Friday, 24 September 2010

Walking Normandy (England)

P1000366 Early Saturday starts – are they a good idea?

The answer has to be ‘yes’ on a fine clear September morning with the sun emerging into a pale blue sky and taking the chill off the air.
No doubts that the day fits the name of the walking group this month (Fine Weather Walkers).

Our walk started at Wood Street Village near Normandy (Surrey not France). Seventeen of us set off to enjoy walking beside fields, through copses and under the canopy of more wooded land; every month we are reminded of the pleasing variety of the English countryside virtually on our doorstep. This time we were delighted to discover (and sample) blackberries both sweet and tart growing luxuriantly amongst the hedges, and there were sloes and rosehips for the more ambitious to collect for future use.

P1000369 It paid to look closely where we were walking – or taking a coffee break – as we espied a small frog amidst the grass; but equally the distant view showed a group of deer bounding in a line across a field which sloped up to the Hogs Back in the distance, and a glance upwards at one stage revealed a pair of para-gliders taking the concept of fresh air to new heights.

P1000370

A Fine Weather Walkers’ walk always promises interesting terrain, and often the chance to appreciate the physical heritage of our forebears. This month was no exception; we paused for a while to look at St Bartholomew’s Wanborough’s, a 12th century church restored in 1862 from having been a farm building, proudly noted as mentioned in the Domesday Book.(Wanborough was worth £7 in 1085.)

But just as important to the success and enjoyment of the walks is the chance to be out and about with convivial people who rapidly become friends, who share in the delights of the walk and joke about the awkward stiles or the unexpected muddy patch. On a glorious September morning, with only three easy stiles and no mud to speak of, conversation sparkled and good fellowship reached its culmination over the excellent lunch which was our reward at the end.

walk For more information on the St Paul’s Walking Group, see Walking Back To Happiness. A list of all our events at St Paul’s, including scheduled walks, is available here. If you’re interested in coming along to a walk, we would love to hear from you.