St Luke's Hospice

St Luke's Hospice

St Luke's Walking Club - Training walks in Spring 2019

The St Luke’s Walking Club members are supporters of St Luke’s Hospice who walk for fun, fitness and to fundraise for the Hospice.

We’ve now completed the series of training walks leading up to the Annual Walk along the Dales Way. We hope that everyone who took part enjoyed them and their fitness benefited. To walk something like the Dales Way and enjoy it, does need a reasonable level of fitness. Very many thanks to our walk leaders, who have done a marvellous job, and also to Hugo for organising such a splendid programme.

We’ll leave all the walk reports and photos on the website for a while. Hopefully, we will be able to run another series of walks later in the year, and Hugo will be in touch with all the walk leaders in due course. Watch this website for information.

Many thanks from Patrick to the walk leaders, for sending such interesting reports and photos. Please contact him if you have any ideas for improving the website. Email to patrick@stlukestrainingwalks.org.uk.”

Click here for the last walk

Nearly 40 people and one dog took part in the 2019 New Year's Day walk around the Rickmansworth Lakes. The weather was dry and good for walking. The route was shortened on account of repair work around Springfield Lake, which may have confused some. A new kissing gate confused Patrick who couldn't get his Tramper mobility sooter through it!


Saturday 26 January
General Area:
City to Southwark Miles: 4.5 easy, mainly on pavements
Leader: Deborah Tyler
Nature of walk: Gardens of the City and Southwark, from Smithfield Rotunda Gardens - for 400 years a place of public execution - to the ruined Wren church of Christchurch Greyfriars, through St Paul’s churchyard and Festival Gardens and over the Millenium Bridge to loop round small parks, gardens and churchyards of Southwark including Little Dorrit Park, Guys Hospital and Southwark Cathedral. Could end at London Bridge station or cross back over the river.
Opportunity to buy takeaway food at Borough Market or bring food to eat in one of the parks. Also several pubs en route.

Deborah's report: Ten met at Farringdon (Hugo came to meet and greet and was then replaced by Colin who had come from Salisbury by train and met us beside Queen Anne).
We walked 5 miles through small gardens in ruins of bombed churches (Greyfriars near St Paul's All Hallows in Southwark), 2 hospitals, 2 cathedrals, municipal parks surrounded by 1950s housing and private gardens in Georgian squares; we saw the walls of the Marshalsea debtors prison, memorials to William Wallace and Wat Tyler, killed in Smithfield and to David Olawale Idowu stabbed outside his home in Tabard Garden. We ended at Crossbones burial ground having changed the route to catch the opening time but it was closed (though visible through the railings). Three had lunch at The George in Borough High Street, others dispersed towards the river for sandwiches and the tube at London Bridge.


Monday 28 January
General Area:
City of London (west) Miles: 2 easy
Leader: Hugo Hodge
Nature of walk: We will spend over two hours exploring the nooks and crannies of the west of the City. A swift half in the Olde Mitre will be the only compulsory stop.

Hugo's report: Eight of us gathered in a café opposite St Paul’s Station to warm up before venturing out into the wintry weather. Two more never made it. We warmed up in patches of sunlight, in St Sepulchre Church opposite the Old Bailey and in the Ye Olde Mitre public house off Ely Place. We explored numerous nooks and crannies of the City and took three hours to walk less than three miles.


Sunday 3 February
General Area:
Denham Miles: 4 easy
Leader: Hugo Hodge.
Nature of walk: This is a circular walk from Denham Station in the Colne Valley taking in the Country Park, the Grand Union towpath and part of the South Bucks Way. There are pubs in Denham for a drink at the end, but, as it is a short walk, no lunch stop should be needed.

Hugo's report: This walk was chosen because it is short and largely mud free. Unfortunately my risk assessment did not include frozen snow and ice of which there was plenty. With temperatures barely above freezing I thought I might be walking on my own but the St. Luke’s walkers are a tough lot (especially the one who went flying on the ice and made no fuss) and nine of us enjoyed a beautiful walk in the weak winter sunshine. Eight of us then rewarded ourselves with Sunday lunch in the Swan Inn.


Tuesday 5 February
General Area:
Chalfont & Latimer to Watford linear. Miles: 8.5 moderate
Leader: Sue Aldridge
Nature of walk: A walk through part of the Chess Valley ascending to Church End, Sarratt for lunch stop (picnic at church and time for drinks at “The Cock Inn”). Continue across fields via Micklefield Hall, Redheath, crossing golf course to Cassiobury Park and Watford Met Station. Good views.

Sue's report: Just two on the walk, Lucy and myself, on a cloudy, but dry day without any rain. We enjoyed a very pleasant walk together with plenty of chat as we walked along a lovely section of the Chess Valley, via pretty Latimer, later rising up to Church End, Sarratt. We arrived at the ‘Cock Inn’ at midday, just as they were opening up and having decided to save our packed lunches for tea at home later, we treated ourselves to a hot meal. The young, friendly barman thought we had walked quite a long way from Chalfont…only 4 miles!! Service was quick as we were the first customers and the food very tasty. We then continued across the fields and golf course leading to Cassiobury Park, finishing quite early at Watford Station. We saw plenty of snowdrops along parts of the walk and could by-pass the few muddy sections. We enjoyed a good day's walk, not seeing anyone else out walking until the end in Cassiobury Park.


Saturday 9 February
General Area:
Wendover Circular Miles: 7 mostly moderate
Leader: Peter Polkinghorne.
Nature of walk: An undulating walk through a beautiful part of the Chilterns, starting with the spectacular view from Coombe Hill, and then on past Chequers and Beacon Hill. Possible pub stop at the Russell Arms, Ellesborough, but still bring your own refreshments. Also just before Chequers, Buckmore End farm shop does hot drinks and bacon butties.

Peter's report: Nine of us plus Jess the dog set off from Wendover station on a windy but dry day to tackle Coombe Hill before descending to Buckmore End Farm shop, where some of us had bacon butties and coffee. We then walked past Chequers to Beacon Hill and on to Ellesborough. There the party split into two, with some going straight on to the station, while others visited the Russell Arms, Butlers Cross. Despite all the rain on previous days, not too much mud.

Wednesday 13 February
General Area:
Epping Miles: 7.5 easy
Leader: Michael Romain
Nature of walk: It is mainly through beautiful Epping Forest. The footpaths are good and it is certainly less muddy than the Pinner area!

Michael's report: What a lovely walk on a beautiful day. So many people missed this forest walk. Getting there was not too difficult. In winter the lack of foliage shows the ancient trees at their best. Decent cafe in Epping at end but do they the know the differences in certain exotic teas?

Sunday 17 February
General Area:
Chess Valley - Chesham to Rickmansworth. Miles: 10 moderate
Leader: Tony Prothero
Nature of walk: The walk follows the route of the River Chess between Chesham and Rickmansworth. Bring your own provisions as there are no pubs without making a detour.

Tony's report: Fourteen of us plus a dog had a wonderful stroll over the Chiltern's from Chesham to Rickmansworth with clear blue skies the whole time.


Thursday 21 February
General Area:
Pinner to Northwood Miles: 6 easy
Leader: Michael Romain
Nature of walk: A gentle walk from Pinner to Northwood via Haste Hill and Northwood golf courses.

Michael's report: We walked from Pinner station. Some had not done this walk before. Everyone seemed happy and there were no complaints. We walked through two golf courses, Haste Hill and Northwood and whenever I do this walk It always strikes me that I prefer a long walk to a round of golf!


Saturday 23 February
General Area:
Cadmore End Miles: 11 moderate/challenging
Leader: Janet Clow and Martin Atkins
Nature of walk: A popular walk in the heart of the Chiltern countryside. The route passes through fields and woodland and the tranquil villages of Fingest, Turville and Skirmett. There are several climbs and many beautiful views. Shorter walk options are available if you park at Fingest, but please liaise with Janet beforehand. Bring your own lunch, but there will be a pub stop in Turville.

Leaders' report: Thirteen lucky walkers found each other in the mist at Cadmore End. The murky conditions persisted until lunch time, when the sun finally burst through to give us a clear blue sky and a perfect afternoon. A perennially popular walk was improved by a change of lunch spot, from Skirmett to the more "villagey" village of Turville, where we made use of the pub for drinks and the churchyard and green for eating our sandwiches. We all came away unscathed from a close encounter with two horses on an uncomfortably narrow bridleway. Everyone coped well with the eleven miles, not forgetting the half, as measured by both Peter's gizmo and Sue's legs, and the 1500 feet of ascent.


Friday 1 March
General Area:
Walthamstow and Woodberry Wetlands. Miles: 6-7 easy
Leader: Sue Allett
Nature of walk: A linear walk along roads and paths between various reservoirs starting at Tottenham Hale Station and finishing at Finsbury Park Station (both on the Victoria Line. Cafés in both locations, and Finsbury Park, or bring packed lunch.

Sue's report: There were 18 of us (only 3 who are signed up for the Dales walk) in dry but cloudy weather. All seemed very appreciative of the varied walk through nature reserves, parks,and the orthodox Stamford Hill area. Walk was more like 8 miles.


Sunday 3 March
General Area:
Northwood circular Miles: 11 moderate with 8 mile opt-out at Rickmansworth
Leaders: John and Lynda Crane
Nature of walk: Bring a packed lunch. A short pub stop might be possible at Croxley Green, but as it's Sunday, it's likely to be busy.

Lynda's report: Eight of us set off with the promise of poor weather, although in the end rain was less than expected. The canal side bird hide provided welcome shelter for lunch. Three walkers opted out at Croxley and the rest of us walked along the Chess valley to Rickmansworth, deciding to end the walk there after 9 miles as rain had set in. One brave soul walked home to Ruislip!


Monday 4 March
General Area:
Harrow to Northolt Miles: 6 (approx) easy
Leader: Helen White
Nature of walk: A pleasant walk along footpaths and tow path. Bring a packed lunch.

Helen's report: Eight of us, plus Tess, the dog, started from Harrow-on-the-Hill in bright sunshine. The sun followed us over Horsenden Hill and along the Grand Union Canal as far as the pub where three people left the group as they had business to attend to. Five of us enjoyed a drink and the sight of a cormorant perching on top of a very spindly tree. We then resumed the walk along the canal when the heavens opened and we were subjected to a brief deluge. The sun returned as we admired the 13th century church of St Mary at Northolt near the end of the walk.


Saturday 9 March
General Area:
Berkhamsted Circular Miles: 10 approx. moderate
Leader: Bob and Hilary Matheson.
Nature of walk: Up to Berkhamsted Common and across through woodland and fields towards Great Gaddesden, returning via Potten End for a lunch stop on the Green beside the pub. Please bring sandwiches. Drop down into the valley and return along the canal (or along the High Street with cafés) to the station. Some short, steepish hills on the route.

Bob's report: From Berkhamsted station, 16 of us set off enthusiastically up hill and down dale on a very pleasant circular walk with some excellent views. Early rain very soon cleared leaving a predominantly sunny day, though with some fierce gusts of wind.
We made a brief stop at Great Gaddesden church, where the photo features two of us sitting on (and unfortunately obscuring!) a fine example of a Hertfordshire puddingstone. Teka’s doggy limp prevented her from doing the whole walk but she joined us in Potten End at lunchtime and then on our descent to the canal and back along to the station. Muddy at times but the lovely scenery and good company made up for it!


Walk cancelled due to the high windsTuesday 12 March
General Area:
St Albans Abbey circular walk Miles: 7 easy
Leaders: John and Lynda Crane
Nature of walk: Very pleasant easy walk through Roman ruins, Gorhambury estate and woodland, returning via the Cathedral. Bring packed lunch. Possible pub stop later and cafe near the end.

Sunday 17 March
General Area:
Uxbridge circular Miles: 12.8 easy, with 11 mile opt out
Leaders: John and Lynda Crane
Nature of walk: Varied scenic country walk via Rush Green, Pinewood Studios, Black Park, Langley Park, Little Britain, River Colne, GU canal. Bring a packed lunch. Lunch stop at cafe (w/ toilets) in Black Park, no pub stop.

John’s report: Nine of us walked a briskly paced leg-stretching 13.5 mile walk in rapidly changeable weather from gusty sunny spells through dark overcast skies to plenty of short sharp hailstorms. Overnight heavy rains made for challenging crossing of the rising River Alderbourne’s soggy muddy water meadows and several lanes under 3 inches of floodwater. Highlights included crossing the fields of the forthcoming battle of Pinewood, Langley Park arboretum, Windsor Castle emerging from a dark sky and hailstorm, impassable River Colne ford, and mandarin ducks.


Wednesday 20 March
General Area:
Beaconsfield circular Miles: 8-9 easy
Leader: Sue Allett
Nature of walk: A walk in the fields and woods to the west of Beaconsfield. Bring your own lunch.

Sue's report: A "women only"walk - 5 of us. Four signed up, and my neighbour Solveig, enjoyed this walk in the woods and fields around Beaconsfield. A bit muddy at times with mild cloudy weather. But Spring is definitely in the air! The cars are a Jaguar and a Sunbeam, for those interested!


Saturday 23 March
General Area:
Amersham to Northwood Hills Miles: 14.5 moderate
Leader: Peter Polkinghorne
Nature of walk: This is a walk to Northwood Hills via the Wimbourne and Ruislip Lido. Bring your own lunch. Probable stop at Chalfont St. Peter, where there are two pubs and public toilets.

Peter's report: 14 of us assembled at Amersham station where we encountered a group going on the big People's Vote march. We however walked to the Misbourne valley in better than forecast weather. We lost 2 people at the lunch stop at Chalfont St Peter and another 2 at Ruislip Lido, before the final challenge of Haste Hill. The stats are: 16 miles in just over 7 hours of which 5.5 were spent walking, so an average speed of a very creditable near 3mph. The vertical ascent was just over 850ft. These figures should be taken with a small pinch of salt!

Thursday 28 March
General Area:
Northwood Hills to Rickmansworth. Miles: 10 approx. moderate
Leader: Christine Elliott .
Nature of walk: A mixed walk through Ruislip Woods, the Lido, then on to Harefield. We go down to Black Jack’s Lock and after a little way along the canal, branch off to walk between lakes heading for the Old Uxbridge Road and a detour through fields and more lakes before returning to the canal and on to Rickmansworth. Bring a packed lunch which we shall eat in Harefield churchyard, followed by a drink in the Old Orchard.

Christine's report: Eight of us started off on a fairly grey morning, pleased to find that my 'mud warning' for Ruislip Woods had been unduly pessimistic, as the recent warm weather had dried all but the worst patches since my recce. Then when we reached Harefield churchyard the sun made a tentative appearance as we ate our lunch. One walker left at this point while the rest of us went on for a very pleasant drink on the terrace at The Old Orchard to fortify us for the walk along the canal to Rickmansworth.

Sunday 31 March
General Area:
Hampden Climber Miles: 13 challenging
Leader: Tony Prothero
Nature of walk: A scenic walk over Whiteleaf Hill and along the Ridgeway to Coombe Hill and returning via Little Hampden and Great Hampden with a pub stop at Great Hampden.

Tony's report: I and four others, Richard, John, Sarah & Shirley had an enjoyable amble along one of the most picturesque routes through the Chilterns. The weather was breezy to start and we finished in sunshine with only the atmosphere from the Chiltern witches' coven bringing the temperature down near the end of the walk as we approached Princes Risborough.


Friday 5 April
General Area:
Richmond Miles: 8-9 (approx) easy, with one short paved ascent.
Leader: Kay Waddilove
Nature of walk: This is a circular walk along paths and towpath, with splendid views over the river; passing through Richmond Park, Ham Common and village and along part of the Thames path. There will be opportunities for a coffee (or early lunch) stop, and a late lunch (or tea and cake) stop. Both places have outside seating if you wish to bring your own lunch/refreshments.

Kay's report: It was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen. Er, well actually, they were striking 10.30 as eleven walkers and Tess the dog gathered at Richmond station for our circular walk. The bright day got warmer as we progressed through Richmond Park and down to join the Thames path at Teddington lock – with occasional pauses for history lessons at King Henry’s Mount, Ham House and Marble Hill House. Wonderful views over a beautiful stretch of the Thames were enjoyed by all, and the gardens at Pembroke Lodge, Bertrand Russell’s childhood home (where we stopped for coffee and a philosophy lesson), were in full flowering-spring mode. We narrowly escaped being included in a Silent Witness episode which was being filmed near Petersham Meadows, but walked through their scene at the weir gates (mysterious body being dragged out of the water) to arrive unscathed at the Hollyhock Café for their scrummy lunch choices. An enjoyable walk in a most un-Orwellian part of London.


Saturday 6 April
General Area:
Marlow Miles: 15 moderate
Leader: John Harper
Nature of walk: We start with a gentle walk along the lazy Thames with a view of Bisham Abbey. We continue along via Hurley and the deer park before crossing the river at Hambleden weir for lunch and pub stop at Hambleden. We start the afternoon with a climb through the woods and make our way back to Marlow. Please bring sandwiches.

John's report: Thirteen of us met in Marlow, and as a part of the Thames Path is currently on diversion through Bisham, we were able to take in the War Memorial created by sculptor Eric Gill. We returned to the river at Temple and carried through the deer park at Culham House to cross the river at Hambleden Weir. Lunch was taken at Hambleden where we arrived in time to see the bride and groom leaving the church. After lunch, it was up the steep hill, through the woods and back to Marlow.


Monday 8 April
General Area:
Rickmansworth to Chesham Miles: 9.5 moderate, but can be muddy if wet.
Leader: Michael Romain
Nature of walk: This is a very pleasant walk, the major part of which is along the course of the River Chess. It also has fine views of Latimer. The walk will take about four hours and trains leaving Chesham at 27 and 57 minutes past the hour. Bring a packed lunch.

Michael's report: A beautiful walk. 7 healthy walkers on the 9 miles from Rickmansworth to Chesham. It only rained a little. We had lunch in the churchyard at Latimer and an excellent hot chocolate in Chesham.
A lovely day.


Sunday 14 April
General Area:
Chorleywood Circular Miles: 13/7 moderate
Leader: Peter Moss
Nature of walk: About 13 miles crossing and re-crossing the Chess Valley via Chenies, Belsize, Flaunden and Sarratt Bottom. Bring a packed lunch - stop for a drink at the Green Dragon in Flaunden. Possible 7 mile option via Chenies and Sarratt Bottom with the last few miles unled.

Peter's report: 13 walkers plus one dog braved a chilly day. A small group left after 4 miles to complete the short 7 mile option while 10 of us did a slightly shortened full distance (we scaled the steep climb to Chenies Manor but a consensus meant we skipped the one to Sarratt Church). Sadly the Green Dragon at Flaunden is (we hope) temporarily closed, but at least we had tables and chairs available for our lunch stop.


Tuesday 16 April
General Area:
Hambleden and Stonor Valleys Circular Miles: 11 strenuous
Leader: Sue Aldridge
Nature of walk: Hilly circular from Hambleden along woodland and field paths across to Stonor Valley. Ascend Stonor Park on Chiltern Way to Turville (picnic lunch). Drinks at the Bull & Butcher pub. Village featured in Vicar of Dibley series. Return along Hambleden Valley. At least 4 main hill climbs with splendid views and pretty villages.

Sue's report: I and five regular walkers set off in fine weather from Hambleden to complete a scenic circuit of the Hambleden and Stonor Valleys, with four fairly steep ascents. We walked through some lovely woods and across some fields with excellent conditions underfoot, admiring the fresh greenery that was all around us. We saw quite a lot of daffodils and some bluebells, particularly in and around the grounds of smart Bosmore Farm. We made good timing and decided to have our picnic halfway up Stonor Park, with lovely views down to Stonor House and the main valley beyond. Later, we hoped to have had a drink at the pub in picturesque Turville, but it was closed! We walked another mile to ‘The Frog' at Skirmett and enjoyed drinks with biscuits. Unfortunately, two of our members' walking sticks disappeared from outside, whilst we were in the pub! We had an easy flat walk back to Hambleden and spent a few minutes looking round the church. A very enjoyable walk with good company and dry, decent footpaths.

Saturday 20 April
General Area:
Beaconsfield Miles: 10 easy
Leaders: Martin Atkins and Janet Clow
Nature of walk: A circular walk mainly through woods and fields to the northwest of Beaconsfield. Very pleasant scenery with the opportunity for a lunchtime drink at the pub in Penn Street.Please bring your own packed lunch to eat on the green outside the pub. We will aim to time the pacing of the walk in order to give everyone the chance to catch the 16.10 train home.

Janet's report: A little like travelling on one of those "hop on, hop off" buses, our numbers never quite settled, but thirteen of us took part in a beautiful walk on a gloriously sunny day. Sharon and Steve, having been held up on the A40, started the walk on four wheels and managed to catch us up before we entered Hogback Wood. We picked up Lucy and Pete at one pub and left them at another, and Martin left at lunch time for another commitment back in Harrow. The walk took us via Forty Green, Penn and Winchmore Hill to Penn Street, where some sought the shade and some basked in the sun while we had lunch. Then we enjoyed the wide paths and fresh green leaves of Penn Wood, as we took a more westerly route back to Beaconsfield. There were a few hills, but nothing too taxing, and the few muddy patches were easily avoided. Although this was a walk we had usually done in autumn, we agreed it was perfect for spring.


Wednesday 24 April
General Area:
The Thames Path Miles: 8 moderate
Leaders: Lucy Patten and Pete Thomas
Nature of walk: A leisurely flat walk from Richmond Station along the river, over Barnes Bridge (we walk right next to the train line!) and then continue on the other side of the river to finish at Hammersmith. Nice little park to eat our sandwiches and lovely pub for quick drink or coffee.

Lucy's report: The promised showers arrived just as the eleven of us set out from Richmond, which augured badly, but it turned out to be the only one and the rest of the walk was under alternate cloud and sun. The river path's trees were flourishing with fresh new leaves and there were swathes of flowers including Camassia, Ceanothus, Lilac, Wisteria and even roses. One walker had to finish early (to get to a doctor's appointment) but the rest of us made it to Hammersmith where we all wandered around for a bit as the leader completely failed to find the correct tube stations!


Sunday 28 April
General Area:
Harlington, Bedfordshire Miles: 11+ moderate with one challenging climb
Leader: Hugo Hodge
Nature of walk: A circular walk through John Bunyan country leaving his home village of Harlington and passing the oak under which he used to preach, turning south through farmland before tackling the steep climb up the Sharpenhoe Clappers, which Bunyan could see from his prison cell in Bedford, and returning along the ridge of the Sundon Hills. There will definitely be a pub stop at the end, but not before, so bring a packed lunch.

Hugo's report: Eight of us met at Harlington to walk in Bunyan’s footsteps in perfect walking conditions - light cloud cover with a bit of sun and a gentle breeze. We visited Bunyan’s Oak where he preached, before being imprisoned. Shortly afterwards our pilgrimage was bogged down by the original Slough of Despair, a bog worthy of the name. Beyond that we walked over fields with our eyes fixed on the Delectable Mountains (now known as the Sharpenhoe Clappers), a worthy challenge for us modern Pilgrims. A glorious ridge walk followed descending not to the Celestial City, but to Harlington which is pleasant enough and has fast trains back to London.


Wednesday 1 May
General Area:
Seer Green, Bucks : circular Miles: 10, moderate
Leader: Christine Hughes and Patsy Scanlon.
Nature of walk: A pretty walk across fields and woodlands, via Jordans and Chalfont St Giles with hopefully lots of bluebells. Bring packed lunch, pub available for drinks and toilet at lunch time.

Chris and Patsy’s report: 9 of us met at Seer Green station and enjoyed a pretty, circular walk through fields and woodland via Jordans and Chalfont St Giles. We had really good weather for walking, warm with a light breeze, and enjoyed a picnic lunch sitting on a log in woodland. We stopped at the Harte and Magpies pub for a little light refreshment and enjoyed our drinks sitting in their garden. We had some lovely glimpses of bluebells in the woods we walked through, and admired the beautiful soft greens of trees and leaves so typical of early spring.


Saturday 4 May
General Area:
Two circular walks from Stokenchurch either side of lunch. Miles: 7 each moderate
Leader: Janet Clow and Martin Atkins.
Nature of walk: Choose either or both walks exploring the woodlands and hills either side of the M40. Best to bring a packed lunch although you may be able to buy something in Stokenchurch. Lunchtime drink opportunity at the Fleur de Lis.

Martin's report: Well, we were expecting a relatively good turn out of walkers and we weren't disappointed. Twenty-three embarked upon the morning circuit and seventeen stayed on for the afternoon trek. The mid-walk pub/lunch stop proved convenient as it allowed those who wished to depart at that stage to do so surreptitiously. Those intrepid ones who stayed for the full fourteen miles were treated to solid training conditions, ie a number of challenging slopes, interspersed by easier going through pleasant beech woodland, wherein the ground was regularly festooned with bluebells [the English variety guv!] and wild garlic. Being the Chilterns, the ubiquitous red kites continued to make their appearance and, despite the few hail storm bursts and the occasional stile which discriminated against those with short legs, everybody seemed to enjoy the day. Hopefully,all who attended are now better prepared physically to undertake the long mileage days on the Dales Way Walk later this month.Bring it on!!


Friday 10 May
General Area:
Wendover Circular Miles: 14 moderate
Leader: Sue Aldridge
Nature of walk: Ascend out of Wendover on to the Ridgeway path eastward through woodland and field paths via Hastow and Wick farm to Wiggington. Picnic lunch and drinks at the Greyhound pub. Continue down through Tring Park, skirting Tring to reach the canal. Follow the Wendover Arm of the canal all the way back to Wendover. Good views and not too hilly.

Sue's report: Eight set off on a dry, bright day, following the Ridgeway through lovely bright green beechwoods, with good conditions underfoot. We met a group of D of E girls that were seriously off-course, helped to re-direct them on their map towards their checkpoint (similar direction to our route) but we soon lost sight of them! They hadn’t reached the checkers when we passed through about an hour later!! Late morning, the scenery changed to open field country through Hastoe to Wigginton. After a quick picnic near the pub we joined Lucy and Peter in ‘The Greyhound’ enjoying their leisurely hot lunch! They were later making their own way on a short course to Tring station. After our relaxing drinks, we continued the long afternoon trek, descending lovely chalk Downlands of Tring Park, to skirt older parts of Tring reaching the Wendover Arm of the GU Canal. The last 5 miles were peaceful walking beside tranquil waters of the restored canal with its lush greenery and wildlife, pleased to spot an egret taking flight off the water. Only 3 of us returned home by train as others met their cars in Wendover. A lovely walk with good company, preparing us well for 2 weeks time! ‘ DALES WAY! – We’re rearing to go!!’.


Monday 13 May
General Area:
Chesham to Tring Miles: 11 moderately hilly
Leader: Michael Romain
Nature of walk: A walk up Herberts Hole and then over the hills passing Chartridge, Ashridge, Bellingdon and Cholesbury before joining the Icknield Way and Ridgeway through Tring Park and descending to Tring Station. Bring a packed lunch. With luck there might be a pub stop.

Michael's report: We had a gorgeous walk from Chesham to Tring. It was just over 11 miles. The weather was wonderful and everyone including the dog seemed very happy. The Chiltern Hills on a beautiful May day cannot be bettered.There were 10 of us. We were the lucky one!


Wednesday 15 May
(Moved from 12 May to avoid the Royal Windsor Horse Show)
General Area:
Windsor Great Park Miles: 8 easy
Leader: Patrick Wyman
Nature of walk: We'll see many of the sights of this historic playground of royalty, passing by The Village, Smith's Lawn polo ground and the Savill Garden, where we'll have a lunch break. Patrick will lead the walk on his Tramper mobility scooter.

Patrick's report: Thirteen enjoyed a walk in beautiful sunshine and spring blossoms.. The Village Shop provided nourishment, which was supplemented at the Savill building, both needed later for the climb up Snow Hill to the George III equestrian statue.


Saturday 18 May
General Area:
Christmas Common and the Hambleden Valley. Miles: 15 moderate with 1800 feet of ascent.
Leader:John Harper
Nature of walk: An unforgettable walk through the beechwoods and villages of Bucks and South Oxon. We follow the Oxfordshire Way from Christmas Common to Pishill and on to Stonor where we have a first “half lunch” overlooking Stonor House. We then continue to Turville and Fingest for a second “half lunch” and pub stop before returning via Ibstone Common. Please bring sandwiches.

John's report: The dirty dozen set off through the woods along the Oxfordshire Way - still a few bluebells left and plenty of wild garlic. After a brief stop at Pishill church, we enjoyed an early first lunch stop overlooking Stonor House. The group continued on through Turville to a pub stop at Fingest. The afternoon gave us a steady climb up to Ibstone Common followed by a steep descent along the Chiltern Way and then a climb back up to the car park. It rained before we started and rained just after we finished, but the weather was perfect for the walk.

General points

Last updated 20 May 2019

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