Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Walking to Hotel Marigold – 25 February 2012

Another glorious day, inspired us to think about walking to Harrow to see a movie. Harrow is only 8 miles away as the crow flies, but a walking route we found on the Web, suggested this would translate into 14 miles walking. A closer look at the map, showed that by walking south past the Colne Valley lakes and along Grand Union Canal, we would end up at Uxbridge. A delicious lunch at a canal side pub, helped us complete the eight mile walk.

From Uxbridge, we could easily catch a tube to Harrow in time for a spot of shopping before we collapsed into the theatre seats to enjoy watching the movie of 'The Most Exotic Marigold Hotel'. Having experienced a variety of Indian hotels just over a year ago, it was a great nostalgia trip.

Easter Egg Hunt – 24 February 2012

In this Diamond Jubilee year, London has an Easter egg hunt, the aim of which is to break the Guiness World record for the most people participating in an Easter egg hunt.

We helped boost the numbers today, by having a go ourselves. Each egg is 2.5 ft high, and hidden in plain sight in various areas in London. Each egg found gives a chance to win the competition for a Faberge Diamond Jubilee Egg.

We started in The City, where eggs were lurking around the Royal Exchange, in front of the Gherkin and many other spots.

A side trip across the Thames to Southwick Cathedral, took us to see their Easter installation of the 'Die Harder' sculpture. Made with coat hangers, it is a crucifixion sculpture with a difference.

After lunch, we spent the afternoon hunting for eggs in the Docklands area. This is one of our favorite modern parts of London, and here the eggs were hidden in various squares, as well as in the shopping centres.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Butterfly House – 19 February 2012

Wisley RHS Gardens had a special winter feature, butterflies in the glasshouse. Along with half the membership, we decided to enjoy the sunny, but cold, day there.
The gardens still had a winter look, but were still pleasant to walk around. A pub lunch nearby was a pleasant chance to continue enjoying the sunshine.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Sparkling Walk – 11 February 2012

Despite another few centimetres of snow on Thursday night, the snow was nearly gone on the Chorleywood Common by Saturday, so we caught the train two stops further west into the Chilterns to Chesham. Here the snow was still deep in the countryside around the town.

The local council promote walking in the countryside, by making a free selection of colourful walks available at the local library. We choose a selection of appealing walks, and decided to do a 7 mile walk through the fields in a circle around the town.

This would have been pleasant, but unexciting on a normal day, but today with the fresh snow thickly covering everything, it was just magical. There was not only snow glistening with ice crystals, but long hoar frost needles were developing on fences, post tops, plants etc, and in the bright sunshine, it looked like all the diamonds in Antwerp were scattered everywhere.

Small numbers of children were out in isolated fields, having an exhilarating time whizzing down steep icy slopes. We took our walking poles and sun-glasses, both were essential.

About three-quarters of the way round we passed the Hen & Chicken pub. By this stage we were rather hungry, and glad of a rest too. The pub is a really old and one of the most appealing interiors we have seen recently. A large fireplace (originally the kitchen cookplace I suspect) had a warming fire and either side of the fire were chimney seats, tucked inside the chimney in typical inglenook fashion.

The bar area was tiled, so no need to take our boots off. They may have been wet, but after walking miles through the snow, were the cleanest they have been for a long time! The restaurant area was quaint, with old timbers and another fire. A very welcoming sight on a cold day.

Suitably refreshed we completed the circuit to the centre of Chesham and returned to real-life by filling our backpacks at the supermarket before training home.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Out enjoying the snow – 5 February 2012

The snow started right on cue, at 5pm Saturday, and continued through the night, so that when we got up Sunday morning, the world was transformed with a 10cm blanket of white.

It was amazingly mild, and we actually ended up too warm in our multiple layers of clothing. We enjoyed the vast white clean expanse of the common in the early morning, as we circled around the common to the church. This looked just like the popular Christmas cards we saw in our childhoods.

By the time we had enjoyed a coffee in the township, families were out in force, and the colourful scene reminded us of a Bruegel painting. The snow was so fresh, that it was easy to make a huge snowball – a first for us.

A hot mulled wine at the pub at the top end of town, gave us the energy to explore the snowy walking tracks on the western edge of Chorleywood. It was the ideal day for the snow, everyone was able to enjoy it while fresh and picturesque, leaving the remnants behind on Monday, as we made our way to work

Waiting for the big freeze – 4 February 2012

The TV news has been doing their best to make everyone aware that a big snow fall was due to move down the country on Saturday night. Meantime, Saturday was fine, frosty and rather pleasant. We wanted to sample the food at Chenies' Bedford Arms hotel for lunch, so found a suitable walk on the Web, that would get us there by lunchtime.

Walking from our own front door is the most appealing exercise we know of, and by the time we made it to Chenies, we felt totally justified in enjoying their amazing triple fried doorstep sized chips with our ploughman's lunch.