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" A pre-Christmas Visit to Camberley "

Date & start time:    Friday 15th to Wednesday 20th December 2017.

Location of Start :    Sandhurst Estate, Camberley, Surrey (Near London), Uk ( SU 867 609 )

Places visited :         Upper and Lower Lakes, plus Thringstone and Newcastle under Lyme.

Walk details :             Local walks on each day.

Walked with :             Catherine & Alexander, Ann & the dogs, Boris and Bilbo, Harry and Dylan.

Weather :                    Cold and dry with blue skies, except for the final journey home from Stoke.

© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number PU 100034184.


Photos from our trip down south to see our eldest daughter and her family before Christmas 2017. 

She has a house-full planned for the celebration weekend so we make sure we see her for a few days before they arrive.

On the way back we call on Hilton for a night and friends for lunch next day.

Such lovely weather in the Lakes . . . Snow on the tops and clear roads.

This was the view as we drove along the main road past Threlkeld . . . it was so nice you just had to stop for a photo.

It's the five faces of Blencathra by the way !

- - - o o o - - -

Heading south . . .


Ann takes the camera for a view of distant Kidsy Pike

as we sit in our driverless car on the M6 South.


Only kidding . . .


That blue flash is on the sleeve of my shirt.

I was just keeping out of the way

- - - o o o - - -

Cathy and Richard's house on the Sandhurst Military Academy.

Richard is a member of the Royal Army Medical Staff and qualifies for a house 'inside the wire'.

He's at work today, the other boys are still away at college or University

so it is just four of of us for a walk . . . Ann, Alexander, Cathy and of course, the photographer.

That's a turn up for the books . . . a picture of the photographer too . . . taken by Alexander.

The Sandhurst Academy grounds are on the outskirts of Camberley.

Due to historic nature of the site and the training needs of the army, there's lots of wild areas to walk around.

This morning we're walking around the top lake . . . the surface frozen by the low overnight temperatures.

A couple of Mallard fly in . . .

They've landed in some open water at the edge of the lake.

To progress further . . . they have to get out and walk !

The dogs seem to enjoy exploring every fishing jetty they find as we walk round the lake.

Despite the cold temperatures, Boris even manages a dip.

Another fishing platform, empty it seems . . .
. . . but there's a fisherman on the other side of the lake.

Alexander tries skimming stones . . . and manages multiple bounces . . . almost across to the other side.

Having a frozen surface helps tremendously !
They make a wonderful 'twanging' sound as they bounce across.

At the top of the Lake is the one of the larger houses used by 'top brass'.

And the main Staff College House . . . though the Academy has a newer, larger building for training officers nowadays.

Boris . . . master of all he surveys.
Some rather nice reeds at the edge of the lake.

They show the light beautifully when contrasted with a dark background.

Back towards home . . . passing interesting bark on the local trees . . .
. . . and a grey squirrel, one of three high in the trees above us.

[ Well . . . if you haven't got reds then you have to put up with second best.]

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In the evening we walked into town.

The 'Madison Square Garden' of Camberley . . . includes a festive attraction of an ice rink.

We walk on to Cathy and Richards favourite Indian Restaurant.

Richard has returned home after fetching Matthew from Durham University.

Sam (second seat back) is home from Medical College in Cardiff.

The only grandson missing is Jack.  He's still working as a Junior Hospital Doctor in Birmingham tonight.

- - - o o o - - -

In the morning the weather was even better as we stroll around the Academy grounds once again.

This time we cross the parade grounds in order to include a circumnavigation of the bottom lake in our walk.

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Outside the Museum is a restored Centurion Tank.

The adjacent notice gives all the available detail.


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The Museum and lecture theatre also has a couple of field guns on display.

Crossing the Playing Fields.

Boris and Bilbo entertain themselves . . .
. . . while we take in the fine architecture.
A young lad practices his kicking skills.
He needed a retriever to fetch the ball back.

. . . but preferably one that wouldn't bit into the rugby ball each time.

The stream in front of the Museum crosses the Sandhurst grounds

and offers lovely reflections in the pools along the way.

Under the road and the stream emerges as a waterfall.

Walking around Lower Lake now.

A few chairs and benches to allow visitors like ourselves and off duty staff to sit and relax.

Behind every memorial there will be a personal story.

The view  of the island in the centre of Lower Lake.

Some fine mist hangs just above the water.

. . . but the gulls manage a safe landing.

The Victoria Memorial and the Royal Military Academy's main building.

The stands are up because it was a 'Passing Out weekend' and proud parents and friends have been in attendance.

The Boat House and the gulls from the other side.

The contrast of colours at this time of year are quite exquisite.

In the woods near the lake is a Nepalese communal meeting hut.

Alexander insists he's taller than his mum . . .
. . . stepping off the high stone things are a lot more equal.
More fishing locations . . .
. . . and more exploring.

- - - o o o - - -

Apart from the meal out and a little retail therapy, we didn't venture out of the grounds much during our visit.

Presents for Christmas have been exchanged and all the family (except one) met.

The following day it was time to head north once again.

- - - o o o - - -


First we met up with Hilton

at his home in Thringstone near Loughborough

and after lunch, enjoyed a short dog walk

through his local woods to the ruins of

The Grace Dieu Priory


- - - o o o - - -

The Priory was a religious house for Nuns for 300 years,

but is now in ruins after being beaten about at the time of Henry VIII and his 'Dissolution of the Monasteries'.

There are still one or two nice architectural features left to admire.

. . . including this wide arch in the old Chapter House. 

A few fine chimneys also survive in some of the remaining walls.

In the grounds of the old priory is a modern, unnamed statue.
The information board fills in some of the detail.

Click here or on the photo above for a larger, more readable version.

The Grace Dieu Priory  grounds are now in the care of English Heritage.

- - - o o o - - -

Pre-Christmas Thringstone celebrations continued . . .

We enjoyed an evening meal with Hilton and close friend Vanessa.

Later, Hilton's daughter Amy and her fiancé Craig arrived.

With them were Amy and Craig's new baby, Elliott . . .
. . . and the older children, Clark and Mo.

Lovely to meet everyone . . . and thanks for the many games of Jenga !

Best wishes for your wedding, planned for the week after Christmas.

- - - o o o - - -

We headed home next day, stopping for a nice lunch with friends in Newcastle under Lyme

and then had a really grotty, damp, traffic laden, sojourn up the M6. 

After three and a half hours of 'heavy driving' . . . we were back to the peace and quiet of Christmas in Loweswater.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Panasonic Lumix TZ60, or my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

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Previous walk - 10/11th December 2017 - A cool weekend with Hilton

A previous time up here - 27th November 2010 Camberley Lake Walk

Next walk - 23/24th December 2017 - Pre-Christmas Crummock Walks


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For this 10th anniversary edition we have been looking

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