Remember to bring a packed lunch and something to drink on all walks!
Sunday 22nd January - Finchingfield Figure of Eight - 11 miles (18km) - Grade: Moderate
Meet at 10:00am at Finchingfield playing fields (CM7 4LZ; grid ref. TL683325) on Stephen Marshall Avenue for a varied figure of eight walk taking in riverside paths, muddy fields, an old airfield, country lanes, quaint Essex villages and a cage. The first (longer loop) will take us out to Wethersfield before heading back to Finchingfield for lunch and pub stop near the much celebrated and photographed green and pond. In the afternoon we will walk to Great Bardfield which has both a watermill and a windmill as well as a village cage.
Parking - please park considerately in Finchingfield, it is quite a tourist attraction in the summer so they are fairly used to cars all over the place, the meeting point is away from the centre of the village and there did appear to be a small carpark at the playing field which was empty when I walked the route in late December.
Dogs - it's a fairly dog friendly route but I haven't checked whether any of the pubs in Finchingfield are dog friendly.
Some of the paths are across ploughed fields so unless there is a heavy frost it will be muddy so come prepared and bring a packed lunch because we will only have time for a drink at the pub.
People are welcome to just join for one of the loops but the morning one would be simplest. If you want to join for just the afternoon please let me know in advance so we can arrange a meeting place/time but you may have to wait around a bit if we go slower than expected.
Leader: Heidi (07432 138692)
Saturday 28th January - Woburn Safari Park Circular - maybe 12 miles? - Grade: Moderate
Meet at the free village car park on Park Street in Woburn (SP950331) by 10:15am. Satnav is listed as MK17 9PG, but be careful not to drive out of the village, as this is also the postcode of the estate office a mile further on! Best to use MK17 9PX, and then look for the adjacent road sign to Park Street. The car park does fill up quickly; there is however some on-street parking that is not limited to two hours.
Starting and finishing in the beautiful village of Woburn, we will walk through the deer reserve, passing Paris House and walking right past the Elephants enclosure and we usually also see Rhino, Camels and other wild animals! Make sure to bring provisions (packed lunch). We will have a pub drink at the end. There are toilets both in Woburn (accessed from the car park) and also at the entrance to Woburn Safari Park. The entrance to the park is approx 6 miles into the walk, we will stop here for approx 30 minutes - dependant on the weather conditions! The walk is not suitable for dogs as there are a lot of wild animals en route.
Leader: Mei (07787 793472)
Saturday 4th February - Wendons Ambo, Newport, Widdington and Quendon - 13 miles - Grade: Moderate
Meet at 10.20am at Audley End railway station, outside the main entrance (TL515363). The 10.04am train from Cambridge arrives at 10:19am, with return trains at 30, 40 and 51 minutes past the hour. Parking at the station costs £3. The walk follows undulating paths to and from Wendons Ambo. We will visit Newport twice, take in the village of Widdington (where our pub stop will be at the Fleur de Lis) and pass the 13th century church in Quendon.
Leader: Louise (07751 321717)
Description of Walk Grading System
Easy: Short walks (6 miles or less) on good quality paths with no difficult terrain. These walks should be suitable for anybody in their 20s or 30s who doesn't have a mobility disability and are particularly suitable for people who have done little walking before.
Leisurely: Slightly more difficult walks which represent the majority of walks we undertake. These walks may be longer (up to 12 miles) and while the paths will still generally be good, a few sections may be steep, muddy, rough or overgrown, so boots or good quality walking shoes are recommended. These walks should still be suitable for the large majority of people in our age group.
Moderate: More energetic walks still, either because they are long (>12 miles), have significant hills, are likely to be very muddy or overgrown or because a faster pace is expected. Walking boots are strongly recommended. Suitable for reasonably fit people with some walking experience, but may not be a good choice for your first walk with us if you haven't done much walking before.
Strenuous: Very long walks or those covering very hilly terrain, suitable for experienced walkers of above average fitness. If in doubt about your fitness, contact the leader beforehand. These walks are unusual on our main programme, but may feature in some of our weekends away.