Derek HarwoodRowena InzaniMartyn
                      WaringThe Longer Walks group has a programme of walks normally of between 8 to 14 miles, usually with options to shorten the walk. Walks are over a full day with a break for lunch (usually in a pub or café, although sometimes people bring a picnic). Group size is typically between 6 and 12 people.

Group Coordinator: Derek Harwood (click to contact)
Normally there are four walks a month, on varying days of the week so as to avoid always clashing with the same iU3A groups that meet on fixed days.
We go to any good walking area in Greater London and the South East that can be reached relatively easily by public transport. Our walks cover a variety of terrain, including park and woodland, canal or riverside paths, open countryside and hill walking. Most walks are suitable for anyone who is reasonably fit and active.

Our group is wonderfully balanced; some join walks regularly, others less frequently. To help the leader in their duty of care and to ensure safety we have a few rules. In summary the rule is 'respect others and stick together' but see the fuller version here

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 Next Walks
Walks coming up
Our full programme of forthcoming walks is shown in the Members' System ('Beacon'). Some of these are highlighted below. A week or so before the specific walk date, we'll make available the full walk details (including the meeting point) on this web page but also in the Members' system.

Please sign up individually for each walk you plan to join either below or in the Members' System. You can sign on below by clicking on the walk date (when sign-up is open the date is in blue), then a Sign-up Form will open. To drop out of a walk, please return to the form, and enter your details again but with a 'No' instead of a 'Yes'.

Thurs 08 November (sign up open) Gerrards Cross to Cookham: 9.5 miles. Early November is a good time to do this walk as the many beech woods should be showing plenty of autumn colour. It passes through Hedgerley Green Nature Reserve, Littleworth Common ending by the Thames at the pretty village of Cookham — best known for being the lifelong home and inspiration for artist Stanley Spencer. Details here.

Thursday 15 November (sign up open)
— Chelsfield:  a 9 mile circular walk. The route takes us through High Elms Country Park, including Cuckoo Wood, then on to the quiet village of Downe. Shortly after leaving Downe we pass Charles Darwin’s house. Drop out points: bus from the lunch stop at Cudham to Orpington station  Details here.

Monday 19 November
(sign up open) The Wandle Trail, West Croydon to Earlsfield: a linear walk of about 9 miles. We last did this walk back in 2016. Several drop out points possible. Details here.

Monday 26 November
details to follow

Tuesday 04 December
— our Christmas Social: details to follow

Dates for all walks in 2019 see the Members' System ('Beacon') for all walk dates for all of 2019. The link is here. Log in then look up 'Schedule'. Add the dates to your diary now!

Extended Walk 2019 — might seem way in the future but we need to start planning this now. For 2019 we are proposing Newfield Hall, Malhamdale, Yorkshire Dales. See details here. If you are interested please sign up here.

The full lookahead date information is now visible in the new 'Beacon' members' system. The link to Beacon for iU3A members is here. Once you've clicked there, sign in with your personal details; on the Home page click on 'Calendar of meetings and events'. You'll see all groups listed there, or at the top line next to 'Group', in the gap select the drop-down menu arrow; scroll down to Walks — Longer; click that, then only the dates for Walks — Longer willl be shown. In addition to the lookahead dates, for the next few walks, the location, the Sign-up link and the link to the walk Details, will be shown as well.

Useful Information
Travel link — if you are going on a walk outside the Freedom Pass areas, here is a link to help decide which station to buy your ticket from online: Freedom Pass Map

Discounts — if you are buying from Cotswold at the Angel, say you are with iU3A (Longer Walks group) and you'll get 10% discount. 

Ticks — there have been reports of increased population of ticks in the UK. If you are worried about catching a tick bite while out walking, for more information see here.

Recent Walks
WoburnWoburn Estate: it was almost like a visit to the zoo. Elephants, rhino, buffalo, eland, camel, wallabies, not to mention hundreds of deer. All in glorious autumn weather and without having to pay the entrance fee. A lucky 13 of us traversed a large part of the Woburn Estate and then endured a lengthy wait for food at a popular pub in picturesque Woburn village. Easy going throughout, so it didn’t feel like a 9-mile walk even for those who explored the tranquil village of Aspley Guise with its high proportion of listed buildings before catching the return train. Fortunately a warning that the connecting  service would be “standing room only” proved a false alarm. Details here.

PitseaEast Tilbury to Pitsea: this walk followed the Thames Estuary Path with great open skies and views over the estuary. Last undertaken in August 2017. We walked through many RSPB and WWT reserves. Loads of bird life all the way. Lunch was at Fobbing with Wat Tyler, Peasants Revolt connections. Bit slow though but we were 14. The afternoon brought more of the same clear bight skies with open vistas. We did pass the odd industrial part and had some back streets typical Essex, but still overall an interesting walk. Details here.

HolmwoodHolmwood to Reigate:
The rather murky, misty, autumnal weather conditions failed to deter 16 of us from enjoying this very pleasant walk through the Low Weald of Surrey in the Mole Valley. The terrain there is gently undulating and provides a variety of paths, lanes and bridleways through woodland, open country and across fields. Unfortunately there were no clear views of the North Downs ridge, it being comprehensively shrouded in mist. A very good lunch was taken at the Plough Inn, in the pretty village of Leigh (possibly pronounced ‘Lie’?). The afternoon walk ended with a stroll through Reigate’s Priory Park, (named for its Grade 1 listed Priory) with its gardens and wildfowl lake, and then across town to the station. Details here.

BuxtedBuxted: this walk took just six of us into the rolling East Sussex countryside, through a mixture of crop fields, sheep and horse grazing and woodland. We were never far from habitation, but (other than in the popular lunchtime inn) met only a handful of other people. Another warm and sunny day meant excellent walking weather, with regular clear views of the Weald and the more distant South Downs ridge. Our arrival back at Buxted station was carefully timed to allow over 50 minutes before the next hourly train to London, which we devoted to welcome pots of tea (and, for some, even more welcome chocolate fudge bites) in the conveniently located nearby pub. Details here.

Milford to GodalmingMilford to Godalming: industrial action on South Western Railway threatened to thwart delivery of this walk, but six of us managed to adapt and make the new start time (apologies to those who didn't). We started at Milford with mist and thick dew which soon started to burn off. We passed lakes and the timber-framed Enton Mill and then joined the Greensand Way, a sandy bridleway through The Hurtwood. An unexpected encounter was with llamas being herded (in Surrey?). After a very pleasant lunch in Autumn sunshine in Hascombe, the walk went through the NT's Winkworth Arboretum. We had a few climbs which gave us good views over the North Downs. From there we continued north toward Godalming, approaching the town via the River Wey and Godalming Navigation path along the canal. We then came to a spot in the sun which seemed overrun with ladybirds — hundreds of them, getting in our hair and everywhere. Research afterwards (thanks to Jane) proved they were invasive harlequin ladybirds, which threaten our native species.

As we approached the town there was a decision to be made
— the option of tea in the ancient High Street or the restricted train service back into London. In the end both were acheived for all. Details here.

Past Walks
We are now in our sixth year.  To see details of our fifth year (October 2017 -Sept 2018) look here.

To see the details for walks in the previous year (Oct 2016 - Sept 2017) look here.

If you want to see details of the walks we completed in our third year (Oct 2015 - Sept 2016) then look here.

WrabnessThe Longer Walks group continued to flourish during its second highly successful year (Oct 2014 - Sept 2015). We ended that year with 86 members and having completed 44 walks — covering a total of 437 miles. Each walk is remembered and celebrated here.

Going back further, we ended our first year (Oct 2013 - Sept 2014) with 70 members and having completed 21 walks. For the facts and figures click here and for the words and pictures for each, click here.

For a complete listing of all our walks to date click here.

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