Sunday, 31 January 2010

Polegate to Seaford

Jane Rosoux writes.. "I attach photographs which I took on today's joint Hampstead / South Bank / Hammersmith, Fulham and Wandsworth Group walk from Polegate to Seaford led by Clare Kirkbride. A party of 26 set out from Polegate at 10.15 am, including participants from the Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster, Brentwood and North West London Groups as well as three who were not Ramblers' Association members.

The day was cold but dry and started off sunny but gradually clouded over. In the morning we followed the 1066 Country Walk to Jevington and then the South Downs Way to Alfriston for the lunch stop.

After lunch we departed from the route in the programme and climbed up on the ridge to the north of Seaford before dropping down to Bishopstone where there was a converted tithe barn...

...and an old church with a sundial above the porch...

After negotiating an unusual stile...

...and passing through Bishopstone Station we walked along Seaford front and arrived at Seaford Station at around 4.20 pm, having covered 14 miles at around 3 mph."

Thank You Jane.


Monday, 25 January 2010

Box Hill to Leatherhead

Yesterday Michael Way lead a walk from Box Hill and Westhumble to Leatherhead. Accompanying Michael were 17 ramblers...

The meltwater and rain combined to produce some rather muddy terrain, and you can see how swollen the River Mole appears...

Many thanks to Rambler Ros Sweetman for the photos. You can find more of her pictures on her Flickr account, by clicking here.


Thursday, 21 January 2010

Twyford to Henley Linear

Last Saturday saw six of us accompanying Tim Johnson on a linear walk through newly accessible parts of the Thames Path.

Tim is pictured above (third from left).

There was still a fair amount of snow and ice on the ground.

But it was the meltwater which caused us problems. The photo below is of a ford...

Click on the photo to enlarge and you will see the ford is under 4 feet of water!

I am glad to report that we all managed to stay dry and warm for an enjoyable walk which included visits to two excellent hostelries en route.

I close by thanking Keith Hodgson for all the photos in this report. The landscape looked stunning, as you can see from the final two photos below.


Thursday, 14 January 2010

Richmond Circular, Saturday January 9th.

This image looks peaceful enough, a quiet walk on a winter's day....

But Look behind!!...

As Jane Rosoux reports....

"There were more than 60 people at the start of Saturday's 10 mile circular walk from Richmond Station which was joint with the Metropolitan Walkers and led by Clare Wadd.

Nearly half were members of the Hampstead and other geographical groups, many of whom had been attracted to this walk because their intended walk this weekend had been cancelled.

The weather was bright but cold and the conditions underfoot quite icy but all kept up a quite a good pace through Richmond Park and onto the Thames near Kingston where we stopped briefly to eat our sandwiches. The pace speeded-up slightly after lunch and after passing three intrepid canoists and the frozen-up Hampton Lock...

we soon arrived at 'The White Cross' pub near the end of the walk where some of us had a refeshing drink whilst warming-up...

In the event the length of the walk and the terrain were just right for the conditions."

The Photos above are by Jane. One of our other Hampstead members is Lindsey, and she makes her Rambling On... debut with this photograph, a lovely study of a frozen Lake in Richmond Park...

Many Thanks to both of you. All photos and walk reports are very gratefully received.


Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Tracing the River Fleet from Temple to Hampstead

Jane Rosoux writes..."A party of more than 40 set out from Temple Station on Sunday at 10.40 a.m. and enjoyed bright but cold conditions.

"The point under Blackfriars road bridge at which the Fleet flows into the Thames was pointed out and, shortly afterwards, the Golden Boy of Pye Corner...

"We soon passed Barts Hospital...

...."then Smithfield Market, and then followed an interesting route to St Pancras Old Church via small streets and alleys (passing the lady shown below high up on a wall)...

"...and through St Pancras Station where we visited the well-appointed (free) toilets. The image below was taken at St Pancras Old Church.

"We then walked up St Pancras Way to the 'Constitution' pub beside Regent's Canal

"By the time we arrived at the Talacre Square Community Sports Centre / 'Prince of Wales' pub at 12.45 pm, which were over half way, we were ready for lunch and those of us who brought our food found convenient tables and chairs at first floor level. Unfortunately, a few who ordered food from the snack bar were still waiting to be served by the time the rest of us were ready to leave at around 1.35 pm but the party still numbered over 30.

"We passed through estates of fine houses and other buildings on the way to the lowest of the existing Hampstead ponds. We then followed the Hampstead brook to its source

"before climbing up to the Vale of Health, Cannon Place and Well Passage to arrive at the site of the medicinal well which was developed into Hampstead Spa

"After reaching Hampstead Station, having covered around 7.5 miles, a few of us walked another 2 miles to Golders Green Station via Hampstead Parish Church where the artist John Constable and John Harrison of longitude fame are buried..."

Many Thanks as usual Jane. It should be noted that Jane had only come back from our New Year trip the day before leading this one!


Monday, 4 January 2010

New Year Break in Bungay

A group of sixteen Hampstead Ramblers joined together on a walking holiday in the latter days of December. The holiday was organised by Annie Lynn, and the walks were led by Carole Swithern. In all we covered some 30 + miles over 3 days.

We stayed at "Quiet Waters"

As the sign might imply, ramblers are not their usual clientele, but the welcome we received was absolutely top class. The accommodation was bright and cheerful, and the staff really pushed the boat out. Home-made cakes and tea awaited us on our return, and the evening dinners were made with local ingredients; a lot of the veg we ate had actually been grown in their extensive gardens.

The weather was very cold from the outset, and by New Year's Eve it had started to snow. We all enjoyed a walk in the countryside around Bungay itself on January 1st.

Our first day of walking saw us down at the coast, in Southwold. One village had really gone to town on their Christmas decorations...

A little further on we passed an alms-house with this motto on display...

Our route took us through Benacre, a nature reserve...

Melt-water from snow further North had raised the water levels considerably, and flooded boardwalks led a few of us to get wet feet.

Most of us managed a smile nevertheless...

Our second day of walking found us doing a circular walk around Framlingham Castle. Insert PICTURE.

Our last day of walking was the First of January. A crisp blanket of snow greeted us for our first walk of the year...

The high water levels in this part of East Anglia again proved problematic. A footbridge on our route had been rendered unusable due to floodwater. We spent quite a while wondering how to get across here without wading in a fast flowing river.

In the end we managed to scramble onto the bridge from the side after approaching it along an island. We all managed to get across, and the only thing that got wet was a hat dropped by one of our party. The photo below gives an idea of the gap we had to negotiate...

We had to be flexible about route planning; this was where one of the footpaths led - normally a field, but not today...

We all had a great time, and our games of Jenga in the evenings kept us all on our toes -- and sometimes on our knees too!

I close with a group photo by the real log fire and the biggest Christmas tree I have ever been privileged to share... Thank again to Annie (first on the left) and Carole (right front), and everyone who made the trip enjoyable. Here's to many happy walks in 2010.

Happy New Year to all!