Forum Header

This Weeks Walks


Forum - to May 2107

Closed to new comments


1 – 200 of 343   Newer›   Newest»
Andrew said...

Dear ATOC,
How about 'open jaw' train tickets for walkers?

Dear SWC,
In general terms the train companies are very supportive of walking and hiking and would, wherever possible, encourage those activities.
On the question of “open-jaw” tickets, then generally speaking those facilities are not presently available. There is an added complication in that the example of Tring (London Midland) to Wendover (Chiltern Railways) is out by one train company and back by another, so the commercial likelihood of them agreeing to something as a ‘one-off’ is, from our experience, rather remote.

To counter that negativity we could suggest that you and your friends might instead like to think along the lines of what is possible and clearly buying train tickets to your furthest destination and then taking a walk and rejoining the train at another intermediate station, on the same line of route, is perfectly permissible. Then there are some delightful circular walks that can be had both to and from the same station, which even in British Rail days, was the sorts of activities that were promoted (Network SouthEast produced a circular-walks leaflet, but such opportunities and the budget to produce such printed materials are no longer available – hence why books such as yours would be very welcome by some!).

Bringing us up to date somewhat and just by way of example, see here:

Em said...

Know your country code! Sometimes it does pay to have a map as well as walk instructions! Not meaning to scaremonger but see link:

Andrew said...

Why OS mapping isn't available on Google maps:

Paul S said...

The Julia Bradbury Canal Walks series covered the Kennet and Avon Canal from Bath to Bradford on Avon this week - SWC Walk 6. Looks like it would be a nice walk to do. It's a shame it's so expensive to get to Bath though.

It's on the BBC iPlayer until the end of May.

DAC said...

Feel that I need to reply to this post (under walk numbers) in the Forum.

PeteB : Wed, 01-Jun-11 :

1 June Battlesbridge Circular - map led walk. Seven on this walk and oh dear what a trial it turned out! One sensible person dropped out early to visit an antiques shop and try a gentle jaunt along a river whilst the rest of us ploughed on along signposted but never- walked "public" footpaths blocked by fields of impenetrable rape seed, entrancing views of illegal flytipping, newly erected fences clearly blocking the onward path and at one point a marsh of cattle slurry and manure. Things improved a bit after lunch at the excellent Old Windmill but it was with some relief we finished with a quick drink at the Hawk pub 70 yards from Battlebridge station.

I had pretty low expectations of this walk whilst reviewing the map on Tuesday night as I know and live near the Essex "countryside" with its superb views of electricity pylons, sewage outlets and water plants, busy A roads and the Council's lax position on checking and maintaining rights of way. I am willing to take a punt
on a map led walk in new territory but this was not a good area to choose.

I and other Wednesday regulars would like one walk a month to be a previously walked and checked "download walk" and the other a map-led walk in an area which provides some variety rather than endless fields of rape, wheat and pylons.

The idea this year with midweek day walks has been to try out new areas not covered at all by our current CW1, CW2, and downloadable walks. Some have worked well: Aldermaston to Woolhampton, Morton-in-Marsh. Others not so: Hatfield to Welwyn North and seemingly Battlesbridge. I have no idea whether anyone tried out the Bekesbourne circular walk on May 18th, but I did try out this walk last bank holiday weekend and apart from the first 200 metres or so along a lane with no pavement, where there seemed to be more traffic than I would have expected, it was a good walk. Certainly worthy to be added to the downloadables. (When I was on the Bekesbourne walk there were a few sections which did require careful attention and thus the addition of notes to assist the map reading.)

the Essex "countryside" with its superb views of electricity pylons, sewage outlets and water plants, busy A roads and the Council's lax position on checking and maintaining rights of way.

Then avoid Essex!! Not everyone is so dismissive about Essex. And lets face it we've exhausted the (accessible by rail) Downs, Chilterns, Weald etc.

But general point taken. In future I will not post any new walks for midweek that I have not tried out unless I am coming along on the new untested walk, will play safe and post CW1 and CW2 walks for the foreseeable future. Currently as I tend to get along on one out of every five or so midweek day walks then the new untested walks will be infrequent in the coming months.

All said I'm intrigued by the Battlesbridge walk and will try it when I have some free time one weekend, as I'm sure it can't be quite as bad as the author describes.


PeteB said...

Fair comments David and we did go off piste at one point in the afternoon but easily got ourselves back on track. Part of the problem is that no locals walk the paths in this part of Essex and then farmers/landowners take advantage and pretty soon public rights of way become impassable or very difficult to find. The walk did improve in the afternoon - after a good lunch - but it still lacked variety, as the map shows.

Essex does have good walks and the following web link looks as if it has some interesting walks and I may try some of these solo and then recommend/post them for the club.

Bridie said...

Hi PeteB
Good stuff on researching some new walks
We are possibly still a bit short on Sunday posters so you may like to start regular postings for Sundays

Andrew said...

Hi All
I'm thinking of using Facebook's comments system instead of the mis-match of Blogger & the SWC walks. Its lots better, but you would need to be a Facebook member to comment. One option would be to do this for everything but this week's walks. Thoughts?

Mr M Tiger said...

re Facebook. Facebook is actually a banned (ie blocked)site where I work because of concerns over malware. I have IT at home so not directly a problem for me but could impact on others

Walker said...

I personally am not on Facebook and rather hate the way that it seems to be becoming compulsory! I would prefer to be able to post comments on the website without using Facebook (but maybe as a walk poster, I could still use my blogger sign in anyway?)

stephensoc said...

I agree with Walker - I don't like facebook or its ubiquity.
I foolishly gave them my email address as a login and now get reminders to login most weeks.
Please do not go to facebook

Bill S said...

I'm not on facebook either, and have no particular desire to sign up. While that is not in itself a strong argument against the change I do wonder whether changing to Facebook would reduce further the amount of casual feedback on walks (as opposed to that left by regular posters). If you are still inclined to make the change it might be worth checking with people whilst you are out walking to get an idea of what proportion are already on Facebook. I only suggest that because I'm not sure how many people regularly visit the forum section of the website.

DAC said...

Ditto, I'm not a great fan of facebook due to its closed / walled garden format.

Real life facebook

Poppy said...

Re: SE walking guide for Calais and vice versa. Great idea. I could help out if you don't mind waiting a couple of weeks or so as snowed under with work right now.

However, please, we are all Europeans!

Re: FB: I don't know all the pros and cons but I wonder whether there might be a case for turning the SWC into a Meetup group assuming it could retain its own identity as SWC? People can also sign up on Meetup groups to say they are coming on that day. Which of course is not what everyone wants, either.

BTW there are loads of walking Meetup groups, new 'competition' that has arisen in about the last three years (or at least intensified over that time period).

MG said...

The expanding number of Free Walks is most impressive but the total now is also rather overwhelming when I'm looking for a walk which I haven't done before to do on my own. I would find it very helpful if there were separate lists for:
1. Walks that conform to the Book 1 & 2 principles, that is are doable on a day basis from London and have fully written up directions where I can feel confident of going by myself with a reasonable chance of not getting lost.
2. Map-led walks which are geared to a minority of more confident walkers.
3. Walks which are too distant from London to fit into the day basis but are a resource for long weekends, holidays etc.

What do other people think? It would obviously be extra work for our esteemed webmaster and also require posters and others to adjust their records but I feel that once the change was made everything would be much more convenient. Especially as those new walks just keep coming.

And can I add my view to the people who don't want SWC communication to be via Facebook: I'm not a member and don't want to be one so would be unhappy with such a change.

Andrew said...

TOCW Book 2 - We now have the route marked on each walk's Map page - thanks to JL for recording the routes.

Andrew said...

In reply to MG ...

Noted... the page is becoming unwieldy - there's also this one which is even bigger :

There are a few Dorset walks, a few Wales walks, and just 1 East Anglia walk. Not really enough for a page of their own, unless as you suggest, they were all together.

Do other think map-walks should be split out (or otherwise highlighted)?

Facebook comments - you wouldn't have to be a member (see the FB tab on the 'recent comments' page), however, no one else seems in favour

Sean said...

At first nearly all of the new Extra Walks conformed to the Time Out book principles as described by MG: doable from London with detailed walking instructions. I calculate that three-quarters of the first 64 walks are of this type but only half of the second 64 walks are, and the proportion is dropping still further. There's nothing wrong with that: some people prefer Map Walks to following pages of text instructions, and I've heard positive feedback about holiday ideas like the Calais walks (though it's stretching a point to include this page as "Walk 126").

With hindsight the new walks should have been numbered in separate groups but it would take a lot of effort to reorganise everything now. However, there could easily be separate index pages listing the different types, as MG suggests. Also, the little tabs of Extra Walk numbers (01 02 03 etc) could be split by type instead of 1-100 and 101+: I'm not sure of the best titles but there could be separate tabs for Text Walks, Map Walks, Holiday Walks.

Walker said...

I think the split should be between walks reachable from London in a day and those that are not. "Day walks from London" and "Further Afield" perhaps?

The neatest solution for map walks might be to indicate somehow stylistically that they are different - a symbol, or having the walk name in italics, or colour coding, or something like that.

Andrew said...

Map pages (which use Bing maps) aren't displaying Explorer 1:25,000 scale mapping at present.

Not sure if this is a short term glitch, or if they have been removed for good.

David Colver said...

It has long bothered me that there is no mechanism for communicating travel foul ups among TO Walkers, or to reconnect groups or individuals that have got separated or are delayed.

I would like to suggest that we adopt a convention of exchanging relevant messages on Twitter, tagged with #TOwalkers.

Reception isn't universal throughout walks that are intentionally rural, and not everyone has a phone cpable of accessing the web or running a dedicated Twitter application. Even so, I think the suggestion would be workable often enough by sufficiently many to be useful if advertised prominently on this website as an SWC suggested practice.

Sean said...

The Christmas edition of The Economist has a nice article: The joy of walking.

Lucilla said...

We should remind ourselves the ethos of this walking group. It is all written under 'New Members' and 'About our Club'. We accept this may not suit everyone, but that's fine too.

Poppy said...

David Colver's idea is a good one I think providing a simple liaison point when/where necessary. I personally wouldn't be able to use it on my phone. But I dare say these types of mobile phones will become more and more common and cheaper and cheaper. So David - why not go ahead with it and set it up.

Andrew said...

I put something about using Twitter on the TWW page. I think the idea's a little before its time, but as more of us get smart phones, it may well become useful.

Andrew said...

The Ramblers are in the process of putting some (all?) of their walks on the internet. A few are already avaiable. They will be downloadable in PDF format, maybe with an OS map showing the route. Its not clear if they will be public or "member's only".

Andrew said...

La Gomera Book

Nicholas Albery (the club's founder who died) also wrote a walking guide to La Gomera - one of the Canary Islands - see The book is out of print, and the original documents have been lost (sounds familiar). The NDC (who inherited Nicholas' work) will scan in the book's pages. We will put them online, with a feedback facility.

Andrew said... is a very large groups and events website. Groups are free to join but can charge to attend events.

It has several quite large London based groups that use our walks, e.g. this free Maningtree Walk has 50 attending with 60 on the wait list!

However, some of them charge to attend walks. Some of the walk-writers are a little uneasy about people making a commercial profit from our work. Hence the emphasised 'free for non-commercial use' copyright notice

dave a said...

Re the last comment by Andrew, this is a worrying turn of events that has a precedent amongst The Ramblers. As I heard tell it, one of their members was charging people to go on Rambles. When a woman broke her leg and wanted to sue, it all came to light and caused a rumpus - allegedly.

Andrew said...

GPS Devices

Would anyone who has a (not Satmap, especially Garmin) GPS device like to download one of the GPX files, and load it on to it.

Had reports of the GPX files not working with Garmin's. I think I've fixed the problem, but don't have a way of checking.

BTW, you can load the GPX files in to Google Earth, and 'fly' over the walks.


PeteB said...

Yesterday I and a group of Wednesday walkers did an excellent map-led, primarily North Downs Way walk mainly within London's zone 6. Just one problem - the walk was 4 miles shorter than the advertised distance (16.4m instead of 12.4m; quite a stretch in late March before the clocks are changed) and at least two grades lower than its degree of difficulty (4 instead of a 6 or 7.) This meant the walk became a bit of a route march for some of us although to be fair we could have caught a bus to reduce the distance by 2 or so miles towards the end.

Everyone is grateful for the walk developers hard work but perhaps we need a consistency of approach in determining distance and degree of toughness. I don't want a "star chamber" committee or some other bureaucratic process which goes against the grain of the SWC ethos but an agreed methodology which everyone uses (eg maptogps)for accurately measuring distance and a topography formula for degree of toughness. What are the views out there?

Walker said...

Can I just say as one who has created several walks for this site, that Pete B's experience is very untypical. We put a great effort into both measuring the length of walks accurately and assessing toughness as best we can, though the latter is inevitably slightly more subjective than the former. GPS technology has recently made distance measurement more accurate.

It seems that in the case of the new experimental walk that Pete B did an error was made, but this is a very very isolated example. However, we are always happy to hear about an errors that walkers find in any of our walks, and indeed for all the walks on this site there is an Update/Feedback function on the home page for that walk which can be used to provide such updates.

Thomas G said...

Regarding uniformity of toughness ratings methodology:

I would support Pete B. completely.
The more walks we have on the website for individuals to download and the more walks are offered in a week for group walks, the more important it becomes to have uniformity of gradings across them.

In the old days, when only one walk a week was walked, the only choice one had to make was: do I walk or do I not walk ? Now there are up to 6 walks a week (incl. mid-week), and inevitably length and toughness is a main criterium to decide which one(s) I like to go on.
Drilling down into all the walks for details on height gain/loss etc. can be a lengthy process (and not all descriptions have that detail anyway).

So can we not have some discussion amongst the walk posters and others as to an agreement on a matrix consisting of length and height gain to define the toughness, and then - over time - reasess ALL walks and update the ratings (happy to get stuck in...) ?

I know that the handful(s) of people keeping the SWC going on a daily basis invest a lot of time and effort already. But I feel there are way too many inconsistencies by now amongst the hundreds of walks.

Walker said...

don't quite understand the previous comment. You don't have to "drill down" into the walks for details of height gain and loss, because all walks I am aware of, and all walk posts, clearly display

a) the walk length
b) a toughness rating

As I tried to say in my last post, all the walk creators really really really really really try to be consistent and accurate in toughness ratings and length. I don't know what more we can do. Sean may feel measuring height gained and distance is a good guide to toughness: I don't. But I don't think the difference it produces is significant, and if the previous poster had read my last post he would have read that a test of this on book two walk toughness ratings proved this.

In this one case of this one walk there was a major error. OK, and it is worth pointing it out to the walk poster. But that does not mean the entire system that has created 180 other walks needs to be totally overhauled.

Measuring a walk length is not rocket science. It is either done with a piece of string on a map, or - these days - with the aid of GPS technology.

Assessing toughness just is a bit more subjective. Sorry, but it is. When we did book two, and when book one was recently revised, huge efforts were put into making all the toughness ratings accurate, but even today I do one of my walks and revise the toughness up or down. There is NO objective criteria, only choices. You can measure height gained, but height gained is not the only thing. Climb Shoulder of Mutton Hill near Petersfield and you gain height pretty spectacularly and strenuously, but gain the same height over five miles on a gentle gradient and you would hardly feel it.

And all of this is throwing the baby out with the bath water in a big way. If toughness ratings are out for some walks they are mostly out in a minor fashion.Walkers just have to accept that toughness is a guide.

Andrew said...

Distance data from GPS files is very accurate

Elevation gain data needs to be taken with a pich of salt because...
1) if the data comes from a GPS device, measurement accuracy is poor compared to elevation change (a walk may have 20,000 points, 1 metre apart, with device accuracy varying between 5m and 50m, more when the machine has just been switched on, or under tree cover, and much more when the device is stationary (say in a pub)
2) if the data comes from a website, elevation is calculated by interpolating from a 50m grid of spot points. Thats fine if you are on a level slope, but if you are walking near a cliff, then you are either at (say) 0m or 100m, but the interploation may give 30m, 50m, 30m, 50m etc depending upon how close you are to the spot points.

continued ....

Andrew said...

SWC Walk 5 Wadhurst via Bewl Water Circular 7.7 miles 222 m up
SWC Walk 6 Bradford on Avon to Bath 9.9 miles 65 m up
SWC Walk 7 Knockholt Circular 12.2 miles 377 m up
SWC Walk 8 Billingshurst to Amberley 13.9 miles 313 m up
SWC Walk 9 Pulborough to Amberley 10.3 miles 314 m up
SWC Walk 10 Little Kimble to Saunderton (partia 7.5 miles 433 m up
SWC Walk 11 Amberley Circular 11.0 miles 282 m up
.. SWC Walk 13 Folkestone Circular 7.9 miles 333 m up
.. Follow the NDW to Dover Option 4.9 miles 155 m up
SWC Walk 15 Winchester Circular 10.1 miles 240 m up
SWC Walk 16 Dorking to Reigate 8.8 miles 470 m up
SWC Walk 19 Frant to Tunbridge Wells 13.8 miles 373 m up
SWC Walk 21 Sevenoaks Circular 10.8 miles 359 m up
.. SWC Walk 22 Balcombe Circular via Ardingly R 12.0 miles 493 m up
.. Shorter Winter Option 9.6 miles 284 m up
SWC Walk 23 Forest Row Circular 10.6 miles 300 m up
SWC Walk 24 North Downs Way Sandling to Wye 12.4 miles 372 m up
.. SWC Walk 25 South Downs Way Eastbourne to Gl 16.6 miles 596 m up
.. Option a) Start at Glynde 1.8 miles 170 m up
.. SWC Walk 26 South Downs Way Amberley to Lanc 14.9 miles 442 m up
.. Option A) Finish at Upper Beeding (bus to Sho 1.9 miles 9 m up
.. Option B) Finish at Lancing 1.2 miles 0 m up
.. Option: Lunch in Washington, avoiding busy ro 2.2 miles 73 m up
.. Option: Visit Shoreham beach 0.4 miles 1 m up
SWC Walk 32 Holmwood to Reigate 10.0 miles 145 m up
.. SWC Walk 33 : Day 1 - Amberley to Cocking 11.4 miles 433 m up
.. SWC Walk 33 : Day 2 - Cocking to Petersfield 12.4 miles 400 m up
SWC Walk 35 Cuxton to Sole Street 10.9 miles 401 m up
SWC Walk 37 Knockholt to Otford 7.7 miles 388 m up
.. SWC Walk 38 Whyteleaf to Hayes 10.4 miles 257 m up
.. 36a New Addington Start Option 2.2 miles 72 m up
.. 36b New Addington End Option 2.3 miles 10 m up
SWC Walk 40 East Grinstead Circular 9.6 miles 419 m up
SWC Walk 41 Yalding to Sevenoaks 13.2 miles 457 m up
.. SWC Walk 45 West Byfleet to Hampton Court 10.7 miles 0 m up
.. Option A) Extension to Kingston 2.5 miles 14 m up
SWC Walk 46 Wimbledon to Kingston 11.5 miles 103 m up
SWC Walk 47 : Lewes Circular via Glynde and Sou 14.9 miles 592 m up
SWC Walk 54 Lulworth Cove Circular 16.4 miles 1086 m up
SWC Walk 56 Maidenhead to Marlow 9.5 miles 576 m up
SWC Walk 57 Guildford via Chantries Hill Circul 11.3 miles 312 m up
.. SWC Walk 59 : Eynsford Circular 11.7 miles 301 m up
.. Circular Walk Shortcut Option 1.7 miles 62 m up
.. Shorter Ending via village pub avoiding hill 0.6 miles 6 m up
.. Even Shorter Ending avoiding hill and village 0.5 miles 14 m up
SWC Walk 64 : Box Hill Circular 7.3 miles 397 m up
SWC Walk 66 Eastbourne to Hastings 15.6 miles 83 m up
SWC Walk 68 Rowlands Castle Circular 10.0 miles 284 m up
SWC Walk 70 Hunstanton to Cromer 47.5 miles 230 m up
.. SWC Walk 73 South West Coastal Path Branksom 11.6 miles 229 m up
.. Optiona A) Finish at Corfe Castle 5.4 miles 181 m up
.. SWC Walk 74 Bournemouth to Barton on Sea via 11.6 miles 142 m up
.. Option A) Shortcut from Bournemouth station t 0.8 miles 11 m up
.. Option B) Start at Pokedown 0.8 miles 8 m up

andrew said...

SWC Walk 75 Wareham to Lulworth Cove 12.4 miles 447 m up
.. Section A) Wareham to Corfe Castle 6.7 miles 134 m up
.. Section 2A : Corfe Castle to Blue Pool 5.4 miles 279 m up
.. Option : Finish at Worth Matravers Option 2.5 miles 161 m up
.. Section 2B : Corfe Castle to Swanage 7.5 miles 327 m up
.. SWC Walk 77 Weymouth via Isle of Portland Ci 5.5 miles 176 m up
.. Section B) SWCP : Isle of Portland Circular 8.1 miles 296 m up
.. Section C) Isle of Portland to Weymouth Via t 6.0 miles 59 m up
SWC Walk 79 Edenbridge to Westerham 10.6 miles 439 m up
.. SWC Walk 80 Staplehurst to Headcorn 7.9 miles 56 m up
.. Via Sissinghurst NT Option 5.4 miles 28 m up
.. SWC Walk 81 Chorleywood to Chesham 9.8 miles 321 m up
.. Shorter Morning Option 2.0 miles 53 m up
.. Shortcut to Chenies (avoiding area liable to 1.2 miles 57 m up
.. SWC Walk 85 Pen y Fan Horsehoe 8.0 miles 637 m up
.. Option A) Over Crybin (rather than aroud it) 1.1 miles 110 m up
.. Option B) Easy shortcut avoiding ascent of Pe 1.1 miles 0 m up
.. Option C) Add linear walk to Waun Rydd and ba 2.0 miles 88 m up
SWC Walk 86 The Black Mountain Fan Brycheiniog 7.8 miles 646 m up
SWC Walk 87 Rhossili via Llangennith Circular 9.5 miles 388 m up
SWC Walk 88 Rhossili via Worms Head Circular 6.2 miles 226 m up
SWC Walk 89 Llanmadoc via Whitford Sands Circul 7.2 miles 241 m up
SWC Walk 90 Berwick to Seaford 12.5 miles 406 m up
.. SWC Walk 93 North Downs Way Sandling to Folk 11.0 miles 385 m up
.. Option A) Hill Above Folkestone to Dover 5.5 miles 174 m up
SWC Walk 95 Buxted Circular 10.8 miles 569 m up
SWC Walk 97 Overton Circular 9.1 miles 389 m up
.. SWC Walk 98 Walton on the Naze Circular 8.6 miles 72 m up
.. Option A) Return via John Weston Nature Reser 2.4 miles 3 m up
SWC Walk 99 South West Coastal Path Weymouth to 11.1 miles 635 m up
.. SWC Walk 101 Margate to Broadstairs and Ramsg 10.0 miles 198 m up
.. Option A) : Finish at Broadstairs 0.4 miles 17 m up
.. SWC Walk 102 Snowdon 7.3 miles 820 m up
.. Route 2 : Snowdon via Llanberis Path 4.4 miles 968 m up
.. SWC Walk 103 Newborough Warren Circular 12.4 miles 107 m up
.. Option A) Hide tide route to Menai Point 1.3 miles 2 m up
.. SWC Walk 111 Caterham to Knockholt 16.1 miles 617 m up
.. Option A) Finish at Tatsfield 0.6 miles 12 m up
.. Option B) Finish at Hawley's Corner 0.6 miles 14 m up
SWC Walk 112 Stonegate to Robertsbridge 9.1 miles 283 m up
SWC Walk 114 Laindon Circular 8.9 miles 216 m up
.. SWC Walk 115 Moreton Circular 12.2 miles 373 m up
.. gpxdata 5.1 miles 91 m up
SWC Walk 116 Wendens Ambo Circular 11.6 miles 175 m up
.. SWC Walk 117 Aldermaston to Woolhampton 9.5 miles 206 m up
.. gpxdata 5.8 miles 195 m up
SWC Walk 118 Ely Circular 11.0 miles 39 m up
SWC Walk 119 South Dorset Ridgeway 14.5 miles 501 m up
SWC Walk 120 Eridge Circular 9.5 miles 260 m up
.. SWC Walk 121 Bekesbourne Circular 10.6 miles 145 m up
.. Option A) Longer Alternative 1.4 miles 0 m up

andrew said...

.. SWC Walk 122 Central London Jubilee Walk 9.4 miles 26 m up
.. SWC Walk 122 Central London Jubilee Walk 0.3 miles 10 m up
SWC Walk 123 Countisbury via Foreland Point Lynm 9.7 miles 827 m up
SWC Walk 124 Heddons Mouth Circular 5.7 miles 458 m up
.. SWCP Day 01 : Minehead to Porlock Weir 8.7 miles 380 m up
.. SWCP Day 01R: Minehead (rugged option) 3.7 miles 208 m up
.. SWCP Day 02 : Porlock Weir to Lynmouth 11.5 miles 1025 m up
.. SWCP Day 03 : Lynmouth to Combe Martin 13.6 miles 1218 m up
SWC Walk 127 Pewsey Circular 9.7 miles 212 m up
.. SWC Walk 128 Pulborough Circular 14.5 miles 406 m up
.. Petworth Park: Upper Pond route 2.0 miles 27 m up
.. Petworth Park: Extension to Lower Pond 1.3 miles 18 m up
.. Petworth Park: Extension to Shepherd's Lodge 1.9 miles 51 m up
SWC Walk 131 Guildford to Horsley 12.9 miles 365 m up
SWC Walk 133 Slough to Virginia Waters via Wind 8.5 miles 105 m up
SWC Walk 134 Lewes to Brighton via Rottingdean 11.9 miles 282 m up
SWC Walk 135 Oxted to Lingfield 10.9 miles 159 m up
SWC Walk 137 Crystal Palace to Forest Hill 7.5 miles 160 m up

andrew said...

(.... where 'up' is elevation gain)

Hi PeterB/Thomas G

If you'd like to split the remaining SWC walks which don't yet have GPX files between you and plot the routes on a GPS website, then email me the gpx files (I smooth the points with Douglas Peucker - ), then I can generate a list for all swc walks, then you can go through them, and suggest any changes to the walk's author.

Better still, I can also use the files to plot the route on the OS Map page


aside - you can sort of do it here, click show/hide below the map on a walk's OS map page

andrew said...

PeterB/Thomas G

... if a walk has more than 1 route, you may have to plot them in seperate files, and I'll combine them together (e.g. Caterham has 1 main route and a couple of short routes to bus stops, or Balcombe Circular has 2 long routes)

you can also add 'sym tags' if you edit the files by hand, e.g.
171WP 245Bus Stop

other values are directions (north, northwest, west, etc, used to show direction arrows

andrew said...

oops, that should be

<rtept lat="51.29182" lon="0.02555"><ele>222</ele><name>WP 11</name><sym>Bus Stop</sym></rtept>

Andrew said...

Message for "Jane from Kew"
Re TOCW2 Amberley to Arundel, - what name would you lile to use as author, and would you like it to link to anything?

Andrew said...

Map of trip reports of a couple's walk around the south east coast

PeteB said...

On one of this Saturday's walks
for 28/4(Book 2 Walk 16) the "Meetup" Group has decided to do the same walk as SWC. This is somewhat annoying for walk posters who do the research and checking only to find that a small army of other walkers have used our services and resources to arrange to go on the same walk on the same day. Would it be helpful to put on the this weeks walk page a polite notice to other groups to check our schedule for the weekend and perhaps select other walks to avoid overloading pubs and tea shops and to provide a better overall experience for all? Comments, views.

Walker said...

I do try and check for clashes with Meet-Up groups and have urged other walk posters to do the same. However, this one slipped through the net. They don't always choose their walks well in advance either.

One does one's best as a walk poster to avoid clashes with a) other walks posted that week b) future walks posts (some of which are drafted for June and beyond) c) major events which might overload trains such as air shows, etc. Mostly one manages to avoid such clashes, but not always....

Andrew said...

We now have GPS routes for all the SWC walks (used to display the walk's route on each walk's "OS Map" page).

Many thanks to Sean, Walker and especially JohnL for doing the work.

Anonymous said...

An online version of Nicholas' "Alternative La Gomera" book has been added to the LHS navigation.

Andrew said...
has lots of circular walks in the SE. Worthy competition.

Andrew said...

This page changed recently (*). It now uses OS Mapping.

But do the (simplified) route outlines help, or make it cluttered?

* Why - it used 'tabbed info(boxes)' a feature of the now depreciated Google Maps V2 which isn't in Google Maps V3.

David said...

I thought I saw announcement of weekend walks in Swanage 5-7 Oct. Did I imagine it, or has the notice been taken down?

Anonymous said...

Hi David,

There was a notice up for 2 or 3 months. It was taken down just before the weekend of 5th October as the organiser had already left for Swanage on Thurday 4th.

Anonymous said...

La Gomera

Thank you for hosting the La Gomera book. I have downloaded it and will be following in Nicholas Albery's footsteps this December. However, unlike N.A. cannot manage with just a change of socks and a toothbrush(!) so will need to transfer luggage from hotel to hotel each day. I know several SWCers have walked on La Gomera and wondered if you have any experience of this or tips/recommendations? The internet suggests a taxi to transfer the luggage could cost between 30-50 euros per day.

Thank you

Kate C

Anonymous said...

Can I please say re: the short Box Hill walk on Sunday (6.8m)
some updates are needed on the instructions as some of us got really lost & confused at several points - notably not long after the lunchtime pub.

Lovely walk all the same !

Andrew said...

Re: La Gomera
The club does not maintain the La Gomera book. It is rather dated now. Maybe look at other La Gomera guides.
We would be very happy to publish a trip report if you go there.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the club are planning any more short trips ? as I haven't seen any published on the website for ages - except the birdwatchers weekend.

Was looking forward to maybe someone doing another IOW trip or something ?!

Many thanks !

Unknown said...

Re: La Gomera

I walked in La Gomera 4 years ago using a copy of Alternative Gomera (that I still have) given to me my two very kind fellow SWC walkers.

Gomera's hills are steep, very! So my advice is don't leave your walking poles at home. You'll be happy to have them, specially on the way down. They'll save your knees.

I do remember happyly planning to walk every day during the week I was there and ending up taking a beach break by day 3 because my legs were done!

I haven't got any advice on transport. Had a rented car and did round walks or hitch-hiked / took bus back to car every day.

Language tip: practising your Spanish in preparation for the trip might help, but you'll be better off brushing off your German. I would haver received a much better service in a few places if I had been able to speak German. My English and specially my Spanish were not always all that welcome.

Isabel S

Paul S said...

I've been to La Gomera twice, though not using the Alternate Gomera book. We stayed at a single base - in Playa de Santiago, and Valle Gran Rey. I used the Sunflower Book (recommended - normally describe walks going up hill - more strenuous, but less problems with sure-footedness and easier on the knees) and the Discovery Walking Guides (normally describe walks going down hill - problem if you follow a walk with a 800m descent on your first day, your knees will be knackered).

Valle Gran Rey is a fantastic spot - at the bottom of a 1000m valley opening out to the sea. The Hotel Gran Rey is the best hotel in Valle Gran Rey. If you want something a little more alternate, try the Finca Argayall - 20 minutes walk along the cliff bottom out of Valle Gran Rey - a small, slightly alternate vegetarian spa / commune.

The hike up to Arure is recommended. Also the hike from Cruce de la Zarcita over the Garajonay summit down to Chipude is highly recommended - through the Laurisilva forest.

As mentioned before - steep hills, most days walks will cover a 800m ascent or descent (that's the same as Mt Snowdon or the Seven Sisters).

I'm sure you'll enjoy your trip to La Gomera, whichever paths you follow - I must say the Alternate Gomera's premise is very appealing - good luck and make you let us know how you find it.


tartan rug said...

Hopefully, as 2012 is over, we can revert to normal SWC walks for the Wednesday Mid week walks. Personally, I do not like tarmac, traffic, suburbia or maps that don't print and these have often be features of the 2012 experimental Mid week walks. Fingers crossed for better Wednesday outings in 2013.

tartan rug said...

Lyme Disease

Please read this and be aware of how to check for and remove ticks.

Andrew said...

Sean's list of every walk, every walk option, and every walk the club's ever done.

The full spreadsheet is available on the SWC | This Week | 'admin' page

andrew said...

Free entry to some NT properties with voucher on 21,22 April -

London & South East: Ashdown House, Ashridge Estate – monument, Basildon Park, Bembridge Windmill, Boarstall Duck Decoy, Carlyle's House, Claydon House, Cliveden, Fenton House, Ham House and Garden, Hatchland, Hinton Ampner, Hughenden Manor, Long Crendon Courthouse, Mottisfont , Mottistone Manor Garden, Newtown Old Town Hall, Nuffield Place, Osterley Park and House, Rainham Hall, Sandham Memorial Chapel, Stowe Landscape Gardens, Sutton House, The Needles Old Battery and New Battery, The Vyne, Winchester City Mill, 2 Willow Road, Alfriston Clergy House, Bateman's, Bodiam Castle, Chartwell, Clandon Par, Claremont Landscape Garden, Emmetts Garden, Great Coxwell Barn, Grey's Court, Ightham Mote, Knole, Leith Hill, Monk's House, Nymans, Petworth House and Park, Polesden Lacey, Quebec House, Red House, River Wey and Godalming Navigations and Dapdune Wharf, Scotney Castle, Shalford Mill, Sheffield Park Garden, Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Smallhythe Place, South Foreland Lighthouse, Standen, Sutton House, Uppark House and Garden, Waddesdon Manor, Winkworth Arboretum

Andrew said...

The club website was unavailable for several hours on Thursday - due to the server it lives on having disk problems.

This caused problems with our web host's DNS which meant that the Google "CDN" service that actually serves the webpages couldn't work either.

Have lost a lot of confidence in our web hosts.

Andrew said...

We have a Facebook "page" to complement our "group". If you "like" it, you'll get a notified of forthcoming walks

Sean said...

As a rough estimate of popularity, here's a list of the Book 1 walks sorted by their number of photos on the SWC site (average 77). There's a surprisingly wide spread between the most and least photographed walks.

# Name Region Photos
31 Glynde to Seaford South Downs (E) 312
25 Winchelsea to Hastings South Coast (E) 264
20 Milford to Godalming Greensand Hills (W) 191
19 Hever to Leigh Greensand Hills (E) 182
34 Balcombe to East Grinstead High Weald (W) 147
22 Haslemere Circular Greensand Hills (W) 144
29 Hassocks to Lewes South Downs (C) 143
32 Arundel to Amberley South Downs (W) 131
27 Milford to Haslemere Greensand Hills (W) 124
14 Gomshall to Guildford Greensand Hills (W) 123
39 Manningtree Circular Essex / Suffolk 121
47 Ockley to Warnham Greensand Hills (W) 118
48 Whitchurch to Andover Test Valley 115
02 Wanborough to Godalming North Downs (W) 110
37 Southbourne to Chichester South Coast (W) 103
36 Borough Green to Sevenoaks Greensand Hills (E) 97
03 Netley to Botley South Coast (W) 94
15 Leigh to Tunbridge Wells Greensand Hills (E) 91
42 Holmwood to Gomshall Greensand Hills (W) 91
05 Great Missenden to Amersham Chilterns (E) 84
21 Leigh to Sevenoaks Greensand Hills (E) 83
09 Shiplake to Henley Chilterns (W) 81
23 Otford to Eynsford Darent Valley 67
49 Box Hill to Leatherhead North Downs (W) 67
24 Cookham to Maidenhead Thames Valley 63
45 Princes Risborough to Great Missenden Chilterns (N) 61
33 Mortimer to Aldermaston Berkshire Heaths 60
17 Bow Brickhill to Woburn Sands Bedfordshire 56
52 Princes Risborough to Wendover Chilterns (N) 56
38 Hanborough to Charlbury Oxfordshire 55
04 Pangbourne Circular Chilterns (W) 53
12 Farnham to Godalming Greensand Hills (W) 52
46 Wakes Colne to Bures Essex / Suffolk 45
51 Henley to Pangbourne Chilterns (W) 43
40 Gerrards Cross to Cookham Thames Valley 42
53 Wye Circular North Downs (E) 40
26 Shelford to Cambridge Cambridgeshire 38
30 Wivenhoe Circular Essex / Suffolk 38
44 Witley to Haslemere Greensand Hills (W) 38
06 Liphook to Haslemere Greensand Hills (W) 28
08 Bures to Sudbury Essex / Suffolk 28
16 Balcombe Circular High Weald (W) 24
35 Crowhurst to Battle High Weald (E) 22
11 Tring to Wendover Chilterns (E) 21
43 Otford Circular Darent Valley 21
50 Yalding to Borough Green Greensand Hills (E) 21
28 Chilham to Canterbury North Downs (E) 19
13 Oxford Circular Oxfordshire 18
18 Sunningdale to Windsor Berkshire Heaths 18
41 Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard Bedfordshire 16
01 Henley Circular Chilterns (W) 13
10 Beaconsfield Circular Chilterns (E) 9
07 Garston to St Albans Hertfordshire 4

Sean said...

As a rough estimate of popularity, here's a list of the Book 2 walks sorted by their number of photos on the SWC site (average 69). The average is similar to the Book 1 walks (77) but there's much less spread between the most and least photographed walks.

# Name Region Photos
28 Seaford to Eastbourne Coastal Walks 147
24 Lewes to Saltdean South Downs 127
15 Riddlesdown to Coulsdon Surrey Hills 119
16 Hurst Green to Chiddingstone Causeway Kent Downs 106
25 Lewes Circular via West Firle South Downs 106
30 Dover to Deal Coastal Walks 98
01 Wendover Circular Chilterns 97
02 Saunderton Circular via Bledlow Chilterns 84
19 Stonegate Circular Weald 83
05 Tring Circular Chilterns 80
20 Robertsbridge Circular Weald 76
21 Pluckley Circular Weald 76
03 Saunderton Circular via West Wycombe Chilterns 73
13 Guildford to Gomshall Surrey Hills 72
11 Petersfield to Liss East Hampshire Hangers 62
17 Snodland to Sole Street Kent Downs 60
14 Effingham to Westhumble Surrey Hills 58
29 Hastings to Rye Coastal Walks 55
04 Chesham to Great Missenden Chilterns 54
12 Guildford to Farnham Surrey Hills 54
06 Henley Circular via Stonor Thames Valley 53
09 Kintbury to Great Bedwyn North Wessex Downs 45
08 Marlow Circular Thames Valley 44
23 Hassocks to Upper Beeding South Downs 43
18 Wadhurst Circular Weald 42
22 Amberley to Arundel South Downs 35
26 Southease to Seaford South Downs 35
10 Alton Circular East Hampshire Hangers 32
27 Berwick to Eastbourne South Downs 31
07 Henley Circular via Hambleden Thames Valley 26

Walker said...

An interesting exercise, Sean, but slightly unfair on the lower rated walks. On some walks a single person has updated several dozen photos, whereas other photographers select a small handful of their best photos...(No names....)

Andrew said...

Google Mapmaker

In theory Google Mapmaker allows us to add the routes of our walks to Google Maps... This would allow people with a GPS smart phone to follow the routes, albeit without OS mapping.

However, there is no KML (Google's GPX) import facility.

But, they are working on it :


Andrew said...

Had to change the password of the SWC email account (saturdaywalkers@...).
If you had ( you'd like ) access to it, contact Sean, DAC, 'Walker', or me for the new password.
The request to change it was probably a false alarm, but no harm in running an anti-virus program first (Avast is a free one)

andrew said...

Q) If you want a 1-day travelcard with a network card, and the ticket office is closed, can you use the senior railcard discounmt instead?

A) I am afraid (nttwork card) holders cannot use the Senior Rail option when purchasing a ticket from the machine when the ticket office is closed. You can though advise your members that they can purchase the ticket up to 7 days in advance from a ticket office provided they state when they will be travelling so that it is correcty dated. Alternatively, they can purchase a single ticket from the machine and exchange it en-route or at their destination for the discouted Travelcard if the ticket office is open.

Anonymous said...

You can use the ticket machine at the tube station, select rail gold card option (not obvious to find on the screen though), when the ticket is printed, it does not have gold card written on it, just DSC - which is the same symbol as if you buy the ticket using network card at the ticket office.

tartanrug said...

Where are all these anonymous comments on the walk postings coming from? This is not Facebook. Can't you leave your comments on the Forum where no one will read them? Who cares if you don't like Silent Walks Cholsey or early starts. They are optional.

DAC said...

Well said tartanrug. We had a most successful silent walk yesterday (Sunday 27th). Over lunch we did despair a little about some of the silly anonymous comments under the silent walk posting. My policy with anonymous comments is to never respond to them.
Who cares if you don't like Silent Walks Cholsey or early starts. They are optional.

Chris L said...

Yes, it's a shame that some folk who have never been on a silent walk disparage the concept or complain if such walks are posted frequently. Do they never go for a walk by themselves or find time to walk alone for a bit when on a group walk?

Walking in silence can feel positively therapeutic - it's a period of time when you can completely unwind and relax, let your thoughts wander or mull over things that have been troubling you and get them in proportion. Some walkers may spend the silent period generating new ideas, or rehearsing their lines, or starting to compose a poem or song, or simply absorbing the sights and sounds of the natural world more fully, without distraction.

And it's not as though walkers have taken a monastic vow of silence. Everyone happily chats on the train down, over lunch, throughout the afternoon and on the train home. The silent period lasts only for an hour or two in the morning. Surely only compulsive chatterers would begrudge accepting a period of quiet during the day's walk.

Even if you feel convinced that a morning's silence is not for you, there's no need to shun the silent walks. Just join the silent walkers on the train and set off ten minutes behind them so that your chatting doesn't distract them, and then rejoin them at lunchtime and for the rest of the day.

Silent walkers and the rest are not entirely separate tribes whose paths never cross. Most of us do the regular SWC walks and occasionally appreciate a modified version that's designed to allow a period of quiet contemplation. If you've never been on a silent walk, do give it a try.

Sean said...

Chris suggests that compulsive chatterers can come on the nominated Silent Walks but set off ten minutes behind those who've taken a vow of silence. That's workable, but I have a simpler suggestion. Anyone who wants to walk in silence should come along to any walk, wait for the others to set off and then walk apart from the rest. If a group of like-minded people want to advertise their intention in advance, they can post a comment or use to say which walk they're going on and invite others to do the same.

It also occurs to me that silent walkers could make things even easier simply by having their period of silence in the second half of the walk. Then no-one has to hang around waiting at the start, mildly inconvenient at the best of times and rather more so on an exposed platform in a downpour. The silent crowd could simply get together at lunchtime and leave in a group as and when they wish.

Personally I would have a simple philosophy. Any walk posted on this website is open to all and no-one should impose their preferences on anyone else. "It's a relaxed walk: go slower!" "It's a silent walk: don't talk!" Not for me!

DAC said...

Personally I would have a simple philosophy. Any walk posted on this website is open to all and no-one should impose their preferences on anyone else. "It's a relaxed walk: go slower!" "It's a silent walk: don't talk!" Not for me!

Certainly if there were no other walks, but there are. SWC started with themed walks. Vigorous / Nature / Relaxed / Romantic / Art / Gay / Lesbian. The silent walks in its way continues this diversity. So it's not really a case of imposing preferences on others, you have a choice; just flagging the nature of the walk and that if you want to come along then out of consideration you should keep to it. (A few walks had their origins in the silent walks - Roberstbridge.)

Lucilla said...

To start, I do not have prejudice against silent walks, I welcome the diversity although it is not for me. However, I do find in the current format when a silent walk is posted, the choice for non silent walks is reduced - often with only one walk to choose from (I have been spoilt by choice thanks to so many hard working walk posters). I would suggest we post silent walks in addition to our regular postings rather than replacing one to accommodate a silent walk.

Walker said...

I think Lucilla has got to the essence of this debate. I don't think anyone (except possibly a few silly-minded people) object to the silent walkers having their separate walks, if that is what they want, but most walkers do seem to feel they should not be considered as one of the mainsteam options for that week. Ie, by all means put a Silent Walk on the website on a particular day, but also have the usual number of regular walks.

I think Sean's point is also a good one. I often walk silently in the countryside and owe most of what I know about nature to such walks. I usually do such walks by myself, but on occasions on the group walks I hang back a bit to have some peace and quiet. There is no reason why those who want to walk silently cannot do this on any of our posted walks: that is one of the joys of having a leaderless group.

As Sean also points out, there is nothing to stop a group of like-minded people deciding to do this on a normal SWC walk, or indicating in a comment that they want to do this to canvass support from other walkers. Or, if the silent walkers prefer to have their own walk, that is fine, but also provide the regulation two or three normal walks on that day too for the majority of us for whom silent walks do not appeal.

Oh, and just incidentally, there is nothing morally inferior about wanting to walk and talk too. For a lot of us, the walk is one of the social highlights of the week. I work at home, and am silent for a large proportion of most days. On Saturdays I enjoy interacting with others.

DGA said...

On the subject of themed walks;
Could any the current walk posters please consider putting on something to coincide with the following:
Saturday June 22 - Sunday 7 July Sevenoaks Festival including gigs at the Woodman, Ide Hill;
Saturday 29 June - Sunday 14 July Sydenham Arts Festival;
July 5-7 (First) 'Love Supreme' Jazz Festival at Glynde Place, near Brighton;
There's also the Ealing Blues and Jazz festival(s) coming as usual later this year.
Dare I also mention, (see comments on diversity above)
The Naturist Foundation Jazz & Real Ale Festival: 27-30 June "The event is clothing optional so non-naturist jazz fans are welcome."

DGA said...

FURTHER TO ABOVE POST the Ealing Jazz festival is on from Wed July 24 to Sun 28th with the blues fest a day or two earlier so if some kind walk-poster would consider the Ealing circ for Sat or Sun or another walk in the west... I'll be there for much of it; be nice to see other walkers there!

Jon Combe said...

Just thought I'd mention that South West Trains are doing a promotion of day return tickets to most destinations on their network for £15 every Saturday and Sunday during August (and I think early September). The only exception is west of Honiton or between Salisbury and Bristol. There is a supplement for ferry crossings to the Isle of Wight (but it doesn't say what it is). Might be a good oppurtunity for some of the routes in the New Forest and Dorset.

andrew said...

while staying at home for the rain that never came... 2 new coastal walks

#179 portsmouth seafront - ferry - hayling island - beach/bus or railway path to havant (can use the SWC £15 promotion)

#180 southbourne via thorney island to emsworth

andrew said...

Would anyone like to write a short description (1 or 2 paras) of these walk for the website. Thanks, Andrew

SWC 36 : Amersham Circular via Chalfont
SWC 39 : Amberley to Pulborough
SWC 94 : Watton-at-Stone Circular
SWC 95 : Buxted Circular
SWC 114 : Laindon Circular
SWC 116 : Wendens Ambo Circular
SWC 117 : Aldermaston to Woolhampton

Updated from the PDF
SWC 49 : Cholsey to Goring
SWC 80 : Staplehurst to Headcorn

Andrew said...

scroll down to the bottom

its a south downs NP bus map - of interest to walk authors

Andrew said...

For Internet Explorer users

The 'blue buttons' on the website that didn't work, do now.

Thanks, Chris, for noticing this.

Andrew said...

A 50 mile long footpath / wheelchair (and less able walker) friendly path, from Bentley (near Farnham), south to Portsmouth.

2 stages of it are SWC walks already, 2 more could be

Andrew said...;sum?login=albery

If you're interested, over the last 3,634 days (10 years!), the site has had 2.5 million visits, is most busy on Friday Evening, and most people find it from Google rather than links from elsewhere.

We use Google Analytics now, rather than, so the little black icon at the each page has disappeared.

And now their watch has ended.

Andrew said...

There's a new Rough Guide to Kent, Sussex, and (just a little of) Surrey. Its very, very good (even though it doesn't mention our website!). Plenty of inspiration for walk authors.

DGA said...

Walking speeds: something in the press this week that caught my eye, probably based on research, informed readers that your walking pace varies according to who you're walking alongside. Unsurprisingly, 2 chaps together, generates the fastest mph - probably because they're terrified the beer may have run out before they reach the pub! No names, no pack-drill!

Andrew said...

Open Street Map mapping is now an option on the sites's Google Maps

(e.g a walk -> OS map -> select google mapping -> select open street map type)

Andrew said...

Volunteers needed to apply to borrow a Google 'Trekker' (Streetmap Camera) to Streetmap our walks...

Andrew said...

Nature England's plans for a coast path from Folkestone to Dover to Deal to Sandwich Bay to Ramsgate - mainly banning the public from large areas of the Stour Estuary and Pegwell Bay to keep it for the birds (i.e. so no new Stour Bridge)

Andrew said...

Most [*] walks have a new "OS Map print" page.

It enables you to choose the map scale (Explorer, Landranger), and then generates a series of printer friendly maps that cover the walk.

Each scale is twice as big as the next one, so uses 2 to 4 times more paper.

I'd be interested in hearing
- if these maps work better for people who have problems printing from the original map pages.
- if the map segments overlap a little, but not too much, when printed

[*] walks with GPS/GPX data

Andrew said...

6 new walks north of London by Thomas !

Andrew said...

Amberley / Pulborough Brooks look like an inland sea at the moment.

Andrew said...

Trying out a brighter colour scheme (as requested by Marcus... "be bold !! ") with (hopefully) a more tablet/phone friendly navigation

tartanrug said...

Thank you for all the additional info on the new website and for the new design. I couldn't post a comment on a Long Distance Walk got Error 404?

Mr M Tiger said...

Quite like the new look but... a minor quibble ....I find the ad space at the top annoying - especially when it shows that big green download button for a map company- could confuse some? - That ad space also seems to clash with the pink "Home" and "Saturday walkers" buttons as well - they are floating on top on my screen

Andrew said...

Hi Tartanrug. Well done on finding a link to a Long Distance Walk comments page. There wasn't meant to be one :) I'll fix it.

Hi Ian. Still a work in progress. I'm trying to get an ad, a pretty walk picture that can change with the season, and some icons (facebook, twitter etc.), but can't quite get it to work.

I'm also trying to get it to work on smartphones/tablets with a narrower screen.

A colour scheme website :

Also, #198 is a Balcombe walk by a new author, and #199 is about Ambleside (Lake District)


Andrew said...

You can switch ads off by:
This Week > Admin > 'ads off'

Andrew said...


Our web-hosts were faffing around at the weekend which explains the difficulties with the website. Its hopefully back to normal now.

The 'Twitter' tab on New Comments has been made more interesting.

Feedback about the new 'top' menu (things that should be in/out/moved) encouraged.

Walk URLs may all become /walk/henley-to-marlow to be more search engine friendly (the old /book_1/walk_01 style links will still work - they will be redirected)


tartanrug said...

A Thanks for the info about switching off the ads but it didn't seem to work for me. Also the Twitter and Facebook buttons are duplicated. Surely, one is sufficient.

Andrew said...

Hi Tartanrug

Ads: On the Admin page, when you click Ads off, does the cookie display swc_ads=off?

Buttons: They aren't the same which is unclear, 1 is like/tweet-about the page, the other is join-our-group/follow-us

I have though about having the TWW buttons (weather, timetables etc) on the walk pages in someway...)

Also, some new walks, #199 about Ambleside in the Lake District, and #198, #200, #201 by a new author, around Lewes.


Mr M Tiger said...

Hi I was looking at this on my kindle recently. Mostly fine but some of the writing - the white stuff over the banner photo about organising train friendly walks etc - is superimposed over the lower row of menu buttons (which are also written in white)

Andrew said...

Thanks Tigger... will fix.

Also (everyone), no suggestions for a nicer colour scheme... ?

Also, some new SWC walks by a new author, mainly near Lewes, but also north and south of the Thames east of London

Also, if anyone has a GPS route (or can describe it) of the (avoids the muddy bit) after lunch on the Haslemere Circular, I'd appreciate it :)


Sean said...

Nice idea to use a 'color scheme' website but the current scheme doesn't exactly evoke memories of a countryside walk in the south-east of England. Simply searching the site for 'walk' brings up some more suitable palettes - to my mind, anyway.

Actually, I rather like the scheme you're offered when searching for 'mud'. Feel free to tag my walks with these colours...

Andrew said...

4 new walks ...
- 2 in Suffolk near Aldeburgh,
- Wimbledon Common in London,
- Farningham Road to Sole Street in Kent,

Andrew said...

I have renewed the domain name for another year. The domain name (not the website) will be 14 on 15th March.

Andrew said...

"I’m a London-based independent developer and a keen walker. I’ve just released a navigation app called Hikesmith that I thought might interest you. You can check it out at

You can use Hikesmith to navigate on SWC walks, by signing up for an account and clicking the “import” button to import the GPX files. You can then download the walks to your iPhone for navigation. It works offline too (for a small fee). I have field-tested it on a few SWC walks myself, so I can vouch for the fact that it works!

I was wondering if you do think it’s a suitable app, if you would consider featuring it on your website? In any case, any feedback would be much appreciated."

James Hutton

Andrew said...

Forgot to add, 'HikeSmith' is an Iphone App. If anyone would like to try it, let us know how you get on

Andrew said...

Not for the feint of heart.

QGCIS ( ) is an opensource Geo Information System. The OS has just released style sheets for it for OS OpenData.

It would be possible to add our GPS data to it, and make a SWC map layer. QGCIS can then be used as a map tile server to host the map layer which can be used by Google Maps.

e.g. like the OCM layer in

Bridie said...

Feedback form
I wanted to leave a review of Bk 2 Walk 18 option B which is actually a mash on Walks 18 and 19 but was unable to qualify the walk beyond Walk 18 - thus the review is incorrect as it should not be for Walk 18

Anonymous said...

The name Saturday Walkers' Club is outdated as we walk on Sundays and Wednesdays also. Time to change the name?

tartanrug said...

Can we please have an additional walk for the early May bank holiday Monday.

Andrew said...

The OS map 'auto print' facility now works on longer walks (consisting of more than 10 maps), and works better with OS Explorer mapping.


Andrew said...

There's been a large landslip at Ecclesbourne Glen (between Hastings and Fairlight Glen) on the Hastings to Winchelsea/Rye walks.

The coast path is closed, and there is a detour. Not sure if its "closed" (like the Fairlight Glen path) or closed (because its impassable). A lot of trees have been lost, and the caravan site above is now very visible.

The coast path will not be repaired until after the summer to give the land time to settle.

tartanrug said...

I know I am a comments ciminal myself, but why do we have a Facebook page, and a Forum, and Walk Reports, and still have endless comments under the walk postings which detract from useful info that peeps might find helful in chosing and getting to a walk. The Wednesday walk should now be at the top of the listings instead of continuing comments on a walk that only attracted 4 walkers, and so far 13 comments most of which are your standard Facebook stuff.

Andrew said...

The site should look a little clearer, with larger fonts and more spacing.

This is because I've changed the base "stylesheet" to a standard one ( if you're interested). This should make it more mobile/tablet/small screen/(lansdcape orientation) friendly.

Poppy said...

I just wanted to add a comment about Richard Harrod. Many people may not have met him as he hadn't been walking for quite a few years as far as I know. I last saw him round about 2007 during a walk we did around East London. I enjoyed chatting to him and found him quite endearing. I liked a lot of his poetry. I am sorry he had so many accidents and a difficult time. This page below shows some of his poetry - I think it's quite good: e.g I cannae be like Robbie Burns. Hope you are in walking heaven Richard! RIP.
[It would be nice too to store this page on the website if poeeibls as it contains a few poems by Nicholas Albery.]

Lucilla said...

For anyone who knows Richard Harrod, you can find more info with this link. (It was not easy to find).

DAC said...

Poppy wrote:
[It would be nice too to store this page on the website if poeeibls as it contains a few poems by Nicholas Albery.]

It has been temporarily stored on this website for the last few years. Although no link to it.

Andrew said...

i didn't know that was there - its now linked to, andrew

Andrew said...

There is a new Haslemere to Midhurst via Henley (Sussex!) walk (SWC.218), so the original Haslemere to Midhurst walk (SWC.48) is renamed Haslemere to Midhurst via Lurgashall via Lurgashall. Its starts is like the TOCW1 Haslemere walk to Fernhurst. Then it heads south via Henley which has an award winning gastro pub.

Also new is the Midhurst Way walk - Arundel to Midhurst (SWC.217). Its 19 miles, and can be done as a 2 day walk.

The 2 walks can be combined as a 3 0 miles 2 or 3 day north-south traverse of the South Downs National Park

Andrew said...

Bye Bye First Capital Connect and Great Northern

Hello Thameslink Great Northern (Thameslink line, and Kings Cross commuter routes).

Another franchise change. Next year, the Southern franchise (also run by Govia) will merge into it, as well as a few Southeastern stations.

+++ do zone tickets (so A to B walks, like Seaford Eastbourne are ok)
+ have a fairly good record of special offers
? not clear if they will continue FCC's very cheap super-off-peak tickets
- have significantly increased the off-peak fares we use over the years

Andrew said...

Another walking club who use our walks, mainly from the TOCW books:

Andrew said...

It has been brought to my attention by Bing (Microsoft) that

1) printing is against the T&C's for Bing Maps OS Mapping.

To comply, on Bing Map's pages, I have
- removed hints about printing
- removed 'portrait' and 'landscape' mode
- disabled the 'printer friendly' page (It will return with OS Openspace 1:50,000 mapping)

** if you see a 'bing' map page (they have an 'Ordnance Survey' control in the top left corner), that advocates printing, please let me know **

2) we are using more than 1,000,000 bing map sessions a year (which is well over the 'free' limit), which is strange as there aren't that many hits on the entire website. am looking in to it.


Andrew said...

Who's there?

OK, so, this is a bit nerdy, but this is a list of 'robots' who are accessing the website.

Some are 'search engines', e.g. 'googlebot', others are programmer's 'screen-scraping' the site to copy it, others, who knows?

On this day, the total was 12,000 (i.e. people + robots)

18 Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; CrystalSemanticsBot
21 MaxPointCrawler/Nutch-1.1 (maxpoint.crawler at maxpointinteractive dot com)
25 Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 4.2.1; Nexus 10 Build/JOP40D) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/27.0.1453 Safari/537.36 pss-webkit-request
35 DoCoMo/2.0 N905i(c100;TB;W24H16) (compatible; Googlebot-Mobile/2.1; +
40 Googlebot-Image/1.0
41 Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; YandexBot/3.0; +
45 SAMSUNG-SGH-E250/1.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 UP.Browser/ (GUI) MMP/2.0 (compatible; Googlebot-Mobile/2.1; +
46 A6-Indexer/1.0 (
54 Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; linkdexbot/2.0; +
61 facebookexternalhit/1.1 (+
121 Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 6_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/536.26 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/6.0 Mobile/10A5376e Safari/8536.25 pss-webkit-request
124 Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 4.2.1; Nexus 10 Build/JOP40D) AppleWebKit/[WEBKIT_VERSION] (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/[CHROME_VERSION] Safari/[WEBKIT_VERSION] pss-webkit-request
188 Mozilla/5.0 (en-US) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/27.0.1453 Safari/537.36 pss-webkit-request
190 Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Baiduspider/2.0; +
237 Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; DotBot/1.1;,
268 ADmantX Platform Semantic Analyzer - ADmantX Inc. - -
293 Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 6_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/536.26 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/6.0 Mobile/10A5376e Safari/8536.25 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +
301 Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Yahoo! Slurp;
758 Mozilla/5.0 (en-US) AppleWebKit/[WEBKIT_VERSION] (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/[CHROME_VERSION] Safari/[WEBKIT_VERSION] pss-webkit-request
1055 Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +
3515 Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +

Andrew said...

and some more...

1 Apache-HttpClient/4.3 (java 1.5)
1 facebookplatform/1.0 (+
1 HTTP_Request2/2.1.1 ( PHP/5.3.2-1ubuntu4.18
1 HTTP_Request2/2.2.0 ( PHP/5.3.29
1 ia_archiver (+;
1 MLIB_NetWorkBot
1 Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; GrapeshotCrawler/2.0; +
1 Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; IODC-Internet Engineering Odysseus 011; +
1 Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; PaperLiBot/2.1;
1 Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; ODP link checker; +
1 Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; SeznamBot/3.2; +
1 Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Seznam screenshot-generator 2.1; +
1 Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.9; rv:28.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/28.0 (FlipboardProxy/1.1; +
1 NerdyBot
1 Scrapy/0.24.4 (+
2 Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; coccoc/1.0; +
2 Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MojeekBot/0.6; +
2 Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE or Firefox mutant; not on Windows server; + Daumoa/3.0
2 Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Yahoo Link Preview;
2 python-requests/2.4.3 CPython/2.7.6 Linux/3.13.0-36-generic
2 Wegtam Crawler/Nutch-1.10-SNAPSHOT
3 Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; NetSeer crawler/2.0; +;
3 Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; proximic; +
3 Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 4.2.2; CUBOT X6 Build/JDQ39) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/38.0.2125.114 Mobile Safari/537.36
3 Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; rv:11.0) Gecko Firefox/11.0 (via GoogleImageProxy)
3 Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20090729 Firefox/3.5.2 (.NET CLR 3.5.30729; Diffbot/0.1; +
4 Icarus6j - (contact:
4 Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko; Google Page Speed Insights) Chrome/27.0.1453 Safari/537.36 GoogleBot/2.1
5 Baiduspider-image+(+\nReferer:
6 ContextAd Bot 1.0
8 Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MJ12bot/v1.4.5;
8 Twitterbot/1.0

Andrew said...

Gold Cards

Gold Cards, which come free with an annual rail or TFL season tickets, are changing.

Its being de-coupled from Network Cards. You still get 1/3 off (like Network Cards) and a 1/3 off Oyster off-peak prices caps, but with no minimum price on weekdays. The area covered will increase (but a few rail companies, e.g. Virgin, are leaving the scheme). According to Rail Magazine, some people apparently buy the cheapest possible season tickets (e.g. Ryde Pier Head to Ryde) to get the discount!

1 Day Travelcards

- Zone 1-2 and 1-4 off-peak Oyster cap is going,
- Zone 1-6 off-peak Travelcard is going up by 30% to £12. (£12.80 for 1-9)
- Network Cards will still give 30% discount on the 1-6 travelcard at weekends - £7.90.

So, for people who live near tube stations, it will probably no longer be cost effective to buy a 1 day travelcard, followed by a Zone 6 boundary to destination ticket.

DGA said...

New topic: I would like to propose Saturday Walkers have a photography competition of some sort.
Not sure how it could be run to ensure the pictures are taken on walks from Books 1, 2 & 3 by bona-fide Saturday Walkers. I would suggest they must have been uploaded to flickr or picasa and have been tagged with the usual 'swc', 'book 1', 'walk 53' etc. I also suggest you can't vote for your own photos, you can choose a maximum 5 pictures of ANY subject from anywhere on the swc website and a submit by date - say, the day the clocks go forward - or back! Some sort of prize? I'd be happy to stump up £5 towards it by way of entering. Not sure if our overworked IT/web guys would welcome it though.
Any better ideas or suggestions?

Thomas G said...

This might be common knowledge..., if so: apologies: Chiltern are running trains on Boxing Day along the Bicester North line, i.e.: walks from Haddenham and Thame Parkway, Princes Risborough, High Wycombe, Beaconsfield and Gerrards Cross are possible.

DAC said...

Yes had noted Chiltern railways were running a Boxing Day service following on from 2013. Last year the walk was Beaconsfield circular. The report stated 8 turned up and unfortunately none of the pubs in Chalfont St Giles were serving food. Thought this year about a Princes Risborough circular. Book 1 Walk 45 -> Lacey Green, then use Saunderton Bledlow with Princes Risborough ending option. (The Haddenham and Thame Parkwaywalks are too long.)

Andrew said...

Photo Competition...
The problem is the voting. It would be nice to order walk-photos by popularity, rather than date (as at present), but there's no (easy) way to record the results

Thomas G said...

To all Walk Posters

I don't easily criticise walk posters, as I appreciate it's not an easy job, especially in a Club as diverse as the SWC. But needs must...

Where are the long walks ? Since the clocks have gone back, only one walk has breached the 18 km mark (and only just), despite there being five slots every weekend. There are plenty of walks in our programme along train lines with fast and frequent service to proper countryside, enabling a walk to start no later than 10.30, some even earlier, which leaves enough light for at least 5 hours of walking, net of lunch. That's enough for a 20-24 km walk, surely ? And that's without having to take a train before 9.00...

Trust me, there is a sizeable contingent of SWC-folk who would like to have longer walks (there've been some despairing souls on every walk I have been on recently), but want something shorter and different in style than what the LDWA have to offer (who are doing 15-22 milers in December, by the way). Admittedly, these people don't seem to be as pushy and noisy as the short-walk propagandists, but they do exist. Can we have a bit more diversity, please?

Andrew said...

Some Southeastern fares to the Kent coast are getting cheaper next year, with new 'super off peak' tickets.

A Network Railcard ticket to Deal will be £16/£20 (highspeed), compared to £22/£26 now.

To Hastings, its slightly cheaper £18 vs £20, but the cheaper Southern-Only tickets have gone (railcard fares).

Thameslink to Brighton will be £7 vs £18 on Southern (again, with railcard). Strange, given that they both have the same parent company, and the 2 franchises are going to merge.

Walker said...

Good to hear about some fares going down, especially on High Speed Trains.

I think the explanation for the lower Thameslink fares is that from January for 18 months Thameslink trains will not be calling at London Bridge (apart from a limited London Bridge-terminating service from Brighton). So the franchisee - Govia - is using cheaper fares to drum up business.

Andrew said...

A new Decathlon (French outdoors/sports superstore) has opened in South London off the A23 near Waddon Marsh tram stop.

DAC said...

Only just picked up on the debate under today's Saturday 3rd walk (Extra Walk 112) and appreciate I've come in late to it.

I have sympathy for the regular walk poster:
* Concern about not repeating a walk from the last few months.
* time of year, mud, daylight hours.
* Engineering works (for weekend walks).

As a poster of midweek day walks (and an infrequent participant), at this time of year choosing a midweek walk starting after 10am that'll finish before sunset and that has not already been walked in the last few months is difficult.

On my last SWC walk on Dec 20th (Battle circular), I said that I intended to use my once a month Saturday slot once we got to March and through these short (daylight) days specifically for longer walks, as I certainly do think that there is a need for longer walks which should be fairly easy to accommodate.

Perhaps the only real requirement is to bring attention to a longer walk option. For example, if this Saturday was not such a short (daylight) day, you could add a long walk option to the Stonegate to Robertsbridge walk for a long (19.2 mile)walk option: Stonegate to Robertsbridge (8.5miles), lunch in Robertsbridge and then onto Battle (CW2 20b, 10.7 miles). Several years ago when I last walked Stonegate circular with SWC a group of 3 of us out of the 20 or so chose to take the long walk option which had been highlighted as a possible option by the walk poster, which had attracted those other two walkers.

Other standard / long walks that immediately come to mind:
CW2: Saunderton long / medium figure of 8: 15.5 or 20.6 miles
Tring main + Berkhamsted 14 miles
Wadhurst to Robertsbridge: 21 or 27 mile option.
Amberley or Arundel circular 20.7 miles
Lewes to Seaford 15.4 miles

There are no doubt many more since SWC seems to have extensively covered some parts of the south east and as consequence many of our walks now link up at stations, midway etc. Stargazer I think a few months ago was particularly inventive in linking up 3 walks in the Ashurst to Eridge area, one of which was Extra Walk walk 3 Cowden to Eridge, one that I wrote so I can recall it. I'm going through the process of re-checking some of these old walks of mine and whilst I start to link walk #30 with walk #222 in the text I can often be unaware that there are other walks which could be referenced. For example Extra Walk walk 1 (Lenham to Charing which has an option to end in Hollingbourne) which now needs a reference in the text to #221 (Hollingbourne Circular).

Anonymous said...

Think it's brilliant that WALKER and other walk posters are posting walks starting AFTER 10am. Why ? because as this is a leisure activity it is so nice to set off a bit later in the morning after having to get up early for work etc,.

Walker said...

For those who missed the original exchange that the above two posts referred to, I will try and summarise it.

Two walkers expressed the view that we are being too timid in our choice of walks in winter, that longer walks were possible, with examples cited of walks of 20km+ done at this time of year by other walking groups. There was also concern about lack of walks to the north, east and west of London.

My response was that we do usually have at least one north/east/west walk on a Saturday (this week was unusual) and that most people either find the current walk lengths adequate for the hours of daylight at this time of year (or even complain that they are too long). There are also not infrequently longer options to the walks (in the walk documents) that faster walkers could do.

I questioned how much support there was for longer walks, but said I would be happy to canvass opinion on the forum. Bridie, one of the Saturday posters, says he has plans to post longer walks every other week.

Anyone else with views, please do express them.

Thomas G said...

Thanks, Walker, that's a fair summary, I think.
As one of the two walkers referred to, can I just say that I'd love a fact-based discussion here about this subject, but that (apart from your and DAC's comments) I have mostly seen negativity in the conversation that DAC has linked up, along the lines of 'Walk Posters can only be feedbacked on/critised by other Walk Posters, so shut up', which is hardly an enlightened view of a democratic, open debate.
What I'm missing is that people actually argue against (or for, preferably) the arguments I raised in my post on Dec 7 (scroll down for the full post), namely that it is easily doable for average paced and even slow walkers to walk 20-24 km at this time of year (just see my walk numbers comment on today's Welwyn Circ walk in that part of the website), and that there are a sizeable number of people wanting to do just that, and that we have 5 slots per weekend, so why isn't one catering for those folk ?
And I would say, that asking those people to please work out an extension to a posted walk themselves, if they want to walk longer, while the short walk walkers are having 5 ready-made options to chose from, sounds a bit discriminatory to me. But maybe I'm wrong...

tartanrug said...

I am in favour of short winter walks with late starts. The mud adds miles to any walk.

Andrew said...

The TWW page has changed slightly.

I had wanted to remove the list-of-walk's date column (to make the page work better on smartphones with narrow portrait shaped screens), but it didn't quite work out like that...


Anonymous said...

Saturday, 16th Jan, Cowden to Ashurst, short walk 175: it was a nice, muddy day out with 2 friends. We had fantastic food at the tea place and really enjoyed the walk. I wrote more about it on my blog:

Anonymous said...

On the topic of shorter or longer walks, reading the comments and walk numbers recently, we have 26 walkers turning up for an early start walk and 30 turning up for a late start walk last weekend and good numbers doing both longer and shorter options proving that early/late start and shorter/longer walks are all popular. So, can we try and have a fair mix of early/late start and short/long/walks to make these walks inclusive to a wide range of people and abilities.

Andrew said...

Microsoft have 'reached out' to us to let us know we're in 'overage' of the 'free' OS Maps usage limit.

Rather than have a whip round to raise £4,383.29 + vat (per year), I intend to 'reach out' to our friends to 'borrow' their (official) 'tax exempt organisation' status, as these get unlimited free usage...

Lucilla said...

Clearly a small and core group of walkers prefer longer walks in winter whilst many others are just happy with what is being offered. These are not mutually exclusive. In fact, we could have one of these long distance walkers posting these long and early start walks as an additional walk post similar to silent walks we run. Perhaps we can start off with once a month and see how it goes. If the demand is overwhelming, we could run it more frequently (or even weekly). When Nicholas Albery started this walking club, we had several themes running each week. It should not be too foreign for us to run an additional posting for long distance walkers (winter or summer) as long as it does not taken away a normal walking slot where the majority of walkers are very happy with, at least not until we have some ideas of the turnout for these long distance walks.

Walker said...

There was a walk with a 14 mile option posted on Saturday 7th and a 14 mile one has been put up for next Saturday. It will be interesting to see how many walkers these get.

Can I also point out that spring is coming when there will be more longer walks anyway?

DAC said...

This topic has certainly been well debated and I consider that there is a longer walk option with many of the walks good, particularly as these options are now being flagged by walk posters.

The point to bear in mind, after a few years of regular normal distance walks, is that previous SWC regulars (admittedly I can only think of two) who prefer longer walks tend to drift off to other clubs, be it LDWA or Blackheath RA, so a once / month long walk IMO is no bad thing. But maybe the general consensus is that it should have it's own slot. (Incidentally due to the flak over silent walks being posted on the SWC website, they've no longer been posted on the SWC website for the last couple of years. Okay last year was a pretty bad year - just one walk, but there has been one silent walk so far this year and there should be at least 2-3 more this year.)

BrightSpark said...

Hassocks to Upper Beeding - Saturday 7 February. 15 on this attractive South Downs walk. Not too muddy and the weather wasn't too bad either. Hikers Rest was closed so everyone carried onto the Devil's Dyke pub for lunch. After lunch I think everyone resisted the the alternative ending via the valley and instead stayed on the ridge. The alternative ending (via the valley) is better because you don't end up walking along a busy road to finish the walk. However, during Winter, stay on the ridge, as it's dry under-foot. Four of us stayed on in Shoreham-by-Sea for tea and cakes.

Anonymous said...

Walkers behaving badly - a few comments from publicans!

"I am quite happy with my customers, currently, as the reviews would indicate, altho the people today who brought their own cup cakes did cause me to lie down in the cellar for a few minutes to regain my composure."

"Parties where lots of people who want sparkling water and a piece of toast after a morning’s walk insist on paying their £4.27 individually by credit card. That’s just cynical of me and I wish I’d never said it."

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Marion said...

There have been a number of frightening run-ins with ticket Inspectors recently. Those of us with Freedom Passes and Senior railcards are unable to use the ticket machines to obtain a boundary zone 6 fare with a railcard as only one railcard is accepted. An Inspector will NOT let you buy any reduced price ticket and will fine you £20 on top.
Resist the temptation to mutter expletives even under your breath, as in my case a police n armed response unit was summoned to Guildford to escort me off the train!! I did however stand my ground by saying that i travel in from an unmanned station and was eventually allowed to pay the correct excess fare.
When our Saunderton walker was forced to leave the train to Saunderton at West Ruislip she had not committee any offence as she was still within zone 6 and was carrying a Freedom Pass. Those using Gold cards or other rail tickets plus a Network Card may also encounter problems if they meet a ticket Inspector as opposed to the friendly ticket checkers who are amenable to selling you an excess ticket. I think the rules state that discounted tickets are only available as a CONCESSION FROM TICKET OFFICES so you need to have a jolly watertight reason for not having the correct ticket before commencing the excess journey.

Toughing it out with these bureaucrats nearly gave me a heart attack at Guildford and delayed me by 20 mins so I missed the group! But Im pleased I stood my ground.

Anonymous said...

Was not forced off the Saunderton train. I elected to get off whilst still in zone 6 and consider myself lucky to have had that option.

Walker said...

Southern ticket machines have a button on the home page saying "Tickets from other destinations". Click on this, enter BOUN and one of the options comes up as BOUNDARY ZONE SIX. Click on this and you can buy tickets from Boundary Zone Six to places of your choice from a ticket machine.

Only Southern has this so far, as far as I am aware, though I dimly recall that one other company has introduced it.

One other topic that sometimes comes up with ticket inspectors is that they say "You can't use a ticket from boundary zone six on this train because it does not stop in boundary zone six". This is NOT correct. Such rules are usually in place for tickets, eg if you want to use your Network Card to get a discount from London to Didcot and then travel on to Bristol with a Didcot to Bristol ticket (it saves a lot!!). In that case the train you are on MUST stop in Didcot. But SPECIAL RULES apply for boundary zone six (or any other LT zone) tickets and for them you do NOT have to be on a train stopping in zone six.

Walker said...

The one exception to my previous comment are the High Speed services out of St Pancras. LT boundary tickets can NOT be used on their train (regrettably!)

Sean said...

On a South West Trains suburban service a few years ago I heard the guard announce over the intercom that Freedom Passes and the like were valid as far as Surbiton. If anyone needed a ticket to a station further out and came up to him in Coach X he'd sell them one, but if he found anyone without a valid ticket beyond Surbiton he said they'd be liable to a penalty fare.

I don't know if that's a general policy but on the rare occasions when I've needed a ticket I've always sought out the guard and never had any problem getting the ticket I want - from boundary zone x, with railcard discount, etc. The relevant offence here is 'fare evasion' and the key point is that you are demonstrably NOT trying to evade the fare by doing this. Conversely, if the guard finds someone without a ticket they MIGHT be a fare evader and it could end up with a court deciding the matter.

I don't have a lot of sympathy with the train companies - they make it overly complicated for honest people to buy the right ticket - but they've got to have some way of dealing with the cheats and there's no reason to give them cause for suspicion.

Anonymous said...

Manningtree Circular -Wednesday 18th February. 9 souls set off on this walk under blue skies and a hint of Spring. Most stopped for lunch at Dedham, while two carried on to Stratford Saint Mary. The cafe at Flatford Mill was shut :-( but after negotiating the day's first serious bout of mud the buffet at Manningtree Station was open :-)

Pete G said...

There is an odd exception on trains through Watford, freedom passes are only valid to Harrow & Wealdstone, despite being OK on London Overground to Watford.

There are some other train companies that don't allow them for the London bit of the journey:
East Coast East Midlands Trains Grand Central Hull Trains
Gatwick Express (between London Victoria and Gatwick)
Heathrow Express Heathrow Connect between Hayes & Harlington and Heathrow
Virgin Trains
Southeastern high speed services to and from St Pancras International and Stratford International

BrightSpark said...

This is a message to Marion (who I have never met) but has asked for some feedback regarding the difficulties with the walk she did on Sunday 22 February. The walk in question is SWC walk 160 Farnham to Blackwater, Marion did the shorter version of this walk ending in Fleet.

I had similar difficulties to Marion as did PeteB (see the comments section for this walk). Mike is indeed the author of this walk, and I told him a couple of weeks ago about my difficulties with the instructions. It is the only SWC walk I have ever had to give up on. The straw that broke the camel's back for me came at point 30 - you can see my comment in the walks comments section.

What I would say to Mike is, you have created a lovely walk here, and I thank you for that, but have the walk instructions been checked by some else? Because in my opinion, in certain areas, they need to be made a little clearer.

Anonymous said...

On the subject of walk lengths and options, can we do a trail return to the original "design" of these walks ie 1st walk each week dedicated as a vigorous walk, 2nd as a relaxed walk (not necessarily short) and the 3rd as a general, mixed ability walk? This might suit most tastes and worked well in the past.

Sadly I've not been out with the club for a few weeks recently because there are so many options presented (5 or 6 variations this Saturday) and I don't know if I'll be the only one wanting to do "Option A" and then end up walking on my own, which I would not want to do as I go for the social side of walking as well as the exercise.

Anonymous said...

The SDNPA have created a new permissive footpath which now links Cooksbridge Station to the South Downs, crossing only one B-road. Full details of the walk can be found on this link - There is an alternative route westward from Black Cap via the footpath that descends towards Novington Chalk Pits and the Half Moon pub then northwards by several possible routes to Plumpton Station.

Anonymous said...

On Saturday, on the Portsmouth train, out of Waterloo, I was told by the guard that he could not sell me a ticket from BZ6 as we had passed that point and as I was travelling without a ticket, a penalty ticket should be issued but he, as a guard, could not issue a penalty. He asked me why I hadn't bought a ticket before travel, and why I hadn't sought him out on boarding the train. Looks like an Edict has been issued by Train Revenue to our formerly friendly guards.

Sean said...

To Anonymous on the Portsmouth train: see my comment on Feb 17. Some train staff might be described as friendly or forgiving but I don't recall meeting many of these in a SWT uniform. Always seek out the guard before you travel beyond whatever pass/ticket you've got.

Andrew said...

I have created a new 'Bing Maps Account' in the SWC's name, and used it to create a 'not for profit' key.

Lets hope thats enough for us to drop below the radar.

JohnE said...

The walk posted for Wed 25 Mar (by Arthur Dent) is a walk without existing written instructions. It appears to be a walk to create walk instructions led by the walk creator. Given that SWC is an organisation posting walks for 'independent' walking, the posting of led 'walk-creation' walks is contrary to the principles of SWC and should be avoided.

I would not have any problem with the occasional posting of walks to check walk instructions that already exist and may need to be updated, but a led posted walk to create a new walk is, I think, inappropriate.

The efforts of all walk creators, including Arthur Dent, is much appreciated and I do not wish to be discouraging of this activity, however there are better ways of doing this than getting out a group of walkers who may or may not have maps, who may wish to go at different paces or tarry more or less at lunchtime.

One further, less significant, point on this walk: taking a bus trip from a station at the start of a walk is possibly not such a good idea. Fine for a few people, perhaps not for fifteen or twenty.

Sorry if this note seems unduly negative, but I think the point is worth raising.

DAC said...

I don't agree about the walk for Wednesday 25th (now changed to Bures). Sorry that A. Dent has now swapped it to Bures.

A few times in the past I've gone out and tried out new walks which have subsequently become SWC walks with no real idea as to what to expect on the ground. Cholsey to Goring, Welwyn circular, Rowlands Castle circular, Etchingham circular, Aldermaston to Woolhampton, Morton-in-Marsh circular - to name a few - had their initial survey as a midweek day walk. Robertsbridge circular and Stonegate circular also started out as SWC map led walks on a Saturday many years ago, which subsequently became CW2 walks.

I would agree with your point about buses, but that's just my personal preference, although *if* it's a good walk sometimes a necessity. It was made clear in the post that this was a map led walk and I think that on the odd occasion it'd be fine to let it be that way.

tartanrug said...

I don't believe JohnE is a Wednesday walker but he is very welcome to join us. Although thankful the comment went on the Forum and not the walk posting it is a shame that someone should interfere with a walk we discussed on the train back from last week's walk and that had been generally well received. My general comment to all who use this site is why can't you just choose a walk that suits you and go and enjoy it? There seems to be a propensity for telling peeps that they shouldn't be doing what ever it is you don't want to do. You can't please everyone all the time but with 6 group walks posted each week and over 200 walks now available from SWC is it really so difficult to just get on with a walk of your choosing? On the last "work in progress" walk requiring a bus from the train we got 15 takers on an early train.

JohnE said...

DAC - 'Robertsbridge circular and Stonegate circular also started out as SWC map led walks ...'

I would have had no problem with the walk originally posted if it had been a 'map-led' walk. There were however neither instructions nor map.

tartanrug - The point I was making was a point of principle about the way SWC operates, not a complaint that I would not have been happy to go on the walk. From the website: SWC>About the SWC>About our club... Our Philosophy... Club Walks: 'The walks have no leader - they are self led. Every walker is responsible for themselves. Hence, everyone is expected to have a copy of the route... '. The originally posted walk, with a leader but neither instructions nor map, does not fall within that 'Philosopy' and was therefore, in my view, an inappropriate posting. As 'Arthur Dent' has now changed the walk, presumably, on reflection, he agreed with me, or someone else agreed with me and persuaded him to change it.

Incidentally, I am a Wednesday walker - sometimes. We have met on several occasions. I am hoping to be able to make the trip to Wakes Colne. It looks a good walk.

Anonymous said...

"I don't agree about the walk for Wednesday 25th (now changed to Bures). Sorry that A. Dent has now swapped it to Bures.."

AGREE with this comment from DAC.
i was looking forward to doing the original posted walk for Wednesday and now won't be coming.

Anonymous said...

On a different topic, a suggestion about Twitter. The club could make use of Twitter in addition to the web site to advertise walks and walk updates. This would be a good way of informing people about postings and any late changes/updates to walks posted (eg where trains get cancelled etc...) as the information is actively "pushed out" rather than relying on people checking the site for last minute updates.

MoonBrain said...


Today some of the walkers were asking about the BITE Card. This is a free card which gives you a 10% discount at certain shops at train stations.

More details on the card and how to apply for the card can be found at

MoonBrain said...

If you are looking to get a map app for your smartphone, you should have a look at MAPS.ME in addition to the other recommendations on the SWC website.

MAPS.ME has less functionality than ORUX Maps but will allow you to follow a GPS track.

Getting the GPS track into MAPS.ME is straight forward:
1) Download the KML file for the walk.
2) Attach the KML file to an email and send it to yourself.
3) Open the email on your device and download the KML file.
4) The KML file will be opened in MAPS.ME and imported as a new MAPS.ME Bookmark.
5) Go to the Bookmarks Manager screen in MAPS.ME and select the relevant one.

Alternatively if you attach your device to your computer as a USB Storage Device, you can drag-and-drop the KML file into the MapsWithMe folder on your device. The KML file will then appear as a new Bookmark im MAPS.ME.

More information on the app (which is available for Android and iPhone) can be found at

Andrew said...

Website hits are:
51% desktop
26% mobile
21% tablet

As I tend to check the site on a widescreen desktop, feedback from mobile/tablet users is welcome

David Colver said...

Reports on SWC walks from April to May -- Closed to new comments

'walk reports' have changed - please add them to the walk post instead

How do we do that when the walk post has disappeared from the This Week listing?

Andrew said...

There's a new 'last week' page.

Andrew said...

"Summer Walks with a Wild Swim!", by the 'wild swimming' publishers, is a new book of 'by train' day trips from London by the 'Kenwood Ponds Ladies Swimming Club'. The book looks nice. Looking at the contents, there's a fair bit of overlap with our walks.

Andrew said...

Spot.IM is an chat/instant-messenger app for clubs. It could be used to keep in touch with each other / on walks / on the way to walks / or witter with one another in general.

Is anyone interested?

(we do have #saturdaywalkers on twitter, but no one uses it)

Anonymous said...

Comments for walk numbers ave been disabled since about 16th May. Not sure if I have missed some discussion on this but are we not collecting these numbers/walk reports any longer?

Andrew said...

We are still collecting numbers. Just in a different way. See

Andrew said...

The most popular walks for club walks since the epoch (in this case Jan-2010) are:

22 Tring Circular
21 Guildford to Farnham
18 Guildford to Gomshall
17 Riddlesdown to Coulsdon South
16 Robertsbridge Circular
15 Saunderton via Bledlow Circular
15 Henley via Stonor Circular
15 Marlow Circular

At the other end, about 40 walks have never been done. The 'actual' number is a little less, as some walks aren't in the south east, and some have been done as walk checks before they were assigned their number.

Sean said...

This appears to show that the Book 2 walks are the most popular with walk posters, but it depends how you count them. Most Book 2 walks have several variations and Guildford to Farnham (for example) has only been posted eight times: the others are various Guildford Circulars, Farnham Circulars, etc.

If you count specific walks, twelve have been posted ten or more times since 2010: nine are from Book 1, two from Book 2 and - in equal first place with thirteen - is Extra Walk 21, Sevenoaks Circular.

Andrew said...

Now it actually works :)

Pia said...

I forgot to say thank you to Thomas G for taking the time and the trouble and applying his walking and route finding skills to devise new walks for the SWC; I refer to the four Tisbury walks he recently, spring 2015, devised. It may be a little bit far out, but if you walk regularly, it is a treat to discover new countryside that you would never think of to walk in before or go and explore by yourself. In a group with all transport and watering/eating places researched beforehand it becomes a wonderful opportunity to explore new pastures. The walks are also nice and long, with options to shorten or make them challenging. Indeed, what's not to like about this. Walkers should display a little more gratefulness towards those who make all the effort of organising/devising walks etc rather than just criticise the distance to the start of the walk.

PeteB said...

Stats page is excellent addition to the site; thanks Andrew. I wonder if there is any correlation between walk popularity and the departure main-line station?

Thomas G said...

now then, reg. the stats...
any chance on enlightening us on the source of the data, and - more importantly - on its integrity (= completeness and accuracy) and also on the rules reg. non-reports ?

I may have missed an explanation on this, but:
how does the analysis deal with there being no report on walk numbers after a walk ? we all know (I hope) that the common swc-walker will not post any report, ever, so lots of walks do take place with walkers being on it, but without there being any feedback to the site. do you assume zero turnout for those non-reports, or are you assuming avg attendance (avg of the postings where there was some feedback), i.e.: in effect ignore the particular posting for the purpose of calculating the averages ?

also, I don't think the integrity of the avg attendance figures can be that great, if - for example - 1/11 (Tring to Wendover) shows 8 outings with avg 2 walkers = 16 walkers in total over the years...??? I just don't believe that number for one second...

Or, closer to my heart: SWC 164 - Roydon to Sawbo (via Henry Moore), 3 outings, avg 0 walkers. I've been on 2 of those outings myself, and there were more than a handful of people on both, and most certainly a walk report confirming that... (I tend to report numbers on my own walks, if nobody else does so within 24 hours) ?

Or, someone else's walk that I remember vividly having been on in a group: SWC 176 Kings Sutton Circ, again it shows as 3 outings with 0 avg attendance. I'm pretty certain one of the group posted a walk report...

net/net: there is an in-built bias against the not-so-popular walks in non-standard locations, as the walks with larger attendances by definition have a much better chance of getting walk reports in the first place, due to the higher likelihood of there being an active blogger amongst them, the walks with lower attendances though have a higher chance of not being reported on, even if there were people on it. which raises the question, how much gainful analysis can be made of this data ?

plus, of course, it should really be split into Saturday postings and Sunday postings, as the more obscure walks (non CJ/EC, non Chilterns/Thames Valley) have a much higher chance of being posted on Sundays, and therefore for attracting less walkers anyhow

Andrew said...

> source of data ?
epoch to 2009 : no data
2010-2015/04 : date / walk / walk-options, recorded by Sean
2012-2015/04 : walk numbers, recorded by 'Walker'
2015/05 + : metadata in TWW posts (doesn't currently have walk option)

data is available at github:/data/swc/old-walk-numbers

> no report on walk numbers after a walk
- Am checking, there is a difference between '0' and '?'.
- There are too many '0' in the data.

Also, walk checks aren't picked up in the stats (they didn't have a walk number at the time).

> also, I don't think the integrity of the avg attendance
For Royston, the raw data is 0,?,?
- it should probably be ? ? ?
- I may just not count the '0' - if correct, it probably means it was raining...
- add sat/sun/midweek/weather... and the average is just for fun

- am thinking of adding an extra column, 'walk option'
- but this data would have to be added to walk posts as metadata, e.g.
from the list of options in Sean's (choose a club) walk database (an excel spreadsheet available on the tww / admin page) with details of every walk and every walk option, which the 2010-2015/04 data uses

Walker said...

From what Andrew says it sounds as if effectively the walk number data comes from me. I have recorded walk numbers since 2011, but until January 2013 did not write the names of the walks against the numbers. So the data I supplied Andrew was from January 2013 to the present.

How accurate is it? As accurate as the walk reports!!. It is true that from time to time we get no report - an example is Sunday 31 May when no one reported for either walk. It was also raining that day. Non reports used to be commoner, but in fact more recently they have been rare. Apart from those two on 31 May there were only four this year (since January). Clearly if there is no report, I have to assume no one went, though equally clearly it is possible that some people did go and no one bothered to report. But there is no answer to this. Some walks almost certainly DO get no one, so to exclude all non-reporting walks from the stats would be to hide the fact that some walks (very very very few!) potentially repeatedly have no one turning up. The only solution is to encourage people to report. I am happy to say that at least three people this year have reported they were the only one to turn up, which is very public spirited of them and very useful.

One more very important thing I should say about the historical data I supplied Andrew is that I did not record numbers on Wednesday or bank holiday walks, or (for the most part) on fourth walks posted on a Saturday. This is because the original reason for me collecting the stats was to see whether three walks on a Saturday and two on a Sunday was the correct number of walks to have, and to counter the accusation that "new people turn up on walks and no one is there" (which is not borne out by the facts on the whole). There was a debate about this in 2011 and I decided to collect walk numbers to have some data if it flared up again. It never did but I kept on collecting.

Now Andrew has put in place the new system (n=x) to harvest walk numbers from walk reports we should get more complete (even more complete!) data and the data will get more (even more) accurate. Of course at present the average numbers that came on walks is a crude measure for the reasons you outline Thomas, but it is still a useful one. Eg looking at the walks with lowest or no average numbers I recognise several that never seem to report - such as Cambridge: it has been posted half a dozen times and no one has ever reported they did it. That is useful for walk posters to know, in my opinion.

Walker said...

Oh and btw, when the walk reports said "about 30" came, I recorded that as 30. If they said "20-25" I assumed 22 or 23. As I say, the more accurate the walk number data supplied, the more accurate the stats.

DAC said...

Thanks Andrew for compiling the data. It is encouraging to see some North of the river walks (Tring, Saunderton) and West (Henley / Marlow) with good numbers. I'd always assumed that on balance you'd get ~50% turnout vs. a south walk with the train stopping at Clapham Junction.

It'd be good to see Kings Sutton get another outing at some stage (if only to get some non PH pics), the last one from memory was on a very very wet Sunday; one brave soul made it out and after lunch a kind local gave him a lift back to the station. I checked it once as a silent walk (with one other) and TG checked it independently in November 2013.

Andrew said...

Q. What (else) does 'SWC Walks' stand for?

A. Sir Winston Churchill ('the bulldogs!') High School's charity Walks. See recent videos

MG said...

It's good in principle to try out new ways of doing things but I can't see the benefit of the new recent walks format. It is tedious having to scan the now irrelevant details of the arrangements posted for each walk in order to see the feedback on how it went - I would prefer to revert to the previous display.

Anonymous said...

I agree with MG that the new walk-report format is cluttered and hard to find. The former, list-style, arrangement was far simpler.

Andrew said...

walk reports stand out as they w=have_grey_bits

Andrew said...

We're using cloudfire, a free front end free web cache of the website (to reduce the bandwidth on our webhost).

If you're reading this, switching to it didn't go badly wrong.

We should really switch to an alternate host with a more competitive offering.

Andrew said...

london parks & open space:

short walks (the midweek evening walks) :

Andrew said...

N=2 W=hot
An excellent guided tour of Kensal Green Cemetery (one of the "Magnificent Seven") amongst the Greek, Classical, Egyptian and Gothic (and mixtures thereof) mausoleums. An unusual walk.
It was an Open Day, there were many Goths. Sadly, the catacombs were closed (no longer safe).

Anonymous said...

Walk Postings & Comments in general.
These seem to be getting longer and longer. Can't walk posters be more concise? Please? After all, most of the information is already on the written page or the download. Equally, must we all try and trump the previous comment with a superlative of our own adding metaphorical kiss-blowing to all our Hampstead luvvie acquaintances?
Also, all those unnecessary paragraphs and gaps between paragraphs;
they seem to be interminable. Then just when you get to to what seems to be the end,

lo and behold, there's another link and

yet another paragraph

which is really irritating - just like this. Then it's posted by anonymous (who's probably called Keith)
Have the courage to blog under your own pseudonym !
ps spread the word about these great walks!


Anonymous said...

This may appeal to some SWC walkers. Apologies if it's been posted elsewhere on the website and I've overlooked it.

The Ramblers are aiming to audit and improve all of the UK's footpaths. They're asking for volunteers to take a square of the map and walk every path therein, reporting back what they find good or bad eg broken stile, wonderful views etc.

Details of the initiative are here:

Anonymous said...

Ticks on television:

Further to the recent exchange on the site about ticks, there is a very useful 10-15 sequence on how to counter/ deal with ticks in this episode of BBC2's 'Trust me I'm a doctor'. See time-limited link below.

Bridie said...

Hi 'Keith' above
You sound like you have a good idea of how you would liek the walk posting to be
Are you volunteering to become a walk poster ?
Or is this just another anon troll who is having a pop but with no intention of actually doing anything except spurious time wasting posting ?

Andrew said...

I've changed the TWW page slightly.


- that are happening are 'collapsed'
- in the next 7 days are 'expanded',
- more than 7 days in the future are 'collapsed'

(It used to be just comments that were expanded/collapsed)


The Forum has 'some' (the most recent 200) comments.

There's a click-thru for all of them.


«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 343   Newer› Newest»