St Luke's Hospice

St Luke's Hospice

St Luke's Walking Club - walks in 2024

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

Now Spring is approaching, we have a series walks, leading up to the Annual Sponsored Walk in May, starting with the New Year's Day walk. The proposed dates are shown below, and details will be added as they become available. The scheme is (mostly) that on any weekday (Monday through to Friday) there will be one walk and alternately Saturday or Sunday another walk, that is two walks a week.

Then more walks will be organised during the Summer and Autumn after the Annual Sponsored Walk.

Click here for the next walk

January 2024

Monday 1st January 2024
General Area:
Rickmansworth Aquadrome and Batchworth circular. Miles: about 4.5 easy.
Leader: Hugo Hodge
Nature of walk: this year we have changed the route to avoid the very muddy and flooded paths experienced in the last two years. As before we walk along Bury Lake towards Stockers Lake, but just before we get there we take a footpath to the left and a bridge over the canal and then past Stockers Farm through woods and fields to Hill End and back to the café via Juniper Hill, Batchworth Park Golf Course and Tesco. Here is a map of the walk.

Hugo's report: Eighteen of us gathered at the Aquadrome on New Year’s Day for our traditional New Year’s Day walk. Mercifully there was little sign of rain but it was wet underfoot. To avoid the flooding of the previous years we left the Aquadrome at Stockers Farm and walked across woods and fields to Hill End via Cripps House Farm. We returned to the Aquadrome via Juniper Hill and Batchworth Park Golf Club. It was a very satisfying five mile walk. Seven of us then made our way to the Feathers in Rickmansworth for a celebratory lunch.


Saturday 27 January
General Area:
Tring circular Miles: 7.5 easy
Leader: Janet Clow and Martin Atkins.
Nature of walk: A fairly undemanding walk to kick off the training season. We follow a short section of the Grand Union Canal and undulating field and woodland paths. (This is a repeat of the shorter "Ring of Tring", which we used for our post-lockdown meet-up in 2020.) No facilities en route, so please bring lunch.

Janet's report: Ten of us gathered for the first training walk of the season, on a bright and chilly day. We safely negotiated a muddy section of canal towpath, after which the conditions underfoot improved as we followed field paths south of Wigginton and along Grim’s Ditch to our turning point at Hastoe. We waited until we reached Tring Park, on the homeward leg of the walk, before stopping for lunch; there we selected a comfortable ten-seater log for our break. Continuing through the park, we observed the fine view over Tring and played the traditional game of trying to identify prominent buildings. The sunny hills of the Ashridge Estate looked inviting as we walked the last section back to Tring station, but they would have to wait for another day.


Tuesday 30 January
General Area:
Pinner to Rickmansworth Miles: about 8 moderate
Leader: Michael Romain
Nature of walk: from Pinner Station the walk crosses the Memorial Park and through the leafy suburb of Pinner and across the mighty River Pinn to Ruislip Woods. It then crosses two golf courses reach Northwood. This about halfway and a good place for a break and/or to end the walk and catch a train back to Harrow. For those continuing, the walk crosses Moor Park and Rickmansworth golf courses to end in Rickmansworth. Despite being on the edge of London this walk feels like a good country walk.

Michael's report: What a lovely way to start the training walks. Five of us set out from Pinner Station and no one complained once. Although crossing for golf courses, we were not put at physical risk. Indeed, I think the golf courses added to the walk. Spring was definitely in the air. I was worn out by the end, although how one of our number has the energy to go Scottish country dancing after that I really don’t know. But we do have to keep going.

February 2024

Saturday 3 February
General Area:
Dickens’s London. Miles: about 3 easy.
Leader: Hugo Hodge
Travel: from Harrow on the Hill Station take the southbound Metline train at 09.50 to Baker Street Station, then change on to the southbound Bakerloo Line train arriving at Embankment Station at 10.21.
Nature of walk: a leisurely ramble through the parts of legal London and adjacent areas that featured in Dickens life and stories, probably including at least one pub.

Hugo's report: Sixteen of us met at Embankment Station to start where young Charles’s life in London started - the Blacking factory on Hungerford Stairs. Age 12 he had to support his mother and siblings while his father was in the Marshalsea debtors prison. Life improved when the factory moved to Covent Garden. Charles loved wandering around the market admiring the vegetables he could not afford to buy. Later, when he was rich, Rules Restaurant in Maiden Lane was his favourite place to entertain friends. Leaving Covent Garden we visited Bow Street Magistrates Court, where several of his characters sat in the cells, and the building that was his office in London in Wellington Street. The walk took us past The Old Curiosity Shop into the heart of legal London stopping to look at Lincoln's Inn’s old Hall once the home of the Chancery Court where the case of Jarndyce v Jarndyce languished for generations. Before the finish we had time for a drink in the Old Cheshire Cheese on Fleet Street where Dickens had his regular seat by the fire in front bar.

Friday 9 February
General Area:
Chalfont & Latimer crossing the Chess Valley to Watford. Miles: 8.5 moderate
Meeting time: 10:30 Meeting place: Outside entrance to Chalfont & Latimer Station (main carpark side)
Leader: Sue Aldridge
Nature of walk: A linear walk along the upper slopes of The Chess Valley through Chenies to descend to cross the River Chess, then rise up the other side of the valley to Church End Sarratt for picnic lunch in the churchyard, with time for drinks/toilets in ‘The Cock Inn’. Continue across good field tracks to cross over the M25, passing Micklefield Hall and Redheath. Finally cross the golf course leading into Cassiobury Park (possible tea stop at The Hub Café/toilets) to finish at Watford Met Station.

Sue's report: I didn’t expect walkers to come, the weather forecast was not good, with more rain expected after the continuous heavy rain from the day before! In addition, no Chiltern trains were running, plus a restricted service on the Metline. However, I was wrong, St Luke’s walkers are a hardy lot, surprisingly there were eight of us, eager for training, whatever the conditions, and the walk was an admirable effort for all, and certainly good experience for Shropshire.

On entering our 1st field we had to negotiate our way across our first large, circular flood. Boot paddling would become the norm and this gave us a watery foretaste of what was to come! We followed the upper route via Chenies, (Group Photo) then descended to check on our river crossing near the former Watercress farm. It was flooded, but Michael eagerly tested out the waters, but we declined as some of us would have had wet feet for the rest of the walk. We back tracked and followed the south side valley paths down to Sarrattmill Bridge, then headed uphill, noticing a lovely spread of snowdrops as we rounded the bend into Church End. After our picnic in the church grounds most had a quick drink in the pub. Luckily, it only rained during lunch and for a short period at the start of the afternoon walk, so thankful we didn’t get a soaking! We followed pretty good tracks, able to dodge or trample through countless puddles. We spotted 4 muntjacs staring at us from the distant field.

Well, this was certainly a walk with a difference in landscape scenery, particularly in the Chess Valley and across Cassiobury Park. Due to the many winter storms, much of the area had become a patchwork of temporary ponds, swamps and large puddles. However, this varied wet landscape, plus the warm, friendly company all contributed to an unexpected enjoyable day. Thanks to all who joined the walk.


Sunday 11 February
General Area:
Slough to Taplow along the Jubilee River. Miles: 7 easy
Leader: Deborah Tyler
Nature of walk: this walk links two Elizabeth Line stations from Slough Station through the town centre south to Herschel Park where we join the Jubilee River, created to relieve flooding,and follow it almost to Taplow Station which we reach by crossing fields. Apart from in Slough and at the two stations there are no available toilets and no chance of refreshments.

Deborah's report: Having promised a more or less mud- free walk, rather a lot of rain had fallen since Hugo and I recced the route a week before and the flood-relief Jubilee River had flooded…the path under the M4 was closed but a brief detour took us over the motorway and back to the riverside path. With no detour possible at the next area underwater, we navigated along a fence. 10 people and 3 dogs met at Slough station and enjoyed a sunny day. We met 2 more St Luke’s walkers, who had followed the route without us, at Taplow station where we all got a train back home.

Wednesday 14 February
General Area:
Royal Parks (Kensington Gardens to St James Park) Miles: 4 easy with optional 1-2 mile extension
Leader: Peter Polkinghorne
Travel: take 9:50 Aldgate met line train from Harrow on the Hill station and change at Finchley Road to southbound Jubilee line train to Bond Street. There change on west bound Central line to Queensway.
Nature of walk: a pleasant walk through 4 Royal Parks from Kensington Gardens, via Hyde Park and Green Park to St James Park. An optional extension along the Thames embankment to Embankment, Temple or Blackfriars. Plenty of facilities en route plus sights as well.

Peter's report: Three of us met on a grey but dry day to walk through four Royal Parks. As it was half-term, there were plenty of people, especially round Buckingham Palace, but also lots of flowers, snowdrops, daffodils, crocuses and more, spring is coming. In St James's Park, we saw lots of birds, herons, geese, swans, parakeets, coots and pelicans. We called it a day at Westminster. Thanks to those who came.

Saturday 17 February
General Area:
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: Nine of us plus a dog started the walk on Saturday. We were fortunate to have three new walkers, Sue, Kay and Harry. The weather was good and we were rewarded with splendid views of the Chiltern Hills.

Monday 19 February
General Area:
Chesham to Wendover. Miles: 8 moderate
Leader: Michael Romain.
arriving at 10.17.
Nature of walk: This is a lovely Chiltern walk leaving Chesham along Herbert’s Hole and then to Ballinger Common and Lee Common where there is a bench or two and a pub to choose from for lunch. The path then descends to the delightful country town of Wendover and a Chiltern line train back to Harrow.

Michael's report: We made it through the mud.Phew! The weather was fine, spring is definitely in the air. This walk has the benefit of fine views. Even the disappointment (for some?) that the Lee Common pub was closed did not deter us. The photo was taken on the middle of Lee Common. After lunch there was even more mud but we were nearing the Wendover ending and spirits rose. At the station we did not have too long to wait before we were London bound. No one complained. Everyone was upbeat but my bath at the end of the day was very welcome. We have to keep going.

Sunday 25 February
General Area:
Saunderton, 3 manors and 2 cricket grounds Miles: 10.5, moderate with some hills and plenty of mud
Leader: John Harper
Nature of walk: We first head to Bradenham and then make our way through Naphill Common and on to Hughenden Manor where there is a cafe and toilets. This will also be the lunch stop. After lunch, we ascend to Downley Common, descend towards West Wycombe before ascending again to St Lawrence church and returning to Saunderton along the ridge.

John's report: Six of St Luke's finest met on pleasant day and set off through the fields to Bradenham Manor where we stopped for a short snack break. We then conquered the mud of Naphill Common (although not as bad as I'd feared) and made our way to Hughenden Manor (home of the Disraeli family) where we had lunch and a welcome cup of tea from the cafe. Our digestive systems were aided by a nice hill climb up to Downley Common. We continued on through fields and woods, past the "shooting farm" (although nothing was being shot today fortunately) and dropped down to cross the railway line and the A4010. The "reward" for descending was that we had the chance to climb up to the Dahwood Mausoleum above West Wycombe. We found a welcoming bench at the top of the hill and set down for a short rest. While we were there, a very nice lady and gentlemen came to plant flowers by the bench as this particular bench was dedicated to family members who had passed away. After a pleasant chat, we headed along the ridge and returned to Saunderton.

Thursday 29 February
General Area:
Harpenden to St.Albans. Miles: 10 moderate
Leader: Hugo Hodge Leader's phone: 07867 805289
Nature of walk: walk through rolling countryside roughly following the river Ver to St.Albans. We could have a coffee break at the Cricketers on Redbourn Common and lunch at Redbourn Mill but bring your own lunch as the shop will not be open.

Hugo's report: The forecast was for heavy rain and the forecast is never wrong. I was warned that some walkers would be put off and they were. My only companion was Deborah, and she loved it. For the first hour and a half it rained heavily and there were puddles everywhere, but hardly any mud as the paths were firm. When we joined the River Ver at Gorhambury it had burst its banks. It was only for 10 yards and not quite ankle deep. It was near there that I discovered that wet grass can be more slippery than mud. The final challenge was Verulamium Park where the path was flooded for about 400 yards. On arriving home our boots were cleaner than they were at the start.

March 2024

Saturday 2 March
General Area:
Berkhamsted circular. Miles: 10 moderate
Leader: Bob and Hilary Matheson.
Nature of walk: Up to Berkhamsted Common and across fields first to Little Gaddesden, then on to Great Gaddesden. Lunch stop will be in Great Gaddesden churchyard and/or the next door garden centre which has a café and toilets. Return via Nettleden, Frithsden and the golf course to the the station. Please be prepared for several short hills, mud and, in places, flinty paths.

Bob & Hilary's report: What an intrepid 15 walkers we were! Much of the walk was a slippery slosh through off-the-scale mud, only relieved when we reached higher ground. Luckily the rain stopped early on and the rest of the day was dry and bright. Our progress across a large flinty field was warily observed by a herd of deer who sped back to their grazing spot once we were out of the way. After an extended lunch break at Gt Gaddesden churchyard and garden centre it was back over the hills to the station. We arrived there weary and muddied but very happy with our achievement!

Tuesday 5 March
General Area:
Watford to Chalfont & Latimer. Miles: 9 moderate
Leader: Michael Romain
Nature of walk: this walk is through Cassiobury Park, across the canal and golf course to open country. Lunch will be at Church End, Sarratt where there is a public house and lovely churchyard with plenty of benches. From there we cross the River Chess and continue to Chenies and along to Chalfont & Latimer Station.

Michael's report: Didn’t it turn out to be a delightful early spring day? Everyone was very enthusiastic. The River Gade was in flood.It was sunny when we had our break for lunch at the church at Sarrat. .We had to take a detour to take the road over the river Chess. it was very flooded. The picture was taken after lunch on the way up from the Chess valley. At one point, I was so deep in conversation, I missed the turning. My able young assistant Hansa put a me right. I think she would make an excellent walk leader. When we reached Chalfont station in spite of quite muddy conditions there was little evidence of very muddy boots. No one was doing anything too energetic this evening.Not surprisingly!

Saturday 9 March
General Area:
4 villages circular walk starting from Amersham Miles: 10.5 moderate
Leaders: Patsy Scanlan and Chris Hughes
Amersham arriving at 9.54 am
Nature of walk: This walk starts at Amersham and takes in the four villages of Coleshill, Winchmore Hill, Penn Street and Little Missenden. A walk through delightful villages, woods and farmland. Bring a packed lunch, but opportunity to buy drinks at Red Lion Pub in Little Missenden where we will have our lunch break.

Patsy and Chris's report: 10 other walkers and Tess the dog, bravely turned up for our Amersham walk and we were very happy to welcome a new walker, Stephen Koo for his first training walk. We were very fortunate to have a very nice day, although of course the mud was ever present. At one stage we were faced with a completely flooded footpath, and so we chose the dry option, a diversion which probably added a further mile to the walk. This delayed our much looked forward to lunch break, where after our picnic most walkers enjoyed a welcome drink in the Red Lion pub in Littler Missenden. The abundance of daffodils and spring flowers in the various villages we passed through were a delight to see. Everyone bravely completed the long hill up to Amersham station and we were very fortunate to have a train waiting in the station for us.

Thursday 14 March
General Area:
Amersham to Northwood Hills Miles: 15, easy start, but then harder
Leader: Peter Polkinghorne
Nature of walk: Gentle walk down to the Misbourne valley to Chalfont St Peter for lunch stop (shops, pubs & toilets). Then over hills and past HS2 works to Colne valley and Grand Union canal. Finally up to Harefield, Ruislip woods & lido and finally Haste Hill. There are break points for buses at Chalfont St Peter, Harefield & Ruislip Lido.

Peter's report: Just 2 other walkers joined on a pleasant day for a walk, only hampered by flooding in multiple places, necessitating a few diversions. Unfortunately one walker had leave at Chalfont St Giles, but the remainintrg two of us, made it all the way to Northwood Hills, depite the extra walking caused by HS2, taking the walk to at least 16 miles. Thanks to those who came.

Saturday 16 March
General Area:
Chalfont and Latimer circular walk. Miles: 10 moderate
Leader: Sara Reeves.
Nature of walk: This circular walk crosses the Chess at Latimer, climbs through woods to Flaunden and then over rolling fields and horse pastures to Sarratt. Bring a packed lunch, but opportunity to buy drinks at the Cock Inn at Sarratt, where we will have our lunch break. After lunch the walk recrosses the Chess and proceeds through woodland and meadows to the station via the village of Chenies. It goes without saying that there will be mud.

Sara's report: A pleasant dry, still and almost barmy day that was perfect for walking the gentle slopes, woods and meadows of the Chess Valley. Expertly led by Oscar the photogenic dog, fifteen walkers followed in his paw steps and enjoyed lovely views, abundant daffodils, sparring lambs and manageable mud. Most of us had post picnic drinks outside the ever-friendly Cock Inn in Sarratt before our only diversion, a short section of road walking to allow us to enjoy a dry crossing of the River Chess. We then headed back to the station observing the mysterious tree clearance and dredging works underway at the old Watercress Farm and anticipating the soon to bloom bluebells. Spring has definitely sprung!!

Monday 18 March
General Area:
Pinner and Hatch End circular. Miles: 5 easy
Meeting time: 10:00 Meeting place: Pinner Station.
Leader: Hugo Hodge
Nature of walk: a train varied and interesting walk around the semi-rural suburbs of Pinner with its medieval roots and Hatch End developed in the mid 19th century with the arrival of the railway.

Hugo's report: Fourteen of gathered at Pinner Station in fine weather. A quick glance at the footwear suggested that several walkers thought the walk would be suburban and not semi-rural as described on the website. The suburban parts of Pinner are very attractive and the walk along the River Pinn and across Pinner Park Farm caused no problems. Suburban Hatch End also has its attractions but the green fields between Hatch End and South Oxhey were a delight if a bit soggy. Unfortunately soggy was the one word to describe the walk to Pinner Hill Farm and across the fields to Hatch End. One unfortunate walker found slippery to be a good description, and glutinous when we tried to extract her. Rebellion was in the air and a splinter group avoided the last two fields by following the road from Pinner Hill Farm to Hatch End. Once back in suburbia our spirits recovered and the conversation was all about hot baths.

Sunday 24 March
General Area:
Chorleywood to Chesham. Miles: 8.5 (approx) moderate walking with some uphill
Leader: Kay Waddilove & Margaret Huitson.
Nature of walk: this is a linear walk rambling through the paths and lanes of the Chilterns, starting at Chorleywood. We will stop for lunch in the village of Flaunden - please bring a picnic which can be eaten in the churchyard. Drinks and toilets are available in the Green Dragon pub next door, which also has a garden. The walk finishes in Chesham, where the Metropolitan Line trains return to Harrow and London.

Kay and Margret's report: Twelve walkers and two dogs enjoyed this scenic walk through the Chilterns, a linear route starting at Chorleywood Station and finishing in Chesham. We were lucky with the sunny weather - that at some stages became almost warm - as we walked through shady copses, over open fields with splendid views across the Buckinghamshire landscape, and through the ancient woodland of Cowcroft Wood. In marked contrast to many of the recent St Luke’s walks we encountered Very Little Mud - helped by the chalkland underfoot no doubt, but also a sign that spring has (hopefully) sprung. Our morning Banana Break was in the pretty churchyard at Flaunden, where a kind deity provides benches for tired walkers and water bowls for visiting dogs. The lunch break at Ley Hill enabled us to obtain drinks from the (most fortunately) recently-reopened Crown pub before tackling the final stretch into Chesham. As always when walking in the Chilterns it was hard to believe we were only 20 miles from central London and we agreed it had been a lovely walk enjoyed by all.

Wednesday 27 March
General Area:
the longer Ring of Tring. Miles: 16 fairly challenging
Leader: Hugo Hodge.
Nature of walk: this is the longer version of the Ring of Tring led by Janet and Martin on 27th January. This version follows the Grand Union canal to the Wendover branch, which is currently being restored, to Wendover and back to Tring along the southern edge of Wendover Woods and via Hastoe. An opportunity for refreshments in Wendover.

Hugo's report: Six of us met at Tring Station in surprisingly warm and clear weather. We were all over- dressed as the Met Office had warned us of heavy rain and a chilly wind. An hour and a half latter the rain came down and the wind whipped up. The Met Office was right. Deborah, as planned, had turned back at the junction with the Wendover Arm and avoided the rain. The rest of us endured it until Wendover, two hours later, where we enjoyed a late lunch in warm sunshine. From Wendover back to Tring is a lovely walk mainly through woods.

Saturday 30 March (Easter Saturday)
General Area:
Saunderton via Bledlow Circular. Miles: 11 moderate with 3 good hills
Leader: Glenn Connolly.
Nature of walk: a circular walk through the peaceful Chiltern Hills, taking in a few good hills and many fine views over the valley and plain. The walk follows the valley bottom before following the ridgeway then passing through a series of secluded valleys before reaching Radnage and then Bledlow Ridge and back along the valley to Saunderton. Please bring a packed lunch, possible pub stop in Bledlow.

Glenn's report: The sun shone on sleepy Saunderton as 18 walkers gathered to take on some of the many Chiltern Hills. We set off towards Bledlow via Lodge Hill where the views were as glorious as ever. After a brief stop in Bledlow we then went on to conquered Chinnor Hill where lunch was taken overlooking the town of Chinnor. The clear skies allowed us to see the Cotswolds on the horizon. Refuelled, we made our way over the many stiles via the wild garlic path and onto Radnage. The churchyard of St Mary's was the next resting point before we tackled the final hill and up on to the ridge. Time was against us to make the hourly train so this year we unfortunately missed the pub stop and made our way back down the valley to Saunderton. Thank you to all the walkers for making it a wonderful day. Your spirit, laughter and care for one another always makes it a pleasure to be part of this group. Happy Easter to you all.

April 2024

Friday 5 April
General Area:
Wendover to Great Missenden via Ellesborough, and Lacey Green. Miles: 16 challenging
Leader: Hugo Hodge.
Nature of walk: this walk is a lovely wander through typical Chiltern scenery. There will be plenty of climbs and some woods without clear paths, but I will do a recce and I have plotted the route on my phone, so only an idiot can get lost. We could have a pub stop at Lacey Green and a picnic by the Windmill.

Hugo's report: Although the Chiltern Line was not directly affected by the rail strike, their website warned that its services might need timetable changes. Sure enough we had to catch an earlier train. This walk reveals the very best of the Chilterns with a great variety of hills, fields, woods and pretty villages. Mud was still a problem but had improved since Deborah and I recced it two days earlier. A decision was made to change the route to avoid dreadful conditions just before Lacey Green and take a restricted byway to Speen which we had passed earlier. It was shorter and properly surfaced. To my horror the byway dipped into a hollow a foot deep in mud and closed by thick hedges on each side. My tough companions, Janet and Hilary, were undaunted by that nor by the herd of heifers which later accompanied us up a steep hill licking and nudging us all the way. By a strange coincidence with the first time I led a version of this walk, as we reached the platform at Great Missenden the sun set and the train arrived.

Sunday 7 April

Tuesday 9 April
General Area:
Amersham to Chesham. Miles: 9.5 moderate
Leader: Hugo Hodge.
Nature of walk: from the Station we take the path through Parsonage Wood and down to the Old Town. We walk through the Old Town of Amersham and past the Cricket Club. We continue along the South Bucks Way to Little Missenden. Here we turn right and reach Hyde Common. Here there is a public house and places to sit for lunch. We cross the Common and go along Little Hundridge Lane until we reach the ever popular Herbert’s Hole where we turn right for Chesham. Although Chesham and Amersham are very close to each other this virtually circular walk does make the best of the countryside.

Hugo's report: Eight of us gathered at Amersham Station in chilly and breezy weather to walk a semi-circular route to Chesham. We were very pleased to welcome one newcomer, Dee Cohen, who I hope will join us for many more walks to come. It was familiar territory as far as Little Missenden where we had a coffee stop in the church porch while sheltering from a rain shower. The weather improved for the next section to Hyde Heath Common where we enjoyed lunch sitting around the flag pole, until rain sent us to the adjacent pub which was dry and warm. From there it was a mile or so through woods until we reached Herbert’s Hole which led us in much improved weather to Chesham.

Saturday 13 April
General Area:
Lane End Miles: 13 challenging
Leader: Hansa Jadva-Patel.
Nature of walk: A pleasant circular walk via Moor Farm, Moor Wood and Shillingridge Wood, stopping at Bovingdon Green / Marlow Common for a picnic lunch. Afternoon walk continues via Bottom Wood, Moor Common and Frieth (possible snack stop). The walk includes good scenic views, some steep ascends, a good mix of woodland, open fields, some stiles and generally good paths. Please bring a packed lunch and snacks.

Hansa's report: The sun was out, the sky was blue, not a cloud to spoil the view, what a splendid day for walking. 17 cheerful souls set off to embark on three descent hills and some minor undulations in the Chilterns. Our first rewarding breath taking view was overlooking Bluey’s farm where we stopped to admire the views, have our morning break and peel back to our t-shirts! Our ascent to Bovingdon Green shortly lead us into Marlow Common, where we had the woodland to ourselves to enjoy our lunch in total peace, and seclusion. On our ascent to Lower Woodend, we were joined by a family of owls (site of group photo). At 10 miles, there was the opportunity to cut the walk short for those who wanted an early finish, but this was rejected by all the walkers. They may have soon regretted this decision as the walk continued through the swampy Moor Common with some sections of paths under muddy waters. This did not dampen our spirits as the sun was still shining and we continued to Frieth where we rested our weary legs and re-energised ourselves before the final undulation to Lane End. The woods were colourful with wild flowers, primrose and cowslip. Overall, an enjoyable walk with good company and for some in the group, exploring an area of Chilterns they had not seen before.

Monday 15 April
General Area:
Chesham to Tring. Miles: 11 fairly challenging.
Leader: Hugo Hodge.
Travel: from Harrow on the Hill Station take the northbound Metline train to Chesham at 09.41 arriving at Chesham at 10.17.
Nature of walk: we leave Chesham and follow Herbert’s Hole. We turn right before Ballinger Bottom and cross the Chilterns through Chartridge and Asheridge where there is a public house. We continue to Cholesbury Fort (perhaps another break here) and through woods until we reach edge of Tring Park and make the long descent to the canal and railway station. Along the way there are beautiful views over the Vale of Aylesbury. From Tring there are regular services back to Harrow and London via Watford. There are quite a few ups and downs on this walk which will make perfect training!

The Met Office forecast heavy rain showers throughout the day and very strong winds. I did not expect anyone to join me, but I was surprised and delighted when 14 of us met at Chesham Station. The only rain experienced by most of us lashed the windows of the Metline train on the journey out. The day became bright and breezy. The walk was a delight with little serious mud and plenty of hills revealing glorious views. We had a couple of obstacles to overcome; the first was a fallen tree covered in ivy completely blocking our path. I was very impressed at how our walkers clambered over it undeterred. The second occurred when I wandered off course in private woodland to find that the exit was not a stile but a locked five-barred gate flanked by a sturdy post and rail fence twice the height of a stile. No problem for Mary still recovering from a hip replacement! The Met Office caught up with us as we descended to Tring Station. The wind became a full on gale and howled through the bending and groaning trees beside us. For a few minutes we had to endure horizontal hail stinging our cheeks. Crossing the A41 on the footbridge we had to cling on to the guard rails for fear of being blown off. Hugo's report:

Sunday 21 April
General Area:
Hampden Climber. Miles: 13 challenging.
Meeting time: 10:30 Meeting place: Princes Risborough Station.
Leader: Tony Prothero. Leader's phone: 07715 948235.
Travel: from Harrow on the Hill Station take the 09.05 Chiltern Line train to London Marylebone Station arriving at 09.19. Change onto the 09.42 Chiltern Line train destination Oxford arriving at Princes Risborough Station at 10.26.
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.


Thursday 25 April
General Area:
Ivinghoe Beacon plus the Best Bluebell Beechwoods in the Ashridge Estate. Miles: 12-13 moderate
Meeting time: 10:30 Meeting place: Tring Station
Leader: Sue Aldridge Leader's phone: 07713 025494 On the Day only
Travel: Depart Harrow & Wealdstone 9.51 Watford Junc. 10.00 Arrive Tring 10.21 (train times to be checked/revised nearer the date)
Nature of walk: A Circular walk following ‘The Ridgeway’ to Ivinghoe Beacon and along Gallows Hill Ridge with views towards Dunstable Downs. Then walk through some of the best Bluebell woods on the Ashridge Estate, finally descending to the GU canal to follow the towpath back to Tring Station. Picnic lunch on the slopes of the Ivinghoe hills with splendid views. A later tea stop at the NT Visitor Centre Café with toilets. (From visitor centre, walk can be slightly shortened to 9-10 miles if a walker wishes to descend independently via Albury, with a direct half hour easy walk back to Tring Station… directions provided.) The main walk follows the wooded escarpment through the last bluebell wood and descends from Norcott Hill to the canal to return to the station. This walk provides similar terrain to our Shropshire Challenge only in a week’s time!


Saturday 27 April
General Area:
Christmas Common Circular. Miles: 15 challenging with 1800m of ascent.
Meeting time: 10:00 Meeting place: Hills Road car park, Watlington Hills, OX49 5HS (£3 parking fee but free if NT member).
Leader: Glenn Connolly. Leader's phone: 07816 847621.
Travel: take M40 to J5 and then A40 towards Oxford. Take first left sign posted for Christmas Common, drive approximately 3 miles and then turn right into Hills Road. The car park is approx. 400 yards on left. Nearest postcode is OX49 5HS.
Nature of walk: a beautiful walk through beechwoods and villages following the Oxfordshire Way from Christmas Common to Pishill and on to Stonor where we will have a 1st stop overlooking Stonor House. We then continue to Turville and Fingest for a second stop with a pub before returning via Ibstone Common. Please bring a packed lunch.


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We hope our walk leaders will be ready. Please send the usual information to Hugo (hugohodge@btinternet.com).

"The usual information" should include:
The general area and whether or not circular
How many miles, easy or moderate, etc
When and where to meet
Walk leader's name and phone number
Suggested travel
A few words about the route.
And be prepared to send a brief report and photo afterwards.(to pjmpolkinghorne@gmail.com)

General points

Last updated 18 April 2024

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