Robinswood Hill

Todays walk was around a local Country Park at Robinswood Hill. The paths can be a bit muddy in winter, but today they were fine.
We ventured outside the park around a local golf course to find some geocaches – they were easy to find, the footpaths were a bit more of a challenge…


This is Toby being remarkably well behaved while the photo was being taken!

Thames and Severn Canal

It was another nice day today, so we decided to continue our exploration of the Cotswold Canal, this time from Chalford to the tunnel entrance at Sapperton.


This section of the canal is much more rural than the Stroud section.


After collecting lots of geocaches, we reached the tunnel portal.


Then walked up the hill to Sapperton.


Where we had lunch on the green.


We then returned a different way through some woods filled with wild garlic


Then back down the canal, stopping for a beer at a nice dog friendly pub on the way.
The railway line follows the canal along the valley, we often heard trains without being able to see in them. Except for one spot:


Then back home. 10.7 miles and 22 geocaches today.

Haresfield Beacon

We went on a familiar but excellent walk at Haresfield Beacon this morning. Nice views and lots of blossom out.


In the afternoon, there were chores to do. But the promised rain was cancelled, so we walked along the canal to The Pilot for a few beers in the sunshine.
Then back along the other side of the canal for more beer and pizza.


Frampton on Severn

Steve, Toby and I went for a walk around Frampton on Severn today. The village is misnamed as it is nowhere near the river!
The walk was a mixture of virtually untrodden paths though fields, nice paths through woodland and paths following rivers and canals.


We stopped for a refreshing beer at lunchtime:


Then lunch by the canal:


Goodbye to Ralph

Ralph has now on his way to his new home; I hope he settles there as quickly as he did with us.

It was great having a dog again, but it’s also nice to be able to put our house back as it was!


London Loop Walk 3 – Petts Wood to Hayes

It was another lovely warm day with no rain forecast, so Ralph and I embarked on the next section of my London Loop walk.
The day started with a short train journey to Petts Wood, then a traipse along the High Street and quiet suburban streets to Jubilee Park.London Loop 3 - Jubilee Park

I seem have got there at peak dog walking time – there were dogs everywhere, and Ralph was in heaven trying to play with them all, whether they wanted to or not. In the end, he was being a bit too much of a nuisance and had to go back on the lead.

There was then another boring bit of suburbia to reach Sparrow Wood. This wood is often a bit muddy, but I didn’t expect it to be quite as bad as it was. Mind you, it had rained quite heavily earlier in the week, so maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised.London Loop 3 - Mud in Sparrow Wood

Ralph did enjoy a play in the stream though.
London Loop 3 - Ralph in Sparrow Wood

Then we followed a long footpath from Crofton Oak to Darrick Woods. These woods had less dogs than Jubilee Park, but Ralph was again a bit of a nuisance and had to go back on the lead.London Loop 3 - Darrick Wood

The route then crossed the busy A21, and headed through Farnborough Village.London Loop 3 - Farnborough

The footpath goes through St Giles Church, and it was an interesting exercise getting the dog past a funeral party without scattering his blond hairs on their dark clothing!

Then back into the countryside through High Elms. The loop took a very different route from my normal walks at High Elms, and we ended up at the far end of Shire Lane.London Loop 3 - High Elms

The path then followed the edge of the Holwood Estate (you can just see the house behind the trees).London Loop 3 - Holwood Estate

And past the Wilberforce Oak, where we stopped for a quick sandwich and a look at the nice view.London Loop 3 - Wilberforce Oak

Then on to Keston Woods, where Ralph enjoyed some fresh water from the ponds there.London Loop 3 - Keston Ponds

Yet more suburban roads took us to Keston Village, from where we followed the ridge of West Wickham Common.London Loop 3 - West Wickham Common

A signpost reminds us of the start of the London Loop at Erith, now 24¾ miles away.London Loop 3 - Signpost

Then down the hill to Coney Hall.London Loop 3 - Coney Hall

This was the official end of the section, but then there was a longish walk to Hayes Station. It’s only a half hourly service, so we had 20 minutes to wait for a train to Lewisham, then another 20 minute wait for an Orpington train, so the journey back took almost as long as the walk!

But a good day, and another 11 miles of walking done.

London Loop Walk 4 – Coney Hall to Whyteleafe

For more information on the London Loop, see // and //

Cudham and Pratts Bottom

It was another lovely day today, so we walked through the woods from Cudham to Pratts Bottom.

Cudham Walk

The bluebells in the woods are still glorious:

Cudham Walk

Ralph met sheep for the first time; unfortunately he seemed rather too keen on investigating them closely, so it was a bit of a struggle getting him across the field. He also met what I suspect are his first “real” stiles – most had dog sized holes underneath, but I had to lift him over one of them..

We then “helped” with the Pratts Bottom May Queen procession, all of which was fine until Ralph spotted a dog on the opposite pavement; keeping him on track was hard work!

Pratts Bottom May Queen Procession

Our railway club had a small Garden Railway display running at the Pratts Bottom village fete:

Garden Railway

Then back home through the woods and fields. In the process Ralph managed to roll in some cow poo, so he had to have a wash once we got home.

An exhausting day, but so nice to see some warmth outside.

London Loop Walk 2 – Bexley to Petts Wood

It was a lovely sunny day, and after doing my democratic duty for the London Elections, I decided to walk the next section of my London Loop project (see London Loop Walk 1 – Erith to Bexley for the first section).It was the first time I’d taken Ralph on a train; he was a bit puzzled by it all, but seemed to take it in his stride:

Ralph on Train

We caught the first train to Hither Green, then a second train to Bexley Station. We had a long chat with the ticket inspector there who seemed amazed that we were walking to Petts Wood Station – a long way by train, but not that far on foot.

An alleyway leads from the station under the railway towards the River Cray:

Bexley Tunnel

The path then crosses what used to be a landfill site. When I was there a few years ago, it was very scrappy, but it’s now been cleaned up and is quite a pleasant place to walk:

Bexley Landfill Site

And finally on to Footscray Meadows, described as “possibly one of the most charming sections of the whole London Loop“. Ralph loved playing in the river, and got quite excited chasing and playing with other dogs.

Footscray Meadows 1
Footscray Meadows - Five Arches Bridge

Then on past Footscray High Street (which seemed noisy by comparison!):

Footscray High Street

A footpath leads to Sidcup Place; a tranquil area next to Queen Mary Hospital that I’d never visited before.

Sidcup Place

From there, the A20 needed to be crossed. Fortunately there is a network of subways to assist:


A20 Subways

Then back to peacefulness as we walked through Scadbury Park “Nature Reserve”:

Scadbury Park

This lead on to the National Trust Willett Woods.

Willett Woods

Even though I regularly walk in these woods, it was nice to take a different route through them. We had lunch by one of the two memorials in the woods:

Willett Woods

It’s amazing how attentive a dog can be when food is in the offing:


Then time for Ralph to cool down again:

Petts Wood Stream

The rest of the route crossed lots of railway lines and officially heads to Petts Wood Station, but we diverted to the local dog friendly micro pub ( and had a beer.

I was going to catch the train back home, but it was such a nice day that we walked home instead.

All in all, an interesting walk on a lovely warm day, with a total of 9.5 miles covered.

London Loop Walk 3 – Petts Wood to Hayes

For more information on the London Loop, see // and //

Kissing Gates

We had a lovely walk in Shoreham Woods this morning; bright, sunny and so many bluebells that you could smell them in the air.

Shoreham Woods - Ralph


It was obvious that Ralph had never encountered a kissing gate before; he had to be dragged through the first two, but soon got the idea.

Ralph at Kissing Gate


Shoreham Woods - Ralph

He did get rather overwhelmed by meeting a seven strong Labrador pack at one stage, but soon recovered!

1605-009 Shoreham Woods - Ralph