Sunday, May 10, 2020

 VE 75th Anniversary May 8th 2020

My bedroom window with bunting supplied by Hilary

Pavlova made by daughter Sarah

Front garden party in progress - regret not in photo as taking it

Photo of her house by Pam Green

 2 more photos from Pam Green showing her close on VE75 day

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Saturday March 14th Chipperfield Walk 9 walkers 10.7 miles led by Bev & Keith

Tony R, Beryl, Ruth, Celia, Keith, Bob, Bev, Sue & Geoff

Fallen tree with the walkers
Keith taking the photo
Muddy puddle on the walk.
Track showing walk. Walked in anti-clockwise direction starting from green dot on the Common.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

March 12th, Thursday, Hexton led by Jed and Jenny
Undeterred by the downpour at 9am, the road closure at Sharpenhoe, Corona Virus and the change of date, about 16 ramblers arrived in good time at the Raven Arms ready to walk the 6 miles. It was a lovely walk - sun and fluffy white clouds; a sheltered start up a valley to the Icknield way; a lovely coffee stop at the base of Telegraph Hill with logs to sit on and then a brisk stroll up to Deacon Hill - where we really had to struggle to stay on our feet for the photograph!

 The wind then propelled us down the East side until we reached the shelter of the hill.

Sun and white clouds continued as we passed lambs and sheep, but we could see the grey sky over to the West - it amounted only to a few minutes of drizzle and we ended the walk warm and dry back at the Raven Arms.
Map showing the walk. Walked in anti-clockwise direction starting at green dot

Saturday, March 7, 2020

7th March walk at Sandridge led by Peter Shilladay 7 miles with 11 walkers

This walk started at the Heartwood Forest car park. We then walked through Sandridge village and turned right down House Lane.We passed several farms and a sand conveyor which was not working and covered up. Several of the tracks were lined with daffodils which made a pleasant sight.

Geoff,  Sandra,  Sue , Joan,  Ann,  Linda,  Peter,  Beryl , Ruth,  Tony P  & Tony R  by the daffodils.

We then crossed Coopers Green Lane and continued past some disused greenhouse shells to a garden centre where we stopped for a picnic stop.
 We then walked up Oaklands Lane before turning off and walking through Oaklands College.
Sue and Linda
The walkers in front coming out of Oaklands College grounds

The latter part of this was a building site behind yellow boarding. But then we came to a lane which led out from the site to a main road which we crossed. This led into Marshallswick housing estate which we navigated our way through by means of many short footpaths. After crossing another field we  returned to Sandridge and found our way back to the Heartwood Forest car park. A big than you to Peter for a walk that was new to most of us.
Map showing the walk route. Walked in clockwise direction from  car park at top of map.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Thursday 5th March
This was our coffee morning. The Lounge of Toddington Village Hall was open from 10 am until noon for coffee, looking at the archive books & a general chat. Despite the rain we had a very successful morning with 26 members attending. The archive books were in great demand. It was good to see members who now find walking very difficult. The were most welcome to attend.
Thanks to all who helped and made refreshments..

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Go Easy Walk on Saturday 22nd February 2020    4 Mile Circular Walk from Millbrook Village
Leader Nita McCarthy
Nine ladies really enjoyed a leisurely walk in the sunshine.
At times we were walking on the boundaries of Millbrook Golf Club and through very old wooded areas.
We had several coffee and water stops with lots of opportunities for all of us to get our up to date news.
We wore our Hi-Vis vests for crossing the usually very busy A507 only to find that we were able to cross safely as there was very little traffic!!
We then skirted the boundary of Center Parcs and  had to be careful. It was very muddy, even worse than when we did the recce. We took our time and helped each other
The last stage was a downhill walk through the woods back down into Millbrook Village.
There were two or three inclines which we took our time and did not talk so much!

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Walk on Saturday 22nd February - 4 walkers - 12 miles in length led by Bob & Celia Wallace

It was a dry day with temperatures of 11 - 12 degrees, however it was quite windy.
We started the walk from Church Lane Ridgmont, walked past Segenhoe ruined church down a muddy track to Cobbler's Lane.We crossed the road & took the path past Wakes End farm & Briar Stockings to Water End. Here we crossed the road & took the track into Eversholt where we stopped for a coffee break at the Millennium Pond. After sustaining ourselves we walked through the churchyard & along the road before entering the Woburn Estate. We then followed the path up past the now closed gardens & the lake before arriving in Woburn village. The walked down the High Street/Bedford Street to the Bell pub where we met Anna Blomfield for our lunch.
Tony P, Bob W, Celia W & Tony R with the elephants
After lunch we walked past the Village Hall & across the football fields to join Birchmoor Lane & hence past Birchmoor Green & Birchmoor Lodge to join Horsepool Lane. Rather than walk through the muddy fields here we walked along the Lane to join Crawley Road. We again entered the Woburn Estate by Crawley Lodge & eventually made our walk past the wallaby enclosure which had many young visitors.
 We saw elephants here and caught a glimpse of 2 giraffes before they went back into their house to escape the wind
Dumbo came to see us.
Further along we came across some long horn cattle.
We left the wild animals via some very muddy paths & noticed that the bridge over the fence has been demolished thus meaning we had to navigate the muddy gateway our of the safari park. We climbed the hill to the tarmac road which led back to Ridgmont & our cars.
Map showing track of the walk. Started at green dot at top & walked in clockwise direction.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Walks on Thursday 13th February - There were 2 walks on this day

1) A Go Easy walk of 4 miles around Harlington led by Patricia - 6 walkers were on this walk

2) A longer walk of 7 miles around the lakes of Milton Keynes - 16 walkers were on this walk.
The walk, led by Tony R, started at the Hungry Horse pub at Furzton Lake, walked round part of the lake before crossing Watling Street. We then walked between the National Bowl & the A5. The path here was part of a horse trail, with puddles in places. Due to the traffic on the A5 it was quite noisy here. We then walk past all 4 of the Tear Drop Lakes. We stopped at their top end for our coffee break watching the ducks on the lake.

We then passed under Childs Way, where we saw a heron that kept very still watching for fish in the river. We passed within about 2 meters of this bird before it eventually flew to safety on the other side of the river. We then passed many snowdrops before turning away from the river to walk again near the noisy A5. We then walked through a housing estate. On leaving this we passed some workmen repairing the tarmac path before crossing another road & passing under Portway to reach Lodge Lake. We walked round this lake with a short stop at its top for a second short coffee break. We again passed under Portway to enter another housing estate. Here we planned to leave the road & cross the stream using some stepping stones, however due to the recent rains these stones were submerged. Therefore we walked across a bridge before leaving the road to walk along a path parallel to the stream. This led to Bradwell Road &after passing some thatched cottages we crossed the road and walked past more large houses past the site of Loughton Manor & Fishponds. We then again went under Childs Way before arriving back at the Tear Drop Lakes albeit on the opposite side than formally.

Here we stopped for a photo. After these Lakes we walked under Chalfron Way, past the car park of the National Bowl to reach the woods of South Loughton Park. We went under Watling Street to reach the starting point in the pub car park. 6 members left us here before 10 of us went to the pub for lunch. We had a couple of tables on the upstairs floor, where most of us used the 2 meals for £9.99 deal. A good walk was enjoyed by all as the forecast rain held off and the amount of mud was minimal.

Map showing the track of the walk.
Walk done anti-clockwise starting at green dot.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Sue and Graeme’s walk
8 February 2020 

Today 10 members enjoyed a 6 mile walk in Hertford in the sunshine, lots of laughter and chatting and finished our day at Il Vino Italian cafe.
Walking along the tow path of the river Lee from Hartham common Hertford past Hertford lock  and Hartham Weir to Ware and visiting St Mary’s church before walking back along the river past Ware lock, crossing over river Lee and Beane river and finishing our day at Il Vino cafe.

Hartham Weir with the ducks feeding.

Tony R, Linda, Hilary, Anne, Graeme, Sue, Nita, John, Joan and Tony P by the football pitches.

Group with The Maltmaker in Ware

On the Rocking Horse in Ware

In the woods with the snowdrops on the way back to Hertford

Map showing the track of the walk.
Starting point shown as green dot on left hand side.
We walked lower section first to Ware before returning on upper section to Hertford.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Thursday 6th February 
Our walk started at Dunstable Downs on a lovely bright and frosty morning. The frost soon cleared in the sunshine and we had super views in clear sky as we walked along the ridge to Totteridge, had our coffee on a seat in the playground then headed gradually up hill back to the chalk downs. Most people visited the cafe at the end. 

Neil and Kathy

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Walk on Thursday 30th January

Our walk is  on footpaths in Milton Keynes. It starts from Caldecotte Lake by the Premier Inn restaurant  (MK7 8HP) where there is ample free parking.  The walk is an easy 7.5 miles along the River Ouzel & The Grand Union Canal.  We will be stopping for lunch at Willen Lake Restaurant which is half way.
as well as meals the pub serve a selection of sandwiches, toasties, jacket potatoes & soup between £5 - £6.

We will be leaving Toddington at 9.30am
Hope to see you Thursday

Debbie & Nick

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Pulloxhill Walk 25th January 2020 led by Lynn Wright 6.5 miles - 14 walkers

This walk was originally supposed to start from Silsoe, but unfortunately the Star & Garter pub there has closed. Lynn therefore decided to start from the Cross Keys in Pulloxhill. As the pub could only accept our booking if we finished before 2pm we decided to bring the walk start forward by half an hour to leave Toddington at 9 am & 9.30 am from Pulloxhill.
We started off by going through the chuchyard before descending  Rushymeade, an open area of ridge and furrow ancient farming, to cross the Barton Road.
We walked past Hillfoot Farm and some ancient moats before entering Silsoe. Here we past the old lock-up before turning left along the High Street. We stopped at the swings where there are several seats for our coffee break. We then rejoined the High Street which we left to pass Road Farm.

We then turned left in the direction of Wardhedges, but before reaching it we past the Beaumont Tree where a highwayman was impaled by a elm stake which eventually grew into the elm. (see plaque).
We then zigzaged through several fields to reach Sand Road before arriving back at the Cross Keys where 12 of us had lunch. The route can be seen on the map below which we walked in an anti-clockwise direction.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Thursday 23rd January. 5.25 mile circular walk on the lesser known paths of the Rushmere country park.  Led by Ruth. 19 ramblers.

This walk started at Great Brickhill and initially walked along the narrow lane towards Stockgrove, before turning onto a footpath through a few fields.

Some horses were present but gave us no trouble. We reached the quagmire after about a mile, but successfully negociated this, then set off across Rammamere Heath to stop brifly to look at the pipe line for aviation fuel.

We turned into the bridle path through King's Wood, passing some recently copiced small-leaved lime, and through an area of heather restoration, arriving at Stockgrove cafe for refreshments at 11.30am.

After a good break, we walked South through Baker's Wood to pick up the Voles way,, down hill and up hill, eventually coming out at the Giant's Chair. Through the Christmas Tree plantation and a valley back passed the Black pond.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Linda's Walk from Harpenden Station Saturday 18th January 2020   -  6 miles

16 hardy walkers arrived at Harpenden Train Station, some by train & some by car. We even welcomed Margaret, one of our London members to whom we are indebted to for these photos.

Eventually we all left the station and crossed the main road into Rothampstead Park.

We left the main track & walked across several rather damp fields before arriving at the Nickey Line, a disused railway track. Several walkers asked about the origins of the name.
However on investigation no definitive origin could be determined although several suggestions have been made over the years.

Linda gave us a short talk about the walk here.

Part way along the track we stopped for a coffee break before carrying on to a  very busy road junction where several kind motorists stopped to enable us to cross. We then skirted Redbourn before again crossing the road and entering a muddy ploughed field. Eventually we arrived at the edge of a golf course which in turn led to Redbourn Lane & hence back into Harpenden.
Soem of the walkers retired into the Costa Coffee shop whilst others returned to the train station to catch their train home.
A good day was had by all & thanks are due to Linda for organising & leading the walk. Route shown on map, walked in anti-clockwise direction                        

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Circular walk, Central Bedfordshiel Council, Jan 11th

Saturday 11th January Rushmere,   Footpath checking
This was the first of three routes that Central Bedfordshire Council publish as short circular walks, with a sketch map and directions.
18 ramblers met at the parking area at end of the Bridleway , Ruth armed with directions and a sketch map ready to lead the route,  Beryl and Yvonne with notebook and pencil ready to make notes.  It didn’t get off to a good start:  “look out for a footpath to the right and take the footpath”: did they mean the small unmarked path at the start? Probably not, according to the map. Or was it the later clear on with a prominent footpath sign? This seemed the most likely, but then we were not certain which was “cross the track and do not take the track that continues to the right”, Also, “continue into the woodland” was ambiguous as there was really no woodland!  However, there was a clear “keeping fence to the left”  so we confidently set off along a bridle way until we got to the kissing-gate entrance to Rammamere Heath. Here, we were clearly wrong, so after some debate, we retraced our path and this time tried going INTO Rammamere.   Back to the Kissing gate – this wasn’t right either!
By now it was 11am and we had only covered the first two instructions of the twelve on the route! So we set off directly for the Stockgrove café, had our break, then argued about which way to leave the café, many people chipping in. We decided to abandon the route-checking and to return to the cars more directly. That was much easier! We walked along the lake to the Heron Café, and after another short break and a peep at the herons, returned the most direct route passing Stockgrove Park House and we were back to the cars at 12.30.
On reflection,  decided to  delegate the route checking  to a smaller group of four, and to re-think the two future circular walks planned.  Keep an eye on the web-site.
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Saturday, January 4, 2020

2020 New Year’s Day Walk

On the morning of New Year’s Day 27 people, a mixture of Harlington village residents & members of Toddington Rambling Club & some who are both, assembled in the Harlington Village Hall car park for a walk to remove the excesses of the previous evening. We walked across Bury Orchard to Barton Road, crossed the road and carried on to where BW15 (Burrows Lane) descends to Willow Farm. There was some mud on this lane but it was soon left behind without problems. On reaching the Bottoms Rd we turned right and continued along it, sadly passing much fly tipping, until its junction with Sundon Rd. Here we turned left through a kissing gate and followed the path on the old trackway before climbing the steps to the chalk pits. We exited the pits by more steps and here stopped for our refreshment break, with wonderful views across the valley to Sharpenhoe Clappers. Standing here 2 days before I had witnessed a duck shoot being carried out in the wooded area below, near where Woodfield formally stood, this surprised me as I have never seen such activity here before.
Before we moved off Russell gave us an interesting talk about the shell craters in the chalk pit and their role in the second world war together with the locations of the army camps in the vicinity.
We then carried on walking to the edge of Sundon Hills Country Park car park where we crossed the road near 2 kissing gates before entering a sheep field with glorious views over Harlington. At first the sheep appeared to be missing but as we continued we came across them all huddled together in a large bunch. As we approached they slowly walked off wanting to be away from humans. At the end of the field we turned right to enter a wooded area and followed the track downhill to the bottom of the hills. We then walked parallel to the railway for a short distance and noticed the lack of trains on this day. We continued via the rear of Wood Farm to join Sundon Rd & hence walk up the hill to return to the Village Hall car park. The distance we walked in 2.5 hours was just over 4.5 miles.