Viewing galleries from July, 2019
Jennifer had stepped in for the recovering Jeff and chose to go to East Dean. The forecast was for a hot day but the worst being saved for the afternoon. It was hot but as much of the walk was in the shade of trees and there was often a helpful breeze, we survived very well. We even tackled a few hills for good measure. We started from the village and headed up towards Wood Lea. Turning right we descended North Down until we reached the West Sussex Literary Trail which we used to go north to our coffee stop at the base of Wood Lea. We had a nicely shady stop under an ancient yew tree, supplemented with some delicious strawberries. At the top of Wood Lea a couple of walkers decided to take a more direct route to the Pub, not so much from a heat problem, more to avoid any more hills! As it turned out, the walk towards Eastdean Woods and back to Scratlee was not particularly hilly but did extend the walk, luckily through shady woods. Lunch was in the excellent Star and Garter where we also found a few more members. The walk was just over 4.1/2 miles.
Tim and Jane led this walk from West Marden to Stoughton and back. The weather was almost too hot but fortunately there was some woody shade and an occasional breeze to make it bearable. The route was up to Up Marden church, a 12th or 13th century Downland church barely changed through the centuries and as ever full of quiet mystery. We chose to have our break in the churchyard before carrying on to Stoughton where we dined very well in the Hare and Hounds. The return route was via Watergate House. The whole area was in all its glory, with barley almost ready for harvesting, having grown so well out of the chalk and flint soil. It was also an area with a lot of wild flower margins in and around the fields, with many butterflies and insects enjoying the weather. It was a bit of a leg-stretcher with seemingly a little more up than down but we all survived in good spirits. The walk was around 7 miles.
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.