London Leg starts its walk in Epping,
Essex and journeys through Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk
before arriving approximately 130 miles later in Walsingham,
Accommodation through the week varies. Some nights are spent in real
beds, with the rest in church or village halls. London is nicknamed
the 'Luxury Leg' as of the seven nights en-route to Walsingham,
there is a chance to have three showers: three more than some other
A main feature of the route is the hospitality encountered. As well
as for meals, we stop for morning and afternoon tea. The standard
and quantity of the food and drink on offer is legendary and a
source of no little envy amongst the other Legs (doggie bags are
becoming a necessity!). London enjoy making music with talent
growing by the year. Often the songs reflect the typical London
Pride with many witty ditties both sacred and profane.
There are various London traditions that brighten the route. The
playground frenzy, occasionally ice-cream van and
the-day-with-the-chips all help lighten the load (of cakes?!).
As with all Legs of Student Cross, London Leg is essentially the
people who walk it. Each year is uniquely special as new friends
share that year's experience. Each individual has their own personal
reasons for walking the week and so there is a range of feedback.
Student Cross reaches people on all levels: socially, spiritually,
mentally and of course physically.
OK - those are the facts but what's it really like?
It's Friday night, 10pm and you're in a church hall in Epping,
having been excellently fed and watered. There's a group of
like-minded people with you. They all look reasonably ordinary and
you in fact consider yourself to be pretty ordinary. However, you,
like everyone else in the room, have decided to forego the ordinary
Easter of chocolate eggs and chocolate bunnies and more chocolate
eggs. This is London Leg. They will eventually all fall asleep,
despite the possible snorers, and begin a 130-mile walk with a
seven-foot wooden cross the following morning.
The walk will take them across flat country, beside rivers and
alongside main roads. Many a moment of contemplation and prayer
offers comfort and hope. Feelings of tiredness and sore feet begin
to loom when – lo and behold! – fantastic hosts bearing tea, coffee,
sandwiches, biscuits and cakes (and pointing to the nearest
facilities) begin to come into view. Relaxation is a must in the
evenings and often incorporates sampling a range of local brews!
As the week progresses they will find the group becoming closer and
singing more in tune! They will have made new friends and deepened
old friendships. They will have gained a huge sense of achievement
and had a lot of fun into the bargain! Most people return the
following year as the Student Cross experience is beyond comparison
and cannot be replicated elsewhere.
Easter won't ever be the same again!