You might want to join me on this Chilterns walk from the Saturday Walkers Club website. They say it is 'very uphill and downhill but not strenuously so.' I haven't pre-walked this so there may be some navigational delays. I will be taking the suggested detour to The Swan pub (freehouse) at Great Kimble. I'll be taking the train from St Marylebone at 1013 arriving at Prince's Risborough at 1100. DanSunday May 19
This is one of our semi-regular swim and sauna sessions at the Oasis in Central London: 2 beautiful large pools in the heart of London, both heated, one indoor, one outdoor so enjoyable whatever the weather plus a sauna.
Meet in the reception area next Monday (20th May) at 11am at the Oasis Pool. The address is 32 Endell Street Covent Garden WC2H 9AG. Nearest tube stations are Holborn, Covent Garden and Tottenham Court Rd.
Swim cost is £6.05 or cheaper for Better pay and play members and Camden residents. Free for over 60s pay and play members before midday and £2.25 for over 55 Pay and play members.
Option of eating after the swim for a late lunch around 1.15pm at one of the many eateries in the area. One possibility is 'My Old Dutch' in High Holborn where it is ‘Monday Madness’ and many dishes are half price or less every Monday.
Monday May 20
Join me to see this production of August Wilson's play "King Hedley II" at the Theatre Royal Stratford East on Tuesday 21st May. The performance starts at 7.30pm. I have a ticket in the stalls : Row L, seat 5 at £16. Tickets available at : https://www.stratfordeast.com/whats-on/all-shows/king-hedley-ii As this is one of the preview performances, tickets are from £10 to £24. The play : "1980s Pittsburgh, a city in decay. Against the backdrop of Reagan’s America, King, an ex-con, is trying to rebuild his life and start a family. He’s got hopes and dreams of opening a video store and building a new life. If only he can get ten thousand dollars together, if only he can catch a break. In his dusty backyard he plots and plans with his friend Mister, but is this all a pipe dream?Featuring Lenny Henry as smooth-talking hustler Elmore, August Wilson’s touching and angry King Hedley II is a quest for redemption for one man and a whole community."Tuesday May 21, 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm
We cycle out of the beautiful historic village of Ingatestone with its 11th century church and cycle through the woods towards Highwood and then to the pretty village of Blackmore where we stop for morning tea and cakes.
Then through a series of little villages: Norton Heath, Willingdale, Fyfield (where we will probably have lunch at the Black Bull), Birds Green, Shellow Bowells(!), Roxwell, Newney Green, then past the Agricultural College and into towards Chelmsford on the lovely cycle path by the river.
How do I get there?
Be on the train that leaves Stratford at 10:25 getting into Ingatestone at 10:45. This train will have originated at Liverpool St.
Buy a super off peak return to Chelmsford £7.20 with a discount card.
TurinSaturday May 25
details to follow on this mystery walkSaturday May 25, 10 am - 5 pm
TurinSunday May 26
TurinMonday May 27
This is a long walk - 14 miles - though we have plenty of time and it is possible to drop out in Headcorn after 10 miles. Pleasant varied countryside. Fields and woodland with paths which are not always easy to find. Some pathetic stiles (maybe broken) and gates to climb. The Beult valley and Waterman Quarter are low-lying areas with many streams and ponds so be prepared for boggy patches. Many things of interest. We start by going past the Dering Arms (the former station pub which is now a gourmet restaurant) with its distinctive Pluckley estate windows. Zigzagging our way past Smarden after 6 miles we will approach the Big Cat Sanctuary by a roundabout route to throw them off our scent. There may be a glimpse of big cats. Leaving the cats behind we go past Duckies Farm to cross the River Beult by a long footbridge (it regularly floods). After 7 miles we will stop at Headcorn Aerodrome for a late lunch. There are some picnic tables outside the bar and plenty of planes and helicopters landing and taking off. After lunch we make our way through the Waterman Quarter to follow the disused Kent & East Sussex Railway through Headcorn village and the churchyard which we reach after 10 miles. Possible tea stop or pub near the end in Staplehurst village after 13 miles. A further mile brings us to Staplehurst station.
Bring a packed lunch and maybe a snack as it will be a late lunch. Meet 9.50am at Pluckley station exit (no loos). An early start as it's a long day. Buy a return to Pluckley. Take the 8.40am direct train from Charing Cross to Pluckley. This train calls at Waterloo East 8.43am and London Bridge 8.49am and arrives Pluckley 9.50am. Alternatively take the 8.37am High Speed train from St Pancras to Ashford. This train calls at Stratford International 8.44am and arrives Ashford at 9.14am. Change at Ashford for the 9.32am train to Pluckley which arrives 9.38am. Return trains from Staplehurst to London are at 20 & 50 mins past each hour.
Get yourself in tune for the summer with this invigorating 11.5 mile circular walk! We shall take in the pleasant villages of Downham, West Hanningfield and South Hanningfield. From Downham Church we can see across to Kent. We shall reach the “Three Compasses” pub (ca 1425) in West Hanningfield after midday for a food and drink stop. We shall be walking near and around the large man- made lake, Hanningfield Reservoir, with its bird sanctuary. If time permits, we may have the opportunity of a pleasant late afternoon tea at the “lakeside” visitor centre or at the Windmill pub. We shall then descend into Wickford (two London trains per hour), all the while enjoying distant views towards Rettendon, Rayleigh and Kent.
Travel: We meet at the north entrance to Wickford Station at 10:33 am, for a prompt start. You will need to catch the 09:53 train from Liverpool Street (platform 9), which also calls at Stratford at 10:00 and subsequently at Romford and Shenfield. Return times from Wickford to Liverpool Street in the evening are at 18 and 48 minutes past the hour. It’s always advisable to check train times before setting out, but NO engineering works are forecast as of April 13. If you are driving, please get to Wickford Station car park in plenty of time to meet the train.
Walk Organiser and Leader: Eric ScharfSunday Jun 2
Kingston to Hampton Court
Details to followTuesday Jun 4
After leaving the overnight Portsmouth-St Malo ferry (departing Friday evening 8 June), we spend the morning in the walled town of St Malo. We then take the short ferry crossing across the mouth of the river Rance to Dinard, where we follow the old railway line and riverside towpath to the beautiful port town of Dinan on the river Rance. We stay overnight in the youth hostel located in an old mill on one of the tributaries to the Rance.Sunday Jun 9
We follow the riverside towpath from Dinan to Evran, then head across country to Caulnes, Lanrelas and Tremorel where we join the disused 'Petit Train' railway track that leads us right into our overnight campsite in the town of Merdrignac.Monday Jun 10
We leave Merdrignac and cycle via lanes and villages to Gomené, Trinité la Porhoet and Mohon, then through the forest of Lanouée to Josselin with its impressive chateau and picturesque streets. We stay overnight in a 'gite' hostel by the side of the Nantes-Brest canal, built as a military canal in the 1800s by Napoleon III.Tuesday Jun 11
From Josselin we follow the Nantes-Brest canal, then head south to the picturesque town of Auray, where we spend two nights at the Hotel le Marin in the old port. From here we can explore the beautiful area on the shores of the Golfe du Morbihan.Wednesday Jun 12
A day for exploring the area around the beautiful Golfe du Morbihan, a natural inlet dotted with islands on Brittany's south coast. Overnight at Hotel le Marin by the harbourside in the old port of Auray.Thursday Jun 13
We take the train from Auray, returning to St Malo on Brittany's north coast. There may be time for a cycle ride or to explore some of St Malo's beaches in the afternoon before spending the night at St Malo youth hostel. We return to Portsmouth by ferry the following morning (Sat 15 June).Friday Jun 14
Hampton Court to Teddington
Details to followTuesday Jun 18
5 forts (Tilbury, Coalhouse, New Tavern, Shornemead and Upnor), 2 castles (Cooling and Upnor) plus a ferry ride across the Thames and visits to some pretty villages.
We start at East Tilbury station and head towards our first fort, Coalhouse Fort http://coalhousefortpark.org.uk where we may stop for coffee, then we pedal by the river past a WW2 radar tower and other WW2 defences until we get to Tilbury Fort http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/tilbury-fort/. We will probably only look at the outside of Tilbury Fort and then we hop on a little ferry with our bikes to cross the Thames to Gravesend. https://www.thurrock.gov.uk/ferry-services/tilbury-to-gravesend-ferry-service
We cycle out of Gravesend past New Tavern fort in Fort Gardens, along the river and then into the Shorne marshes where we visit the remains of Shornemead fort.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shornemead_Fort
Lunch is planned for the Six Bells pub at Cliffe, then we cycle past Cooling Castle and then south to the beautiful village of Upnor where we may stop for coffee and have a peak at Upnor Castle (which is actually a fort).
From Upnor it is a short ride to Strood where the ride finishes.
Be on the train that leaves Stratford at 10:24 getting into East Tilbury at 11:01
Cost single: £5.70 with discount card or £5.90 super off peak return with discount card (more if you don't have a discount card).
The ferry seems to cost £3 return if we are off peak (which I assume Saturday is but it isn't clear from the website) or £4 anytime single.
Getting back from Strood.
Either get the Highspeed train from Strood to Stratford International but that costs £13:00 with discount card
Get a single from Strood to Gravesend £3.35 with discount card, catch the ferry back to Tilbury and catch the train from Tilbury Town to Stratford (covered by the ticket you bought in the morning if you get a return which is almost the same price as a single.
If you use the latter, the total travel costs should be: £5.90 (return Stratford to Tilbury East) if you have a discount card +£3 for off-peak return on ferry (assuming they count Saturday as off-peak)+£3.35.
If you use the HS train to get back, the total travel costs should be £5.70+£3+£13
Saturday Jun 22
Sat 22 June - Cycle ride round Stonehenge for the summer solstice. Meet at Salisbury station at 12.00 (take the 10.20 am train from Waterloo station; day return costs about £23 with rail card). We will follow the river Avon cycleway out of Salisbury, along the beautiful Woodford valley, then cross the entrance to Stonehenge and circle back through Amesbury and the Woodford valley, returning to Salisbury via Old Sarum hilltop town. About 30 miles total. Repeat of a ride I led about 4 years ago. Return from Salisbury around 5 - 6 pm. We will stop at pubs/cafes, but please bring drink and some provisions with you as well, also spare inner tube, repair kit etc and make sure your bike is in good order. HazelSaturday Jun 22, 12 pm - 6 pm
NOT FOR MEETUP.
This is an 8.5 mile walk, with one hill in the morning and one optional hill in the afternoon. Starting from Guildford, we will pass the castle and climb Pewley Down before dropping down to Shalford for a possible visit to Shalford Mill (National Trust).
Nearby is our lunch stop at The Queen Victoria, approx. 13:00 to 14:30 (or bring your own). After lunch we will loop around Shalford, repeating the route of the first walk I ever led (for London Village club, April 1991). We finish at my bungalow (near Shalford station) for a cream tea.
Travel details: buy a return ticket to Shalford, but catch the 10:00 (Portsmouth train) from Waterloo, arriving Guildford at 10:40, where I will meet you.
Return trains from Shalford, changing at Guildford, are hourly: if coming to tea, you should catch the 18:15 (arriving Waterloo 19:14).
NOT FOR MEETUP.Sunday Jun 23
We cycle from Knebworth station to Old Knebworth where we join Cycle route 12 which we follow through glorious Hertfordshire Countryside. After cycle through quiet lanes and then through Welwyn Garden City we find ourselves on a lost railway line that once ran between Welwyn and Hertford.
At Letty Green we stop for lunch at pub near the old railway Cowpers Arms. https://www.thecowperarmscolegreen.co.uk
After lunch we pedal on the old railway past the remains of sleeping halts and signal boxes to Hertford East and Ware where we pickup the Lee tow path. Just after Rye House we join Cycle Route 1 which we follow on a mainly off road cycle path to finish at Chesthunt station (Oyster Zone 8) where we can catch the train back to London.
Thursday Jun 27
Details to followSaturday Jun 29
Teddington to Richmond
Details to followTuesday Jul 2
We cycle east from Sawbridgeworth to Little Hallingbury, Monks Wood, Forest Farm, Takeley St, then along the disused railway (now a cycle path) to Takeley.
Then we cycle north to Molehill Green, Broxted, Duton Hill to Tilty then south to Great Easton where we will probably have lunch at the Swan.
Then south to Little Easton and soon we join the cycle path to the west of Dunmow bringing us back to the old railway line. We cycle west to Takeley where we then head towards Hatfield Broad Oak and Matching Green. Then on to Matching Tye to end the ride at either Harlow Mills or Harlow Town.
How do I get there?
Catch the xxx originating in Stratford, getting into Sawbridgeworth at xxxx.
NB This train sometimes goes from 10A at Stratford which can be a bit tricky to find as it is invisible from one of the underpasses at Stratford, so you just go to a different underpass and there is is. It may also go from platform 11 which is easier to find.
This train calls at Lea Bridge, Tottenham Hale and various other stations
Catch the xxxx from Liverpool st, getting into Sawbridgworth at xxx (and wait for the train from Stratford to get in). This train also stops at Tottenhale Hale and various other stops.
Sat 6 - Mon 8 July. We will start from Salisbury station at 12.00 on Sat 6 July (take the 10.20 train from Waterloo station). After a morning refreshment stop at the Old Mill pub with its view of Salisbury cathedral, we will cycle through Wilton and along the Wylye valley to Warminster (about 25 miles), then through Longleat safari park to Frome. There is an option of taking the train from Warminster or Frome to Bath, or keep cycling (about 15 miles) along the disused Somerset and Dorset railway and Somerset coal canal via Radstock and the 'Two Tunnels' cycleway to Bath. We will stop at pubs/cafes, but please bring drink and some provisions with you. We will arrive in Bath around 7 pm. Please make your own arrangements for accommodation in Bath for 1 or 2 nights. Return to London by train Sun evening or Monday morning. Please carry a spare inner tube, repair kit and lights etc, and make sure your bike is in good working order. HazelSaturday Jul 6
Sat 6 - Mon 8 July. We will start from Salisbury station at 12.00 on Sat 6 July (take the 10.20 train from Waterloo station). After a morning refreshment stop at the Old Mill pub with its view of Salisbury cathedral, we will cycle through Wilton and along the Wylye valley to Warminster (about 25 miles), then through Longleat safari park to Frome. There is an option of taking the train from Warminster or Frome to Bath, or keep cycling (about 15 miles) along the disused Somerset and Dorset railway and Somerset coal canal via Radstock and the 'Two Tunnels' cycleway to Bath. We will stop at pubs/cafes, but please bring drink and some provisions with you. We will arrive in Bath around 7 pm. Please make your own arrangements for accommodation in Bath for 1 or 2 nights. Return to London by train Sun evening or Monday morning. Please carry a spare inner tube, repair kit and lights etc, and make sure your bike is in good working order. HazelSunday Jul 7
Sat 6 - Mon 8 July. We will start from Salisbury station at 12.00 on Sat 6 July (take the 10.20 train from Waterloo station). After a morning refreshment stop at the Old Mill pub with its view of Salisbury cathedral, we will cycle through Wilton and along the Wylye valley to Warminster (about 25 miles), then through Longleat safari park to Frome. There is an option of taking the train from Warminster or Frome to Bath, or keep cycling (about 15 miles) along the disused Somerset and Dorset railway and Somerset coal canal via Radstock and the 'Two Tunnels' cycleway to Bath. We will stop at pubs/cafes, but please bring drink and some provisions with you. We will arrive in Bath around 7 pm. Please make your own arrangements for accommodation in Bath for 1 or 2 nights. Return to London by train Sun evening or Monday morning. Please carry a spare inner tube, repair kit and lights etc, and make sure your bike is in good working order. HazelMonday Jul 8
Details to followFriday Jul 12
Details to followSaturday Jul 13
Details to followSunday Jul 14
Details to followMonday Jul 15
Details to followTuesday Jul 16