SHORTER WALKS

Kate
                        Grant
The Shorter Walks Group has half-day walks of about five miles twice a month.



Group Coordinator: Kate Grant (click to contact)          Co-leader: Kate Wark
When

We usually have two scheduled walks each month on varying days of the week, led by members of the group. We also have extra ‘pop-up’ walks from time to time.

Where

Some walks are fairly local, others involve some travel.

We travel by public transport for up to about 45 minutes from central London, but many of our walks are much more local. In the summer months we walk further afield with some longer country walks. During the winter we have shorter ones, and tend to keep to parks and towpaths as we try to avoid muddy paths. We always have a coffee break during our walks, and almost invariably end with an optional group lunch.

We don’t tackle any real hills, but there can be occasional fairly steep slopes or flights of steps to manage, and the odd stile, so a reasonable degree of fitness is helpful.

Shorter Walks is a very sociable, friendly group where new members are made welcome. To join the group, please either drop me an email (address as above) or register through Beacon. Having joined the group, to join a particular walk click on the relevant date below. If you are not a member of Islington U3A then you must firstly join this before joining any Group. Go to the Join Us page and there click on the Membership Form.

Our experience of running walks has suggested a few common-sense guidelines, to ensure everyone’s enjoyment and safety on our walks. You can see them here.

Our Next Shorter Walks
Wednesday 20 February: Lee Valley Park: Cheshunt circular. A five mile country walk alongside lakes and parklands with lots of wildlife, some interesting art installations and if you are lucky even otters. Mostly pathway underfoot so the going is good. Details here. Sign up here.

Wednesday 6 March: Highgate to Stoke Newington. A Capital Ring walk of five miles, along the Parkland Walk, through Finsbury Park, following the New River path to the wetlands and Clissold Park, and through Abney Park cemetery. Details here. Sign up here.

Thursday 14 March: Forty Hall and Myddelton House. A 4.5 mile walk in Enfield, starting at Gordon Hill, through Hillyfields Park then following the Turkey Brook through Forty Hall garden and Myddelton House garden and ending at Turkey Street station.
Details here.

Friday 22 March: Bushy Park and Hampton Court. A five mile walk through Bushy Park including the lovely spring woodland garden and the formal, baroque Water Gardens, as well as the deer park and Hampton Court.
Details here.

Photo Gallery
Launching a new feature. If you click here you can see many of our photographs. They will scroll through automatically and you can see the walk number and title at the bottom. If you want to find photos from a particular walk you can click here then from the thumbnails find the one you want then click on it. Hope you enjoy this new feature and it brings back some good iU3A memories.

Recent Walks
February 2019: Regent's Canal.
In spite of dire weather Regent's Canal Feb 2019warnings eight of us set off from Little Venice to walk the canal path to King's Cross. We were extremely lucky: there was only drizzle for a short period and we were quite protected on the path. After a lovely walk, in which we managed to negotiate the several diversions off the path, we stopped for coffee at the Regent's Park boathouse and lunch at King's PlaceWalk details here.





January 2019: Hampstead Heath.
Under Hampstead Heath Jan 2019stunningly blue skies fourteen Shorter Walkers braved a wind-chill temperature of 2º at the start of our walk. The early climb to the top of Parliament Hill soon warmed us up and we continued past the Highgate Ponds, which were sparkling in the sunlight, via Kenwood to Jack Straw’s Castle where we heard (and finally saw) woodpeckers in the woodland as we approached the Pergola. Irises and even camellias were already in flower, as well as the expected snowdrops. After a diversion to visit the animal enclosure and aviary in Golders Hill Park (discovering that the Ring-tailed Lemur was actually a Coati), the temperature had risen enough for an alfresco lunch.
Walk details here.



January: Regent’s Canal.
Our first ‘pop up‘ walRegent's Canal Jan 2019k for 2019 had a record number of walkers as 20 of us (including four first-timers) walked from Angel to Limehouse Basin along the Regent’s Canal. It was a clear, crisp day with the sun trying to come out and just perfect for walking. The canal path was quiet but the canal itself was quite busy with boats moving around and boat chimneys burning fuel. There wasn’t much birdlife on a cool winter's day apart from the usual coots and swans.



January: Thirteen walkers enjoyed a wGreenwich Park and Blackheath Jan 2019alk around Greenwich Park and Blackheath on a mild though cloudy day. After crossing the Thames via the foot tunnel we emerged at the Cutty Sark and walked along the Thames Path to the strains of Trinity College music students busily rehearsing, then walked uphill through the park admiring the views of the historic riverside buildings on the way. We diverted around Blackheath sticking to footpaths and imagining how lovely it must have been before it was dominated by the A2, then back into the park to check if the Meridian Line was still there (it was) and lunch at the Pavilion restaurant before a downhill stroll back to Greenwich for the DLR. And we managed to avoid mud for the whole walk.



December: Christmas Walk — Regent's ParkRegents Park & Primrose Hill Dec
                            2018 & Primrose Hill —
An unexpected blue sky and sunshine greeted 25 walkers for our stroll around Regent's Park, after the previous night’s torrential rain. We dropped into St John’s Lodge's ‘secret’ garden, still lovely even out of season, then enjoyed the vibrant colours of the winter borders and the artistry of the Japanese garden, before skirting the lake with its thriving birdlife. Past the mosque and along the canal, we managed the climb up Primrose Hill to its never-disappointing views and finally into Lemonia for a well-earned delicious Greek lunch.


December: City Walk — Tower Bridge to Blackfriars —
OuTower Bridge to Blackfriars Dec 2018r group was small but beautifully formed with three new members in the seven walkers. This walk was unusual as it was a ‘stopping’ walk, passing the ancient Tower of London and modern boats in St Katharine Docks. As we got festive, coffee was a great new find in the Science Museum café at Guy’s. A shopping stop in Borough Market for food goodies was followed by the lovely Southwark Cathedral. The rain kept away for the final lap along the embankment to Tate Modern and then on to lunch at a real local, The Cockpit near Blackfriars. Sparkle and good company was the order of the day.








November: Barnes Bridge to Putney —
BriBarnes Bridge to Putney Nov 2018ght sunshine, warm breeze, blue skies — what could be better for the 14 walkers than the banks of the Thames on such a lovely day? We even sat outside for our coffee, before moving off alongside the Barnes Wetland Centre and Thames Path to Putney Bridge and into the lovely autumnal grounds of Fulham Palace. Even the secret walled garden had interesting plantation. We thought we might have had the first lost walker as we mislaid one of our regulars in the churchyard, who was eventually found conversing amiably with Palace staff, none the worse for the adventure, so all was well.


November: Hadley Wood
— We had theHadley Wood Nov 2018 most wonderful walk from High Barnet to Cockfosters in magnificent Autumn sun and almost Autumn colours. There were ten of us who walked through Hadley Wood and passed Jack’s Lake, Dr Livingstone’s and Fanny Trollope’s houses, a 12th century church and medieval alms houses. We had our traditional ‘light lunch’ at The Cock Inn after.





October: Thames Path — Richmond to Barnes — A largThames Path Oct 2018e group of 19 walkers enjoyed fine Autumn weather along the Thames Path. Starting in Richmond (fortunately at Low Tide as the path there floods regularly at High Tide), we were soon glimpsing Kew Gardens on our side of the river whilst enjoying splendid views of Syon House and the historic buildings of Old Isleworth across the water on the north bank. There’s quite a rural feel to this stretch of the Thames and cormorants and herons were performing for us for much of the walk. We ended the walk in Barnes village where we were able to eat lunch by the pond on the common, or in the nearby pub.

October: Stoke Newington to OlyStokeNewingtonOlympicParkOct2018mpic Park — Eleven of us walked the five miles from Stoke Newington to Pudding Mill Station. Our first stop was for coffee in Springfield Park café and then our walk took us along the River Lee Navigation waterway, passing the Walthamstow Marsh Nature Reserve and taking in the Middlesex Filter Beds, which were constructed in 1852 to improve water for East London. We then followed the towpath between the River Lee Navigation and Hackney Marshes and past the Queen Elizabeth Park. Our walk finished with lunch at the View Tube, a community café with excellent food, on the Greenway.

CheshuntSeptember: Lee Valley & Cheshunt
This circular country park walk proved to be delightful. Within minutes of leaving the station the ten walkers were in quiet country parkland with interesting rustic artwork dotted amongst the trees. It being firm underfoot the going was easy, enabling us to take in the lakeland scenery, birds and enjoy the peace. Coffee at the White Water Centre was great and with warm weather we kept up a good pace over the five miles. Sadly we did not spot the otters, but ‘bring our own lunch’ in The Windmill pub with a cool drink finished the morning off nicely.


Previous Walks
The following links take you to our archive files of previous walks:
For information and photos of our walks in 2017/18 (October to September) have a look here.
For information and photos of our walks in 2016/17 (October to September) have a look here.
For information and photos of our walks in 2015/16 year (October to September) then the details are here.
For information and photos of our walks in our first iU3A year then the details for 2015 (May to September) are here.
 

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