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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

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Saturday, 31 December 2016

Saturday First Walk - Hayes Circular

Length: 9.6km (6m)
Toughness: 1/10
Transport: Take the 10:02 from London Charing Cross to Hayes (Kent) arriving 10:44. Hayes is in Zone 5. There are return trains about every 15mins.
This is the first outing of this new walk in the backyard of Southeast Londoners. From the description:
This short walk crosses three commons which have been used for hundreds of years as a source of wood as evidenced by the many coppiced trees. Today coppicing is still practised but the mix of woodlands also provides habitats for a variety of animals. The walk follows in part the River Ravensbourne which fills the three Keston ponds and flows into the Thames at Deptford. On the way you get a glimpse of Ravensbourne Lodge previously owned by the Bonham-Carter family. The most ancient remains encountered on this walk are from the iron age. The walk was inspired by the marked Three Commons Circular Walk and broadly but not exactly follows it.
It is advisable to make a booking for lunch in one of the pubs in Keston since they are both very popular.
Fox Inn 01689852053
The Greyhound 01689856338

1 comment:

Sean said...

Eight walkers set off from Hayes Station at the appointed time, most of them enticed by the prospect of a short train journey from their local station in south-east London. In the course of the morning this nucleus attracted more participants at regular intervals and eventually n=12 sat down for an efficiently-served lunch at the very welcoming Fox Inn on an w=overcast day.

The author has packed quite a lot of walk into a small area, weaving an intricate route through the wooded commons between Hayes and Keston. Navigation was relatively straightforward along the well-waymarked Three Commons Circular Walk but whenever we were getting complacent we were directed down narrow paths on little loops and whorls through the woods; one hopes these unmarked paths don't change too much from one year to the next. The walk instructions got us round without mishap but a map (or GPS) and a good sense of direction wouldn't go amiss.

This made a good winter walk, with splashes of colour from the flowering gorse bushes, holly berries, pines and other evergreens, together with a mandarin duck which had fled the hurly-burly of St James Park and chosen a suburban life on Keston Ponds. For at least one walker recovering from a cold the short walk length was just right, but we were back at Hayes by 2.15pm where another walker made the not entirely frivolous suggestion that we could go round again. The author had talked about plans to extend the walk and it would certainly be nice to experience this area in other seasons.