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. Once you have joined the group, you will receive an email a week before each walk with a signup form and details of the forthcoming walk. Information about our future walks may also be found 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
Tuesday 14 February:  Circular walk from Cheshunt around the Lea Valley country park and to
Waltham Abbey ruins and village. About five miles. Details here.

Date TBC: Wimbledon Common: a circular walk of six miles. Details TBC.
 
Links to walk details appear on this page as they are made available.
 
Photo Gallery
If you click on the following links you can see many of our previous photographs. They will scroll through automatically and you can see the walk number and title at the bottom. You need to select which year you want to see: 2017 2018 2019   

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. In addition we now have a map feature here this shows where we've walked in 2018 and if you click on any of the pins the walk details will appear should you wish to repeat a walk yourself. Hope you enjoy these new features and they bring back some good iU3A memories.

Recent Walks
February: Pymmes Brook Trail — On tPymmes Brook Trail Feb 2023he mildest day of the year so far, 19 walkers tracked the Pymmes Brook through the leafier parts of North London. Beginning in Oak Tree Park in East Barnet, we followed the trail south through Brunswick Park and Arnos Park, where we paused to admire the magnificent Victorian engineering feat of the Arnos viaduct. How many times had we travelled on the Piccadilly Line without noticing it? We left the brook to wend its way towards the River Lea, while we explored more Victorian splendour among the walled gardens of Broomfield park, with its delightful community cafe and the cheapest filter coffee of any Shorter Walk, plus delicious cakes. A short walk took us on to Palmers Green station and the train home.

January 2023: Four Royal Parks —
We tFour Royal Parks January 2020hanked our stars that we’d postponed our walk from the torrential rain of the previous day. Blue skies and sun smiled on us as we walked through St James's Park, Green Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. The water sparkled, the Egyptian geese entertained and there was the bonus of the changing of the guard as we rounded Buckingham Palace. It’s not often on a Shorter Walk that we see the Household Cavalry resplendent in red uniforms proceeding on horseback while the Irish Guards complete with kilts and bagpipes march along the Mall in the opposite direction. Worth the wait to cross the road. Urban walks sometimes have their advantages.


December: Finsbury Park to Islington viaFinsbury Park to Islington via New River
                    December 2022 New River —
This was a winter wonderland of a walk through snowy parks under sunny blue skies. The temperature was still freezing and it was icy underfoot but we quickly worked out that walking on snow-covered grass would keep us upright. The coots were skating on the frozen New River and chilly ducks impersonated frozen statues in the wetlands. We made it — only five minutes late — to La Divina on Upper Street for our Christmas lunch and thawed out convivially.


December: St Paul’s to Blackfriars —
TSt Pauls to Blackfriars December 2022his slower-paced walk certainly had the festive vibe with Christmas Trees and lights the whole way. The installation in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern had very mixed reactions through to Borough Market that was abuzz and a welcome coffee break. Then the sun came out so Tower Bridge and the Tower of London also looked ‘lit up’ from across the river. Continuing over the bridge and along the North Embankment the 12-strong group gradually peeled off until a smaller group made the lunch stop at Old Watling pub in Bell Lane that was in celebration mood.

November: Hampstead Heath —
In a Hampstead Heath November 2022week of particularly rainy weather, thirteen walkers managed to stay mostly dry for a breezy walk on the Heath. From Gospel Oak we climbed Parliament Hill, spotting first a rainbow, then the clearly visible rain over the city, fast approaching. The shower hit us as we arrived at Viaduct Bridge but was not long-lived and we had blue sky and sun by the time we had left the Heath temporarily, to visit the wonderful Hill House garden and pergola. We continued into Golders Hill Park, where the roses were still blooming, and had an al fresco coffee break at the cafe, then enjoyed a lovely woodland walk across Sandy Heath on a carpet of autumn leaves, rejoining the main Heath above Kenwood, where some of us stayed on for lunch in the garden.

October: Bushy Park —
Eleven of us enBushy Park October 2022joyed the lovely and unseasonably warm weather on this five mile walk around Bushy Park, beginning at Hampton Wick. Although we did not actually see any deer rutting, we saw several stags, including the unusual sight of a stag apparently standing guard over two hinds on a small island in the lake, as well as herons, a cormorant, and an egret flying up into a tree. We had coffee in the very pleasant Pheasantry cafe in the woodland, with some wonderful autumn colours, before visiting the baroque water garden, where the group photo was taken, before re-entering the woodland gardens, which has fantastic rhododendrons and azaleas in the spring. Unfortunately, we were unable to visit the Hampton Court Gardens as they are no longer free to visit in the winter months, apart from on open weekends, but six of us enjoyed a very good lunch at the Mute Swan before returning from Hampton Court station.

October: Forty Hall and Myddelton House garForty Hall and Myddelton House gardens Oct
                    2022dens —
The first of our slower-paced walks was rated a success by the nine walkers. From Gordon Hill station we were soon following the course of the Turkey Brook through Hillyfields Park, then open country past fields of sheep and cows, until we reached the parkland surrounding Forty Hall. Refreshed by a coffee break in the stable yard cafe, we diverted to stroll around the beautiful walled garden, resplendent in sunshine and with the bonus of gardeners who filled the gaps in our horticulture knowledge. Then we walked on to the nearby Myddelton House garden where summer roses were blooming alongside autumnal trees and helpful labels forestalled any arguments about plant names, returning from Turkey Street on the Overground.

October: New Barnet to Cockfosters —
The wNew Barnet to Cockfosters Oct 2022eather for our Autumn walk could not have been better. The sky was a clear blue and mellow sunshine dappled through the leaves as we walked through Hadley Wood, with the trees beginning to change colour. After a photo at the always beautiful Jack’s Lake we continued into Trent Park, a former royal hunting ground, for a coffee break, then visited the water garden and walked through more woodland, ending at the Cock Inn for a welcome lunch in the garden.


Previous Walks
These links take you to archive information and photos of our previous walks:
2021/22 (October to September) here.
2020/21 (October to September) here.
2019/20 (October to September) here.
2018/19 (October to September) here.
2017/18 (October to September) here.
2016/17 (October to September) here.
2015/16 (October to September) here.
O
ur first iU3A year 2015 (May to September) here.
 

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