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YHA HAWOG 80 years and counting
    24/06/2016 12:29

HAWOG 80 years and counting

HAWOG 80 years and counting

2016 marks HAWOG's 80th anniversary and they are proud to announce a few events to celebrate this important step. They are North West London's best and most active outdoor group, run by dedicated volunteers, and were founded in 1936 as one of the first local YHA groups.

Just as fresh as on their 20th, HAWOG offer a range of activities for people of all abilities to explore the countryside: a walk every weekend; a weekend away every month, in the UK or abroad; and training events on outdoor navigation throughout the year.

Their first walk took place on March 29th 1936 when 24 members of HAWOG travelled to Chorleywood (1/4 day return) and walked through Chenies along the Chess Valley to Latimer and Leyhill for lunch, returning through Flaunden and Sarratt. This area has ever since been a landmark for their activities, as many of their day events take place in the Chilterns AONB, and alongside selected locations in Hertfordshire, Surrey Hills, the South Downs and the North Downs.

Of HAWOG's many colourful characters and outdoor fanatics one outstanding participant was Reg Dean who joined in 1951 and served as Chairman from 1954 to 1964. Cycling 500,000 miles throughout the country and further out in Western and Eastern Europe, he visited every hostel in England, Scotland and Wales and totalled 4,000 hostel nights. During Reg’s time, the group won the London Bednight Shield, and the Eastern and Southern Shield several times. Crowned for the first time in 1962-1963, they topped up Dartford by one night after braving the cold winter and the snow, cycling 48 miles from Staple’s Corner near Brent Cross to Saffron Walden Youth Hostel in Essex.

On 2nd April 2016, HAWOG's first anniversary walk took them from Beaconsfield to YHA Jordans near Seer Green, a former volunteering hotspot for our group, where HAWOG members used to carry out maintenance work.

HAWOG are still true to the original hostelling spirit; recent hiking and outdoor trips have featured the likes of YHA Castleton Losehill Hall in the Peak District (February 2016), and YHA Ambleside in the Lake District (May 2016).

Further anniversary events include a hiking weekend in the Peak district, staying at YHA Ravenstor in October; in August, keen walker and swimmer Margaret Dickinson, the author of Wild Swimming Walks, gives advice about how to organise a walk with a swim; a cycling weekend in Kent along the Viking Trail in September; and many other day events, including our Really Long Walk (30 miles) and Treasure Hunt on the Hill in July.

Find out more about HAWOG and their anniversary events here.

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