Who said it doesn’t snow in London any more? Five of us decided to brave the snow on Blackheath and headed down through Greenwich Park. After a coffee stop in the park cafe, the snow having more or less stopped, we continued on to walk through the foot tunnel and emerged on the Isle of Dogs. Before long however it started to snow again in earnest so we decided to call it a day and abandoned the original plan to walk to St Katherine’s Dock. The bus driver on the last bit of my journey home sang Christmas Carols all the way in a beautiful voice, so it was a suitable end to this Christmassy day!
Dermot led us on this eight mile walk starting from Otford. We began with the usual steep climb up on to the North Downs, then over to Romney Street where the pub had sadly closed. We then dropped down back to the Darenth valley and had lunch in Shoreham — some of us on the station platform, others more scenically but maybe less comfortably by the river.
After lunch we walked along the river to the café at Lullingstone Park for hot drinks and scones, then back to Shoreham and finally over the gold course to Otford and the train home.
The group had an exhilarating walk along the Chiltern escarpment to the top of Ivinghoe Beacon in breezy conditions by following part of the Ridgeway long distance path.
We soon dropped down into the ancient Chiltern beechwoods of the Ashridge Estate.
We reached Bridgewater Memorial where we enjoyed a cuppa and cake at the National Trust visitor centre.
The final leg took us through the picturesque village of Aldbury with its village pond and charming church then back to Tring Station.
A killjoy suggested this would be the last sunshine we would have on a walk until the spring, but at least this was a lovely sunny day, and even though we got there on the “underground”, to Chorleywood, the Chess valley was delightfully rural.
Nicola led this walk which mostly followed the modest river Chess up to Chesham. Our first impromptu stop was to buy watercress at a farm which also had these llamas:
On the other hand, this crocodile encountered near the end was a little lifeless: