Photos and Reports for 2022

This is where you'll find photos and reports from members who've been on outdoor activities with the group in 2022. We also have photos and reports from other years:

The famous five arrived at Southampton on a sweltering day by the coast. We headed to the quay to catch the ferry to Hythe. The "ticket office" was just a wooden shed hidden in the vast Red Funnel complex. The Hythe Ferry and Pier Railway eschew all modern fads and keep to the system created in 1922. We sailed across the Solent passing the new fleet of leviathan hotel-sized cruise liners. Yachts sailed around us as we reached Hythe Pier. We then boarded the unique Hythe Pier Railway. Celebrating its centenary this year, the electric locomotives and rolling stock were converted from the military railway of WW1 and all have been running ever since. We rattled along the pier, admiring the vessels out to sea through the open doorways (why fit doors after a hundred years?). We explored the bunting festooned streets of Hythe village and had our picnic at the sea front park, busy with people on such a fine day.

Back in Southampton we walked through the old town, its medieval walls and towers largely intact. As the afternoon sun was bearing down we stopped at the Georgian hotel (within the town walls) for cooling drinks and more cake (for some) on the terrace. Shortly afterwards, we heard the cruise ship sounding her horn as she slowly headed for the ocean. We waved towards the passengers silhouetted against the blue sky on the sun deck of the vessel. Our walk continued along the town wall walkway via Tudor and Georgian buildings. A final ice cream stop was just the ticket before we jumped on the fast train back home.

Walkers were Brian, Soraya, Kevin, Louise and Luna (Timmy).

Report by Brian
On what looked to be as Brian would say a 'scorcheo' day, 8 happy hikers met at Great Missenden station. We set off on the road until the first of many fields, pausing at the top for a water break before entering the wood. It was pleasing to see some remaining bluebells, although sadly they were depleted in number. Through the woods to the Queen's Seat for a quick snack, and one reduced their walking trousers into shorts, although Mike was not convinced to participate. Few stops to enjoy the beauty of our surroundings and a few photos. Pleasing to admire and spend few moments to appreciate nature. Continuing, we enjoyed the shade of woods emerging out to "The View". Our bench was taken by a couple, so we continued downwards, then up again, and had 2 minutes to sit on the bench on the opposite side. This is when the the reality of where we just walked from, surrounded by lush green trees and sunshine, hit home. We could have been anywhere in the world. Walking past and admiring Hamden House with the dragons on the top one realised we were approaching our lunch stop. We had sole use of the marquee, and great banter was had over lunch. Discussions on "where's your next walk?", to how to decide the names of walks. From "The Best Ever" to "Shakespeare themed", what can be next? "Carry On" themes were discussed, and Monty Python. Watch this space. And some shared possibilities of future walks.

Refreshed, we set off on the final leg of our journey. Mike introduced me to The Fast Show, and Issey Miyake Perfume. Carrying on, all downhill now to end our day, passing Roald Dahl Museum, to our farewells. A beautiful day out - great weather, scenery and company.

Thank you to Mike D, Sarah, Mick, Pat, Lesley, Marianne, Malcolm and Diane for joining me.

Report by Dee
Fourteen walkers met at the Manor Farm site for our first evening walk of the season. As always, we took a look at the historic manor house, motte and restored barns of this heritage area. We then followed the Celandine Way through the manicured lawns of this very quiet part of Ruislip (more post-box knitted hats seen on the way). We then entered the Ruislip Woods and followed the tracks to the Lido. The evening was very sunny with the rays of the setting sun reflected in the waters as we gathered on the sandy beach. Some of the four dogs with us went for a swim in the lake, Logan venturing well out as always. We swapped stories of swimming in the Lido back in the day plus taking a ride on the railway. The walk continued through the wooded path surrounding the lake. We reached the Waters Edge pub for drinks with fine views across the lake.

Walkers were Brian, Dean T, Runi, Kerry, Soraya, Debbie L, Mick W, Kevin, Louise, Anne Marie, Vic, Pinder, Derek and Prem.

Report by Brian
Three cyclists met at Didcot station on a very warm sunny morning for the Thames Valley cycle ride. Passing the GWR heritage railway centre we heard the steam locos chuff by. We followed Sustrans route 5 for most of the day. First village was Long Wittenden, with many thatched cottages, before we reached the Thames and the hamlet of Clifton Hamden and its unusual church overlooking the river. Our next stop was the ancient village of Dorchester on Thames. The high street (full of coaching inns and cottages) was resplendent with bunting for the annual arts festival. We joined the festival in the cloisters of the abbey. Some rather spiffing tea and cakes was the order as we listened to the bands and explored the craft stalls.

We crossed the Thames at Shillingford and climbed to Bridewell Vineyards. We cycled up to the shop and chatted to the owner, waiting for the invite to try some wines, not forthcoming so we continued to Wallingford. The afternoon sun was now beating down so we were glad to happen upon another unexpected festival in this delightful town. The spring vintage transport festival was in full flow with a vast array on display including jeeps, VW campervans, Porsches, Triumph motorcycles and many secondhand cycles for sale. We had our picnic lunch in the shade beside the showground.

Our route then continued along the Ridgeway bridlepath through the secluded hamlets on the east bank of the Thames. At one we stopped at the green to see a couple of overs of the cricket match. The ride ended at the Thameside town of Goring and trains back to London.

Cyclists were Brian, Kerry and Anneke.

Report by Brian
Although this was a repeat of an earlier walk, as a result of a recent recce we included a couple of changes to the route. From the aquadrome in Rickmansworth we walked along the Grand Union Canal until it joined the weir at the River Gade. Then into Cassiobury Park where we stopped for a drink before setting off to walk through wheat fields which stretched as far as the eye could see. Next was the danger zone where the footpath crossed a golf course with signs asking us to beware of flying golf balls. Fortunately we all passed through unscathed. Up a steep hill to the entrance to bluebell woods where we found a deep dell where we had lunch. Then on past a working farm and to a pub where we had a well deserved drink before walking back to the aquadrome. A very enjoyable walk with a whole variety of scenes on the 10 mile route.

Runi and I both enjoyed the company of Mark A, Jalpa, Joan, Michael L, Hema, Vito, Angela, Ann-Marie, Olivia and Soraya.

Report by Ian
Nine of us met at Wimbledon Park station on a fine Saturday morning. We made our way across Wimbledon Park, passing the very busy tennis courts and bustling activities, to see the sailing boats on the lake and a clutch of geese chicks inquisitive about the bread throwers. We left the park and headed down Church Road and were now outside the All England Tennis Club where we found we could go inside for a mini look around. Onwards then towards Wimbledon Common with its variety of tracks. We were looking for the one that took us to the windmill and tea room. Suitably refreshed we took the track to the edge of the common and crossed into Richmond Park. After a short stretch we arrived at the Isabella Plantation. With the sun out we delighted in the array of colours provided by the azaleas and rhododendrons.

After lunch by the lake we decided to head to Richmond as most of the group were not familiar with this walk. The sights on the way included the lodge, King Henry's mound, the viewpoint over the Thames and the RBL poppy factory near the Star and Garter. We were now in Richmond and headed straight to a riverside pub to sit outside in the pleasant sunshine.

Thanks to Rita, Sharon, Jenny, Monica, Joan, Annette, Marianne and Mark A for joining me.

Report by Nick
The rain showers had dissipated by the time I arrived at Cowleaze car park. My one solitary fellow walker, Kalpna, was patiently waiting for me. Despite the lack of a large group (possibly because of last weekend's postponement) we decided to boldly proceed for the full walk. As we set off downhill towards Aston Rowant nature reserve, the sun emerged with a fine day in store. We joined the Ridgeway, one of the world's most ancient pathways, till we came to White Mark Hill, one of several ascents and this one the steepest. Stopping to catch our breath and take in the scenery, we proceeded through the yew forest and various tracks till we climbed another hill. Kalpna and I had our lunch, appreciating the magnificent views of the Oxfordshire countryside, then suddenly a red kite swooped just past my head from behind in an attempt to snatch my smoked meat sandwich. I could feel the power of its huge wings. Shaken but not stirred, we finished our packed lunch without further ambush.

We walked through a very fine bluebell wood amidst the towering beeches and arrived at The Fox and Hounds pub at Christmas Common. After a refreshing libation of Thatcher's Gold cider, we carried on past a field of sheep and their crying lambs. Unusually, the little balls of wool came right up to us and we coddled and petted them like delighted kids on a farmyard visit. The two of us proceeded through the glorious Shotridge Wood and skirted around the Wormsley Estate through young woodlands and spring meadows. One final hill, a stroll through the woods and we were back at the start after five hours.

Many thanks to Kalpna for her companionship on this very fine Chilterns walk.

Report by Tim
A happy band of 23 HAWOGians landed in Leominster at different times and bounced straight into the fun fair which had taken over most of the town square. After dragging Sally off the dodgems we wandered through the town which is part of the Black and White Villages Trail. Higgledy piggeldy buildings nestled amidst the hostel and 12th century minster church, and we were assured by non-drinkers that it wasn't just the alcohol which made them wonky.

Saturday started in Kington where the obligatory faffing permitted Rob to enjoy local rhubarb frangipan whilst everyone moved their cars several times. Steve was delighted with the remarkably improved speed of starting HAWOG walks, having not joined us for quite some months. Only 1.25 hours later than planned we set off up Offa's Dyke Path, following a winding road to the summit. After a few more ups and downs, each hill was surprisingly only 20 minutes away from the planned lunch stop at Old Radnor. The pub did not disappoint, revealing the Welsh mountains and the English hills on either side. Daniel learnt to use a whistle and we all shook up. After another welcome hill climb to a 400m summit, with a couple of elegant and dramatic tumbles, we ended up with fabulous panoramic views of the Welsh hills and English countryside across the ridge. This beautiful area inspired the 1974 album 'Hergest Ridge' by the English musician Mike Oldfield. As we meandered downhill (finally!) we saw the amazing wild Welsh ponies and monkey trees. Competely unexpectedly we had clocked up 12 miles with elevation of 1800ft. Dinner was taken in the great pub by the river, where the local hen party welcomed everyone so long as they were male. Brian took an unknowing group back to the hostel via the graveyard which thankfully was unoccupied at that time of night. We sat in wrapt attention back in the hostel as Nick brought us fully up to date with politics and the natural habitat of hares.

Sunday brought an unexpected drive to Wales for Prem and Derek when their satnav decided it wanted to go on holiday too, before meeting up with the rest of the Grand National riders at the stables. They then joined us as we ambled along the river banks at Hay on Wye for three miles, with another couple of walkers taking well earned tumbles to get back to civilisation. We spent a leisurely afternoon in Hay exploring the fantastic bookshops, charity shops and tea shops with ice creams.

Monday saw us break camp and most headed to Hereford, traditional market town where Sandra grabbed the ginormous bull between the horns and we saw the Mappa Mundi which originates from 400 AD, one of the oldest medieval maps in the world. As the map didn't show Harrow on the Hill, we left it there. We bumped into a stationary Elgar on his cycle, and three gentleman of the road who were drinking with him. One of the happy chaps told us that he had been in a regiment with Lewis Collins, which must have been tricky as he was never in the army. Aruna provided us with contraband lemon cake in the stunning cafe in All Saints church. And then we went home.

Many thanks to the happy band of revellers, Tim B, Malcolm, Steve, Brian, Nick, Coogee, Daniel, Derek, Rob, Daniel, Prem, Martina, Diane, Helen, Jackie, Azadeh, Sally, Chrissy, Christine, Liane, Rachel and Sandra. A particular thanks to those helping with map reading, as those hills wouldn't navigate themselves! Well done everyone.

Report by Jan
On a sky blue, cloud free morning six met at North Harrow station. Greetings were made and we set off to our first park (Yeading). Walking through and chatting it did not take long to reach Streamside. A quick detour to the "Telephone Box Book Library" where I picked up a book. Back on route to Roxbourne Park, crossing the bridge, where the train driver tooted at us, so we dutifully waved back. This set the mood pre next park were there was a zip wire. One enthusiastic walker had to be reminded there were 3 children using it, so she queued. We all had a turn, and it brought out the inner child in us all (and great fun). We continued, Olivia counting the parks. Crossing Field End Road another suddenly got their bearings. Discussed navigation, as drivers to what we can miss in local areas. Continuing behind Cavendish, we continued through to behind Highgrove and looked at the Bletchley plaque, and discussed the history of the area. A break at Eastcote Wall Gardens Cafe. We enjoyed the break and then appreciated the garden.

Over halfway now, we carried on back via Joel Street then through alleys and fields to reach Pinner Memorial Park and a quick break to use the facilities, watch a resident heron and admire the space. Then through Pinner High Street, with discussions and recommendations on where to eat, and via Wakemans Hill we returned to North Harrow station where we said our goodbyes. A great, witty group.

Thank you to Olivia, Dianne, Punkish, Hira and Nandu for joining me.

Report by Dee
For our second spring colours walk of this sun-filled weekend around twenty-five gathered at the charming riverside terrace at Richmond. After coffees and pasties (and some late arrivals) we finally set off. Serendipity was the watchword for the day. Our first happenstance was a new café before the Petersham meadows (noted for future excursions). In Petersham we admired the many mansions in this historic hamlet, passing the fine parish church on route. Into Richmond Park we ascended to Pembroke Lodge (lots of fallow deer on the ascent). We climbed King Henry's Mount to view St Pauls through the telescope and took in great views over the Thames Valley. Rob P guided us through the park to reach Isabella Plantation. We strolled around the kaleidoscopic display of azaleas on display in this delightful enclosure; pink, red and purple were the dominant colours. Nick was the bearer of another gift, the discovery of a hidden pond with the vibrant colours of the azaleas reflecting in the water. We had our picnic in the sunshine by the lake; lashings of pop and some awfully nice upside-down cake.

Derek had cycled here to meet us and sped off on his new electric bike in a blur of speed. We walked through Richmond Park, with views across London and to the south. At Ham Gate we entered Ham village, noting the splendid wisteria in bloom on the many manors around the village. Then, serendipity again, as we happened upon an open garden banner inviting us into the extensive gardens of a mansion. It was Pimms o'clock inside; as we filled our glasses the host (a charming fellow) asked how far we had walked. "I say, you've all done jolly well" he replied to our answer. After a tour of the colourful garden (box hedges and many features) we carried on towards the river. After admiring the Jacobean majesty of Ham House, we caught the ferry across to west bank. At Orleans House (home of exiled king of France) we enjoyed a final tiffin stop in the stable's café after a rather splendid spring colours walk.

Walkers included Brian, Rob P, Derek, Prem, Nick, Angela, Olivia, Peter, Humay, Kevin, Louise, Sally, Martina, Malcolm, Diane, Katherine, Soraya, Joan, Dawn, Laura and quite a few others (apologies as so many on the walks nowadays).

Report by Brian
Our first bluebell wood walk for 3 years saw 15 visit the Perivale Nature Reserve. On a very sunny day the bluebells were magnificent in the sunshine. We explored the paths and tracks through carpets of bluebells and many ancient oak and ash trees. A couple of us managed to pay at the gate, so a lesson for next year for those who tried to book. We met up after the circuit for tea and cake at the meadow. One of the servers was a fellow park runner. We then climbed to the summit of Horsenden Hill for panoramic views over London. Our descent included the Gruffalo Trail where Mark P and Luke found the hidden sculptures. We finished at the very popular Horsenden Hill Farm with its pop-up café and bar. Some musicians were jamming in the afternoon sun, so we grabbed a free table for wheat beers and Rita's supply of sandwiches. Jan and Dawn ordered more pints and then surprise guest Dave T arrived. Still time for Pauline to order some rather spiffing pepperoni pizza for all after a jolly fine day out in Perivale countryside.

Walkers were Brian, Jan, Malcolm, Dawn, Hira, Mark P, Lisa, Linda, Ivan, Rita, Pauline and quite a few others (apologies, lost track of names).

Report by Brian
Seventeen of us met on a cloudless Sunday morning. Ambling past the fast flowing River Gade in Cassiobury Park, we soon crossed the ford and headed down the Grand Union Canal. Passing colourful narrowboats with eccentric names, we chatted along the way, as the group spread out. At Batchworth Lake, where the UK champion water-skiers practice, a speed boat suddenly took off, closely followed by an expert water skier, who dramatically carved through the water and disappeared out of sight. We regathered at the cafe by Bury Lake in Rickmansworth for a picnic on the grass, before setting off around the lake, with sail boats bobbing.

Through a gate, we entered the nature reserve at Stockers Lake, stopping to admire the beautiful scenery and wildfowl. Lake on one side and river on the other, in this little oasis. Circling the lakes, we rejoined the other side of Bury then Batchworth Lakes, retracing our steps along the canal, before branching off along the Ebury Way, path of a disused railway line. The scenery briefly changing to a woodland walk, passing allotments and imagining the old steam trains passing along the track. Walking and chatting we were soon back at the station, sun still shining. Averaging a good 3 miles an hour pace, finishing after 4 hours, including half hour lunch stop, about 11.5 miles in length. Four of us enjoyed a well-earned drink at the Essex Arms after, catching up on various past walks, adding an extra mile and a half, to walk off the beer, making about 13 miles.

Thank you to Humay, Kevin, Kalpna, Narshi, Indira, Ashvin, Katherine, Sanjeer, Jeetendra, Ranisi, Nandu, Hira, Valji, Zaira, Saura and Diane for coming, and for the interesting tales and tips from travelling past.

Report by Paul
On a sunny Good Friday morning 7 members (6 walkers and 1 cyclist) met on the grounds of Ibstone cricket ground. A mix of familiar faces and new ones, including a new member (but seasoned walker) who joined up the day before to come on the walk. We organised our rendezvous at the barn with cyclist Derek and set off, taking the Chiltern Way. Shortly after emerging from the Great Wood we were rewarded with a magnificent view looking towards Northend. We then braved the long climb to Northend and took a breather at the village pond. Next we were off to Turville Heath, passing through Swains Wood where pretty English bluebells were in bloom. Making good progress, and after the next ascent we emerged onto Turville Heath Common. Although they were fully booked, and we were half an hour early, the friendly Barn Cafe staff very kindly accommodated us weary walkers. We met Derek and all enjoyed lunch outside the courtyard. We spotted the lady of the manor (owner of the Barn and smallholdings), walking about in the sunshine. However, we spared her time for a history lesson (unlike last time teehee)! The Barn and Heath common were filled with families, cyclists, walkers, dogs and even a pony was visiting.

After a leisurely lunch we headed to Turville village and stopped by the Vicar of Dibley church and vicarage where we met Derek. The Cobstone windmill, perched on Turville hill, was luring up some walkers on the steep incline, and in the heat. Though thankfully none from our group! We left the village via a less gruelling climb and made our way to Ibstone church. Our final stretch took us through the cool shelter of Parsonage Wood and got back to our cars a little early, a great achievement by all. As a fitting reward we headed to the Fox Inn pub for post-walk refreshments and a chocolate Easter bunny.

My warm thanks to all the walkers: Angela, Asha, Shelesh, Sourabh, Prem and cyclist Derek (apologies for spelling errors) for the great company and joining me on one of my favourite walks in the Chilterns. I hope to see you soon.

Report by Aruna
19 of us went on an amazing holiday to the beautiful Cornwall coast of Treyarnon Bay. We all met on the Thursday night with people coming in at various times of the day. We all travelled the long distance from London, some came by train and some by car. Martina had provided an amazing kitty of food and Brian and Joan made sure we all had some lovely cake and tea. After settling into our rooms we set off for a gentle little jaunt around the coast near the hostel led by Anne and Brian. We then came back to a nice feast in the hostel and settled in for the night.

On Friday morning 10 of us headed off to Padstow to pick up some hired bikes and we set off on the famous Camel Trail. This is a 20 mile cycle on a circular route from Padstow to Bodmin along the old railway line which follows the River Camel. We had varying degrees of bikes; some had push bikes, some had e-bikes and Brian kindly had a tag-along bike so Daniel could join our trip. We set off from Padstow towards Bodmin. As we cycled along the path, our first stop was Wadebridge where we had the lovely views of the River Camel. Nishit and Soraya had some lovely drinks and both educated us on the finer side of dining. We left Wadebridge with Rachel and Nick leading the pack as we continued on with beautiful views of forests of bluebells, and smells from wild garlic, as we headed towards Bodmin. Anneke was very knowledgeable about the types of flowers surrounding us.

Just before the halfway point at Bodmin we visited the Bodmin steam railway. We then found the tea shop. We stopped there for lunch and Daniel had the most amazing vegan pasty and the rest of us had soup and glorious food. A few of the boys: Nick, Chris and Nishit headed into Bodmin to visit the old jail. I think the two boys locked Nick up and we should be getting him out in the next 5 years. The rest of us headed back to the Camel Valley winery where Mark P said it was the most amazing wine he ever had. It was a steep climb up to the top but the views were magnificent. With a refreshing glass of wine in hand we waited for the boys to come back and join us and then we all headed back towards Padstow. On the way back we had some gentle showers but nothing could dampen our spirits as we went through the beautiful countryside of the Camel Trail. When we arrived back at Padstow a few went over to the famous Rick Stein's restaurant and had fish and chips. Some of us went back to the hostel and had dinner there. The rest of the group had divided into two, some going sightseeing to the local National Trust and some going on a walk where they found the famous big hole. This big hole led to many discussions on how it came to be there, a most engaging discussion and more enjoyable as we had no internet and the 'google gang' couldn't find the answer.

Saturday brought the most beautiful glorious sunny day. We all got up early and headed off at about 9:17 for a walk on the coastal path towards Newquay. All 19 of us decided to do the walk and we were joined by Liane 2 miles into the walk at the beautiful cove of Porthcothan. We had a quick break for some coffee and refreshments and took in the most beautiful beach. Our next stop should have been going down the Bedrudhen Steps to hit the beach there but unfortunately there had been a bit of a landslide and we were not able to get down the steps. We then stopped for lunch in the National Trust cafe. Our walk continued on to Magan port which was supposed to be our final destination at 8 miles. But some of us were not tired and decided to walk all the way back to do a glorious 16 miler. With the wind in our hair and music in our souls we headed back, stopping in Port Cothan for ice cream with Nishit having a triple whammy. Yes Runi we did it! With Kayla and Chris taking over the lead of the rest, the consensus was not to continue any further so they all sat in the pub drinking wine. They got a bus back later. Thanks Anne for saving all the big kids. We then all got showered and changed and dressed up for Saturday night with a traditional band who played at the hostel and we had a little dance. Later on Janet entertained us with her gymnastics stool routine.

On Sunday we were up again for our boat trip. We were travelling to Newquay by car and then we were supposed to do a 2 to 3 hour seal trip. Unfortunately, when we got to Newquay, Martina realised that the boat trip had been booked incorrectly and we could no longer go out on the boat because the tide was out, so Brian took the decision to take us into Newquay and we all enjoyed the train ride. A few of us found Millets and we decided to purchase lots of gear for our next trip. Joan, Daniel and I found the best fish and chip shop in town for our lunch. Soraya and Mark found an alternative healthy guru venue. Another lovely day. We headed back to the hostel where we met with the rest who had walked to Padstow and then dined in Rick Stein's restaurant. On our last night the giant Jenga came out with Zoe being top master. We also played charades with Mark coming out on top.

On Monday morning we all were up early to check out and go our separate ways. Brian, Chris and Mark spent the morning on Bodmin steam railway, did the complete length of the line, explored all 3 stations and lunched at Bodmin station cafe, where Chris had his 5th Cornish Pastie of the holiday.

Thanks to all who came to make the weekend magical: Nick, Rachael, Brian, Chris, Mark P, Nishit, Mark A, Janet, Christine, Anne, Kayla, Anneke, Zoe, Joan, Liane, Soraya, Runi and Michael.

Report by Martina
Six walkers met at Watford station for the start of the day's adventure. Wandering leisurely through the nature area we headed towards Whippendell Woods, picking up Sonia on route. It was lovely to see the first bursts of bluebells - another 7-10 days and it will be a carpet of blue. Continuing through, we saw the alpacas. Sadly they were camera shy, so we carried on behind York House School. Returning - a few recognised where they were - and after a water break, we returned to Cassiobury Park via the canal. Pausing at Daisy's, we had tea and snacks. Thanks to Bharti for sharing her soup, which tasted homemade. Then most of the group decided to check out the "Jurassic Encounter"; it brought out the inner child in Katherine and me, and Dianne enjoyed an '99 ice cream.

Thank you to Dianne, Bharti, Katherine, Marianne, Hasmita, Pankaj and Sonia for joining me.

Report by Dee
Seven met at Princes Risborough for the steam railway walk. The station is shared between Chiltern mainline and Chinnor Railway so ideal for connections. As the whistles blew, we climbed aboard the heritage carriages for the scenic journey passing the Chiltern hamlets and cricket pitch on the way. At Chinnor we alighted from the steam train and walked to join the Ridgeway National Trail. On such a sunny day there were great views of the Oxfordshire Plain below. We reached the sleepy village of Bledlow and after touring the famous Lyde Gardens we had a leisurely lunch at the Lions pub (good value Sunday roasts). The pub front garden was busy with walkers, cyclists and passing horse riders, with the sounds and views of the steam trains passing back and forth just below us.

We then climbed along the Icknield Way footpath up to Lacey Green and the impressive windmill on the ridge. It was an open day so we took advantage of the guided tour of all the levels. The last leg was a long descent through meadows full of sheep and lambs back to Princes Risborough for trains back to London. Distance recorded as 10.5 miles so will correct details next time walk is added.

Walkers were Brian, Humay, Joan, Kevin, Louise, Saraub and Julia.

Report by Brian
12 walkers met outside Gerrards Cross station on a perfect walking weather day. From the station we headed off across Gerrards Cross common and then following the road down to Fulmer where we paused for a few moments to admire the village. At Fulmer we started our journey along Shakespeare's Way which is a long distance path from Stratford Upon Avon to London. This path took us across Stoke Common, where some paused to look at the corrugated sheeting that had been put down to encourage some of the reptile life that can be found in this area. We then continued onwards to Farnham Common and then into Burnham Beeches where we stopped at the café for lunch.

After lunch we continued along Shakespeare's Way through Burnham Beeches until we reached Littleworth Common, where we said goodbye to Shakespeare's Way and started our return journey, which would take us through Egypt Woods and on to the village of Hedgerley, where we stopped for group photos by the village pond. We then made our way through the RSPB nature reserve of Church Wood. As we made our way through these woods, we took time to take in the flowers that were just coming into bloom and admire a small group of giant redwood trees. We had a small problem leaving the woods as the footpath led to a very overgrown stile, which forced the walkers to climb over a gate and fence. Undeterred we then carried on across open fields, before arriving back into Gerrards Cross, where we said our goodbyes.

Many thanks to Michael, Laura, Angela, Jo K, Sean, Nirav, Efisia, Kalpna, Ekta and Sorga.

Report by Malcolm
On another fine sunny afternoon 22 of us met at Tide Tables for coffee, cakes, and introductions to newer walkers. We set off on the Thames Path, lots of Edwardian skiffs on the riverside. We crossed to east bank at the lock footbridge and continued through Isleworth old village with its mix of Regency and Strawberry Hill Gothic architecture. On to Syon Park with its landscaped estate and group photo in front of the 18th century palace. Lulu surprised a sunbathing couple by leaping on them and never stopped running ahead of us. We joined the Grand Union at Brentford, passing lots of house boats and boat yards. We popped into the artists' studios on Johnson Island then Carole then led us to the hidden outdoor café by the Brewery Arms. We all had a slice of Mona's rather splendid homemade date and walnut cake.

We continued through the classic car courtyard (a Plymouth and Rolls and others on display) on to The Butts with its Georgian townhouses around the square. We then crossed back at Kew Bridge where Rob led us to Gainsborough's tomb at Kew village church. Crossing the green we arrived at the station parade, with its awfully inviting row of tea shops. Just the ticket said all so we ended with tea and apple cake after a jolly good afternoon stroll by the Thames.

Walkers were Brian, Jan, Rob W, Tim B, Tim P, Rita, Mona, Bob, Carole, Ivan, Ashwin, Nicky, Sonia, Derek, Prem, Sonia, Chris, Maria and others (forgot names, sorry).

Report by Brian
Eight of us met in the woodland car park. We set off but all was not quite rosy in the jungle. The elephant was on its back and the bear had lost its nose, thankfully just the wooden sculptures. The shell sculptures were still intact, giving us our first vista over the villages around Maidenhead. Onwards through the woods and steeply down to the the River Thames in all its glory. We walked along the banks past the islands with the geese honking and the wild flowers, and came upon Queen Victoria's private landing site, followed quickly on by the cottage reputedly to have been the site of the 'Profumo Affair'. Maree and Kevin had a shiftee through the window of the next cottage. You can rent them; not cheap by all accounts but such a fantastic setting. And then - what goes down must come up! And we climbed up the deep steps. We got up there past the ampitheatre. Nitti said we should do a performance. We saw our first of a selection of semi-naked statues (mostly female, we only found one male). We went through the long garden with its fantastic topiary and planting. To the house and its amazing presence and architecture and opulence and the sculptured parterre gardens. Then with the assistance of Katherine we went to the Japanese Garden, wow! I couldn't understand how only a small group could keep getting lost. We then went back through the woods, visited some more spectacular views at the duke's statue. Took a detour to Clive's den (where we made a little girl and her dad wait while we did a photo). And we got back with a bit of time to spare before the car park closed.

The weather was fair and the company was delightful. All in all we walked 6.3 miles. It was lovely to meet Anusha and Shona as new members. And thanks to Maree, Louise, Kevin and Nitti for joining me. And special thanks to Katherine for her Cliveden knowledge. It's a place I think everyone should go to.

Report by Zoe
Twenty one adults and Soreya's dog met at Embankment station on a cold but sunny day. We proceeded across the road to the Uber Thames Link Clipper and after queuing and the lady at the booth next door trying to get us to buy the tourist trip tickets we bought our tickets. It was a very busy day for the Clipper and sadly five of us got on the first boat and the rest of us had to wait for the second which was just 5 minutes behind. Most of us sat inside the boat ready to enjoy the ride and the famous buildings along both banks of the Thames. On our arrival at Greenwich we met up with the rest of the group and started our walk through the town to the park and hill leading to the observatory where we took in the spectacular views of London. We had a break to enjoy some food and refreshments.

We then proceeded to find the deer park but were disappointed as the deer had only recently been moved to Richmond Park. We then walked through the flower garden and strolled round the park. Mark explained some of the buildings and took us to the park where there are fantastic views of the Thames. We also walked on a Roman path. We then made our way back to Greenwich village where we spent some time at the market taking in the variety of craft and jewellery stalls. We then walked along the Thames Path to the Trafalgar pub where we finished our walk with a well earned drink.

Thanks to everyone who joined me on Saturday. We were very lucky with the weather; the sun stayed out for most of the day.

Report by Christine

On Friday, 30 of us congregated in Liverpool on a fine Friday afternoon. As we arrived early we decided to take advantage of the weather and headed up Mathew Street to the River Mersey, passing the cavern and Cilla Black. We had a photo opportunity with the fab 4 and Billy Fury, then had a lovely stroll around the Albert Dock, stopping at the pump house for a refreshing drink. We headed on back to the hostel for a freshen-up before we set out for our evening entertainment. We had a scrumptious meal at the lovely Hard Days Night Hotel. The meal was just fabulous and we celebrated a birthday in the group. Some of the night owls carried on to Sergeant Peppers with lots of dancing and singing taking us into the early hours of the morning.

On Saturday, we were up early to start our hectic day of sightseeing. Our first stop was at St George's Hall. The tour was led by Sean, a very enthusiastic gentleman who gave us all the history of this fabulous building. We also found out about the super lambanana; 125 of them can be spotted all over Liverpool. With a quick coffee stop the whistle was blowing, time to move on. We walked on up Mount Pleasant to the Metropolitan Cathedral, nicknamed the Wigwam. We climbed the large amount of steps to the entrance and had a wander around. Our next stop saw us walk along Hope Street, passing the Everyman Theatre and a quick look in as some musicians were playing. We gave them a clap and carried on passing the Philharmonic Hall and some luggage created by a well known artist. We reached the Anglican Cathedral and were not disappointed. I think I heard everyone say wow. We were able to go to the top of the cathedral tower, passing the enormous bell on the way. After climbing the stairs we were delighted with the views of the city. On such a fabulous day we were able to pick out lots of iconic buildings and stadia.

Sunday saw us take to the ferry across the Mersey. Lovely to hear the song and all the history along the docks and local area. Some took a tour of the city, taking in all the sights and houses of the Beatles. We ventured to the Baltic Triangle to visit the street market. Very retro, with a trip inside the Peaky Blinders Bar. With a quick glimpse of the yellow submarine we ventured in to this once known boutique hotel at the Albert Dock. Some enjoyed the Museum of Liverpool and the art galleries. We bid farewell to some, with 21 staying on an extra night and 15 of us headed into Chinatown for a fabulous meal. We were not disappointed, it had to be some of the best Chinese food we had ever tasted. The night owls were out again and having a nightcap in the Adelphi Hotel, where lots of laughter was had.

Monday saw us de-bunk. Our last port of call was the fabulous Dean Street Kitchen on Duke Street, to end with a fabulous breakfast. We were not surprised there were constant queues outside this place for breakfast. Well worth a trip.

Thank you to Daniel, Christine, Lisa, Mark A, Jan, Helen, Mary, Janet, Coogee, Cynthia, Joan, Brian, Judith, Dean S, Nick, Rachael, Martina, Colin, Elizabeth, Sally, Zoe, Nitty, Mark P, Sugandha, Anne, Aruna, Humay, Dean and Sarah for joining me on this fabulous weekend.

Report by Diane
7 of us met at Watford station on a sunny but chilly Sunday morning. We headed off shortly after 9:30am, walking down to Cassiobury Park, over Jacotts Hill and west towards Croxley Green. From there, we headed northwest to Church End and Sarratt Bottom, and then walked along the Chess valley, turning north after Chenies Bottom. We then headed east and southeast to Sarratt, where we stopped on the green for lunch.

After lunch, we continued southeast to Chandlers Cross, and then through Harrocks Wood and Whippendell Wood, crossing the Grand Union Canal to return to Cassiobury Park from where we walked back up to Watford station, which we reached at around 3:00pm.

Thanks to Amanda, Dee, Kalpna, Malcolm, Nirav and Soraya for joining me.

Report by Phil
13 met at Greenford station on a beautiful sunny day. We headed off down the backstreets of Greenford, visiting some unusual parks that we had never seen before as we headed towards Perivale Park. We passed the grounds of Tara gaelic football club who are the rivals of Daniel's team TCG. We then entered Perivale Park and our first stop was at the Nicky Hopkins memorial bench. Nicky was a musician who played with some of the greatest stars, like the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. We continued on over some lovely brooks and streams and the weather was still beautiful. We crossed over the Greenford Road and into to the Bunny Park. We all did the maze in Bunny Park and lost nobody. 6 of us went into Hanwell Zoo where we saw lima monkeys, armadillos, flamingos and cranes to mention a few of the animals. It's a wondrous zoo and well worth going to see. We then went to the local cafe and refreshed ourselves before we headed back again towards Greenford. We finished at Greenford in the Railway Bar and had a celebratory drink to end our day.

Thanks to Girija, Hasmita, Janet, Daniel, Martina, Diane, Marianne, Jackie, Ashwin, Tim B, Soraya, Angie and Sean for joining us.

Report by Martina
On a very sunny afternoon 19 of us met at Putney Bridge pavement cafe for the day's afternoon walk. We entered the extensive estate of Fulham Palace, the historic residence of the Bishop of London. Medieval and Georgian architecture with various carved sculptures in the walled gardens. Daffodils were all blooming in Bishop's Park next door. At Craven Cottage, Kerry and Tom explained about the original cottage which is still in place within the stadium. The long riverside promenade through Fulham and Hammersmith was busy with walkers, cyclists and scooterists on such a fine day. Jan arranged the refreshments at the Blue Anchor by Hammersmith Bridge.

With an effort we restarted on the walk, admiring the blue plaques on the Georgian terrace on Chiswick riverside. High tide had flooded the next section so a detour was called for, arriving at Chiswick village church and the tomb of Hogarth. Onto Chiswick House and the elegant Palladian architecture of Burlington's estate. We explored the landscaped gardens; a new sundial was notable with the hour shadow arranged via stone spheres around a calendar-based flagstone. At the sunny tea gardens Mona provided an awfully nice homemade date and walnut cake for everyone to celebrate the walk.

Walkers were Brian, Sally, Imelda, Kerry, Tom, Anneke, Jan, Monica, Mark P, Bob, Nicky, Sonia, Laura, Kevin, Louise, Mona, Anne Marie and Marie.

Report by Brian
It was a sunny spring day when a baker's dozen met at the Boot pub on St Patrick's Day. The story of Barnaby Rudge was told in the melee of Irish office workers watching the horse racing. We moved on to the Dickens Museum where Charles Dickens lived most of his life. From there we crisscrossed to the Betsy Trotwood but we were more interested in Pear Tree Court opposite, where Oliver Twist meets the Artful Dodger and pickpockets Mr Brownlow. Onwards to Saffron Hill and the One Tun (Three Cripples in Oliver). Stopped for a drink in 'Spoons before descending to Fagin's Lair just off Fleet Street.

Next to find London's most hidden pub, Ye Olde Mitre, the surprised faces when we entered an innocent looking alleyway and revealed the gem that resides there. Onwards to St Paul's and a brief history of Temple Bar. The evening was getting very busy everywhere in the city and it was decided to head straight over London Bridge to the Borough via Nancy's Steps (Oliver). We put aside Dickens to look at Bridget Jones flat and Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. The George Inn (Little Dorrit) was busy as expected but we sat outside in the huge courtyard and appreciated the fine balustrade. We crossed over the river via the Wobbly Bridge after a photo stop at the Globe Theatre. Next on the list was Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese (A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities) in Fleet Street. On the way to Charing Cross we snuck into the Hen and Chicken Courtyard, the site of Sweeney Todd's barber shop which supplied Mrs Lovett's pie shop just behind us in Bell Yard.

Many thanks to Rachael, Sally, Pankaj, Mark P, Mark A, Hasi, Chris, Maria, Mike, Anne and the family of 3 that left early for a birthday party.

Report by Nick
Henley riverside was full of cycle groups and hikers at the cafe terrace enjoying pre-excursion refreshments as the boats sailed by. Our route was a loop around the villages and hills surrounding Henley. The bridleways and quiet lanes were perfect for off-road riding. Our first fast descent took some skill and there was one unnamed faller. We cycled through the picture postcard villages of Skirmett, Fingest and Turville. We popped into St Bartholomew at Fingest; our timing was out, as on departing the verger and team arrived with a huge flask and cups. At Turville we admired the famous windmill and church of Dibley fame. A long climb followed all the way to Christmas Common. Our lunch was in the very welcoming Fox and Hound pub where we enjoyed a Sunday roast after the climb.

Our next section was a breathtaking descent over two miles long, the glorious countryside flashing by. Our way back to Henley was on quiet lanes including a flooded section. The road sign "Road Closed" was, as is custom, ignored by cyclists. Back in Henley we had time for some final post-ride drinks at the riverside Angel Hotel watching the rowers and canoeists glide by.

Cyclists were Brian, Malcolm, Kerry, Dean, Coogee and Lydia.

Report by Brian
On a cloudy morning 6 of us met at Headstone Lane station and walked down to Headstone Manor Park. The park was serenely quiet and we were able to explore the wonderful wildlife and surroundings. We gently made our way to the medieval grounds' barn and museum. The museum and barns have been beautifully renovated and restored. The entrance to this historic gem was free and a great way to learn about Harrow's heritage. Everyone loved exploring the past life and development of Harrow's landscape and development over the years. A brief coffee stop was made at the barn cafe where we all enjoyed banter with coffee and snacks.

We then headed back via a loop to take in the bottom end of Pinner Farm where we were greeted by the sounds of grazing cows and bulls. The picturesque scene was a delight and at times it was hard to believe we were within the metropolis of Harrow. A brief stop was also made at the Harrow garden centre to appreciate the seasonal plants and flowers for sale. The walk ended at Headstone Lane station.

Thank you to my fellow walkers: Heddy, Deepinder, Asha, Christiana and Philomina for their wonderful humour and for travelling from afar to join me (apologies for any name misspellings).

Report by Alpa
24 people met at Baker Street station on a fresh sunny spring day. We set out along Baker Street towards Regents Park. Spring felt ever closer with numerous magnolia trees on display. Daffodils were at their best all through the park. We made our way into Primrose Hill, and at the top we enjoyed spectacular views over London and far beyond to distant hills. I was pleased to find a number of our group had not been to Primrose Hill or enjoyed the fine view - hopefully they will return. Various small back streets led us to the lower slopes of Hampstead Heath where all manner of sporting activity was taking place. Onward to Highgate where we stopped by Highgate Cemetery, famed for the great and the good interred there.

Waterlow Park lays to the north of Highgate Cemetery and has a splendid cafe, where we stopped for lunch. There were too many of us to fit in the cafe but it was warm enough to sit out and enjoy the fresh air. Fully rested and fed we made our way to Highgate High Street with its quaint old pubs, cafes and book shops. As advertised, we stopped briefly to pay homage to the late George Michael. Now on to Hampstead Heath and Kenwood House with fine views over the heath and great toilets. Our last awesome viewpoint was Parliament Hill - slightly higher than Primrose Hill, so the view seems to encompass a a greater expanse of the city. The Flask pub in Hampstead was at the end of the walk, where a number of us had a well earned drink.

This was a really special day, thanks to the friendly people of HAWOG. Regards to all who joined me: Sarah, Paul, Beverley, Ollie, Mick, Pat, Chris, Marie, Saurabh, Malcolm, Laura, Amelda, Gill, Cathy, Perrin, Louise, Kevin, Sally, Maureen, Jeremy, Olivia, Christina and Mark.

Report by Mike
Seven Wednesday wanderers met outside The Case is Altered, a 17th century pub in old Eastcote on a lovely sunny morning. Opposite, we walked onto the cricket club (I divulged that I had played there once, literally once) and we skirted around the edge to admire the carpet of crocuses under the trees and along the bank. Crossing the road was a bit tricky as a bus and car had decided to get a bit too close but onwards we went. Chatting away we entered the woods on the bridleway which after a while became a bit boggy so we went a bit further into the woods until we came to the 'woodland roundabout'. With Con still searching for 'Mad Bess', we took the path up towards Northwood and St Vincent's Hospital where conversations went from nuns running the hospital in days gone by to a couple of us being taught by nuns and then onto terrible things that had happened at school. I only heard half of Chris's conversation but it had something to do with a plate? At the top admiring the views in the distance of the hospital at Mount Vernon we did a detour around Haste Hill golf course, and with the help of Katherine we managed to avoid flying golf balls and made our way to Ruislip Lido where we collectively decided to have lunch 'on the beach' and a well deserved sitdown and nosh was had. After pretending to be on holiday we made our way through another section of woods and crossed the roads to get onto the Celandine route for our return journey. Pankaj peeled off to collect his car and Chris and Delroy for a cheeky pint leaving the remainder to pay a quick visit to Eastcote House and Gardens to show Con where it was, and then goodbyes at the Case is Altered.

Thank you to my fellow wanderers Con, Chris, Delroy, Katherine, Nitti and Pankaj for a most enjoyable 6.8 miles.

Report by Zoe
13 walkers met me at Baker Street station on a fairly dull and cold morning and we headed off to Regents Park. We managed to get a good look around the various parts of the park, including the rose garden (not at its best at this time of year but still worth a walk around for the small lake and waterfall), before moving onto the beautifully planted urns in the avenue gardens. Unfortunately the secret garden was closed due to water logging so we walked up the broadwalk to Camden. Camden was not as busy as pre pandemic but seems to be getting a bit more back to normal with the vast amount of stalls, eating and drinking places. The sun came out for a while and then we spilt up for lunch (impossible for 14 of us to stick together in the narrow alleys) and met back at the Amy Winehouse statue.

The last leg of the walk was along the Grand Union Canal to Kings Cross. The weather seemed to turn cooler and the breeze was very biting so we stepped up the pace to get a bit warmer. The route took us past the converted gasometers which are fabulous flats before getting into Coal Drops Yard and Granary Square. Several people headed home at this point whilst some preferred to mingle.

Many thanks to all my fellow walkers (I am sorry I didn't do a roll call so not going to list names) but you know who you are.

Report by Pauline
A group of 27 gradually assembled at Isleworth station in a cold wind, appearing in twos and threes from warmer refuges, often one of the numerous welcoming coffee shops that grace the locality. The walk took us through Silverhall Park where a photo opportunity was taken by the original ice house before joining the north bank Thames Path by the Isleworth Ait. At a leisurely pace we made our way past Richmond Lock, the old sites of Richmond Ice Rink and the Belgian Village, past Marble Hill House and up to Twickenham Riverside. We walked through the quite quaint Church Street passing a huge Ukrainian support operation to then be warmly welcomed as a group at the quirky Eel Pie Museum with tea and coffee. There was a museum tour put on especially and some enjoyed it so much they decided to sign up for an Eel Pie 'passport' with a view to return to spend more time with the many exhibits that have been assembled to illustrate the island's varied history.

Most in the group then enjoyed a good lunch, in a number of sittings, at the Eel Pie pub as well as looking around the near vicinity before reassembling for the walk back down the river to Isleworth. Those who decided that the day had been too short proceeded to investigate the London Apprentice where good conversation extended well into the evening. Thanks to all of you who provided excellent company throughout.

Report by Tim
Our first Surrey Hills walk this year was on a cold and sunny morning at Witley. Eleven walkers, quite a few from Friday's social, Kevin and Louise got top marks with three events attended this weekend. We set off from the platform before joining the Greensand Way. We walked alongside a donkey sanctuary and through the shooting grounds of the Combe Court estate. The footpaths and bridleways were all slightly boggy after the previous week's storms. We noted the many large cottages adorned with the red tile cladding so typical of the Surrey Hills. Rounding a corner we reached the timeless village of Chiddingfold. The village has a perfect setting around the common and pond (full of coy carp), with the medieval church facing the 14th century Crown Inn. After exploring the church with its impressive stained glass windows, we took in the colourful displays of crocuses in the churchyard. At the Crown we enjoyed a sumptuous Sunday roast with some revealing anecdotes from Jan and Humay.

The walk then took in some more boggy tracks, passing flocks of sheep with some very young lambs watching us warily. We stopped for views of the afternoon sun reflecting on the Hammer Ponds at Imhams. Our route was then through National Trust estates before arrival at Haslemere. After some refusals we found a tea shop still open for some jolly fine tea and cakes before catching the trains back home.

Walkers were Brian, Kerry, Jan, Humay, Rob P, Olivia, Diane, Kevin, Louise, Kalpna and Marianne.

Report by Brian
25 started at the Black Horse pub on a beautiful day. The was shining and the chill factor was very low. After a brief instruction of how to keep up with group and explaining back markers, we headed off towards Maybank Avenue. We passed the famous LNER football and social club where the lead walker Daniel will hopefully make his debut into Premier League football. We then headed down over the rise and into the beautiful forest and hill called Horsenden Hill where we were joined by Tim and Derek. We then ascended to the top of the hill and could see panoramic views of the London area and we tried to figure out the landmarks which we could see in the distance. We tried to find the geocache which had been found on the previous visit but it was not to be found. As we descended the hill to the gruffalo trail we found them all; the mouse, the snake, the owl, the fox and the gruffalo. It was a lovely sight to see adults reliving their childhood. We headed into the Horsenden cafe and had a quick stop with some lovely coffee and locally produced cakes. Then refreshed we headed back towards Harrow again and made our ascent up through Piggy Lane and Harrow on the Hill (yes plenty of hills on this walk). We saw the famous Harrow on the Hill schools and local eateries. We visited St. Mary's Church where Judith, one of our long-standing members, gave us a magnificent chat about the historic foundations of St. Mary's and John Lyon and we saw the signage of Lord Byron. Then off the hill through Football Lane across the fields and tennis courts of the private Harrow boys school through the orchard and out onto Sudbury Hill where we all ended up back at the Black Horse pub where we had started, for a refreshing drink. Thank you to the 27 who came and made the day enjoyable. We ended up doing 7 miles over 4 hours.

Walkers were Rachel, Nick, Mike S, Daniel, Martina, Zoe, Angie, Mark P, Louise M, JJ, Sanjeev, Tony, Tom, Anthony, Marian, Moni, Harleena, Lisa, Judith, Ashvin, Kieran, Pankaj, Kathy, Tim P, Prem and Derek.

Report by Martina
Six of us embarked on our six mile walk in slightly windy conditions but thankfully nothing to rival Eunice or Franklin. Chatting our way down the canal tow path we picked out our favourite properties (money no object, of course). The boat graveyard seemed to have grown, all sorts of shapes and sizes from Dutch barges to dredgers and even an orange craft called Mungo. Or is mungo a thing? Onwards towards our lunch stop at the lovely tea shack at Woodoaks Farm where panini, cake and hot chocolates were enjoyed, and eggs purchased (by me).

After carefully scaling the slightly wobbly farm gate, we made our around the fields, and discussions and apps were used to work out what crops were growing. Consensus was most likely rapeseed but possibly cabbages. Then small uphill section of woods towards West Hyde and its quaint little church where we had a rest on the benches in the graveyard in amongst the snowdrops and primulas, not wanting to stay too long! Onwards to the last stretch along the path with gravel pit lakes on either side and here Eunice and Franklin had definitely been at work. We managed to navigate our way around stumps and branches and arrived safely and on time back at our starting point of the Coy Carp inn.

Thank you for the good company, lively conversations and laughs to Nitti, Simon, Yolly, Pankaj and Mick, and I look forward to another Wednesday Wander.

Report by Zoe
After the storms just 3 on the latest cycle ride. After cheese toasties at the Rusty Bike Cafe we set off on the canal route. After the pill boxes and aqueducts, we encountered several trees down on the towpath but easy to carry the bikes over them. We then joined route 61 via tracks through Langley before Jubilee Park. We crossed the Jubilee River on the impressive timber footbridge to reach Eton. The day was dry so far, however forecasts of rain in the afternoon led us to change course to follow the river path to Dorney. Our lunch stop was the famous Pineapple with its stupendous choice of doorstop-sized sandwiches. The rain arrived as we were by the fireside, and we kept our jammy status with the skies clearing as we left the pub. Our last leg was a fast pursuit to Burnham where we boarded the new TfL train back to London.

Cyclists were Brian, Kerry and Coogee.

Report by Brian
9 brave walkers met outside Gerrards Cross station on a chilly overcast morning. After checking various weather apps we headed off at brisk pace knowing that the return leg of the walk might well be wet as rain was predicted to arrive by midday. We quickly made our way out of town and into the open countryside and onwards to our first port of call, the small hamlet of Hedgerley, where we met a small group of walkers looking for directions which we were able to help out with. We continued on our way towards Egypt Woods but came across a locked gate blocking the bridleway. Having negotiated this obstacle we finally arrived at the woods where we paused for a short while for a mid-morning coffee break. Continuing onwards we arrived at Littleworth Common where we then picked up Shakespeare's Way which was to take us to our lunch stop where we made full use of the café facilities to shelter from the rain at Burnham Beeches.

During our lunch break we changed into our wet weather gear as it had now started to rain quite heavily. We continued to follow Shakespeare's Way but somehow managed to lose the footpath as it made its way through a housing estate. We could see where we wanted to be but there was a house and a fence in our way, so we had to retrace our steps a short way to the point where we were able to find the path again. This path was to take us over both Farnham Common and Stoke Common before arriving at Fulmer, and from there we headed back to our start point, after completing the planned 15 mile walk.

Many thanks to Vito, Dee, Phil, Sally, Paul, JJ, Olivia and Sarabh for joining me on todays walk.

Report by Malcolm

Arriving at Denham station, I saw about 4 people and thought that's it. Got chatting and took their names but someone called out there were a few more walking up, well, I needed a bigger piece of paper to jot down the names of 30 very eager walkers. A massive thankyou to all for coming. Between greetings and chatting I managed to say a few words on safety etc. As my partner in crime, Ian, could not make it I had to reel in volunteer Mark as back marker (well, he had no choice). Our adventure began, and we stopped to look at Denham Aerodrome, plenty of activities going on there, then headed towards the beautiful, magical Northmoor Hill Wood Nature Reserve, an ancient woodland dating back to 1600. A varied historical wood full of geological interest and amazing wildlife (just missed seeing the elephants / tigers though). We made our way through the woods with amazing ancient trees, plenty of up and downs, slippery slopes, just brilliant to see how the walkers tackled the obstacles (got photo evidence). Stopped for a couple of minutes for a water break and head count. Phew, all present and correct. The route took a lively bunch of people along the Misbourne valley paths towards Great Haling Wood (yes, taking a large group of people in to the woods again) via the scenic larger than life Denham private residential roads. Great eye opener, magnificent houses with immaculate acres of gardens.

Lovely lunch stop in the woods where people scattered around. Banter and laughter echoed through the trees with glistening sun rays upon us. We continued our walk over logs, and limbo danced underneath a fallen tree. We carried on towards Redhill (yet another head count, all present), along winding narrow muddy paths to a grassy area where the River Misbourne had overflowed. I then performed magic and the group were able to 'walk over water' across an 'olde worlde' wooden bridge. Plenty to see as the banter continued. Finally the walk went through the beautiful historic village of Denham. We all made it back safe and sound and the day was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Finishing at one of the four pubs in the village, where drinks and food was enjoyed by many. Thank you for the excellent feedback and I've had overwhelming requests to put this walk up again.

A personal thankyou goes to Marianne, Joan, Michael, Mark, Christina, Hema, Kevin, Ashvin, Esther, Pat, Pankaj, Louise, Kevin, Simon, Yolly, Katherine, Marianne, Elaine, Kumar, Prem, Derek, Iram, Mick, Sherry, Harsesh, Julie, Gary, Mike, Jo and Runi. Apologies if I have misspelt any names and I look forward to our next adventure.

Report by Runi
On a bright Saturday morning, eight gallant walkers turned up at Northwood station for a 4 mile circuit of Ruislip Lido. Once assembled, we battled through the throng of Saturday shoppers on Northwood High Street before heading down through the aptly named Gravel Pits - where gravel was extracted for road surfaces up to the late 1890's. We then veered up Links Way, the Beverley Hills of Northwood, before heading into the adjacent ironically named Poor's Field, one of London's largest heathland remnants, which in the space of two weeks had transformed into the Somme. After twenty minutes of slithering and squelching, we arrived at the Water's Edge pub for a quick loo stop where we met up with Laura, and Bonnie the dog. Back safely on terra firma, we did a leisurely circuit of the Lido which was recently transformed into a French beach resort courtesy of Netflix - watch out for the release of "Half Bad" which hopefully will be better than the name suggests. Following our circuit of the Lido, we crossed back to the lower section of Poor's Field before passing through Haste Hill golf club and back to Northwood town centre via Maxwell Avenue.

This was my first experience of walk leading and I want to extend a massive thankyou to Laura and Bonnie, Louise, Kevin, Roy, Katherine, Prem, Derek, JJ and Sonic (apologies if I have misspelt / pronounced any names) for providing excellent company and making it such an enjoyable first walk leading experience. Hope to see you all again soon!

Report by Linzi

Our Winter Peaks weekend was cold, wet and windy with a sprinkling of sun. In spite of this YHA Hartington Hall was full and busy as was the town - or was that because fewer ventured out because of the weather?

Saturday morning was cold and mostly dry with intermittent sun. We skirted up Pilsbury Castle Hills, through its muddy paths, stopping at the ruins of the castle before heading down to Longnor for early lunch. Cafe, bus shelter and the church were used for lunch before the weather turned (as forecast) around midday. We departed south following the Manifold Trail along the river to Brund, Sheen and back to Hartington a little early as we were all wet, ~11 miles distance. Most convened at 17:45 for dinner in the Devonshire Arms.

Sunday morning was better weather, a few short rain showers but still cold. Even with the rare appearance of me using a 1:25k map we all managed to miss the look-out-for-the-footpath-on-the-left as we left the town! The sign was very recessed next to the toilets, which we all saw. All good after that, aim to take in three dales starting with south path along the River Dove, until in Beresford Dale we reached a flooded patch. Two options, take your chances over barbed wire fence (not for all) or head back. We took the latter, reaching path back and taking that to Biggin Dale for lunch. We finished with the northern end of Biggin Dale before returning home with multiple rainbows on show and a short sharp splattering of heavy hail (needed to stop and wait for a few minutes), ~7 miles distance. Fun not quite over for Carol, Lochlan and me, we had a blown tyre on the way home, A53 south of Newcastle-Under-Lyme. Very quick arrival by the pick up truck meant we were home by five.

Many thanks to Anne-Marie, Aruna, Nicky, Nishit, Marian, Phil and Sonia for joining us for some definitely winter walking in the Peak District National Park.

Report by Steve
We set off from Chenies just after 9:30 enjoying the winter sunshine as we passed the Manor House making our way along the route of the River Chess. We stopped in front of Latimer House to enjoy one of the finest views of the day. This part of the route was mainly flat and we soon reached Cowcroft Wood outside Ley Hill. We had a brief stop outside the Swan pub which remains closed and a community group has formed to buy the pub and save it.

We then headed to Flaunden and had our lunch in the local churchyard. The 17th century Green Dragon pub has reopened after refurbishment and some of us enjoyed a coffee by the fire while others sat in the huge beer garden. We had already done over 7 miles at this point so I realised that the route would be longer than the stated mileage. We were making very good time as we headed to Chipperfield, picking up the Hertfordshire Way. We reached Sarratt and had a brief rest stop before once again heading down to the River Chess and returning to Chenies just after 3:30pm having completed 13.7 miles.

Thanks to Aruna, Kalpna, Kevin, Louise, Malcolm and Paul for joining me.

Report by Mary
Eleven keen walkers met at 10:30am on Chipperfield Common for this 10 mile walk around rural West Hertfordshire. Surprisingly for the time of year, the weather forecast was almost spring like, with sunshine predicted for most of the day but with possible wind and cloud showing later. Following a slightly delayed departure, we started the circular walk at 11:45am in a clockwise direction. After negotiating the confusing network of paths in the Common's Wood we joined the Hertfordshire Way at Top Common to walk the steady incline towards Berrybush and Langley Lodge Farms, in warm sunshine. Through the farms to the pastures beyond, we were pleased to see our way was clear of cattle, unlike last time in May last year, when our exit was blocked by some cows protecting their calves. Onward to Berrybushes Wood we continued along its edge before making a steep descent to a farm track in the valley below and climbing the sharp incline to Little Westwood Farm and Bucks Hill House on the other side. After crossing a lane we made another tricky descent, through a small wood to Bottom Lane before negotiating an arduous climb towards Newhall Farm. With the hum of traffic on the nearby M25 masked by the increasing sound of the wind, we then headed along a straight wide farm track for about half a mile to Micklefield Green. Crossing the busy Sarratt to Croxley Green road, we sensibly took the footpath that runs along the inside of the hedge, next to the road, before crossing a couple of fields, where a large badger sett was seen, to arrive at the Cock Inn and adjoining Holy Cross Church in Church End, Sarratt for our 45 minute lunch break. As forecast the weather had now turned rather cloudy and chilly but whilst half of the group enjoyed lunchtime in the pub, the others spent time in the churchyard equally enjoying their packed lunches amongst the snowdrops.

On leaving the pub in sunnier weather, we joined the familiar Chiltern Way, high above the Chess Valley, to continue our walk through the well-managed Sandfield Wood, Dawes Common and open farmland towards the horses fields at Rose Hall, where we encountered members of an end of season shooting party leaving the event in their 4x4 cars. Following the Chiltern Way for a short distance further through Bragman's Farm, we joined a lane before negotiating a rather unusual and difficult stile in a steep banked hedgerow to enter fields that led toward Newhouse Farm, the outskirts of Flaunden and Black Robins Farm. From open farmland the countryside now changed to woodland for the final stretch of the walk through Lower Plantation and Woodman's Wood before arriving at Belsize for the short climb back to Chipperfield. With the rowdy sound of a football match taking place at the ground of Chipperfield Corinthians FC (for those who are interested, they beat Cockfosters Reserves 3-1), we ended the walk at Blackwell's Café on the common, where we had a most enjoyable farewell drink before driving back home.

A great walk was enjoyed by everyone, namely Michael, Kevin, Louise, Joan, Nick G, Jo, Sean, Saurabh, Shilpa, Nicky D and Sonia and I hope to put this walk back on agenda sometime during May, when we can once again enjoy the beautiful countryside of West Hertfordshire and see the magnificent bluebells in Berrybushes Wood.

Report by Michael

Fourteen walkers met on a dry Thursday morning - delighted with the turnout! All keen to avoid the January mud - decided to explore parks in Harrow and Hillingdon, but wanting a walk. Introductions made outside North Harrow station - a few new welcomes and a few 'Happy New Year' exchanges were made. On route to park number 1, we admired the front garden ... of gnomes, yes gnomes! After Yeading Park, to Streamside Park we took a delightful, deliberate detour to "The Book Hub", a telephone box converted into a library outside a house. The owner came out, and we caught up on the history behind this, including the 5000 books in her house. My family call it "The Library", all free. It's a community unique / quirky original! We then returned to walk through Roxbourne Park, ending up by "The Clay Pigeon" to some of us (now a banqueting venue). Discussions and memories were shared there, showing our age, or misspent youth. Tiny patch of mud, all successfully navigated and coped! Via bowling grounds behind Cavendish tennis area, before some pavement walking to Warrendel Park behind Highgrove Swimming Pool- where "in the Second World War it was known as HMS Pembroke, serving as an important outstation to the now renowned Bletchley Park, where machines were used to identify and break German codes".

Halfway, and a well deserved lunch / picnic break at Eastcote House Gardens, with the walled gardens reopening last week. Sausage and bacon buns enjoyed by some, no ice cream, to Maria's and my disappointment, but Judith got top trumps with her "door stop" of cake. I wish I'd taken a photo! Continued, came to 2 stiles, not built for little legs, then through alleys back to Pinner Memorial Park. The sun came out to join us. No stopping at Daisys for us. Keep on moving, through Pinner main street. Some left us at 6 miles, the rest towards Wakeman Hills. I got Ronnie Barker's house wrong, Dean T had info. Mick decided on a water break, and photo, but by then all comfortable in each others' company, so humour came out! From Barker to TV. One fact I learned today was that years ago when there were 3 TV channels I remember TV "off", a beeping, Dean said the BBC played the national anthem, wowzer! And another - saying how he stacked 3 TV's, one per channel! Memories, but reality. Then we got onto local celebrities, the witch with green hair, Pinner lady. Then Mick regretted his decision, so we continued, laughing, and what fun. I managed to reign them back. Returning via Wakeman Hill, discussion on properties. Final route, past Nower Hill, and Dean's memories of his routes, and "fancy cars", and mine of an old snooker hall. Lovely day off, walking with like-minded people.

Thank you to Yolly, Simon, Pankaj, Chris, Maria, Dean, Mick, Reena, Judith, Nandu, Hira, Heddy, Nitty. 8.15 miles on my phone. But laughter and fresh air. Great way to spend a day off.

Report by Dee

A record ten cyclists met at the Rusty Bike Café on a cold bright morning. After coffees and warming cheese toasties we set off on the Grand Union Canal. Anne Marie, on her first ride with the group, joined us there. Detour through Denham Country Park before cycling through the historic Denham village. Derek managed to get his electric bike working so caught us up at Denham Golf Club station where we ventured onto the platform to see the unique surviving GWR pagoda shelters. A steady climb through wooded lanes to Chalfont St Peter village. Another detour to pop into Jordans YHA and then Jordans village, which was very quiet.

Our lunch stop was Merlin's Cave at the ever-charming Chalfont St Giles. Prem went grand with mussels, Mark P, Dean and Coogee entertaining the pub with lots of ripping yarns. Our route back took in Chiltern Outdoor Museum (Malcolm explaining that a forthcoming Tom Hanks film was recently shot there) and a fast descent to West Hyde. Rejoining the canal, we headed back south passing the emerging infrastructure of the HS2 Colne Viaduct.

Cyclists were Brian, Dean, Coogee, Tim P, Kerry, Malcolm, Mark P, Anne Marie, Derek and Prem.

Report by Brian

We think we have achieved a "first" in the group's record books as we had a total of twenty three who joined us on our walk. We all met at the Aquadrome Cafe in Rickmansworth in perfect weather for walking. Setting off we walked alongside the Grand Union Canal with all kinds of houseboats lined along the route. Our joint leader, Runi, stopped us to take a picture of our group, which was not easy given the large number of us. We encouraged her to move back to get us all in, knowing that the canal was just a few steps behind her! Realising that if she fell in the canal we would not have a leader to show us the way, we changed our minds and stopped her, just in time. Moving onwards we followed the canal to Cassiobury Park where we made our way to Daisy's Cafe for drinks and refreshment.

From there we walked along the path through West Hertfordshire Golf Course. As the path took us through the centre of the course nearby golfers were bemused to find a herd of 23 walkers walking in line disrupting their game. Safely leaving the golfers to finish their game we entered Whippendell Wood where our path led us to a few steep descents followed by a few steep climbs. Fortunately it was not that muddy otherwise we would have all been struggling to avoid falling down the descents and then climbing up the slippery slopes. Moving on we walked through Dell Wood until we reached the Coach and Horses pub in Croxley Green where we had a well deserved drink. From there we headed back to the canal, passing a World War 1 memorial, All Saints' Church and finally to the Aquadrome. Whilst returning to our start point we saw a water skier in the lake who was braving the cold water.

For those technically minded we walked 10.82 miles equating to 26,449 steps and used 2,154 calories. Well done to everyone who walked the distance and having such a large number meant that there were lots of people to talk to on the route. We both enjoyed it and hope you all did too. Our 23 walkers were: Joan, Kevin 1, Louise, Mark, Michael, Angela 1, Laura, Saurabh, Anjusha, Meghana, Humay, Kevin 2, Angela 2, Esther, Kalpuna, Giulia, Marianne 1, Sally, Judith, Shilpa and Marianne 2.

Report by Runi and Ian

First eight of us met at WH Smith as planned and then we met a further four on the high road (as I gave them the wrong info). We proceeded to make our way towards the Thames Path by way of Clapham Market joining the path at Battersea village, where we passed the local church featured in the film 'Alfie'. We continued on into Battersea Park passing the amazing pagoda and stopping at the Pierpoint Cafe for a quick coffee. We then walked on towards Battersea Power Station, where we stopped for our second break for coffee and cake and a sit down.

At this point we had to come off the path as construction is still in progress, and joined the path again next to the new American Embassy which we all agreed is not as majestic as the old one. At this point you pass a flat where, whenever I have done this walk before, a lady is always on her balcony singing and dancing with a cup of tea in her hand (don't think it is tea!) and without fail she was there. Again at this point you have to leave the path because of the MI5 building and rejoin just before the 'Covid Memorial Wall', which is both beautiful and very sad, and onto the Southbank, where three people left the walk as they had other prior engagements in London. We continued on the path, passing Shakespeare's Globe and many other London iconic buildings towards London Bridge where four walkers stopped and five of us continued on to complete the 8.1 mile walk at Tower Hill. Christina recommended the pub 'Hung Drawn and Quartered' for our last stop together for a drink, which was a lovely pub. Mark and I then walked back to The Horniman pub to rejoin the other four we left earlier, for a meal and of course more drinks.

Thank you so much to Louise, Kevin, Shirley, Mark, Christina, Carole, Alpa, Christine, Linda, Janet and Zoe for joining me and making it a fab day.

Report by Chrissy
On a chilly morning 10 of us met at Baker Street station and began our walk to the Wallace Collection via the Royal Academy of Music and the affluent Marylebone High Street. We had a look around the Wallace Collection and several members said they would come back again for a more comprehensive look. We carried onto Marble Arch and whilst "the mound" was closed it is still there and created some discussion!

We continued our walk along the edge of Hyde Park and onto the Italian gardens in Kensington Gardens where we stopped for lunch and a natter. The sun started to come out as we made our way to Kensington Palace and its gardens to take a look at the Princess Diana statue recently unveiled. We walked onto the Albert Memorial and Royal Albert Hall before heading back into Hyde Park and onto Hyde Park Corner. We crossed the madness that is the Hyde Park roundabout and went into Green Park. We noted the memorials and people were particularly impressed with the RAF memorial for the second world war. A comfort break was required so we made our way for a well deserved drink in Shepherds Market.

Thank you to all my fellow walkers for making this such a lovely walk.

Report by Pauline
Twenty five set out on a delightfully sunny day for a hike to Wendover Woods. Admiring a Bentley 4.5ltr Boat Tail we were soon heading along the canal with little egrets, mandarin ducks and heron to gaze at. After the only climb of the day we lunched at the café in the woods taking photos of the Gruffalo. On the return leg St Mary's church drew in a few, possibly praying for the sins of the others, and the walk ended with hot drinks at Rumsey's Chocolaterie. Someone suggested leading this must have been like herding cats and yes in some ways it was ;-) however a good walk is not just about the route but also the people that go on it and in this case it was a superb walk!

Thanks to all who came including Dean, Paul, Mick, Dee, Narshi, Indira, Sarah, Gita, Humay, Brian G, Malcolm, Georgiana, Tom, Sandra, Rob, Diane, Louise, Martina, Johanna, Lesley, Mike D and Kerry.

Report by Brian F

On mild Sunday morning I was joined by 10 walkers at Hatch End Overground station for a prompt 11:00am start. I went through the history and heritage of Hatch End with some Covid guidance. Our first stop was a stroll down to the 14th century historic St Anslem Church, with the doors ajar for morning service. Some of us managed a brief glance at the ornate stained glass windows that have been so greatly restored. With the strong smell of incense a swift exit was made by all. We then headed through Hatch End high street onto the rugby fields. We then carried on to the High Street to see the telephone exchange and diverse restaurants. A turn off was made to the lower grounds of Pinner Farm which with the recent heavy rains was rather treacherous. At the end of the first half we had to divert around the tennis courts to lead us on to Moss Lane to see homes of Heath Robinson, Faye from Steps and where Elton John spent a lot of his younger years at his grandparents' home around Moss Lane.

Thank you to my lovely fellow walkers who joined me on this picturesque and delightful walk.... a great way to start the New Year.

Report by Alpa