Walking Club

Join us for occasional longer walks in the countryside around London (between 10-15km) which often include lunch in a country pub
details from Angela

Next walk – to be confirmed

Further details from Angela or via WhatsApp.

Past Walks

Saturday 15 June – Leigh to Hever (Kent)
We alighted from the train at Leigh  – with Angela informing us “it’s pronounced ‘Lie’ not ‘Lee’ ”.  Into the lush green countryside, we eventually came to a field with cows and a bull, so we crept through as fast as we could, with Caroline behind shouting “we’re meant to stick together!”.  All calm after that, passing the grand Penshurst Place, and through a rapeseed field and a green wheat field.  Arriving at the village of Chiddingstone, some light rain; “Oh no, we’ll have to stop for some tea and huge slices of home-made cakes!”. Refreshed, we arrived at St Peter’s Church in Hever, where the father of Anne Boleyn is buried ‘Here lieth Sir Thomas Bullen (Boleyn) … 12th March 1539’.  Finally, the heavens opened, so a mad dash to Hever station, drenched, we reached the platform shelter, and the sun shone once again.  A grand day out with lots of laughs, thank you Angela.

Monday 22nd May – Tudeley revisited
On a beautiful sunny Monday, Angela reprised her circular walk from Tonbridge. Seven of us set off along the river Medway through fields of buttercups towards All Saints Tudeley, the only church in the world to boast a complete set of stained glass windows designed by Marc Chagall. After lunch at the Poacher & Partridge – voted best WI walking club pub for its imaginative menu – we visited the unassuming little village church and its amazing windows. They really are stunningly beautiful, particularly with the sun streaming through. The original east window was commissioned by the d’Avigdor-Goldsmid family in the 1960s as a memorial to their daughter, Sarah, who died in a sailing accident. Chagall was so taken with the church that he went on to design the remaining 11 windows.

Saturday 13 April – Tring Circular
Spurred on by the weather forecast and Angela’s promise of bluebells, eleven of us signed up for the Tring circular walk which certainly didn’t disappoint. After leaving Tring station we soon joined the Ridgeway and made our way up to the spectacular ridge overlooking the Vale of Aylesbury, where we had a brief pause to catch our breath and take in the view. We turned off the Ridgeway to carry on through the woods where there were more bluebells than we could have imagined. The sight and smell of the bluebells was awe inspiring and many photos were taken. The next stop was the National Trust café in the Ashridge estate where we stopped for a well earned lunch before making our way back down, via Aldbury, to the station. Thank you Angela for organising such a lovely walk and arranging such perfect weather!

Saturday 16 March 2024 – Dorking to Reigate
Eight of us made an early start for a beautiful spring walk from Dorking to Reigate along part of the Greensand Way in Surrey. After crossing the River Mole, we made our way to the lovely old church of St Michaels, Betchworth, which featured in Four Weddings and a Funeral. The weather was fine and dry but parts of the route made us feel we were taking part in a Tough Mudder challenge! Marie-Laure’s face mask came to the rescue when Desi needed an emergency repair to the sole of her boot. After this, and with the help of walking poles and passing tree branches, the rest of us arrived largely unscathed at the Skimmington Castle pub for a delicious and much-needed lunch. Many thanks to Angela for brilliant route planning and navigation.

Saturday 24 February 2024 – Chess Valley
Ten of us, plus Penny’s dog Ronnie, enjoyed a lovely walk in the Chess Valley. After starting from Chorleywood station, we soon arrived at Chorleywood Common where we encountered the first mud of the day. Luckily it was a dry day, but the recent rain meant that mud was feature of the walk! We joined the Chess Valley walk which combined gentle hills, wide open fields and, of course, the River Chess. We stopped for lunch at the Red Lion at Chenies where we were very well looked after. After lunch we continued along the Chess Valley walk to catch the train back home from Chalfont and Latimer. Many thanks to Angela for organising and leading a great walk.

Saturday 13 January 2024 – Guildford circular
It was a very cold, but thankfully dry day for our walk from Guildford, expertly led by Penny. Eight of us set off from Guildford station along the river before climbing up to St Catherine’s Hill to look at the ruined chapel. We then joined the North Downs Way which took us to the Watts Gallery and Artists village where we stopped for a well earned lunch. Their speciality Welsh rarebit was delicious! Before setting off again, we took the opportunity to visit the nearby Arts and Crafts Chapel which was spectacular. Our return to Guildford included a challenging uphill path, but it was worth it for the views from the top. We descended into Guildford down ‘The Mount’ and back to the station. Thank you Penny for organising such a good day out.

Monday 11 December – Princes Risborough circular
Five fair weather walkers set off from Princes Risborough station on Monday, having (just, in the case of Frances) caught the train from Marylebone.  The plan had been to do the walk at the weekend but the weather forecast wasn’t great so we changed days and, as a result, pubs for our well earned lunch. We were all very glad we did.  The ground was fairly wet and slippery and it would have been miserable in the rain.  But as a result of the change we had some lovely sunshine and fabulous views from above Whiteleaf and were accompanied by red kites all the way.  A couple of steep climbs and descents made us all feel we had achieved something by the time we arrived back at Princes Risborough, almost in the dark.

Saturday 25 November – Riddleston to Couldson
10 ladies, including Marie-Laure’s très joli chien, Skylar, set off on a perfect autumn day to walk from Riddlesdown, through woods and across Kenley Common. The recent weather was kind to us, so it wasn’t too muddy underfoot and with only one steep ascent, we made good progress to the pub for lunch, where we had a well-earned rest. We set off in good spirits for the second half of our walk through some woods which had the last of their autumn leaves. We reached Happy Valley in good time and enjoyed the last of the walk on Farthing Down which brought us to the station and the train home.

Saturday 28 October – Chislehurst circular
We revisited the walk through Petts Wood and Scadbury Park that we did earlier in the year and this time we were treated to lots of lovely autumnal colours, a range of interesting fungi and a carpet of fallen chestnuts that we couldn’t resist gathering (the chestnuts rather than the fungi!). Beautiful autumn weather too, not too cold and beautiful blue skies. We posed for a group photo next to the monument celebrating the Summer Time Act which was very apt as it was the day the clocks went back! After lunch in the Sydney Arms we made our way back to Chislehurst station where we got the train with minutes to spare! Thanks Angela for another lovely walk.

Saturday 23 September – Oxford circular: Port Meadow
We were lucky with an unexpectedly beautiful sunny day for our walk from Oxford Station, taking us up the Thames to Godstow and then through Lower and Upper Wolvercote before stopping for a delicious lunch in the Plough. The weather was even warm enough for us to eat outside! After lunch we made our way back to the station along the Oxford canal, where we tried not to feel too envious of all those lucky enough to have stunning houses/gardens backing onto the water! A record twelve of us enjoyed this lovely walk and we particularly enjoyed the incredible views across Port Meadow. Thank you to Catherine for a great day out!

Saturday 15 July – Tonbridge circular via Tudeley
Nine of us set off from Tonbridge Station on a very blustery day making our way east along the Medway. We made it to the Poacher and Partridge country pub in good time for lunch where we were joined by one more (who had driven down to enjoy the lunch and churches). After an excellent lunch we walked/drove the short distance to All Saints Church in Tudeley where we were met by Madeleine, who gave us a fascinating talk about the story behind the famous stained glass windows by Chagall, which were absolutely stunning. Another hour’s walk through fields and orchards brought us back to Tonbridge. A wonderful day out enjoyed by all.

Saturday 17 June – Liphook to Fernhurst
On a cloudy but warm Saturday morning we set out from Liphook to explore the ancient woods on the Surrey/Sussex border, meandering our way through ancient woodlands and past Shulbrede Priory. Lunch was in the shade of trees by the cricket pitch in Fernhurst although some of us took advantage of the very pleasant café in the cricket pavilion. Afterwards we climbed back up to the main road to catch the bus back to Haslemere, purchasing local honey en route. An added bonus was a fleeting sight from our train of the Flying Scotsman on its centenary tour!

Saturday 27th May – Shiplake to Henley
A lovely Summer’s day for our walk from Shiplake to Henley-on-Thames. In the morning we benefitted from the shade of many wooded footpaths before arriving at the cool and spacious Maltsters Arms for lunch. After lunch, we applied sunscreen, donned hats, topped up our water bottles and set off for Henley enjoying pastoral views over the Oxfordshire countryside as we went. With memories of scrumptious ice-creams from a previous walk, we took a detour to the ice-cream shop and had our ice-creams by the river before catching the train home. A grand day out!

Saturday 22 April – Wendover – Princes Risborough
Four of us set out from Wendover, slowly climbing up Coombe Hill to the monument where we had our first taste of the spectacular views. We followed the Ridgeway, through the woods and past Chequers before stopping for lunch at the Plough at Casden which was very popular with the many walkers we encountered. Another steep hill after lunch, but again rewarded by wonderful view of the Vale of Aylesbury. There were lots of signs of spring with the woods filled with blossom, violets, primroses and bluebells and even some sunshine along the way!

Sunday 19th March – Chislehurst circular
We finally made it to Chislehurst for the oft-postponed circular walk, although there were only four of us in the end. After a short walk from the station we soon arrived in Petts Wood and then on to Scadbury Park and thanks to Angela’s navigation skills we managed not to get lost (well not really!). Lots of interesting things to see along the way, including bears carved out of old oak trees, monuments, a moated manor and all around were the signs of spring. Still a lot of mud around, but the weather held and the sun even appeared occasionally!

Saturday 18th February – St Margaret’s circular
Eight of us enjoyed a lovely day out in Hertfordshire, although at the beginning of the walk there were two groups as three arrived on a later train because of delays. But thanks to the first group walking very slowly and the second walking very briskly, we were re-united in time for lunch at the Chequers Inn at Ware (where they had a very clever device that put plastic covers on muddy boots). A bit of a grey day, but a lovely country walk with lots of signs of spring, especially the beautiful swathes of snowdrops. After eight miles or so, we made our way back to St Margarets along the river Lea, and had time for a reviving cup of tea before catching the train back to London.

Sunday 15 January 2023 – Balcombe to Haywards Heath, West Sussex
After Saturday’s trip to Chiselhurst was rained off, five of us met on a sunny Sunday morning to walk from Balcombe to Haywards Heath, under Angela’s skilful navigation. The going was heavy, but the beautiful trees and the first tiny signs of spring more than made up for the extremely muddy conditions underfoot. Highlight of the trip was the magnificent Ouse Valley railway viaduct, built in the mid-nineteenth century to carry the London to Brighton line across the River Ouse.

Saturday 3 December – Princes Risborough to Wendover
Five of us braved the cold and walked from Princes Risborough to Wendover, taking in some of the Icknield Way and Ridgeway in the Chilterns. Some steep climbs, but worth it for the amazing views. After walking round the perimeter of Chequers, we stopped for our picnic at the base of the Coombe Hill Monument where the sun came out briefly, but where the wind was bitingly cold! After a short descent we stopped for a welcome and warming cup of tea in Wendover.

Saturday 29 OctoberKenley Common, Happy Valley and Farthing Down
We had a lovely walk across some south London commons managed by the City of London with some spectacular views back to the city. We had a little detour to the RAF airfield at Kenley which has some interesting history. Happy Valley is particularly green and we enjoyed the fast fading autumnal colours on the trees.

Saturday 24 September – Circular walk from Oxshott Station
Nine of us enjoyed a lovely walk from Oxshott. Only yards from the station the path emerged onto Oxshott Heath where we enjoyed the views from the war memorial before entering the woods where we followed the paths (mostly the right ones!) to the bridge across the A3 leading us to Esher Common. We emerged in West End where we enjoyed an excellent lunch at the Prince of Wales. Then back through the woods, via the Black Pond, reaching the station in good time for the return train. Despite a rather gloomy forecast, the sun shone all day and we all agreed that Angela had come up trumps with this walk!

Saturday 9 July – Wargrave to Henley
Phew, what a scorcher! Nine of us braved the blazing sun to walk along the Chiltern Way from Wargrave to Henley. We set off from Wargrave station and walked for a couple of hours, enjoying the dappled shade in woods before reaching Crazies Hill where we had a welcome stop for lunch in the Horns pub. After lunch it was even hotter as we made our way to Remenham where we encountered rare white deer in the deer park. The walk continued above the Thames until we descended into Henley for a well earned ice-cream before the train back to London.

Saturday 21 May – Denham Circular
The sun shone for our circular walk starting from and returning to Denham. On leaving the station we soon found ourselves in the Colne Valley Nature Reserve alongside Denham golf course and then reached the Grand Union Canal. After stopping for lunch at the River Garden pub in Harefield we crossed the canal and returned on the other side through the woods. Our final stop was for coffee/tea/cake/ice cream in the Swan in Denham where we were able to rest our legs in their lovely garden. Many thanks to Angela for organising such a lovely (and flat) walk!

Saturday 23 April – Princes Risborough to Great Missenden On a mild St George’s Day, perfect for energetic walking, 7 members led by Angela gave new meaning to “up hill and down dale” in the Chilterns. Our walk from Princes Risborough to Great Missenden via The Gate pub in Bryant’s Bottom followed parts of the Chiltern Way and took in the windmill at Loosely Row, Grimm’s Ditch and Parslow’s Hillock, crossing at least three mountain ranges. We saw sheep and cows and calves and chickens and ponies and donkeys; bluebells and primroses and wild garlic and….. Excellent pub lunch, and a completed distance which at least one walker hadn’t covered on her own feet for about 20 years. We ended up in Roald Dahl Town for coffee & cake before the train home. 

Saturday 12 March – West Ruislip to Northwood The day started with travel problems and unexpected rain, but by the time we all met at West Ruislip station, the sun had came out and we enjoyed a lovely walk through Bayhurst Wood Country Park and Ruislip Woods Nature Reserve, stopping for lunch at the café next to Ruislip Lido which was sparkling in the sunshine. Lots of mud and fallen trees to contend with along the way, so walking poles were well used!

Saturday 26 February – Saunderton to Princes Risborough: The sun shone for a spectacular walk along part of the Chiltern Way with stunning views, some gentle hills (and a fair amount of mud!). Red kites kept us company along the way and there was plenty of evidence of the effects of storm Eunice. After a delicious lunch in the Lions of Bledlow, we made it back to Princes Risborough station with minutes to spare!

Wednesday 5th January 2022 – Capital Ring in NE London
The day dawned bright and sunny for our first long walk of the year. We started at Crouch Hill and walked along Parkland Walk to Finsbury Park, carefully avoided the muddy banks of the New River and strolled onto Clissold Park, where we stopped for coffee. We avoided the retail opportunities in Stoke Newington and continued on through Abney Park, noting William Booth’s grave before arriving at Walthamstow Marshes where we availed of a well-positioned picnic table to have our packed lunches. We continued along the river Lee, past the Olympic Park to Hackney Wick for the train home and well-earned cups of tea.

Saturday 11th December 2021 – Wargrave to Henley
We had a good walk last Saturday from Wargrave (Berkshire) to Henley-on-Thames – approximately 8 miles. A wise decision by Angela to make an early start meant we missed the rain later in the afternoon & even had the bonus of a beautiful sunrise. The walk took us via lovely villages, part of the Chiltern Way, and through a deer park populated by rare white & fallow deer at Culham Court. Although bit muddy in parts it was mostly good walking on leafy tracks. It was even mild enough to eat our packed lunches on a bench overlooking a field which was being patrolled by a few pairs of enormous Red Kites. We made the 2pm train from Henley and were back in London before dusk – which comes so early at this time of year.

Previous walks include: