Photos & Reports

This is where you'll find photos and reports from members who've been on outdoor activities with the group this year. If you'd like to contribute a report, please send it to the Webmaster, perhaps with some photos (with captions). We also have photos and reports from previous years:

Three of us met in Hemel Hempstead on a glorious sunny day to enjoy the countryside. Following the Chiltern Way, we passed near the scouts HQ at Felden, then continued across some open fields, with the sun now beaming down brightly on us. We continued on the Chiltern Way marvelling at the huge greenhouses just on our right hand side. Switching to the Hertfordshire Way we then walked through some woods which provided some welcome shelter from the strong sunshine. We walked up the hill reaching the pub stop in Chipperfield for some welcome rest.

After food and drink we then walked past Chipperfield common where the locals were out enjoying the atmosphere. We walked through Chapel Croft, marvelling at the large country houses before going through Scatterdells Wood, a few more fields and an underpass to reach the estate at Shendish Manor. Our route took us on the golf course before we reached Apsley to join the canal towpath. It was then a pleasant waterside walk, past the many people who were fishing, and several locks and bridges. Reaching Hemel Hempstead quite quickly, there was a busy crowd looking at the various market stalls on the canalside. We continued, ending the walk back at Hemel Hempstead station.

Many thanks to Susie F and Jennifer F for joining me on this walk.

Report by Mark P
We set out on a day that started dull but went on to be a scorcher. Three were late but said they would catch us up.

We walked through the beautiful village of Chalfont and the surrounding Chiltern Hills. The views and countryside were very majestic and we also got to walk through a few woods. The humidity of 66% today made for a slower walk and we only managed to do half the walk which was just over 6 miles. I plan on returning here again in the near future to finish the rest of the walk. The three never were able to catch up unfortunately but well done to Martina and Daniel for always keeping going. They ended up doing 12 caches and lots of smiles.

Then tiffin in a wonderful Turkish cafe beside the station before heading off home on the train.

Report by Martina
We met on a gloriously sunny morning at Tide Tables by the riverside. Over coffee and cakes some reflected on the previous day's wedding and others on Chelsea's victory. We then set off on the Thames Path, passing impressive mansions Marble Hill House, Orleans House and finally Ham House. We entered Richmond Park at Ham Gate for our circuit via the Tamsin Trail, then busy with cyclists, walkers and a marathon race. Reaching the Isabella plantation we toured the gardens to view the stunning display of colours with the azaleas and rhododendra in full bloom.

After lunch at Pen Ponds we cycled to Robin's Hood to reach Wimbledon Common. On such a fine day the common was full of sporting groups and picnickers. After touring the village and lake we stopped for tiffin at the famous Windmill before crossing Putney Heath to rejoin the Thames Path.

New cyclist Jackie joined regulars Brian, Kerry, Rob W and Kerry, with Gilly and Freddie linking up for Isabella and the stops.

Report by Brian

The warm weather and blue skies attracted a number of groups who were setting off from Tring station for a walk in the Chilterns. Having identified the HAWOG contingent, the ten of us set off and were soon making our way along the Grand Union Canal. The group were treated to the sight of a kingfisher, first at rest and then in flight, spotted by Mike "sharp eye" D. After leaving the canal we made our way up through woodland and along the Hertfordshire Way. As we reached the road that would take us in to Aldbury, a quintessential English village with its own stocks on the village green, a vintage car ground to a halt in front of us. Some of the more mechanically minded in the group decided that the front suspension had given way. Unable to provide much in the way of assistance we carried on to the Greyhound Inn for refreshments. Having quenched our thirsts we made our way to the Bridgewater Monument where we stopped for lunch. We then headed towards Pitstone Hill, where we were rewarded with magnificent views over the Vale of Aylesbury. Picking up the Ridgeway we made our way back towards Tring station where we departed for home. Thanks to all those who joined me on this lovely walk.

Report by Dave S
8 of us met at Watford station and made our way around the 5-6 mile caching route. Three were new to geocaching but probably not a new hobby for them but Sasha kept saying she didn't like it but kept looking for it if we couldn't find it! I think we are turning her! After the caching route we made our way to our first refreshment stop and had a bevvie to celebrate Rachael's birthday, you only turn 35 once! We then continued on to Cheslyn House and Gardens where we were amazed by the shrubbery and aviary, a gem of a garden which we will definitely go back to. We then headed back to the train for our trip home in the warm sun with another beautiful trip behind us.

Report by Martina
6 of us met last weekend for the last of 4 weekends walking the South Downs Way.

On the Saturday, we walked the 12 miles from Southease to Exceat. The day started dry, but unfortunately that didn't last, so we were glad to finish the walk by mid-afternoon and head back to the B&B to dry out. In the evening, we ate in an excellent tapas restaurant which was only a stone's throw from the B&B, before returning to our accommodation where some of the group watched the remainder of the Eurovision Song Contest.

On the Sunday, we walked the final 8 miles of the 100-mile national trail, taking in the Seven Sisters between Exceat and Eastbourne. We completed the walk by around 1:00pm, after which we celebrated our achievement before heading home.

Thanks to Amanda, Anna, Emma, Karen and Marin for joining me once again.

Report by Phil

This was a very straightforward linear cycle ride from Ware in Herts to the Thames. After taking the train north from Liverpool Street we joined the canal at Ware and headed south on sustrans route number 1. Our first stop was the Tudor Rye House gatehouse, just before the Rye House Karting and Speedway Stadium which was a noisy interruption to the otherwise tranquil canal side scene. For much of the route the canal passes lakes, reservoirs and marshlands. Some Wherries from the Norfolk Broads were passed near Bromsgrove. We found an excellent community café for lunch by Tottenham Marshes. The Lea Regatta was taking place and the canal was full of rowers and crowds near Lea Bridge.

We departed then to cycle across the famous Hackney Marshes, seeing football matches taking place at the largest sports field in the country. Next stop was the Olympic Park, lots of noise from the stadium where West Ham were playing Manchester City. Then onto the historic 18th century Three Mills Island and finally Limehouse as the Lea meets the Thames. We enjoyed some riverside drinks again at the Prospect Of Whitby watching the many vessels glide by. New cyclist Diane joined regulars, Brian, Nick, Coogie and Kerry.

Report by Brian

10 of us arrived in Cambridge surrounded by cyclists. We set off on the easy walk to Grantchester alongside the tranquil river Cam. Reaching the village we explored the medieval parish church and then the Old Orchard. The house and tea gardens were made famous by Brooke, Wolfe and their set during the Edwardian era. We had lunch in the café before setting off back to Cambridge.

At Cambridge it was graduation day so crowds of graduating students and postgraduates were dressed up in academic costume (blue, green or red scarves denoting their status) to receive their degree at the Senate House.

We then took in a guided tour through the courtyards and grounds of the colleges. We found the extra guests at a historic hostelry by Magdalen Bridge for late afternoon refreshments before catching the fast train back to London.

Report by Brian

6 of us met at Berkhamsted station on an unseasonably warm Sunday morning. After waiting for the delayed train from Harrow, we headed off at around 9:40am along the canal towards Northchurch. After a mile or so, we headed up to Northchurch Common and Berkhamsted Common, before taking a mid-morning break near Ashridge College, from where we could see the Bridgewater Monument in the distance.

From there, we continued through Little Gaddesden, and on towards Studham, where we stopped for lunch on the edge of the common. After lunch, we headed south along some rather under-used paths to Great Gaddesden and then to Potten End, where a country pub provided some well-deserved refreshment. After a break, we completed the last couple of miles, reaching Berkhamsted at around 4:00pm, having covered 17 miles.

Thanks to Anna, Keith, Marin, Steve and Johnny for joining me.

Report by Phil

31 of us turned up for the Bluebells walk. This was the most we ever had! I was very glad to have Brian help me. We all headed off from Perivale station to the reserve. We collected our maps and Daniel got a pack for kids with 'activities and learning' as we went around. We soon were immensely impressed by a sea of bluebells. The smells of the flower were very powerful. We made our way around the 1 mile pathways completing the activities like wood necklace painting and identifying plants. The painting was for the kids but we had a few big kids on the walk like Mike and Cathy so it took a while longer than planned. When we made our way back to the cafe at the start. It was then I realised that we were a much smaller group. Seemingly a few had carried on to Horsenden Hill. We then had some lovely tea and cakes on the lawn and we were joined by 5 more.

We then headed up to Horsenden Hill and on the Gruffalo trail. Sasha and Humay had to explain all about the Gruffalo to the older kids in the group. We then went down the other side to the Ballot Box pub where we had a late lunch and refreshments. Nick was very pleased with his whopper meal. We all then headed back to the start to our transport home.

Thanks to all who joined me today and played with Daniel. He said it was a great day! Thanks Brian for helping me and see you all soon for some geocaching walks.

Report by Martina

This was a lovely 10 mile walk through the Chiltern countryside.

After leaving Great Missenden station at 9:45, we walked down the beautiful village's main street. We stopped at the Red Pump Garage petrol station, which was the Roald Dahl inspiration for the garage in Danny, The Champion of the World. It still has 1950-style pumps, with the white Shell Oil sign at the top. Then we went to the small church of St Peter and St Paul where Roald Dahl's grave can be found. Then the real walk started. We climbed a hill and followed the path up to the village of Little Hampden. We saw many sheep and lambs grazing in meadows. We stopped for lunch under an oak planted in 1952 when Queen Elisabeth II was proclaimed sovereign. I took nice group pictures. We crossed a rapeseed field. Flowers were starting to bloom. In one week this field will be all yellow! We had a look at Hampden House, named after the Hampden family. The Hampdens are recorded as owning the site from before the Norman Conquest. They lived continually in the house until 1938. Johan Hampden was one of the leading parliamentarians involved in the English Civil War.

We stopped at the Hampden Arms pub. This is a lovely pub. We had a rest, drinks and dessert. Neil ordered lamb and Mark got a warm soup. We went back to Great Missenden and arrived just as it was starting to rain. We enjoyed drinks at Matilda's café, named after Roald Dahl's character. With their smartphone, some showed we had walked more than 10 miles, maybe 12! We got on the train to Harrow / London at 4:32pm.

Many thanks to Dean, Anne, Yusmita, Levent, Hasan, Michael, Mark, Neil and Diane for joining me on this walk.

Report by Christophe
Our latest cycle ride was an off-road route of 25 miles through the delightful countryside of Sussex. We started on the Worth Way sustrans track stopping first at Worth village church, a very rare example of a Saxon church. We managed to do a short tour whilst families gathered for a christening. We continued on the Worth Way to the late medieval and Tudor era timber buildings in East Grinstead. We found a welcoming tea shop in the market place of this historic town.

We then headed south on bridleways with a short stop at a designer conversion of a chapel (owner was happy to give us a tour with some anecdotes about his colourful past). Thence to the excellent Deers Leap mountain bike centre. This is a challenging course through the woods and meadows with several fast descents and some ramps to overcome.

We then cycled through the Scientology HQ estate before exploring the Kingstone vineyard in the valley below. At Kingscote Bluebell railway station we arrived just in the nick to jump on the brake van for the steam railway to take us back to East Grinstead and trains back to London. New cyclist Coogie joined regulars Brian, Kerry and Neale.

Report by Brian

Prompt start for my 20 mile On the Edge of the Chiltern Hills walk on Saturday. Just two takers, Michelle and Sarah who'd joined me about five years ago on a walk from West Wycombe which I led for the Ramblers. Just the three of us that day too, as I recall.

The cloud soon disappeared, the sun shone and the chill became warm as we headed across the top of Watlington Hill with views over Oxfordshire and down and south westish paths along the Swan's Way to the pretty hamlet of Ewelme. We stopped in the church grounds with views of rolling hills all around before continuing through the church buildings and south eastish paths to Nuffield and our lunch stop at 12:30. Cloudy after lunch, more south eastish paths to Swan Wood and north to Nettlebed and west to just before Bix and our turn home.

North paths now through Maidensgrove (blink and you'd missed it) and to Pishill church and our mid-afternoon stop. Post lunch our paths were more classic Chilterns with rolling hills all around as opposed to the morning which was flatter than I'd anticipated. From Pishill we took the direct north paths to Christmas Common and back to our start point.

We finished just before 5pm, a good pace, and good conversation. Thanks all for joining me.

Report by Steve
Five of us met in the charming village of Hambleden. The weather, for a change, decided to be OK. It was dry and cool with a hint of blue sky. As this was Easter Sunday and April Fools day, I was on my guard. As it turned out, there were no funny or dramatic incidents to report. The most excitement we had was getting out of a Starbucks toilet with a dodgy lock.

The route was very muddy and waterlogged in places. We headed south to the river Thames at Mill End, where we crossed the river at the weir, this is quite an interesting feature and worth a look when there has been a lot of rain. Henley soon appeared as we made light work of the two mile stretch of the river. We stopped briefly at Starbucks. As mentioned, the dodgy lock on the toilet door was our greatest challenge of the day. We then headed west through Henley (a lovely old market town, for those who have not been there). Beyond Henley we were out into proper countryside, with a nice gradient to get us warmed up and some gentle wooded sections. We turned north onto the Chiltern Way for a few miles and then came to Greys Court, a National Trust property. Steve had been this way before and guided us to a good spot to sit and eat lunch.

Following the Chiltern Way we came to Bix Common, here we went east to Middle Assendon and the start of the only real ascent of the day. As Steve disappeared into the distance Humay, Paul and I stopped for a breather and to admire the views. At the top we approached Henley Park, which was the highlight of the walk. The view from the park was exceptional, with Henley not far to the south and what looked like a pale blue line of hills many miles away. Before the descent into Henley we rested at a point called The Mount, a convenient fallen oak made a good seat. All we had left was the the return stretch of the river Thames, however, we were on the opposite side from where we were in the morning. On returning to the car park, Mary suggested that this may be a bit longer than advertised. As it turned out it was 1.5 miles longer, so we did about 16 miles. We agreed, without the mud this would have been a bit easier.

Thank you to all for joining me on a really enjoyable day: Mary, Humay, Paul and Steve.

Report by Mike D
Thursday saw the first arrivals at the bunkhouse and it was quickly decided that camping was off for a couple of hardy souls. So with 2 new recruits to the bunkhouse it was time to fire up the homemade from scratch chilli. As the place started to fill up a group of eager geo-cachers set off to find some nearby treasure. After a hearty meal an impromptu party began in the dining area with a rival mainly female alternative in the outdoor Hobbit Hutch.

Friday began with a promise of fair weather so we set off for the first waterfalls walk. The stunning array of different types and size was amazing. A hidden waterfall was discovered by a breakaway group who later arrived at Sgwd Eira to discover that the waterfall was too torrential to walk under. The leading group headed back while the breakaways carried on down where young Laurence decided to take a first attempt at the falls. He reported back that there was a path behind it so we were able to stick to the plan and carry on the other side to Pontnedfecchan. After passing Dinas Rock we headed into town where the first pub didn't allow dogs. Luckily we found a better one that did. Later the others joined us along with Rob and Sandra that had travelled up that day. The rain then came as we settled in for late afternoon refreshments. Back at the bunkhouse with Rob and Sandra settled in the Shepherds Hut with welcome hamper provided by the owner. Another night of relaxing and tired heads.

Saturday the rain hadn't abated so a decision was made to hold off the start of the walk, that saved us as it was then dry for the rest of the day after the half-hour delay. We headed up the Afon Mellte to Ystradfellte where we came across the access point to the pot-holing caves. After a quick check on food times in the pub in Ystradfellte, we carried on the planned walk, a little less pace than expected because of conditions under foot. After a few challenging climbs we took the road to the remains of Castle Coch. A scout round the mound was all that could be gleaned. Next another climb to the cairns above Forest Fawr where the snow-capped Brecon hills provided plenty of scenic memories. Back down the hill to a welcome stop at the pub with a roaring fire, lunch was much appreciated. The whereabouts of the geo-cachers Martina, Daniel and Rachael being long passed the agreed time to meet needed a trip up the hill for a signal, once contacted we made tracks back, some more friendly than others. At the bunkhouse a de-brief of the geo-cachers revealed why we never saw them as they had ventured into marshland to be rescued by quad bikes and further trouble led to the offer of a lift from the local farmer. Another night of more good friendly banter prevailed.

Sunday after the experience of the GC's we decided to take a detour through the remaining waterfalls walk and onto Henryhd though some impressive Brecon forest with all types of off-road vehicles enjoying the wide lanes. And all leading to our goal, Henrhyd Falls used as the Batcave in the Dark Knight Rises. Only option back because of the detour was a fast A-road, not ideal but nobody minded too much apart from me with the dogs. Then a stop in Pontnedffeccan for food and we entered our last night with an added appearance by the owner's son and friends. A magnificent weekend not spoiled by the weather and a great crowd of people.

Many thanks to Rachael, Martina, Jan, Sughanda, Kristine, Sasha, Mark, Nick, Brian, Neil, Robert, Jeff, Mike, Rob, George, Rob, Sandra, Laurence and Daniel.

Report by Nick

Just one elusive celandine joined 17 of us on the canals and celandine walk this Sunday. Starting in Uxbridge we made good steady progress along the Grand Union Canal until we joined the river Pinn at West Drayton. Upon reaching the fields at the start of the Celandine Route we were confronted by a ginormous red fairground building that had been literally put on top of the path. Undeterred I led the group through the buildings and lorries of the fairground that seemed to have sprung from nowhere. We then followed the route through Hillingdon, Ickenham, Ruislip, Eastcote finally ending up at Daisy's in Pinner where we separated into the cafe remainers and the pub leavers. 13.28 miles, no rain, only moderate mud, 2 hitchhikers joined us at Ickenham when we stopped for lunch and 1 old group member turned up at the pub to get into the sub-group photo!

A fab day, good to see lots of old friends and meet lots of new ones.

Report by Emma

We made our way to the starting point an hour earlier due to the clocks going forward. I already had a few messages from the usuals who were either sick or too tired to come. So we waited around for a while but no-one turned up. So off we set and soon had 3 caches in the bag and a trackable. We headed northwest and we didn't realise how hilly the Chilterns were. This was very up and down all day long. We brought lunch and had it about 1pm up high on a hilltop looking over god's own country and we were very much at peace. We ended up getting a record 29 caches and met with some lovely people on the way round.

Thanks to my right hand man Daniel who walked the 8 miles without complaining. The weather was excellent and the sun shining. We finished up in a local pub in Chesham for refreshments and headed home happy and tired but ready for the new week ahead.

Report by Martina
Four adventurous enthusiastic walkers met at Hatch End station despite the cold and snowy weather. Our walk took us down the main street of Hatch End and into open fields which were made beautiful by the snow. At times it was very muddy and slippery due to the weather. Following on from this we enjoyed walking alongside the Grims Dyke golf course which offered stunning views over Hatch End. After this we walked along the Grims Dyke. It is believed by archaeologists to have been built in the late Iron Age / early Roman period so it dates back at least 2000 years. We then walked through the woods on Harrow Weald common, Bentley Priory, Stanmore Common which we all agreed was truly breathtaking and gave some superb winter scenes. Having arrived in the Stanmore area feeling like frozen ice blocks it was decided to curtail the walk and have lunch. We ate in a delightful cafe and caught the bus back to Harrow. We look forward to completing this leg of the London Loop on a warmer and drier day.

Thank you to Christophe, Sasha and Suganda who joined me and helped to make the walk so enjoyable.

Report by Lara

What a lovely day when 5 of us set off on our treasure hunt. The sun was smiling and the wind was keeping us moving. We started off at the meeting place of the Hen and Chickens pub but unfortunately it was not open until 11:30am. We then passed by 3 horse stables and patted the horses who came to see us. We then did a linear walk for 4.5 miles until we came to a lovely pub called the Bellcote where we stopped for lunch and to warm up, but the kids all played outside in the onsite playground.

After a few bevvies, medicinal of course to warm up, and lunch, we headed off west towards the town of Chesham and walked over the ridge of the hills and had some magnificent views. The pictures are all on our Facebook site. We then walked into the town of Chesham and then returned to our cars parked 0.5 miles out of town. Unfortunately the pub was still closed so we then drove 0.5 miles to the Crown pub in Ley hill for hot chocolate and cake. We did a magnificent 7 miles in the lovely Chesham countryside and found 22 caches. I also reached a milestone of 400 caches.

I would like to thank Harpreet, Ruben, Amber and Daniel who joined me. The tired cobwebs were definitely blown away and we were all truly happy at the end of this brilliant walk.

Report by Martina
Another good outcome for the navigation workshop. Six attendees arrived at the Costa in Chesham for a introductory chat and cuppa before we headed out. We began with pacing 100m and headed up the hill to begin. Setting the map using feature, measuring distance and calculating timings. We discussed different map scales, using varying scales, the legend and access issues. We walked along paths and bridleways, through farm land and into the woods, locating a now unused trig point. Pacing in the woodland was practiced and discussion turned to map grid references. Countryside code, emergency procedures and escape routes completed our discussion as the group put their heads together to plan the best route back to the station and gave an estimated arrival time. The weather held off despite the predicted forecast we used to prepare for our day. Thank you to all.

Report by Heather
Our latest cycle ride was an easy 25 mile ride from Chelsea Harbour to Crystal Palace. We took the Thames cycle path then crossed the Albert Bridge to enter Battersea Park. Insouciantly ignoring the no cycling signs we found the just opened riverside path to the new power station development. A forest of tower cranes now surround Gilbert Scot's masterpiece, the chimneys all splendidly restored. A quick detour took us to the brand new US embassy where the gun toting marine guards bid us welcome. We then pressed on via the scenic and semi rural Wandle trail, a sustrans route on "London's hardest working river". We stopped for lunch at Merton Abbey Mills, arriving just before a large group of ramblers.

The trail led on to Morden Hall and its 18th century Snuff Mills. A close encounter was had with the Croydon tram at a sharp bend before we stopped at the hidden gem of Carew Manor with its adjoining medieval church and dovecote. Rob C then took over as it was now his manor and we climbed to the heights of Crystal Palace, taking in the fine views south. At the summit we posed for photos by the sphinx and BBC transmitter before finding a welcome pub with jazz band and lots of local cyclists finishing their rides as well.

Cyclists: Rob, Rob, Nicky, Neil, Kerry, Brian and Bob.

Report by Brian

We were 11 walkers present at Chesham station. We set off at 10:20am. On this Sunday morning, Chesham St Mary's Church bells were ringing as if to celebrate our walk start under a beautiful sun.

After passing through a park and a field with horses, we reached Blind Lane, an avenue of trees, then Herbert's Hole, a muddy path in a dry valley. Following uphill, we stopped to admire Pednor House. This is a beautiful red brick house, built in the 17th century as a farm house. A beautiful dovecote, with a cockerel on the top, fills the centre of the courtyard. After cutting across another valley and climbing a steep slope, everybody was happy to stop at The Bell at Chartridge. We enjoyed a delightful Sunday roast. Once upon a time, Chesham had one pub for every every 100 men, women and children! The Bell pub was first licensed in 1862.

After descending and climbing another valley, we reached Captain's Wood, a local nature reserve managed by the Chiltern Society. This is a nest area for red kites. From the bottom of the valley we could see almost 10 red kites flying together. A real pleasure! It was time to go back to Chesham where we arrived at 3:30pm.

Many thanks to Jennifer, Susie, Jackie, Neil, Sheralyn, Julie, Linzi, Coogee, Michael and Olivier for joining me on this hilly walk. It was a pleasure walking with you.

Report by Christophe
Lovely fresh day today and no rain. We started our walk from Bushey golf club. 12 of us headed on our way in the beautiful green fields around Bushey. We soon found our first cache and some of the newbies were getting very proficient in finding the caches, yes you Tessa, Shannon and Sungita. We then headed off for a cache with a high difficulty level but Daniel found it within three seconds. We then headed past the Jewish cemetery in Bushey with its majestic white headstones, where Martina found her first of the day. We then completed our circular route minus 5 - 2 were tired and went home, 3 saw the Toby carvery and went in to sample the roast. The rest of us carried on until the end and then drove to a local pub where we had a well-deserved pint and a roast. Thanks to Tessa, Shannon, Sungita, Rujuta and daughter Kim, Brigitta and dog, Mark, Rachael, Nick, Mark and Daniel for joining me.

Report by Martina
Only five of us on my Tame(ish) walk from Thame today. Chilly, sunny, cloudy could all describe the day but muddy most described the walk. Not the 70's group but many of our footpaths had plenty of the stuff. One long path in particular just before our afternoon tea stop at Emmington will stick in our minds and boots for a good while. The path from Henton to Emmington, if you know it. Not the best of paths in good times. And with some of the mud having been squashed into the middle by vehicles, we had plenty of mud, long large deep puddles and what looked like alligators (from the squashed mud in the middle) to contend with. Fantastic.

We departed prompt at 9:30am reaching our tea stop at Ilmer church a few hours later. With pace a little less than I wanted I cut out our intended lunch stop (our only hill of the day) and we stopped at the church in Saunderton just after 1pm for lunch. A walk through Thame Park (private, footpath access only) took us back to Thame at the end and past the many new houses being built; it's not just me who noticed how flat it was around there. We were back at our cars at 4:50pm.

Thanks to Anna, Rachel, Keith and Paul S for joining me on this 20.6 mile walk.

Report by Steve
We all met at 10:00am for a cuppa and introduction chat. We spent some time looking at different scale maps, and discussed the outline for the day. Outside we started by adding pacing over 100m to our navigation tool kit. We walked onto farm land to cover map symbols and started by determining the direction by setting the map and using the compass.

Throughout the session we looked at distance timings and rules, contours, access, emergency procedures and leave no trace. Unfortunately the weather turned to rain in the late afternoon.

A great session enjoyed by all, with much encouragement to continue to practice.

Report by Heather
Upon descending from the train at Witley we discovered a Ramblers group assembling next to ours. After some last minute transfers of walkers we set off.

We headed west into the woods beside the Witley estate. This was the setting for the Xanadu-inspired palace (with underwater lair) of Whittaker Wright, the infamous Victorian railway magnate. We climbed the slightly boggy paths south with several river crossings on timber bridges and the obligatory railway crossing. A local shoot was underway with the sound of gunfire resonating through the woods.

After passing several impressive manor houses, we reached the timeless village of Chiddingfold and visited the medieval church with its outstanding stained glass windows. The Crown Inn was our lunch stop beside the village green and pond. The 13th century pub is one of the finest in England with its own stained glass windows and medieval stone fireplaces. Jan found herself sitting below an oil painting of a 17th century doppelganger so posed for photos.

After lunch we continued south, hiking through National Trust estates, passing hammer ponds and several timber bridges in the forests of ash and sweet chestnut trees. We reached Haslemere where Rob C led us to the newly restored railway hotel (featuring original railway carriage luggage racks above the booths) for warming drinks before taking the train back to London.

New joiner Adrian joined regulars Brian, Neil, Rachael, Jan and Rob C.

Report by Brian

Our latest cycle ride was an easy 25 mile ride from Uxbridge to Eton and back. Four of us met at the new Rusty Bike Café at Fassnidge Park. We followed Sustrans route 61 via the Grand Union Canal and tracks through Langley. En route we passed several pill boxes and aqueducts on the Slough arm and then a moto cross festival by the GWR tracks.

Reaching Windsor we followed the Jubilee river through Eton and Dorney with a detour to Boveney village to visit the 12th century church and medieval manor. Following the Thames path we then found the 2000m long Eton College rowing lake, used for all races at the Olympics. Nick took advantage of the long straight to put his new (power-assisted) off-road cycle to the test, reaching 55kph at mid point. We then continued to Bray and late lunch at the historic Pineapple Inn with its vast range of huge sandwiches on offer.

Thanks to Nick, Neil and Kerry for joining me on this ride. Will plan another historical route next month.

Report by Brian

Thank you Jennifer, Elyse, Susie, Georgia, Balbir, Erin, Debbie, Richard, Dean, Nikki, Paul and others for joining me on this walk from Amersham to Chorleywood.

The weather was fantastic, very sunny! However, a cold wind was blowing. 12 of us met at Amersham station.

The walk started at 10:15. We crossed Old Amersham. I like this town, the church, the old houses are beautiful. From Amersham to Chalfont St Giles, we climbed two hills and crossed a farm. Everybody was walking at their own pace and we often took a break to keep everyone in the group. We crossed several fields where the mud was sticking to our shoes. We saw a few red kites flying in the blue sky, a fox crossing the road near a farm, several sheep eating grass in a meadow, some bulls in a farm and riders on horses.

4 new walkers joined us at Chalfont. They missed the train at Harrow and arrived too late at Amersham. So in total 15 people joined me on this walk. I was happy to get such a good number.

We stopped for 1.5 hours at Merlins Cave pub, in Chalfont, for lunch. It's a nice place with good food and good beer! I recommend this pub. After having crossed fields in the morning, we crossed meadows and woods up to Chorleywood. Arriving in Chorleywood, I let the group go straight on. We arrived at the station on time, at 3pm. A lovely walk with very nice walkers under a sunny sky!

Report by Christophe