Scrap Book

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To give you an idea of what our walks are like, we have put together
a scrapbook featuring some of the walks that we've done so far.

We have been walking since July 2012 and our ever-growing scrapbook is divided into quarterly volumes:

YearJanuary to MarchApril to JuneJuly to SeptemberOctober to December
2012 Volume 1 Volume 2
2013Volume 3 Volume 4 Volume 5 Volume 6
2014Volume 7 Volume 8 Volume 9 Volume 10
2015Volume 11 Volume 12 Volume 13 Volume 14
2016Volume 15 Volume 16 Volume 17 Volume 18
2017Volume 19 Volume 20 Volume 21

We also have a scrapbook page for the Walking Holidays we've been on.

Volume 21 - July to September 2017

Walk 287 - Regents Canal and Hampstead Heath

Regents Canal
The Regents Canal with Maida Avenue visible on the left.

On Sunday 9th July, five of us met up at Paddington railway station for a seven-mile semi-urban walk in London. Leaving the station from the northern exit, we emerged by the Paddington Basin, which could be described as a canal cul-de-sac.

Following the tow-path westward, we soon reached Little Venice, a triangle of water at the junction of the basin, the Grand Union Canal and the Regents Canal. Here there were permanently moored barges containing cafés and a puppet theatre. We took the Regents Canal branch, heading north-east. We followed the tow-path until we reached a locked gate, where we then had to follow the canal on the pavement of Bromfield Road.

Cumberland Basin
The Cumberland Basin, with its floating restaurant.

As the canal disappeared into the Maida Hill Tunnel, we took an urban route along (relatively) quiet roads before crossing (a rather busy) Lisson Avenue and rejoining the canal towpath. We were now somewhere between Lords cricket ground and Regents Park, although we could see either of them at this point. Following the canal in a large arc across the northern edge of Regents Park, we were able to some warthogs in London Zoo, on the other side of the canal.

Camden Market
The food-court at Camden Lock.

We reached the Cumberland Basin, where a floating Chinese restaurant was moored and the canal took a left turn. After a little longer on the towpath, we reached Camden Lock and its wonderful market. Stopping here for an hour, we fitted in lunch, a look around, and a quick drink at the Ice Wharf canal-side pub.

Leaving the canal behind, it was roadside walking until we reached the edge of Hampstead Heath. We followed a well-trodden footpath up Parliament Hill, from where we could see plenty of recognisable London landmarks.

Hampstead Heath
View of London from Hampstead Heath.

Descending to Hampstead Ponds, where there were bathers enjoying the warm weather, we exited the park, not too far from where we'd entered it. We then made our way to the Freemason's Arms pub for another drink, sitting outside in the warm sunshine.

It was just a short walk to Hampstead Heath railway station, where we said our goodbyes and made our way home. See our route on Google Maps.

Walk 288 - Eversley and Bramshill Forest

Lunch Stop
Stopping for lunch in Bramshill Forest.

This walk coincided with both the Wimbledon Finals and the British Grand Prix so unintentionally excluded tennis and motorsports enthusiasts! A small group of five ramblers uninterested in these events met at the car park opposite St Mary's Church in Eversley for the start of the walk. All had walked with BWW before - three regulars and two on their second walk with the group.

We began along forest tracks through Heath Warren Wood and had a good view of a buzzard which flew over just before we crossed Bramshill Road. The next section of the walk was through Bramshill Forest.

An injured damselfly (a Southern Hawker) found by the roadside.

Here we passed three lakes where we saw several damselflies and dragonflies. We stopped for lunch by the third lake - an apparently peaceful setting until we discovered it was a popular place for dog walkers to play water based retrieval games with their pets. One particularly badly behaved (and also rather wet) dog even tried to steal lunch from one of our group!

After lunch we left the forest and soon joined the Blackwater Valley Path, walking by the river where we saw damselflies, butterflies and red kites. We crossed back over the river at the footbridge next to the New Mill and the path continued through farmland to Eversley. The day had turned out to be quite humid so by now we were ready for another refreshment stop, this time at the White Hart in Eversley. Three of the group opted for cold drinks and the two who chose tea were impressed by the attractive chinaware it was served in.

Pond at Bramshill
Passing through Yalden's farm, as we returned to Eversley.

Following the break there was only another mile to the end of the walk. This last part of the walk included a good view of Warbrook House, an 18th century mansion now used as a conference and event venue. We also went past a farm with some goats and a lake with a large number of geese and ducks and two turtles. We wondered if these were real or stone ornaments until one ended the uncertainty by jumping into the water for a swim! Finally we returned to the car park past St Mary's Church.

See our route on Google Maps.

Thank you to Denise for leading this walk at short notice and for writing it up.

Walk 289 - Wooburn, Little Marlow and Bourne End

Spade Oak

On 23rd July, fourteen of us, including two newcomers, met at the park in Wooburn. The weather was fine but rain was forecast for 1pm so we set off in expectation of a soaking before the day was out.

We encountered our steepest hill of the day almost immediately on the way to Flackwell Heath. After skirting the village, we paused to take in the great views over the Thames Valley before descending across open fields to Fern.

Thames at Bourne End

We immediately had to climb back up the same hill we had just come down, only a little further along, to reach the different terrain of Bloom Wood. Then it was downhill again to Little Marlow and the Spade Oak nature reserve before arriving at the Thames for our lunch with activities on the river to entertain us as we rested.

After lunch, we followed the Thames Path to Cookham, crossing over the river to pick up Shakespeare's Way through Hedsor Wharf. About half of us diverted up a steep grassy hill to visit the quaint Church of St Nicholas.

Hedsor Hill
Ascending Hedsor Hill.

Our efforts were rewarded when we found a 16-man barbershop quartet practising for a concert. They were a little surprised at receiving applause from a bunch of inquisitive ramblers.

From Hedsor, it was a long walk up the final hill of the day to reach the Chequers Inn where we stopped for a well-earned drink before descending the half-mile back to our cars. See our route on Google Maps. As to the weather? We had a few spots of rain at one point but it remained fine for the rest and indeed by the end was really quite warm and sunny.

Thank you to Sue and Colin for leading the walk and for writing it up.

Walk 290 - Fleet Pond and Pyestock Hill

Fleet Pond
The sands on the south-eastern shore of Fleet Pond.

The weather forecast for Sunday 30th July was for partial cloud and possible showers, but there was bright sunshine when the sixteen of us set off from Fleet station and followed the footpath around the western edge of Fleet Pond.

The clouds became more numerous once the walk got going and we followed the edge of the pond to its south-eastern where there is a sandy shore. (Not the 1960's singer.) From there we headed south, following a stream that led from the pond to the Basingstoke Canal. Following the tow-path, back toward Fleet for about half a mile, we walked (ducked) under a very low bridge, then over another bridge and away from the canal into the Forest of Eversley.

Forest of Eversley
The Forest of Eversley, south of the Basingstoke Canal.

On well-maintained paths, we made our way through the forest to The Foresters pub, stopping to have our picnic lunch just before reaching. A very fine rain began about half-way through lunch, which encouraged us to eat up quickly and head for the pub. Thankfully, the rain had stopped by the time we'd bought our drinks so we could sit outside in the pub garden.

Wooden Swan
Carved swan in Fleet Pond Nature Reserve.

Suitably refreshed, we left the pub and followed a path up to Pyestock Hill, where we crossed a large roundabout on the A323 before crossing the Basingstoke Canal. Heading back into woodland, we made our way north and then north-east, toward Southwood, before turning west and heading through heathland on our way back to the pond.

Solitary White Cow
A solitary white cow observed us as we approached Fleet Pond.

As the heathland turned to woodland, we were slightly surprised to find ourselves being watched by a solitary white cow, lurking in the undergrowth. As we re-entered Fleet Pond Nature Reserve, we saw some interesting wood carvings. These were mostly insects and birds on top of posts, but we also saw a beautiful swan on the arm of a bench.

A short walk along the northern shore of the pond and we were back at the railway station. See our route on Bing Maps.

Thank you to Liz for providing the photos.

Walk 291 - Monks Alley and Orange Hill

On Wednesday evening 3rd August, twelve people met up for the last (for the time being) of our evening walks. The leaders were amazed by the good turn-out (which included a newcomer to the group and visitors from another group) considering the weather forecast was for heavy showers. However the evening remained dry for the duration of the walk and many of the group stayed on for a drink at the pub afterwards.

See Volume 20See Holidays scrapbookThis is Volume 21
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