Gay Outdoor Club
The activity club for gay men and women and their friends

Brilliant Warm Sunshine Got Us OUT In The Parks Of North London!

18 Apr 2015 | London Group
Lunch stop (at last) in glorious sun on the old railway platform, Parkland walk.

Lunch stop (at last) in glorious sun on the old railway platform, Parkland walk.

 

 

Last Sunday's (April 12) walk was blessed with wall to wall sunshine!  Perfect for setting off Desmond Winchester's walk for us, in fact Des's first lead with us having joined GOC only 11 months ago! 32 GOCs turned up, including one woman, Zoe Smith who has attended several walks with us, impressive as well that Zoe lives in Northampton and travels back and forth on the day!  More about Zoe later.  Des, despite his lack of experience with the club, put on a 5 star day, with a 9 mile walk through several of North London Parks, with plenty of stops to take in local points of interest, watering holes, and of most importance for the older male bladders, toilets!  To complement the walk Des added expert speakers in Members, Brian Simpson and Andrew Lee, who gave brilliant talks about local sites, such as the history of Alexandra Palace and of the Parkland Walk (thank goodness plans to replace this derelict railway path with a 4 lane highway were scuppered leaving the wonderful wilderness path it is today!) and its bat populations, and the developement of wetlands area by the London Wildlife Trust around Woodberry Reservoir where Andy works as a volunteer.  

 

After a well attended prewalk breakfast, we headed to Alexandra Palace and Park, with stunning views over London - and I love it when you return to a place visited many times, that you are introduced to new sites, this time the boating lake behind the Palace! Then onto Highgate Wood, and then the peace and almost wilderness of the Parkland Walk (both sections), then Finsbury Park, Woodberry Reservoir, Clissold Park, the wildly atmospheric Abney Park Cemetery, one of the 'magnificent seven' garden cemeteries of London, and finishing, for some at a tea shop, and a group of us at a pub in Stoke Newington........(which left me not getting home until near 9pm, and probably explains me feeling totally shattered on Monday)!

 

There were lots of stops to relax in the sunshine (pictures below are definitely worth thousands of words!), with lots of great chat, recharge the batteries, and everyone kept saying how great the day was!  Zoe left just near the end to get back home and we sent her off with a rousing cheer and wished her good luck with the coming elections where she is standing as a local Labour candidate in the local Council.  Will let you know how Zoe goes next month, but the downside is she may not have as much time to come on London walks if she is elected.

 

Wont rave much longer, only to say a very hearty thank you to Des, Brian and Andrew for such a great day, and to ask when can we have you at the helm again??!!

 

Robert

 

The following pictures are Brian Simpson's and my own.  There's a feast already but if you have one or 2 to share then get back to me:

 

Martin bolting down his scrambled egg (we were waiting patiently outside......)

Martin bolting down his scrambled egg (we were waiting patiently outside......)

Des starting the day's proceedings - Picture courteous of Brian

Des starting the day's proceedings - Picture courteous of Brian

Our first wave of the day NOT initiated by me I should add! Picture courteous of Brian

Our first wave of the day NOT initiated by me I should add! Picture courteous of Brian

Some happy GOCs at the ready - Picture courteous of Brian

Some happy GOCs at the ready - Picture courteous of Brian

Alexandra Palace ascent in beautiful sunshine

Alexandra Palace ascent in beautiful sunshine

Boating lake behind Alexandra Palace

Boating lake behind Alexandra Palace

Brian and Des, stars of the day, horseing about - Picture courteous of Brian's camera at least, photographer unknown!

Brian and Des, stars of the day, horseing about - Picture courteous of Brian's camera at least, photographer unknown!

Some boys just can't get enough, whatever is on offer....

Some boys just can't get enough, whatever is on offer....

A more acceptable pose!

A more acceptable pose!

Brian passing on his wisdom re the Alexandra Palace

Brian passing on his wisdom re the Alexandra Palace

Lofty Wilco competing with the television tower at Alexandra Palace

Lofty Wilco competing with the television tower at Alexandra Palace

More of Brian's wisdom, this time the Parkland Walk

More of Brian's wisdom, this time the Parkland Walk

Lunch stop Parkland Walk

Lunch stop Parkland Walk

What has caught our eye? The next picture reveals all!

What has caught our eye? The next picture reveals all!

The man-sized green spriggan sculpture by Marilyn Collins, based on local urban legend about a ghostly 'goat-man' who haunted the walk in the 1970s and 1980s

The man-sized green spriggan sculpture by Marilyn Collins, based on local urban legend about a ghostly 'goat-man' who haunted the walk in the 1970s and 1980s

Woodberry Reservoir - Andrew sharing his expertise about the soon to be opened extensive Wetlands area. Picture courteous of Brian

Woodberry Reservoir - Andrew sharing his expertise about the soon to be opened extensive Wetlands area. Picture courteous of Brian

Gothic Victorian Building, formally a water pumping station, now an activities centre

Gothic Victorian Building, formally a water pumping station, now an activities centre

Rest stop in front of Clissold House in the Park of the same name

Rest stop in front of Clissold House in the Park of the same name

Ditto!

Ditto!

Ditto again! Our Zoe with Andy - Picture courteous of Brian

Ditto again! Our Zoe with Andy - Picture courteous of Brian

Bluebell glory, plus some albino versions of the same, in the wilds of Abney Park cemetery - Picture courteous of Brian

Bluebell glory, plus some albino versions of the same, in the wilds of Abney Park cemetery - Picture courteous of Brian

Michael just can't keep his hands off whatever's on offer!

Michael just can't keep his hands off whatever's on offer!

A final wave - Picture courteous of Brian

A final wave - Picture courteous of Brian

Once again, Brian and Des! Thanks for a great day guys! Picture courteous of Brian, selfie??

Once again, Brian and Des! Thanks for a great day guys! Picture courteous of Brian, selfie??

 
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