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[Hillingdon Trail
[Huddersfield Canal Towpath Walk
[Trans Pennine Trail
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[Greenwich Meridian Trail] 
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Greenwich Meridian Trail

Inaugurated in 2009, the route follows the line of the Prime Meridian as closely as practical, using public rights of way.  The southern half of the trail is described in Books 1 and 2, already published. From the Meridian monument which commemorates King George V, the route goes over the South Downs to Lewes, across The Weald and Ashdown Forest to East Grinstead and then to Oxted. After crossing the North Downs, the route reaches the outskirts of London. Too much street walking has been avoided by the judicious use of woods, commons, parks, Green Chain Walk and the Pool and Ravenbourne Rivers as a way of reaching Greenwich. The Greenwich Foot Tunnel takes the trail north of the river where the Thames Path and Limehouse Cut lead to Stratford and then to Epping Forest, a green way out of London. From Waltham Abbey, the route follows the Lea Valley to Stanstead Abbotts, continues across the hills of Hertfordshire into Cambridgeshire and the halfway point at the village of Hardwick. A loop to Cambridge, through Grantchester, is provided as an option.  

The guidebooks to the northern section are still in preparation, although the route has been finalised and can be obtained from the authors via hilda_heap@btinternet.com . The first part of this section crosses The Fens, passes through March to reach Holbeach and then historic Boston. The second part traverses the  Lincolnshire Wolds to Louth and then reaches Cleethorpe on the south shore of the Humber Estuary. The trail restarts at the Meridian Marker near Patrington. This can be reached by bus from Cleethorpes to Hull and then to Patrington. It is possible to cross The Humber by boat to the tip of Spurn Head, tide and weather permitting. From there it is a very interesting walk to Patrington. Arrangements for the boat trip remain to be finalised. From Patrington the route skirts Withernsea and reaches the end at Sand le Mere.  The route does not slavishly stick to The Meridian, but has been chosen to give an interesting, varied and memorable walk.


Newhaven (Peacehaven) to Lewes

Sunday 26 February 2012 - 11 Miles (8.5 on GMT)


Ok, starting this wonderful new trail.  I decided just to be awkward, that I would skip the bus journey to Peacehaven, and instead started the Walk at Newhaven Town station.  From there I walked along the cycle route no 2 taking me along by the harbour, then a climb up Gibbon Road and along the highway before reaching the sea down Cliff Avenue.  From here just following the undulating grass path between the cliffs and the houses of Peacehaven before soon reaching the King George V Meridian Memorial, an impressive structure, having a quick little break and photo ops, before starting the walk proper.  You just carry on along by the sea till a sign warning about nudism (graffiti obscured) then starting the long trail inland, crossing the A259, then heading onto the downs before dropping down into delightful peaceful Telscombe with a sleepy little Youth Hostel, then uphill again to soon drop down onto an undulating path with glorious views inland and after a very brief reencounter with the South Downs Way  between Fore and Mill Hill (and a sharp climb I remember from all those years ago) then peeled off right to take the optional circuit through Rodmell, a short descent.  From Monk's House NT (Virginia Woolf the writer lived here) I moved on to reach Iford (after a dodgy road walk) and had my lunch in the sunshine on the Church bench) before carrying on easy paths to soon have views towards Lewes.  After passing by a sewage works I then reached a drainage ditch (nicer than it sounds) followed Eastwards for a while to cross a bridge, pass under the A27 bypass and arrive on the edge of town by the Southdown Sports Club.  A then took a path through the impressive Lewes Priory ruins with the memorial to the battle of Lewes and after a quick climb of the mound headed to the nearby station to catch a train home.  In conclusion, a fantastic walk on well chosen paths and a very enjoyable start to my GMT adventure

Newhaven Harbour

Sculpture on the cycle path at Newhaven

Transmitter mast at top of Gibbon Road

The cliff walk with Meridian Memorial in distance

The King George V Meridian Monument Memorial.  The rear of the monument lists the distance to many major destinations in the world

Bizarre Graffiti on the rather faded Nudism Not Allowed Sign.  Anyway, this is where you turn inland

Strangely flat looking image at Telscombe Cliffs.  It is actually a moderate long ascent

At 'summit' before a short walk down into Telscombe

Telscombe YHA

From Telscombe undulating path through gate to reach the SDW

A lot of chilled out cows near farm junction with SDW

Climbing up with the SDW

Decision time - I followed 'to the pub' for Rodmell

Monk's House National Trust

Between Rodmell and Iford

My trusty bench at Iford - a nice scoff break in the currant bun

This meridian marker in Iford was hard to spot

First sightings of Lewes

Skirting sewage works - no smell!

Drainage ditch followed Eastwards

Going under the A27 Lewes Bypass

Some of the strange but predictable grafitti

Ruins of the Priory Of St Pancras - an immaculately maintained area

Monument to the 700 anniversary of the Battle Of Lewes (1264)

A view of Lewes from The Mound

Lewes station, time to go home...


Lewes to North Chailey

Saturday 3 March 2012 - 10.5 Miles


Originally I was due to do the Celandine Route this weekend, but as I had such trouble getting out of kippyland this was the obvious choice instead.  The weather started off a bit grey and damp, but things quickly improved and from the start of the walk it stopped drizzling and became sunny.  From the station I walked through a bustling market in the High Street and soon came to the edge of town where I headed up Spital Road, passing Lewes Prison and climbing onto the Downs, where you follow the contours round to the North West - the section here was slightly awkward because of fences making navigation a bit more awkward, but soon reaching the top where you follow easy paths to soon descend on a chalky path to reach Offham, (with views south to Lewes) now heading North East.  From here on the path veers around but heads Northwards overall.  I soon crossed the Lewes - London railway and headed through Hamsey, joining the Sussex Ouse Valley Way for well over a Mile, passing through Cowlease Farm, before veering left off the SOVW to Barcombe Church, and after a short breather, carried on through Barcombe, before heading along a path by the old Lewes railway, crossing this and then passing through Barcombe Cross, down through the Rec, where a football match was in progress, and soon crossing the old railway again, before reaching the road at Holmans Bridge, following this North for a K, reaching crossroads, soon going through the edge of Wildings Wood (where the battery on my GPS went to sleep), passing through a field of Llamas, and joining a quite lane near Chailey, followed briefly before some more pleasant tracks through woodland areas, then coming adjacent to the old railway again (annexed by peoples gardens) to soon pop out onto the A272 at North Chailey.  Here I finished my walk by getting on a bus to Haywards Heath and then home by train.  I am certainly loving the GMT, and look forward to carrying on very shortly.  It was nice walking through Lewes as I have not really done that in the past

Lewes High Street

Meridian Marker, High Street Lewes.  Set into the pavement

Back wall of Lewes prison - they ain't never dun nuffink don't you know...

Following contour of downs.  Should have been slightly further East, cos got caught on wrong side of fences further on and had to jump a couple - wasn't paying enough attention to guide book

This cross is near the site of the Battle Of Lewes

And this helps me how?

Descending to Offham

St Peter's Church, Offham

Crossing the Railway Crossing

Heading for Hamsey

The Former Ouse Navigation at Hamsey

Crossing farmland following the SOVW towards Barcombe

Leaving the SOVW near Barcombe Church (I go over the footbridge)

Crossing the erstwhile railway near Barcombe

Barcombe Cross Recreation Ground - a game of Footie was in action

HV Powerlines on railway trackbed, yet another bar on reinstatement

Approaching Holman's Bridge and a 1 Km walk north on the lane

Markstakes Lane, soon off road again

Wilding Wood In distance

A lorra Llamas near Ades - some footpath rerouting shenanigans are afoot (sic) here - another landowner trying to keep the Hoi Polloi away from the country pile

Waymarker for Chailey Link Walk at Roeheath

Lovely Woodland walking near North Chailey

Slightly Incongrous end to proceedings at the A272 - But at least my bus turned up on time for Haywards Heath


North Chailey to East Grinstead 

Saturday 2 June 2012 - 15 Miles


I had been procrastinating over this walk for so long I felt that I had almost walked it already!  Finally took the train over to Haywards Heath and caught the bus to North Chailey.  A lovely sunny day and I was feeling well up for it.  Using the excellent guide book and with the route programmed into my Memory Map GPS I took the path up Coldharbour Lane, through Cox'a Farm, soon crossing over the old railway and the A275 at a layby.  At Wapsbourne Manor you walk through a large caravan park and join the Sussex Ouse Valley Way, where you head through the lovely woodland and I could hear the train whistles on the nearby Bluebell Railway.  On joining a road you pass by The Sloop Pub, (leaving the SOVW behind) with the remains of the Sussex Ouse Navigation and crossing the River Ouse, soon bearing off to the North East (now also following the Sussex Border Path)  and passing under the Bluebell Railway - here I had some scoff and waited for a train to come by for a photo op, then pushed on passing by an airstrip to enter King's Wood, crossing Ketches Lane, more woodland follows, (leaving the SBP behind) and road walking into the attractive village of Danehill - unfortunately I missed the Meridian Marker here.  Through Withy Wood and soon Newnhams Wood heading North West, passing to the west of Birchgrove and entering Ashdown Forest with superb views and after lots of pleasant track walking reaching Weir Wood Reservoir (built 1953 and only filled with rainwater).  I followed this round by the main buildings and then walking close by the grassy dam followed signs for the millenium walk and tried to find the picnic area which seemed to consist of a couple of sparsely placed benches with a view back south over the reservior and people messing about in boats.  Soon I pushed on to the outskirts of East Grinstead and strangely got a bit lost looking for Sainsburys, when I have been here many times in the past, but soon stocked up with some dinner, and took the rediculously convoluted train ride home to Hastings via East Croydon - but at least I got my money's worth out of my daysave ticket and had a lovely time just vegging out staring out the window and watching the world go by...another good 'un

Coldharbour Lane - North Chailey.  A railway once run 'ere innit...

Woodland near North Chailey

LOG...near Wapsbourne Farm, Manor, Camping Site type of thing

Friendly Donkaz...sweet

The Sloop Pub

Traction Engine in the pub car park

Crossing the Ouse

Steam train on the Bluebell Railway

Danehill Church

Village Sign Danehill.  The Union Flag Bunting celebrating 'er majestyz diamond jubley

Blimey, a triple whammy - Firearms, Golf Course and Pesticides, what could possibly go wrong (I did survive the experience)

Lots of yomping shenanigans in Ashdown forest near Hindleap, a bunch of scouts were orienteering and I breezed past cocooned by the reassurance of my GPS

Expedition Tracker paperwork for Tonbridge Scouts to find

'snuff said!

Appoaching Weir Wood reservoir

Dovecote with a resident.  Behind it a nest was writhing with new life...

Main Waterworks Building for Weir Wood.  For some reason the carpark was closed and it seemed rather run down

Millennium Picnic Site - doesn't seem to exist unless a manky bench counts

From said manky bench, a view south over the reservoir

East Grinstead approach on lovely easy paths

East Grinstead High Street - Job done, head to the station



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