This walk led by Pauline took us up above Cold Hill and on to the ridge above The Great Hanger. The way up was interesting with fields full of sheep and one set of large steps to negotiate. We had a stop near the top to take on more oxygen and a few sips of water, with a promise of a coffee stop on the way back down, The stop had an impressive view over towards Butser Hill as well as a bench seat. The seat was erected by local subscription in memory of a local lad who lost his life in Afghanistan. Beutifully situated with flowering plants all around it was the ideal stop. We eventually carried on past Lythe Farm, the tiny Stroud Church (erected in the year of Queen Victori''s Jubilee in 1887) and then on to Stroud for a lunch in The Seven Stars. A lovely walk of about 3.5 miles.
Marian, Jane and Tim led the walk around a tiny part of inner London. Even so, there was a lot to see. We started out by walking over the Golden Jubilee Footbridge to reach the Victoria Embankment Gardens. From there we headed for a quick stroll around Covent Garden before having a delightful coffee and cake in the Royal Opera House. On the way to Lincoln's Inn Field we found the Old Curiosity Shop, looking a bit dusty and selling shoes. Lincoln's Inn Field is home to the Sir John Soane's Museum, free entry to an incredible collection of Egyptian artefacts, paintings by Canaletto, Turner and William Hogarth as well as a vast, extraordinary collection of curiosities and surprises. A quick walk through Lincoln's Inn Field and we were in New Square, Lincoln's Inn, one time home to Thomas More, Oliver Cromwell, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair. Around the corner is a Victorian cast iron public convenience, unfortunately locked. From there we headed for Temple Church with its extraordinary 13th and 14th Century stone effigies and architecture dating back to 1185 AD. We happened to be there at the same time as an organ recital by Alessandro Bianchi but we had no time to linger as we were en route to The Olde Cheshire Cheese for lunch. This wonderful pub was rebuilt after the Great Fire of London in 1666 and has served many famous figures including Dickens, G.K Chesterton, Tennyson, Conan Doyle, Mark Twain and many more, as well as members of the Midhurst Footpath Companions. The next destination was the Wren church of St. Brides. Originally St. Bridgets, a local confectioner copied the steeple design for his version of a wedding cake. So sucessful was his wedding cake design that by the 18th Century, the church had became known as St Brides. Deep in the crypt is a section of floor from a Roman temple that once stood on the site. This church has had good and other clients for marriages. The parents of the first ever European child to be born in America were married there, as were Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall. Next was St Paul's Cathedral, but not for viewing on the inside. We next went over the Millenium Bridge to reach the South Bank of the Thames. A gentle stroll viewing the sights brought us to the Le Pain Quotidien for a last snack before catching the train home.
Because of the warmer than usual conditions, Peter chose a seaside walk and it was very much the right decision. We started out from the car park of the Old House at Home and headed for a view of Chichester Harbour. From there we took the Lipchis Way for half a mile. The Lipchis Way is supposedly a walking route from Liphook to Chichester but the planners obviously overshot and only stopped when they got to West Wittering. From the end of the Lipchis Way we took a circular route around the East Head before walking along the sands at West Wittering, keeping a keen eye on the Nab Tower. If you want to know more about the Nab Tower , click here:- Nab Tower. At the car park entrance we headed inland to the Old House at Home for an excellent lunch, well served. The walk was just slightly less than 5 miles.
This walk led by Denis started from Cheriton Playing Fields car park and headed towards Tichborne, passing along the beautiful River Itchen with its source only a mile away near Hinton Ampner House. The Itchen is one of the world's finest trout streams, with fishing rights jealously guarded for centuries. After walking through some of Tichborne Park, we spent some time trout spotting in the Itchen before heading uphill past a huge poppy-field before descending again to The Tichborne Arms for a much deserved lunch. Well satisfied, our next destination was Tichborne Church with its original box pews dating back at least 400 years. Next was the Allan King Way to Gander Down before finally descending back to the playing fields of Cheriton.
The walk led by Jean was potentially wet but we survived the morning without any seriously wet weather. After parking in Lord's Piece car park we trod gently over Lord's Piece common. This common was the only home in the country of the Field Cricket and fewer than 100 existed in the 1980's. After a lot of work there are now another 5 areas in the UK that are now home to this insect but it is still internationally endangered. We then headed down a path known as Park Lane to reach a truly well built bus shelter in the village of Sutton. Refreshed, we headed back towards Lord's Piece along the Serpent Trail to the car park. Lunch was in The Badger where good-humoured discussions took place about several subjects, including who should be the next Prime Minister.