and we able to enjoy the ups and downs of the Seven Sisters in sunshine."

"After a short refreshment stop at Birling Gap we were then confronted by further ups and downs (and good views) on Beachy Head before the final stretch via the Eastbourne coast road to the station where we arrived in time to enjoy a quick drink at the nearby Weatherspoons before catching the 5.31 pm train back to Victoria."

"Patrick's GPS recorded that we had walked 19.8 miles in all at a very creditable 3.3 mph."

Saturday's walkers, Patrick Tso is on the far right.