Future Longer Walks

Thursday 25 October 2018
Faversham to Whitstable
10 miles / 16 km


Fully booked. Waiting list only

The walk will start at Faversham Station, returning to central London from Whitstable. Further details regarding travel will be provided nearer the time.

In order to take advantage of off peak rail fares, the walk will start at Faversham Station a little later than usual at approx. 11.30 a.m. We return to central London from Whitstable and expect to arrive around 6.00 p.m. Further details regarding travel will be provided nearer the time.

The walk incorporates a good well marked path with lovely views of the Swale estuary, South Swale Nature Reserve, Isle of Sheppey and Whitstable Bay. It also provides an opportunity to spot a variety of sea and marsh birds and wild flowers.

We begin the walk at the pretty market square in the medieval town of Faversham which boasts nearly 500 listed buildings. Walking through this historic town we pass the Shepherd Neame Brewery heading towards the Saxon Shore Way – named after the line of historic fortifications that defended the Kent coast at the end of the Roman era. We weave through a fascinating boat yard and then cross a foot bridge across Faversham Creek and marshes – we may have a short wait here if the bridge is raised to let boats pass. Then it’s on to Nagden Cottages and the sea wall, providing fascinating views of the Isle of Sheppey and Swale estuary. Our route takes us along the coast with the South Swale Nature Reserve on our left and Nagden, Greveney and Cleve marshes to the right. As we continue along the coast we reach the village of Seasalter, famous for its salt production in the Iron Age and Viking raids in the area. We pass the Michelin starred Sportsman pub at the western end of the village by the marshes, on a site which has hosted an inn since 1642. After stopping for a picnic lunch on the beach or sea wall we then walk along the shingle beach keeping to the shoreline if the tide is out (or along the sea wall if not). Our route takes us past rows of beach huts and on to the fishing and harbour town of Whitstable famous for its oysters which have been harvested there since Roman times.

Possible rewards at the end of the walk (depending on time) include a paddle in the sea followed by fish & chips (or oysters) washed down with local Whitstable Bay beer. The station is a short walk away from the beach.

The break for lunch will be mid-way through the walk, so all walkers will need to bring their own refreshments and drinking water.

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Booking Form

Thursday 8 November 2018
Broxbourne Woods National Nature Reserve
10.5 miles / 16.8 km

Fully booked. Waiting list only

This circular walk starts and finishes in Bayford, easily accessible by train from local railway stations. The walk is mostly flat with some undulations and a significant amount of it is through woodland, particularly the Broxbourne Woods National Nature Reserve. As the clocks will have ‘gone back’ by the time this walk is completed, we also see the welcome return of the ‘pub lunch’.

From Bayford Station we head east to Brickendon village green, before striking north to Harmond’s Wood. We then continue south east along wooded paths and bridle ways skirting the edge of Highfield Wood, before plunging into part of the Broxbourne Woods National Nature Reserve. At the edge of Hoddesdonpark Wood, we meet and briefly follow the Hertfordshire Way before heading south to the small village of Wormley West End and lunch at the The Woodman & Olive. After lunch our route turns to the west, to follow a large loop through another section of the National Nature Reserve, before emerging a mile south of Brickendon, which we revisit on our way back to Bayford Station.

The break for lunch will be between 12.30 and 1.00 p.m., full details will be provided to those joining the walk. Walkers will also need to bring their own drinking water and other refreshments if required.

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Thursday 22 November 2018
Stanstead Abbotts Circular
10 miles / 16 km 15 places maximum

Fully booked. Waiting list only

A delightful circular walk through the Hertfordshire countryside using stretches of the Harcamlow Way and the Hertfordshire Way. A lunch time stop at a country inn is followed by a descent into the Lea Valley and a canal-side walk back to our starting point. We start from the bridge over the Lea in the village of Stanstead Abbotts and after walking along the pleasant high street turn north to walk through arable farming country. To begin with we follow the route of the Harcamlow Way, but eventually leave it behind as we head towards the village of Widford. After a brief road side stretch, the Hertfordshire Way joins us and we follow its route into the village of Wareside and our lunch-time pub The White Horse. Suitably fortified, we continue along bridle paths and by-ways towards the town of Ware, turning south just before we reach the built-up area. At Widbury Hill, we start our descent back into the Lea Valley to join a disused railway track that takes us through the Amwell Nature reserve and onto the towpath of the Lee Navigation (both spellings ‘Lea’ or ‘Lee’ being acceptable). By now we are close to our starting point, and after a short walk alongside the canalised Lea we arrive back at Stanstead Abbotts.

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13 December 2018
A solstice stroll – a London walk ending with a celebratory lunch
Maximum 15 participants

Booking open from mid-day on Monday 29 October 2018
No bookings accepted before this date & time

Although the solstice is still a week away, the days are short and it is time to reflect on our first full year of U3A walking, with a celebratory meal. Today we begin in our own back yard, leaving Highgate Station and following the Capital Ring to the Olympic Park. An earlier start to the walk means we arrive in Hackney in time for a festive lunch at Gotto Trattoria, an independent and family-run British/Italian restaurant on the banks of the Lee Navigation. Our route will be familiar to many of you, taking in Parkland Walk, Finsbury Park, Woodberry Down, Clissold Park and Stoke Newington, before the streets of Stamford Hill lead us to the Lee Navigation and the towpath to our lunch venue in the north of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. As the restaurant is virtually at the end of our walk, there will be plenty of time to enjoy our meal, before completing the final 500 metres to Hackney Wick station and trains for north London.

Please note that our lunch choices will be made from Gotto Trattoria’s special festive menu, priced at £25 for 3 courses.

Further details will be provided to members who sign up for the walk.

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Booking Form

Reserve List

If you would like your name to be added to a reserve list of three members in case a space becomes available on any of the fully booked walks please complete this form:

Future walk dates

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24 January 2019: Windsor/Dorney : booking opens 26 November 2018

28 February 2019: Chipperfield Common : booking opens 7 January 2019

28 March 2019: Knebworth : booking opens 11 February 2019

About the Longer Walks Group

How to book a walk

Past longer walks