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:

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
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
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