The Vanguard Way Blog has been started to complement the Vanguard Way official website: The Vanguard Way is a 66 mile, long distance footpath between East Croydon (South London) and the South Coast port of Newhaven.
Primarily we hope to record interesting sightings along the Vanguard Way with an emphasis on flora and fauna and other 'natural' phenomena. To offer a contribution, please email We will be interested to receive details of what has been sighted, where and when, together with a photo if available.

Monday 6 April 2015

Our Golden Spring

2015 marks the 50th Anniversary year of the Vanguards Rambling Club!  As part of our celebrations we have organised a 'crossing' from north to south in 7 stages, the first of which was on Good Friday, 3rd April 2015. 

The Vanguards are extending an invitation to other ramblers to join in on any of these walks - you will need to contact the organiser in advance as arrangements might change - details as per the following poster:

Special Golden Jubilee Vanguard Way certificate for all completers.

The Vanguards have organised a series of walks along the Vanguard Way in seven stages to celebrate our Golden Jubilee, details below.  Everyone is welcome but please let the organiser, Colin Saunders, know if you would like to come along in case of late changes. Email or phone 020 8886 8285.

Good Friday 3 April
Vanguard Way part one (Completed)
Meet at East Croydon Station for a 12.4 mile walk to Oxted. Lunch at Coach House pub, Chelsham Common (6.8 miles). 
Monday 4 May (Mayday bank holiday)
Vanguard Way part two
Meet at Oxted Station for 11.6 mile walk to Edenbridge Town Station.  Lunch at Carpenter’s Arms, Limpsfield Chart (5.2 miles). 
Monday 25 May (Late Spring bank holiday)
Vanguard Way part three
Meet at Edenbridge Town Station for 12.1 mile walk to Forest Row.  Lunch at Dormansland (3 pubs) (5.5 miles). Bus back to East Grinstead Station.  
Saturday 27 June
Vanguard Way part four
Meet at East Grinstead Station then bus to Forest Row for 8 mile walk to Poundgate.  Lunch at Hatch Inn (3.5 miles). Bus to Eridge or Tunbridge Wells.  Optional 3.5 mile extension starting at East Grinstead by an earlier train.
Saturday 25 July
Vanguard Way part five
Meet at Eridge Station then bus to Poundgate for 9 mile walk to Blackboys.  Lunch at Buxted Inn (4.7 miles). Bus or taxis from Blackboys to Uckfield Station.
Monday 31 August (bank holiday)
Vanguard Way part six
Meet at Uckfield Station then bus or taxis to Blackboys for 11.8 mile walk to Berwick Station.  Lunch at Six  Bells, Chiddingly (5.8 miles).
Friday 25 September
Vanguard Way part seven
Meet at Berwick Station for 12.5 mile walk to Newhaven Harbour Station.  Lunch at Cuckmere Inn (6.5 miles).

Even if you are unable to join us on any of these walks, if you complete the Vanguard Way during 2015, you may apply for a special golden certificate.

Yesterday 12 Vanguards walked from East Croydon station to Oxted station, thus completing the first stage. 

This year the winter, though not excessively severe, is taking a while to move onto spring.  Earlier there was a good showing of snow drops but the earliest daffodils suffered some damage from strong winds.  We were lucky with the weather yesterday and signs of spring were bursting forth, particularly while we were still in the Greater London area where overall temperatures are always a degree or so warmer.  For me, the most noticeable thing was the amount of bird-song and often the loudest songs were coming from the smallest of birds.  We also saw and heard a sky lark which was ascending from the Woldingham Wolds.

As ever, finding sight, sound or sign of other 'fauna' was tricky, especially when walking along as part of a group.  Some caught sight of a young fox crossing a woodland path and there were some deer tracks evident in mud. In Woldingham there were some beautiful horned cattle with calves being raised outside which suggests they are a tough heritage breed. Would you believe it if we told you we had seen a mythical creature?

I have a collection of photos for you, starting earlier in the year with photos of snowdrops in Titsey and daffodils in Crockham Hill. The second set were taken on Good Friday.