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London Countryway 05 July 2011

After our usual car shuffling we started our walk from West Byfleet station, walked along part of the Basingstoke Canal and through some woods to Horsell Common across from the Maclaren Formula 1 headquarters. Didn’t see any F1 cars but plenty of light aeroplanes from the Fairoaks Aerodrome

The ground was subtly changing under our feet and the trees were more coniferous and the cover was heather and gorse. Chobham Common was more like moorland and we stopped for lunch with the background noise of a very busy M3.

Passing under the motorway through a tunnel we approached Ascot – the race course was some way away – and saw an amazing wildflower meadow. Monet would have painted it and done it justice; our cameras couldn’t really capture its scale and beauty, although we tried!

Our overnight stop was at the Bagshot Premier Inn  (Lenny Henry should mention us in his publicity!)

Sunday saw us in 2 taxis from Alexander Gardens car park in Windsor back to Blackrest and then the walk by Virginia Water. Battling past dogs and bikes and children, we saw Roman ruins, originally brought over in the 1820s from Libya, a waterfall imitating a part of Scotland ,and a high totem pole made from one redwood tree and commemorating British Columbia as a Crown Colony.

Walking on, we saw preparations for a  polo event at Smiths Lawn, and lots of wardens patrolling in cars; they even questioned us during our stop for a ‘comfort’ break! Mysterious people in bushes!!

Prince Albert on his horse was an impressive statue, but not as huge as the Copper Horse, George 111, with his great views over Windsor Castle and Park. Then the Long Walk, and it was, - 3 miles- to the Castle.

Windsor was heaving with people, as expected on a summer Sunday, but we had our lunch by the river watching the boats and the Big Wheel.

We covered 11 miles on Saturday and 9 on Sunday.

It was excellently organised , planned and led by Chris and provided good memories of a pleasant walking weekend.

Next stage is either late August or early next year for Windsor to Marlow.