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??!!
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: