This trail runs for about 140 miles between Shakespeare’s birth place in Stratford-upon-Avon and the Globe Theatre in London. We are walking it in reverse between London and Oxford in 11 stages. We start along the Thames path to Kew Bridge and then follow the Grand Union Canal to Yiewsley where we leave the canal and walk across the Chiltern Hundreds via Iver, Fulmer, Stoke Poges, Farnham Common and Hedsor to rejoin the Thames Path just south of Bourne End. We then walk along the Thames past Bourne End and leave it again at Marlow. From Marlow we cross the Chilterns via Hambleden and Stonor to Cookley Green. From just after Cookley Green we descend from the Chilterns to eventually arrive at Oxford and the Thames for the final time.
This link shows an overview of the whole route http://www.shakespearesway.org/index_files/route.htm (we are only walking as far as Oxford).
Today (7th December 2018) we walked the second section from Wandsworth to Kew Bridge. We are walking the next section from Kew Bridge to Hayes & Harlington on Friday 1st February 2019 (7.5 miles).
Here is a picture, near Kew Bridge, of the group eating tasty moist cake baked by Sheena (disclaimer - cake may not be made available on future sections).
This shows a more detailed view of the route but should not be relied upon (deviations for lunch and transport for example).
OS data © Crown copyright and database 2018; Royal Mail data © Royal Mail copyright and Database 2018
Maps Icons Collection https://mapicons.mapsmarker.com
The Icknield Way Trail / Path
We started walking this trail at Tring station. We will continue to walk it to Balsham in Cambridgeshire although it continues to the Peddars Way national trail in Suffolk.
The following gives an idea of the whole route http://www.icknieldwaytrail.org.uk/2012_Map_whole_route.pdf .
We have currently reached Warden Hill at the northern edge of Luton. We will continue walking the next section from Warden Hill in May 2019 and walk 4 sections to arrive at Balsham.
The South Downs Way
We walked the whole of the old route from Buriton to Eastbourne this year. Starting in June 2019 we will walk the final 3 sections of the South Downs way from Petersfield to Winchester.
The following shows the route of the South Downs Way https://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/south-downs-way/plan and a leaflet can also be downloaded from the same site.
The Green London Way
We have 3 more sections of the Green London Way to complete. Please see this this website for more details about the route http://www.greenlondonway.com/home. The following is an extract from that site:
"The Green London Way is a different way of looking at London: a walking route of over 110 miles encircling London -and divided into .. separate and easily manageable sections. The original edition, published in 1991, was the first long-distance footpath around London and one of the very first entirely urban long-distance footpaths in the country. More than just a walking route, however, it was a journey through the city's social and natural history and especially the lost stories of the people who live, or once lived, here. More than anything else, it provided a testament to the open spaces of London and to those who have struggled, over many generations, to preserve them."
The next section from Stoke Newington to Bethnal Green is being walked on Tuesday 15th January 2019.
The Gordon Shelford Trail
In February we will be starting a new long distance Trail of walks called the Gordon Shelford Trail. Clearly Gordon Shelford himself needs no introduction, but here are some details about the trail.
The trail will have seven legs, ranging from 6.5 miles to 11.5 miles in length. Walks will all be on a Friday. We start in February, with the subsequent walks being in March, April, then 2 walks in May, followed by a short break, and the final 2 walks will be in August and September. The trail is designed to avoid the need to use country buses, and each leg will start and finish at a railway station.
Chris C and Phil will be taking it in turns to lead each walk.
We will be starting out in the outer suburbs of North London. and crossing over the M25 and the Lee Valley and into Essex. From there we progress northwards crisscrossing the Hertfordshire and Essex border, and following bits of the Harcamlow Way trail and the Hertfordshire Way trail. We pass through the attractive town of Safron Walden, and finally cross over into Cambridgeshire, where we will parallel the river Granta. The route passes through mostly open rolling country, with little woodland and big open skies, which we hope will be blue in colour.
The route opens up new territory for our walking group, and will contain many features of historic and landscape interest.
A little faction about the trail ......
This trail is named after the well known and much loved headmaster of Stoke Brunswick School which took pupils to the age of 13 - Gordon Shelford (born 1st April 1905 just before noon). He was headmaster between 1958 and 1965 (he is not to be confused with the Reverend Gordon Shelford first vicar of St Andrew’s Church Frimley Green!). It is a little known fact that Winston Churchill attended the school between 1883 and 1885. The school was located just south of East Grinstead (Grid Reference TQ 42136 37466).
Gordon wanted a challenge for his pupils that would give them an edge in their applications for Eton and Harrow. To this end he designed a walking trail that they would complete in their penultimate year at the school to gain a certificate which demonstrated their adventuring spirit (a little like the Duke of Edinburgh's award that started around the same time). He wanted the trail to run roughly from London to to his alma mater of Cambridge. He hit on the idea of making the start and end points relate to his name - the start was Gordon Hill and the end was at Great Shelford in Cambridgeshire. We will be following in the steps of those intrepid 11 year olds for this trail.
We will be walking the first section on Friday 22nd February 2019. The section will be from Gordon Hill to Cheshunt. We look forward to seeing you then.
Footnote: You will find reference to Gordon in this article http://billybartlett.blogspot.com/2011/02/philippa-bartletts-short-tale-of-two.html.
C TO B Canal Walk
A walk along the Thames and canals in four parts from Canary Wharf to Brentford lead by Chris R. The next and third section is from Alperton to Hayes & Harlington which we expect to walk on 5/3/2019.