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:

16 of us met at Perivale station and proceeded to walk to the nature reserve. On entering, we were all given a quiz to fill in and badges were given out at the end to those whose detection skills were up to date.

We spent about 1.5 hours wandering the paths and discovering the wildlife and shrubbery. We then had some excellent cake and tea at the cafe. Refreshed, we headed off minus 5 (3 had left earlier as our wandering was too slow for them and 2 returned to the wonderful reserve, never to be seen again). Another 6 joined us at that time to make us feel happy again.

We headed for Horsenden Hill and en route found a pirates cove! We had some shenanigans on a pirate ship and some were walked off the plank! Then heading up to the Gruffalo Path and visiting the Owl and Fox we ascended Horsenden Hill, to the amazing views. Brian and Nick thought they knew a quicker way than the leader but were outfoxed. We descended to the Ballot Box for refreshments and lunch.

Thank you to all who came: April, Ann, Anna, Chrissy, Maria, Helen, Pauline, Sunny, Walter, Mark P, Tessa, Pete, Diane, Brian, Dee, Nick, Julie C, Zoe, Maureen, Matt, Derek, Prem and the best walk leader Daniel.

Report by Martina
Erica, Elaine, Brenda, Zoe, Mike P and I met on a glorious, record-breaking warm Easter Sunday, by Chorleywood Cricket Clubhouse. Humay phoned to say that, in his eagerness to get here, he had got on the Watford train by mistake. So, keen to get off, I decided to take a small detour to the planned route and meet Humay at Chorleywood station.

Walking across the common, we passed 'crossroads of rides', which are large tree-lined avenues, originally created so that horse riders in the eighteenth century could canter through with plenty of room. Delighted to meet up with Humay, we set off again across the common, passing the Black Horse country pub, a picturesque solitary building surrounded by meadows. We continued through a bountiful allotment, greeting a man working on his plot. Cutting through a wooded footpath with welcome shade we then headed down Berry Lane, chatting merrily with each other and enjoying the fabulous weather. We were soon back into nature as we walked past the lakes and rivers of Rickmansworth Aquadrome and headed down the canal for a welcome lunch stop by the locks. No queues and a delicious cheese salad sandwich and cup of tea for less than a fiver!

Suitably refreshed, we headed off through Rickmansworth, passing the historic Saint Mary's Church and the old Feathers pub. Crossing the road footbridge we passed another, more bijou Saint Mary's Church. The sun blazed as we chatted, walking past the meandering river Chess, across flowering meadows with horse paddocks, and past pretty country estates. We headed up past Chorleywood Manor House back to our starting point. I headed off home leaving my walking companions to enjoy a well-earned drink at the Black Horse pub.

Report by Paul
After a long journey for some and shorter trip for others staying locally, we all met up on Friday afternoon for drinks and homemade chilli. Some ventured on to the pub for live music. Particularly impressed was Mike who bought the band's CD.

Saturday morning saw another glorious sunny day and the walkers setting off for the day's adventure. Our first port of call was Hemmick Beach where after a brief stop we headed up the long climb to Dodman Point via Gell Point. The cross we reached was worded to welcome the second coming of the almighty. We set off for Cadythew Rock via Bow Beach, with incredible coastline views. Descending down to Gorran Haven we managed to keep the walking group together on a very hot day, so were pleased at the sight of the café at the bay. Here we caught up with Martina, Daniel and Rachael enjoying the beach. After being refreshed we set off again uphill after some confusing footpath signs to Chapel Point. By this time the group was beginning to spread out, some wishing to take a more leisurely pace and sightseeing. As this was a coastal path, there was no need for directions. By the time we reached Port Mellon Sands we were down to five but met up with trailblazing Dev. Dev and Kev decided to stay in Port Mellon, and we carried on to Mevagissy to rendezvous with Rachael and Martina once again at the Ship Inn and waited for the others to catch up. Once back at the hostel the warm evening made it possible to enjoy a barbecue with the added attraction of live music provided by resident HAWOG musician Kev. After a bread slicing accident the rest of the evening's catering was gratefully done by Dev, Rachael and others. More surprise guests arrived in the form of Ian and Chrissie, visiting family nearby.

Sunday morning was promising to be hotter than Saturday but with my hand needing treatment and others in various states of niggling complaints it was decided to visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan by car, which also allowed everyone to plan their day to include among other things St Maws Castle.

Monday saw some visiting nearby attractions such as Charlestown Harbour and the Eden project on the way home. Some extended the holiday, travelling north. Rachael and I visited Falmouth to see Sir Robin Knox-Johnson recreate the entrance on Suhaili to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his round the world voyage.

Many thanks to Rachael, Martina, Daniel, Mike, Kathy, Davinder, Kevin, Jeff, Brigitta, Baishali, Michaela, Anne, Alpa and Jackie.

Report by Nick and Rachael
I took the Met line from home to Acton Town on a mild spring morning. Arriving in Richmond I was pleased to see nobody had beaten me to the start point, great! I had time to catch my breath and order an Americano from the cafe. Within minutes, Nick arrived, then Brian and Diane who cycled from Northolt, soon to be joined by Rob W.

After our coffee and croissants the 5 of us set off along the Thames Path, enjoying the bird song and blossom along the way. Remarkably green areas for this part of town. Passing Marble Hill Park, Ham House and Garden and Strawberry Hill House and garden to reach Kingston Bridge, crossing the river to the north side. We followed the path to Hampton Court Palace where we made time to enjoy this marvellous building once occupied by King Henry VIII. Crossing the Thames again we made our way to Molesey stopping at Hurst Park to read about Garrick's Ait, the only island in England to be named after an actor. As we cycled the route we admired the superb riverside properties. We soon reached Walton Bridge where Rob recommended we stopped at a cafe for lunch and coffee, an excellent spot.

Passing Desborough and after noticing a really spooky house we soon took the ferry across to Shepperton, where Brian enjoyed a lesson in arithmetic given by the ferryman. We continued along our path following the river to Chertsey where Nick recited some old stories of past camping trips at the Chertsey caravan and campsite. We continued through Laleham and onto Staines, passing under the M25 to Runnymede where we visited the impressive Air Forces Memorial, climbing up the spiral staircase to the excellent viewpoint, spotting London landmarks and Heathrow Airport. From here it was a short ride through Windsor Park, passing the long walk with views of the castle, on to Windsor town where we completed a great day out with cooling drinks in the Royal Oak pub.

Thanks to Brian for his assistance with the route, and to Nick, Diane and Rob W for joining me on a wonderful day out.

Report by Kerry
10 of us met at Chalfont and Latimer station. It was a little overcast and a bit chilly but as we set off across the Chess valley towards Latimer the sun came out and it soon warmed up. As we made our way up the hill through the woods towards Flaunden, we were passed by several horse riders going the other way. We made a brief stop at St Mary Magdalene Church to catch our breath, where some of the group decided to pop in and have a look around. We then headed off across the open countryside towards Sarratt and were lucky to see a number of red kites flying overhead. Just before we arrived at Sarratt we admired the display of bluebells which were just coming into bloom in the woods. We then made our way to our lunch stop at the Cock Inn. This was perfectly timed as according to Jacqueline's phone app, there was a 40% chance of rain between 12 and 2. This rain and hail, although brief, did arrive whilst we were having lunch.

After lunch we made our way back across the Chess valley towards Chenies village, then passing the manor house and continuing on towards our final destination. Again this was timed perfectly as we arrived at the station a few minutes before the fast train back towards London. We said our goodbyes and went on our separate ways.

Many thanks to Anne, Michael, Nigel, Nicoletta, Matthew, Aruna, Jeff, Jacqueline, Brigitta and not forgetting the 2 dogs Jasper and Jackie for joining me on this walk.

Report by Malcolm
Some started at Harrow on the Hill at their leisure - one sprinted across the platforms with seconds to spare - a great entry and unique ice breaker. Met some on the train and Malcolm with the delightful Jasper at Great Missenden station.

After a brief road path where we admired the buildings and unique "Book Share" in the shape of a bird house, we started our trail across fields, hills and kissing gates. As we climbed higher, we wandered through woods, with bluebells trying to emerge. We stopped to take in the views and admired sheep and lambs. Other walkers 'stole' the planned seating break after Little Hampden with a view, so we continued. Hampden House and Church were admired, with impressive features (open 11:15am on a Sunday if anyone is interested).

I led us towards our lunch stop at the Hampden Arms. By ringing earlier, the helpful landlady set aside a table for us. It turned into a food fest! All said great value food, from sandwiches to fish and chips to chilli prawn dish. When all were 'fed and watered', we continued the second leg of the walk. It took us via Bryants Bottom, Great Hampden Common and Angling Spring Wood, and we returned to Great Missenden to Roald Dahl Museum for tiffin at the museum cafe with Matilda and the Donald watching us from the courtyard.

To all who attended, thank you for a lovely day.

Report by Dee

Anna and Keith joined me for my Cadmore End to End walk today. First time since 1962 I think since I've had someone join me for one of my 20 mile walks. Actually this one was 23 by Keith's phone and 24 by Anna's. What's a mile or four between friends!

Cloudy when we departed the almost empty parking area at Cadmore End. We crossed the M40 and headed north past the Wycliffe Centre as was, now mostly demolished, presumably soon to be housing. Over the A40 and through The City and Cromwell Wood for tea stop. Heading west ish now and out of the Chilterns through Aston Rowant, Postcombe, across the M40 again and along to Adwell for lunch in a very old church in the very pretty hamlet.

After lunch, the sun started to appear and as we were in the flat of Oxfordshire we cracked on following the Oxfordshire Way to Pyrton where we discussed houses and whether those in the smaller houses in the village (small here means very nice detached) felt inferior to others in the larger houses (some absolute stunners in the village). Probably I think was our conclusion.

Heading east now, we ascended the hill to Christmas Common, then Blackmoor Wood (well signed), Hale Wood and a very sharp ascent to Ibstone House. A final flurry saw us reach Cadmore End at 17:45. For 23 miles and a 09:30 start that was a very good pace. Thanks to Anna and Keith for joining me and providing good conversation throughout the day.

Report by Steve
We had another large group of 10 including some new recruits on our latest afternoon walk. We covered Arc House, Harrow Memorial, Harrow School: the speech room, art academy and school chapel. Our walk also took in the playing fields of the School, the cricket ground and St Mary's Church, with views from Byron summit. We ended with a drinking stop at the Castle. Attendees were Alpa, Brenda, Bharti, Chris, Maria, Suchi, Ian, Mark, Dean T and David W.

Report by Alpa
20 of us met outside Greenford station, and we headed off with the sun beaming down on us. We walked up towards the Black Horse pub where we embarked on the tow path that would take us to Little Venice. We passed some lovely canal boats in all different shapes and size, some had lovely gardens and picnic tables on board them. We even came across an allotment right on the canal. We headed on towards our lunch stop with some members pointing out some interesting facts and landmarks along the way. There was a survival tank that had a head at the front like there was someone looking out from it. Beit El Zeitoun Lebanese restaurant was a great find with many trying Lebanese food for the first time. This was a lovely little addition to the walk.

All fuelled up, we then came across a skateboard park. We all stopped and admired until the passing narcotics were very strong and started to take effect. We also came across a young gentleman who was showing off his core skills doing exercises on a wire. So we muddled on and were amused that Elvis Presley even made an appearance. As we carried on along the canal we came across a mural on the wall that was made out of litter by the Stowe youth club and artist Kevin Herlihy. We took a long time debating on what we could see with the mural especially the alligator. We ended our walk at the famous waterside cafe, but because we were such a big group not all could get in. So we headed on to find a pub and enjoyed a well deserved local beer and wine.

Thank you to Coogie, Mike, Dean, Simon, Helen, Zoe, Bianca, Maria, Shilpa, Manvini, Brian, Sandra, Rob, Tessa, Marian, Rob W, Mary, Gilly and Freddy for making it an amazing walk.

Report by Diane

5 of us met at Islington on a sunny, breezy day for the canal ride. The towpath on the Regent Canal was busy with teams of joggers, walkers and cyclists. Dean led a detour to see the blue plaque outside the home of Joe Orton. We stopped in Victoria Park by the Victorian café on the lake before turning south on the Mile End link canal. Climbing over the Banana Bridge we explored the Eco Park and the converted wharves in the rapidly changing quarter. Reaching Limehouse we admired the vessels in the yachting marina and the Hawksmoor church. We then headed south through the Isle Of Dogs beneath the soaring skyscrapers of the financial district.

Our lunch stop was the Island Gardens café before we scooted through the Greenwich tunnel to arrive at the Cutty Sark. We cycled around the Maritime Museum and Naval College and then climbed to the Observatory and great views from the summit. Following the Thames Path we took in the Thames Barrier and cycled east to jump aboard the free Woolwich Ferry where the heavens opened with a hail storm. Luckily we sheltered in the covered area on the "Vera Lynn" ferry before disembarking at Victoria Docks for the DLR back west. Cyclists were Brian, Dean, Kerry, Nick and Mike McA.

Report by Brian

Mike and Cathy hosted another successful auction. Jan performed the role of modelling many of the items for sale and in explaining their provenance and quality. We welcomed along many PNM's and recent recruits to join the regulars. Sandi was especially assertive in bidding and went home with several quality purchases. This year we had a wider variety of goods to auction than before, including guitars, violins, fishing tackle, vintage tea set, luxury brand handbags and several antique lamps. We raised around £200 for the cancer research charity.

Report by Brian

Another successful walk with 12 people. We had great weather and covered Pinner Park, Heath Robinson Museum, Pinner village and historic church, Moss Lane, Old Rectory and the Barns. Great views from hill overlooking Pinner Farm. A great time was had by all and we covered 4- 5 miles. Walkers today were Alpa, Ian, Mark, Diane, Helen, Pauline, Maureen, Mariane, Francis, Rita and Rhianna.

Report by Alpa
Six of us turned up at the start near the café and after a very warming tea we set off. Three others decided it was too wet for them to join us. We took in the sights of Langley Park and then up to Black Park. These were the hunting grounds of the kings of olden times. The variety of trees and woodland was amazing. We managed to do 7.2 miles with two café breaks and had a fabulous time. Thank you to Malcolm, Jackie, Chris, Maria and Derek. The rain held off and the other three missed a great walk.

Report by Martina
Eleven of us met on a bright blustery day in Great Missenden. We wandered along the old high street, briefly pausing to admire the surrounds of the Roald Dahl museum. Next we climbed up the hill to the church of St. Peter and St. Paul, where we found ourselves in the midst of a proper running event. Consequently, as we continued we were overtaken by the many runners on their way across the fields. After passing a few farmhouses and some fields, we entered a very overgrown path into Mantle's Wood. We found our way through, and continued down a more well trodden path. Soon, we crossed the railway bridge reaching Little Missenden for a well-earned rest at the pub.

Next, our route took us along Toby's Lane, past Mop End, and around a few more woods. Nearing the end, we joined the South Bucks Way to take us into Amersham Old Town. Some lingered for a while in the fabulous old pub, whereas others opted to head straight up the hill to get the train back home. Many thanks to Neeta, Shilpa, Malcolm, Helen, Lindsay, John, Hannah, Lau, Peter and Eva for joining me on this walk.

Report by Phil
3 of us met at Hemel Hempstead station on a very windy Sunday morning. The walk started promptly at 10:00am, and we headed west along the Grand Union Canal for the first mile or so, then through Bourne End and south west over the A41 and across country, with the wind in front of us for the first 5 miles. There was some shelter from the wind as we approached Ley Hill, and from there we headed south-east towards Flaunden, stopping at the bottom of a hill to eat our packed lunches where there was some shelter.

From Flaunden, we headed north to Bovingdon. We eventually decided not to stop for a break in the village pub, but when we reached the church, we stopped for a few minutes to go in and listen to the pianist - I think that he was testing the acoustics rather than practising. The last 3 miles took us back to the station, which we reached shortly before 3:00pm.

Thanks to Karen and Marin for joining me.

Report by Mark
We had 8 along for our city break in Bristol, staying at the harbourside Bristol YHA right in the centre of the city. The early arrivals jumped on the ferry boat outside (Gromit was the mascot on the bow) to glide along the floating harbour passing the converted wharves, yachts, SS Great Britain until the final stop at Nova Scotia. After drinks at this 18th century sailor's tavern we walked back via Spike Island for fish and chips at a harbourside inn.

On Saturday we did a circular walk through the Harbourside, Clifton Village and the Old City. Our first stop was the M Shed, a converted wharf now exhibition centre and rooftop gallery with views across the harbour. We then boarded the "Matthew", a replica of the ship taken by Cabot to discover Newfoundland. Rob W and Coogee stayed on board to converse with "Bob" the guide, catching the others at the Undefall Yard (more shipping exhibits). Jan (former resident) then led us through the charming streets of Clifton village where we stopped for lunch by the market square. Then uphill to the Clifton Suspension Bridge, one of the last works of Brunel. We crossed the bridge for stunning views along the Avon Gorge. After a detour to Brandon Hill and views over the central city area, we stopped for tiffin in the Old City by the university and museum quarters. Rachael arranged a very unusual evening meal at the Za Za Banquet, an all-you-can-eat wonder with a smorgasbord of choice from tex mex, to sushi to mediterranean and lots more.

On Sunday some joined the Bansky and Street Art tour led by a fellow artist. We saw the major Banksy works and many others (some just finished the day before) plus learnt lots about the culture of this capital of street art. Later "Bob" emerged to give us a tour of the SS Great Britain, the revolutionary steam ship created by Brunel and now a permanent exhibit here. The train travellers also took in Brunel's original Temple Meads station before catching the new electric expresses back east.

Thanks to Nick, Coggee, Rob W, Jan, Rachael, Martina and Daniel for joining me.

Report by Brian

We completed 13.5 miles last Sunday. Starting from Ibstone in light rain we took a few woodland paths which provided some shelter. We reached Pishill before noon and had our packed lunch in the local churchyard before heading to the Crown Inn. This was closed for refurbishment so we continued on our route, planning to stop at the visitor centre at Stonor Park.

After a few miles we reached the magnificent Stonor Park. The property has been occupied by the Stonor family for the last eight centuries. The visitor centre and café were closed for the season. We stopped to chat to the local Hillingdon group in Southend. Decided to have a pub stop in Turville which we reached just after 2pm. Had a leisurely hot chocolate stop in the very welcoming Bull and Butcher. After Turville we had a steep climb, enjoying fantastic views and lots of sightings of red kite. We finished the walk just after 4.15pm. Thanks to Emma and Mick for joining me.

Report by Mary
Thanks to those who came on Saturday. A lovely group of six enjoyed our beautiful day out in Guildford and Shere. We met a beautiful horse along the way who joined for a group photo, and a bonus of some beautiful sunshine which we enjoyed at our first stop at St Martha's church where we enjoyed the views at our first snack break. We all enjoyed our ice creams in Shere as a reward for our efforts.

Report by Sandra

The walk on Sunday had a great turnout thanks to the weather. 13 of us met at Rickmansworth - Mike, Dean, Dee, Malcolm, Chris and Maria, Aruna, David, Shilpa, Cynthia, Michael and Jackie.

We stopped for lunch on the lawn of Latimer House. There was a 'Private Property' sign but it was hard to take it seriously as it also said 'No Peeking'. On the outskirts of Chesham we had an unplanned detour due to my missing a turn. Thanks to Mike who had an OS map, came to the rescue and got us back on track. We finished up at the Queen's Head for a well-earned drink having clocked up 11.8 miles.

Thanks to all for a lovely day.

Report by Jennifer
Thank you for joining me on the live music social event of the month. It was a very good turnout, with four new recruits who enjoyed learning about the group from new and existing members. Many enjoyed the lovely home cooked food which was great value for money. We enjoyed a wide selection of beverages on offer, some experiencing new and exciting spirits served with juniper berries. The live band were excellent, playing songs from the 70's, 80's and 90's with a lot of us engaging this on the dance floor.

Report by Diane
On Sunday, five of us met up at Mill Hill East station for the start of our Barnet Loop walk. Along with myself and partner in planning, Deirdre, there was Natalie, Mick and Mark.

It was spitting when we set off but the sky soon cleared and there was even a slice of sunshine doing its best to break through the clouds. The winding brook has a gravel / tarmac path running alongside it so the first stretch of the walk was nice and easy. Surrounded by overhanging trees, and passing a few small bridges, with each step accompanied by the tinkle of running water, it's easy to forget that this place is only ten miles from central London. We passed Finchley tennis club and allotments, crossed the park where families were playing on the swings and slides, then continued on, following the brook all the way to Totteridge Lane where we turned left and headed uphill to the Orange Tree pub. Just as we arrived there it began raining quite hard but by then we were ensconced at a table having coffee and soup.

The afternoon took in expanses of hay meadows, woodland and a lake, coupled with some heavy mud and the notable loss of the iconic Medical Research Centre (famous for Nobel prizewinners and Batman Begins!) from the skyline (to be replaced by the £0.5 million Ridgeway Views apartments). We took a detour to view Mill Hill village and its famous public school and St. Paul's church (founded by William Wilberforce, sadly locked) before heading back to the station.

Thanks to all who braved the cold to join us on this rural yet suburban walk.

Report by Deirdre and Coogie
We started off at Headstone Lane station and went through Pinner Farm. Sadly none of the animals were out. However the sun was out and we walked on clear pathways. We then made our way down through Moss Lane and visited the village church and Pinner Memorial. We walked at a relaxed pace and the group opted not to have a tea break. I shared my local knowledge with the group about Pinner, the village, churches and traditions. We then gradually looped back to the station. The walk ended promptly at 4pm. A great turnout of 8 people including 2 on their first walk.

Report by Alpa
Just 3 of us on the Herts circular bike ride. A very cold but sunny day with ice on many of the ponds and streams on route. At the manor there was a busy food and craft market so we had coffee and cake before the start. The canal route was mostly ice free but there were a few sections where we slowed down to avoid a plunge into the canal. We noted several pairs of swans at various points, with other cyclists, joggers and walkers sharing the towpath. We stopped for lunch at the Batchworth Lock café after exchanging pleasantries with a pair of walkers on the subject of cycling etiquette when sharing a bridge.

We then followed the Ebury Way, Sustrans route 6, which loops around Rickmansworth and Watford. This trail is on a former railway track partly on an embankment with good views over the canal and streams below. We then headed south via Oxhey Woods to climb to the very impressive Pinner Hill House. A late Georgian manor it is now the club house for Pinner Golf Course. We warmed up at the 19th hole with some red wine and took in the excellent views eastwards across the valley. Thanks to Diane and Kerry for joining me on this ride.

Report by Brian
On a cold but sunny day, nine of us set out from Uxbridge station to walk sections 12 and 13 of the London Loop. Our first section followed the Grand Union canal for most of the way and was easy walking, although care had to be taken as many icy patches remained. We saw a number of runners taking their morning exercise, swans gliding majestically by and a narrowboat acting as an ice breaker as it moved through the frozen water. Our next section began with a steep uphill section through trees and ferns. Mike was particularly interested on what was growing on the allotments in the meadows that this path opened out onto. Apparently it was kale, which is very hardy and grows throughout winter.

Continuing over fields and stiles we passed a farm where two aggressive looking little dogs tried to goad Jasper into a response, although he was far too disciplined to rise to their bait. Shortly after we arrived at the Rose and Crown where beer and hot chocolate was drunk and bowls of chips eaten aside the open fire. At this point we said farewell to Phil who strode out ahead before the rest of us had left the pub. Upon leaving we walked across meadows with the snow crunching beneath our feet and soon turned into the forest of Bishop's Wood Country Park. On exiting this ancient woodland we emerged opposite Ye Olde Greene Manne, however everyone agreed it was a bit too soon for a further pub stop. Pauline bid us farewell here as she took the bus back to Uxbridge, whilst the rest of the group continued on along a footpath marking the boundary of Middlesex and Hertfordshire.

The path led us onto the Moor Park Estate where we paused to admire the lovely houses and mused over what people may do for a living in order to live there. We decided they probably aren't nurses or teachers! Now seeing the railway line we followed this down to Moor Park station for our journey home. Thanks to Jackie, Helen, Pauline, Lotus, Phil, Mary, Mike, Malcolm and Jasper.

Report by Dave
We had a wonderful 4 mile walk around the aquadrome, the canal and parklands. The sun was out and we walked at a steady pace. A good time was had by all, with another welcome turnout of 8 walkers. We finished with a well deserved hot drink in the café by the lake.

Report by Alpa
Ten people in all met at Baker Street station for the Time Out London walk.

We set out on a fine fresh morning on our route which took us through Regent's Park, and over the Regent's Canal then north towards Primrose Hill. At the top of Primrose Hill we rested a while and took photos with the glorious view over London. A number of the group commented on how quickly the skyline is changing; there seemed to be as many large cranes as buildings, clear evidence of all the construction work taking place. Beyond Primrose Hill we made our way towards Chalk Farm and Belsize Park eventually reaching Hampstead Heath. Here we had a short break and mused at the hundreds of runners taking part in a cross country running competition. By coincidence one of our members, Dave, was competing, but we did not see him. Up the hill towards Highgate and passing the cemetery, now quite a tourist spot due to the number of famous people buried there.

We had lunch at a cafe in Waterlow Park and all managed to get a seat inside, which was a welcome break from the cold. Yet again we enjoyed great views from the terraced garden in front of the cafe before making our way up through Highgate High Street. By this stage in the walk our group had spotted numerous plaques commemorating notable London residents: Henry Moore, Piet Mondrian, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, J B Priestley, Lee Miller, Roland Penrose and George Orwell. Onwards to Hampstead Heath where we had a quick look at Kenwood House before our final viewpoint, Parliament Hill. The runners were still hard at it, their route crossed over the path we were taking and we had to wait for a large enough gap to safely proceed. Two of our group left us at Hampstead Heath station, the rest of us carried on up to Hampstead where we rested at the Flask Inn, a fine old pub with equally fine beer...

Thank you to Efisia, Julie, Laura, Radhika, Suvi, Coogee, Humay, Malcolm and Paul for joining me on the walk.

Report by Mike
Thank you for joining me on my first social event. It was lovely to chat to some new recruits and some senior members. The food was lovely and kept coming. We started off with different types of soup then an array of starters, which was followed by some duck. Some even tried the vegetarian lettuce. Followed on by a good choice of mains, we even managed some dessert (which I have never been able to do before). The female server was very assertive in such a busy restaurant. The company and conversation was great - we even put the Brexit deal to bed.

Thank you to Colin, Neila, Berangere (from Meetup), Bea, Roy, Humay, Ian, Brian, Maureen, Dee and Mick.

Report by Diane

I'm delighted to say that for my first walk 8 people turned up, and we all had a super time. We covered 4.5 miles, burnt 900 calories ... don't ask how many we put on at the carvery ... and did nearly 14,000 steps. The sun came out and we walked at a leisurely pace and a good time was had by all. Looking forward to the next one.

Report by Alpa
25 (including 4 new recruits on their first walk) attended the walk on Saturday. We met for coffee at the Tap (beautifully preserved Victorian era station pub) with the French language group who joined us. Our first stop was the National Archives by the river. We explored the public and exhibition areas. Continuing along the Thames Path we noted the large number of rowing teams racing by, with their trainers bellowing instructions via megaphones. After the Mortlake Brewery we detoured to Mortlake parish church (15th century) where the verger kindly gave out biscuits to all and showed us the monuments to John Donne and a Napoleonic era premier.

We then walked to Mortlake Catholic Church for the unique tomb of Sir Richard Burton (the Victorian explorer and Arabist). The tomb is in the style of a Bedouin tent with a secret window to observe the interior. After walking alongside the elegant Barnes riverside of Georgian and Regency terraces we crossed the Thames. Chris pointed out his rowing club on this bank and encouraged us to try out the sport in the future. At Chiswick village we saw Hogarth's tomb and the Fullers Brewery. Our final stop was the Palladian masterpiece of Chiswick House where we had a well-deserved late lunch stop at the award-winning tea shop.

Report by Brian

Our first cycle ride of the year was an easy 20 mile ride from Uxbridge to Burnham via Eton. Six 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.

At Eton we explored the courtyards of the famous college before stopping for coffee at a pavement café in the heritage area. We then continued via bridleways to join the Thames Path. Our next stop was Boveney village to visit the 12th century church and medieval manor. We then arrived at the 2000m long Eton College rowing lake, used for all races at the Olympics. Busy with walkers, cyclists and roller bladers today but no boats in use. We then continued to Bray and late lunch at the historic Pineapple Inn with its vast range of huge sandwiches on offer, before trains back from Burnham.

Thanks to Coogee, Rob W, Hiro, Jan and Rob C for joining me on this ride. Will plan another historical route next month.

Report by Brian

We arrived in the lovely village of Little Chalfont at 9:50am to set off on this beautiful mild day of January. Little Chalfont is only 25 minutes drive from Harrow. It is a beautiful little village surrounded by amazing walks. At 10:15 no one else had arrived so we headed off on our walk. We headed north first and Daniel soon had his first cache. It was a home-made container which was meant to blend in with the countryside. We continued in a circular mostly woodland walk where we found a total of 11 caches. Some were home-made with great carpentry craftsmanship which always amazes me. We ended up doing 6 miles, ending up at lovely Turkish cafe at the end for a hearty lunch.

Thank you Daniel, my geocaching kid, who never lets me down to come on my walks.

Report by Martina
Me plus four today for my Risborough Return walk. Prompt depart from Princes Risborough train station 10:05, past Horsendon Manor and Saunderton and then our first ascent up to Loosley Row and east through Bradenham Wood and up to Walters Ash for lunch circa 12:30.

Post lunch, we followed paths to the edge of Speen village surrounded by the Chiltern Hills and then up and down through Piggots Wood and up Bryants Bottom and along to St Mary Magdalene church at Great Hampden for tea stop circa 14:30.

Our finale encompassed various woods taking us to Whiteleaf with its magnificent views towards Oxfordshire, Aylesbury Vale and Bledlow Ridge. The distant was a bit misty though so our views were not quite as good as they might have been. Our distance though made up for the shortfall in our distant.

GPS said from station we'd done 17.6 miles when we were at our cars - which were a mile away from the station! That's a very good ish. The two from Meet Up were expecting a 10 ish mile walk and the two by car were expecting a 12 ish mile walk. Such generosity from the walk leader. We dropped the trainers to the station by 16:10 in time for their 16:21 train home.

Thanks to stalwarts Keith and Paul and MeetUpers Ricky and Sarah for joining me for this nice winter walk.

Report by Steve