||Sunday January 21st - Nat Ram
AGM and Annual Dinner - London
of a tube ride than a walk although it is a 6 min walk from Chancery
Lane tube station! This is the AGM and Annual Dinner, which includes
the official launch of the 2018 Walks Programme. It's a great
opportunity to meet old friends, discuss the walks, have a nice
meal, great beer etc. Over five hours of nude bliss in mid-Winter
in Central London - it's worth it almost for its novelty value!
Open only to Nat Ram and SOC walkers and their friends. Tickets
from our Treasurer.
||Thursday 19th April - Wotton
Wander (New) - Dorking
is new for 2018, and starts at the same place as the Leith Hill
walk. Instead of going south, we go north to the Downs which
are open with south facing slopes for a good part of the way,
but which also have extensive areas of varied and sheltered woodland,
some of which should be full of bluebells. We rise gently eastwards
with fine views south across the peaceful valley to the forested
slope of the Leith Hill ridge, through a gap of which it is possible
to glimpse Chanctonbury Ring on the far-distant South Downs.
When we reach the North Downs Way, we follow it west for several
miles before returning.
||Wednesday 2nd May - Mayfield
walk follows a delightful wiggling route through a mixture of
pasture and woodland combining great views across the Weald with
some enchanting almost Alpine settings. We usually stop for lunch
in Wadhurst Park where herds of deer are often seen grazing.
A shorter version of the walk is possible.
||Wednesday 23rd May - Weald Side
was a new walk in 2016 located in deepest Kent. We explore the
gently rolling countryside on the Kent / Surrey border, crowned
by the Dry Hill iron age hill fort. A patchwork of meadows, woods
and ponds, with enchanting views over the Eden valley to the
North and the Sussex Weald to the South.
2nd June - Hoo Peninsula - Gravesend
walk is in a most unusual setting exploring a huge and virtually
deserted area of marshland alongside the Thames Estuary, which
is why we can do it on a Saturday. This area is full of historical
interest, it being the setting for Charles Dickens 'Great Expectations'.
In addition there is much evidence of WWII, not to mention its
chequered smuggling history! The date of the walk has been planned
so that the state of the tide should give us the opportunity
for swimming in the Thames at some stage during the walk.
6th June - Dean's Bottom - Goring-on-Thames
is now a popular walk in our programme, and it is the sixth walk
in our collection to make use - briefly this time - of The Ridgeway
long distance path. We meet in a pretty Berkshire village and
walk through superb downland scenery in a large figure of eight.
There are ups and downs, so you have to be able to cope with
several steep climbs. A shorter version of the walk is possible.
14th June - Arun Gap - Arundel
was a new walk in 2017 and starts from the same place as the
Wepham Down walk, which route it follows briefly before turning
west to explore the northern end of the Arun Gap and the downland
ridge on the far side. A good half of the way is flat with much
of it along the banks of the peaceful tidal Arun through both
open meadow [with wide views to the Downs on either side] and
woodland. We divert off the riverside path through an old quarry
up on to the ridge to the west, with superb views over the Arun
Gap, north over the Weald as far as Leith Hill, and south to
Arundel Castle and Cathedral and beyond to the sea. Part of the
route takes us into land where unfortunately dogs are not allowed
along the route that we follow.
||Wednesday 20th June - Box Hill
Maze - Dorking
is a popular walk, being close to London and the M25. It starts
where the River Mole cuts through the North Downs and follows
an amazing tangle of footpaths through beautiful wooded and also
open territory with splendid views. But you have to be able to
cope with several steep climbs. Please note that due to the nature
of the walk it will start at 12 mid-day prompt! A shorter version
of the walk is possible.
|| Thursday 28th
June - Ackling Dyke - Salisbury
Dyke is a name bestowed locally on the Roman road between Sarum
(now Salisbury) and Poole Harbour, which we follow for several
miles. We are again on the high chalk downland and much of the
scenery is spectacular with lunch in a secluded Alpine meadow.
A shorter version of the walk is possible.
||Thursday 12th July - Harting
Down - Petersfield
walks are always popular and this circuit starts at the southernmost
point. We head north-east gradually ascending the dip slope to
the crest of the South Downs where we enjoy splendid views over
the Harting countryside. After heading west along the ridge,
we close the loop through rolling fields and woods.
||Tuesday 17th July - Whiteways
walk starts from a car park rather than a pub, although refreshments
and toilets are available in the car park. The walk starts off
in a mixture of farmland and woodland before emerging on to the
top of the downs. We pass along deserted chalkland valleys before
joining part of the South Downs Way with magnificent views as
we return to the car park.
||Wednesday 25th July - Bury Down
is a wonderful walk over the downs between Reading and Didcot.
From the village, we will climb up onto and along the Ridgeway
with its great views, before turning south to drop down through
a winding valley to make a wide circle back to the pub.
31st July - Red Shoot - Ringwood
year we repeat our usual route heading north from the pub up
onto the New Forest. The walk typifies the Forest with vast expanses
of heather and heathland along with magnificent views. Not to
mention ponies, ponds, and relics from WW2!
7th August- Grovely - Salisbury
many years we have looked north across the wide valley when walking
along the top of escarpment that is a major feature of our Broad
Chalke walk, and admired a wooded parallel ridge with woods on
top but open sides. When we investigated we were far from disappointed.
It follows a mixture of Roman Roads and old ox drove tracks,
with distant views of Salisbury Cathedral and its spire! A shorter
version of the walk is possible.
||Wednesday 15th August - Ashdown
Forest - East Grinstead
The route for this walk has evolved over the years and is a lovely
circuit around the High Weald with a good mix of delightful wooded
tracks and heathland paths, providing spectacular views across
to both the North and South Downs.
||Wednesday 22nd August - Wepham
Down - Arundel
is a brilliant walk and a favourite with many of our walkers.
It explores the high rolling chalk downland north of Arundel.
It is very open and nude friendly with magnificent views. Parts
of it are quite remote, almost reminiscent of the Lakes! The
walk is about 14 miles (which is on the long side by Nat Ram
standards) so note the earlier 11.30am start time. A shorter
version of the walk is possible.
4th September - Sugar Hill - Swindon
is a magnificent walk on the high chalk downland between Hungerford
and Swindon. Its start point is a very pretty village with its
pub and village green. The walk follows the ridge up to the impressive
Liddington Castle which was one of the earliest Iron Age hill
forts in Britain, with first occupation dating to the seventh
century BC! We then follow a fine route along a west facing escarpment
partly parallel to, and then on, the Ridgeway before heading
east back to the village.
11th September - Friston Forest - Polegate
beautiful walk featured in our first 1993 programme and is still
a favourite, with forest, open downs and precipitous chalk cliffs.
As the walk is not a closed circuit we board a bus to get to
the start of our walk which is along the Cuckmere River, so for
those of you who qualify, don't forget your bus pass!. We take
a route heading north along the east bank of the river, where
a quick swim might be in order, before leaving it to climb up
through a winding valley and emerge on the top of the downs.
We finish up by striding across closely cropped turf along the
top of the famous Seven Sisters chalk cliffs to Birling Gap before
walking back to the pub for dinner. A shorter version of the
walk is possible.
9th October - Leith Hill - Dorking
is a popular walk, much enjoyed and provides an excellent route
through pleasant sheltered woodland and very attractive valleys
sloping gently up to Leith Hill Tower. At 1000ft (317m) above
sea level it is the highest point in SE England. From here it
is possible to see some of the high buildings in Central London.
In the other direction you can look out across Gatwick Airport
and see as far as the South Downs.