12 mile circular walks in Guildford and Hayes

 This month I walked two 12 -mile circular walks.

riversided Guildford

Riverside Guildford


There’s’ no real reason why I should vet one walk against another, but I will anyway! The first  walk was in Guildford led by the UK Explorers group; and the second was in  Hayes,led by the South Bank Ramblers.I have to say, Guildford wins no competition.


Guildford-Water- Riverside, woods, views and good company.

Shapes of trees

Shapes of trees


Walking in Guildford, with The UK Explorer’s Group

This month I managed to do two 12-mile circular walks. My first walk was in the Guildford Surrey area. The day didn’t start off promising. As always I was determined to get out more, and joined up with the UK Explorers Group.

I wanted to try another walk with this group; as well I wanted to see a bit more of Guildford. I had been there for a day trip before and quite liked it. I like a circular walk, and 12 miles is a good distance, it feels like a proper work out. Two in a month is pretty good for me.

mad hatter tree

Can you spot the Mad Hatter


On a freezing cold Saturday morning I arrived at Waterloo station, I was a bit early and surprised to see a massive crowd of excitable cub scouts off on some day trip. They were all – hip hip hooraying and gearing up for some event. I wrapped my scarf around me wondering where my lot were in the station.

 I was thinking to myself why have I got up and out so early on a Saturday morning to go walking in the cold.

We arrived at Guildford station, where we waited around for someone arriving from near Guildford. It felt cold. Once the full group was together we made off and walked about 7 miles before we stopped off at St Martha’s hill. A steep walk, got us warmed up quickly, it led to a small church and cemetery. we took the opportunity to have a break, as there were a couple of benches tucked in the walled garden. We walkers, appreciate; a  rest to admire the view. A good leader knows where and when to stop.

On a better day, the caretaker told us you could see Surrey and beyond.


St Marthas hill for lunch break

St Martha’s hill for lunch break


Mellow Yellow


Hayes 12 mile circular walk.

 The South Bank Ramblers group, 12-mile circular walk to Hayes, was not a walk, I  enjoyed. It would be great if all walks were fantastic, but there are various factors, that can make a walk unenjoyable.

Being muddy and wet usually spoils what could be a lovely walk. The  problem with this particular walk is there was too much road crossing,

 We frequently went into a wooded area then came out onto a road and did that several times. The leader is an extremely fit walker, who marched us on at a pace, that I don’t mind, at times, but I didn’t feel we saw much scenery of any note, and far too close to the suburbs.

The highlight was the lunch in the village of Downe. I resisted the temptation to go into the George and Dragon, a pub where Zippy (Nigel Farage ) is said to drink.

It will soon be time for my walking weekend away in Derbyshire this is organised by the UK EXPLORERS MEET UP GROUP.

After Guildford, I decided they were an alright group. They are younger than the Ramblers, but that’s fine. I’m not ageist!

A whole weekend away with a group is a new venture for me. We may do some night walking which is not something I have done before. 

I ‘m looking forward to it and hope I have some good walks and pictures to post you all.

Until then

Happy Easter.


The housing crisis & States of Mind

Walking, Protesting, Tibet,&  States of Mind

On my last post, I mentioned that I was going on a Demo about the current housing crisis we are facing in the UK, more specifically London. It was a short walk which started  from Kennington and finished in Westminster outside Downing Street. It was  a bright but cold day.  Getting out and about is vital for health ; Attending both the Housing crisis Demo and The  states of mind Exhibition complement each blowing away the cobwebs.

Two guys carried this all the way to Downing Street from Kennington. Stopped here for a rest!

Two guys carried this all the way to Downing Street from Kennington. Stopped here for a rest!


Will there ever be enough social housing in the UK?


At Downing street a friend tells documentary maker why we need social housing.. go Deborah.!

At Downing street, a friend tells documentary maker why we need social housing.. go Deborah.!


Although I see houses and flats being built daily all over London, at what price?

Walking to Westminster from Kenningto to protest about the lack of social housing.

Walking to Westminster from Kennington to protest about the lack of social housing.


women in red pushing poodle carrying a placard kill the bill


A friend and I were both feeling frazzled, she was recovering from liver surgery, and I was feeling wiped out from my job in the NHS. We met at this exhibition “Tibet’s Secret Temple” in the fantastic  Wellcome institute Euston.

I managed to see it and it was well worth it. I had seen a poster for the Tibet exhibition and I had always had a fondness for the Tibetan culture. See the enclosed  You tube video showing an edited preview of the exhibition, which will give you an idea of the tranquility of their Culture.

Once upon a time I volunteered for The Free Tibet Campaign.
My role was to see their magazine to Booksellers. It was a short-lived career, but interesting all the same.

Hover and click over the title below for video. Tibet exhibition come on in

Sitting in a dark room with the sound of the water, was so soothing. Anybody who knows Euston Road will know what a nightmare of a road it is.  We sat for hours talking about escaping the humdrum of life.

Full of enthusiasm for the Wellcome Foundation, we met up again to see another exhibition which was called States of Mind; exploring brain damage among other illness’s.

Exhibition at The Wellcome Foundation Euston Road London

Exhibition at The Wellcome Foundation Euston Road London


Exploring phenomena such as disorders of memory and consciousness, the exhibition examines ideas around the nature of these subjects.

In particular, what can happen when our typical conscious experience is interrupted, damaged or undermined. Some fascinating studies had been done on the effects of anaesthetic as the patient undergoes anaesthesia to unconsciousness. 

A study based in a Unit based in  Tel-Aviv worked with severely brain-damaged patients  & it showed how animals such as dogs and rabbits could bring comfort to some patients who otherwise are emotionally unable to communicate. I would recommend it to anyone interested in the mind.

I Can Not Help the Way I Feel’ by John Isaacs, 2003 Wax, polystyrene, steel, expanding foam and oil paint

I Can Not Help the Way I Feel’ by John Isaacs, 2003
Wax, polystyrene, steel, expanding foam and oil paintFurthermore

The Wellcome Foundation
Have a permanent exhibition, cafe and amazing book shop; where you can browse free of charge;an antidote to the horror of Euston Road!

This is taken from the permanent exhibition called Medicine Now. Obesity’ explores a condition dominantly affecting developed nations and compares it with a disease mostly associated with the developing world (malaria) 




until next month

Keep on Keeping on.


Walking at night


The City at night

 Walking to the South Bank in Waterloo, starting at Railton Road is about 6 miles. I love this walk, especially at dusk. The city at night has a magic all of its own.  Walking at night is a great time to think. It’s nice to be able to stop when and where you want, with no particular place to go; that’s the way I like it.

Once a Housing Coop , cheap rent

On the corner of Atlantic Road/Coldharbour Lane Brixton



As I walk from my flat in Railton Road, the 1st place of interest I come across is Carlton Mansions; which was soon to be demolished. It has served as a coop for over 40 years. It was a three-layered tenement type building, with huge staircases. I seem to recall getting lost in there, under the influence of something or another. The design of the flats were all unique. I have known several of the tenants there. They are pokey but at £10 a week or so, worth it.

Originally, the building was put up to provide accommodation for the railway workers, as the building is situated on the corner of Coldharbour lane &  Railton Road. Back in the Victorian times, when the railways were being laid down all over London; the accommodation was often built to house the immigrants who had travelled to work there.

In the late 70’s it was taken over by squatters who formed a coop. The Inhabitants were forced out of their beloved homes recently and rehoused by the council. There were many a wild night parties held in Carlton Mansions


Walking in London can be like a new adventure!

Sights seen walking at Dusk from Brixton via Kennington towards The Southbank

Sights seen walking at Dusk from Brixton via Kennington towards The Southbank


When walking towards Kensington, I decided to try heading down a few unfamiliar streets. There are always new developments in London, and sometimes it can feel like you are actually in a new city.

The other side of the coin is the death of the beloved old buildings.  It was sad to see The Old Cricketers pub being prepared for the scrapheap.

The last time I went to a gig there, I saw Rat Scabies from Punk, band ‘The Damned. As well I  saw The Glitter Band without Gary.! I guess, things have to move on.

Walking at night gives the city a glow that creates a magic place to be.

As I amble down Kennington Lane heading to the South Bank the memories flood back. In the early 80’s I worked as a part-time Library Assistant.  in the cut at Waterloo.  I lasted in the job a year, as I found it too boring.

If I had the sense, I would have gone to college and studied for the librarianship course. I could have got myself a decent well-paid job. Although now those jobs are being cut; so maybe I was right to carry on being a loafer!


I walk I write I take pictures

The old Library at dusk in  The Cut Waterloo.


Walking about at night, I can ponder while roaming.

I was far from being sensible in those days & I packed in my job to marry an Israeli friend,( we were playing music together) At the time, music was all that mattered to me. He wanted to avoid being in the army, and we were having a good time playing music, but I for some reason wanted to travel to New York City. He was happy to give me money to do this.  I stayed for a month.

We both benefited from this arrangement, I was looking for something but I’m not sure what. I went there with some vague ideas about travelling and being a musician. I thought NYC might be better than in London. It was fantastic but not as good as London when it came to the music scene. I missed everybody when I was away. I tried to extend my visit and travel further to California but that’s another story.


Until next time, keep on keeping on.











Dirty Boots

My dirty boots have been sitting outside my flat door since November.

I’m the sort of person that will leave the dirty boots on a newspaper, outside the door for months on end. I do intend to clean them eventually!.  The last walk I did was especially muddy and wet, so I figured it would be a while before I venture on a muddy walk. I have to say I’m not keen on muddy walks, it’s ok every now and again; hence the neglected walking boots!

Walking along the coast, North and South

At the beginning of December, I visited South Shields and Newcastle and got to enjoy the fresh air. I never get tired of this part of the UK, it is my birth town and I feel at home here.






The eye at South Shields



The day after Boxing Day I walked a circular walk from Seasalter on the beach to Whitstable. We had  a little Browse around the town and a couple of drinks in Handsome Sams’ Bar- a micro pub based in the Centre of town.

 Take a walk in their shoes

At least I have a choice about going out for an eight-mile walk. Spare a thought for those who have walked thousands of miles trying to escape war and conflict.

An interactive website set up by channel 4 shows the routes that are taken and choices available. It’s bleak but real. The scale of the humanitarian disaster is something that cannot be ignored.

Planning walks & looking forward!

I have a planned walking weekend In Derbyshire in the spring that is with the new Meet-Up group I joined up with earlier this year. I will also be leading my favorite walk again in June next year which will be Newhaven to East Dean via the Seven Sisters Sussex.


Joining FaceBook

 My alter ego Julie Jameson is from another era, but seemingly resurfaced. I don’t seem to be able to erase my account completely without writing to Facebook. I wanted to merge my past unused account with a current one.

As well though I have created a page just for this blog, and if I have done things correctly, this should appear on my Facebook page when I publish it as it does on Twitter.

Ok folks.

RIP Lemmy…

Until then


keep it real!


Meet up groups

  I’m a big fan of Meet Up Groups.

There are tons of Meet up groups on line, for anything you care to imagine. I joined The London WordPress meet up group after, having created a website, and a blog, using their software.  My blog is about walking and places I visit, a sort of journal. It was my first venture into online publishing. Going to a Meet Up Group, was a way of putting my hobby out there. 



lets, Meet Up!

Meet UP Groups, meet at a business hub; where freelancers can congregate to work and do business, as well as meet new people, and learn about the latest developments.

The free beer and pizza helped, as we socialized for half an hour before getting down to business.

It is an open source group, where  you can discuss anything to do with the  software WordPress. Subjects that were new to me, such as writing for search engine optimisation!, and installing widgets, which is the basic stuff.

The space is provided Free of charge by their sponsors.  I’m not very techhie but I got a lot out of the meetings,based in New Zealand House, Haymarket.  It sort of verified that I was doing something worthwhile.  My next meet up group I joined for a walk, was the Explorers Uk Meet Up Group.


Explorers Uk Meet Up Group

Into the woods

Into the trees

I tried my first day out with this Meet Up Group UK Explorers. The leader Tom is an experienced Hill Walker, who guided us on our walk for the day.


Walking along the Chilterns and along the Ridgeway to Ivinghoe Beacon.

Our nine mile hike took in fine open views along the top of the Ridgeway. It was great standing at the top,looking down to where we had hiked from. After enjoying the view, we then  headed on walking through an ancient woodland to the Bridgewater Monument.

The walk ended at a pretty village; supposedly it was the same village featured in the movie Bridget Jones. It was a great day out, and we arrived back in London, in enough time, to take a bath, eat a meal, and go out for a drink.

My walk in Oxted area was not quite what I expected.

This walk was meant to be with my usual walking group.  I wasn’t feeling so bright and bushy tailed, on this particular day. I missed my stop at Woldingham station. The next stop was Oxted, where I got off, thinking about how to get back on track.

As I approached the station entrance, I saw a different group of walkers. They had assumed ‘I was one of them.’ asking me if I was there for the walk.

I figured I might as well join them on their Eight mile walk from Oxted to Woldingham.

Halfway through our walk, my path crossed with my original walking group, I we met in the middle of Hanging Wood.! I waved Hello, as we passed by. I enjoyed the walk despite it getting off to a confusing start.

It worked out alright in the end. All in all the day was good fun, and an easy walk.  Parts of the terrain we walked through were extremely muddy, and we climbed some steep hills. Some of the walk was tough but worth it.

until next time, keep on walking