Choir walking group

Pub disaster averted 

JANUARY 24 2017: Eleven walkers started out from the Ramblers Rest in Chipstead Valley yesterday, having discovered to their dismay that the pub was closed due to a burst pipe in the kitchen. So would it be open in time for dinner on our return?

Walkers cross Kingswood Golf Club

 

Solstice walkers set record

DECEMBER 22: It was standing room only at the Old Forge Deli in Godstone as a fourteen walkers and two guests tucked into tea and bacon butties at 10.30 on a drizzly winter solstice morning yesterday. As they struck northwards past the site of the old Godstone Windmill, they were joined by a breathless Roger Lee to make the walking party up to fifteen - a record for a complete walk by the choir walking group.

Mike and Ben enjoy the solstice landscape

 

A walk in the mist 

DECEMBER 8: A small but perfectly formed group of seven walkers assembled at Bletchingley Golf Club on Tuesday 6 December. As it was a morning start, the customary pre-amble beer was replaced by tea and bacon butties before the group ventured into the swirling mist.

The magnificent seven navigate through the mist

 

A muddy outing but no casualties this time

NOVEMBER 16: Eleven walkers left the Fox and Hounds near South Godstone on Monday, 14 November, watching out for traffic on the first southward stretch, part of the old London to Newhaven Roman road.  They branched west into muddy countryside, following quiet country tracks north of South Park Farm and Cuckseys Farm.

Braving the mud near Cuckseys Farm

 

Warlingham wanderings 

The group welcomed three debutantes to the walk on 24 October: Ben and Sue Kennedy, and Jennie Willis. After leaving the White Lion in Warlingham, they traversed Blanchman's Farm Nature Reserve before emerging into the sunshine overlooking the Woldingham Valley.

The group contours Woldingham Valley

While the walkers admired the sumptuous views, navigator Dave explained the periodic rise of the Caterham Bourne and its source in the valley, and the chaos caused downstream as the waters flooded parts of Whyteleafe and Kenley a couple of years ago. He pointed out the dams and sluices that had since been built to contain the water.

 

The joys of autumn

SEPTEMBER 19: This, the first of two autumn walks, started at the George and Dragon pub in Downe – the venue for an apres after a concert in the lovely village church ten or more years ago.  The eleven walkers were soon heading south, passing the manicured West Kent golf course in late summer sunshine.

Elaine and Pat bringing up the rear near Cudham

They turned east towards Berry's Green, crossed the main road and descended though a mobile home site to Blackbush Shaw conservation area and woodland. Some walkers' stamina was tested on the steep ascent to Cudham, but they were rewarded by refreshment in the Blacksmith's Arms – another memorable apres venue from times past, and there was a brief sing in the porch of the adjacent church.

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