Long Walk: – April 2nd led by Roger Newman – Ashley Green, 9 miles
The walk started and finished at Ashley Green near Chesham and was blessed with good weather without being too hot. The walk was mainly flat which is unusual in this part of the region and was mainly over farmland. It was noticeable that the majority of the animals grazing in the fields were horses, an indication of the affluence of the area. We had lunch at the Black Horse Inn where a long table had been set aside for our use. This was a thoroughly enjoyable walk.
Strollers Walk : April 14th led by Delia Shaw
Did we need woolly hats, scarves, gloves?? No, it was a beautiful morning as fourteen of us left the lay-by in Wigans Lane on a circular walk. The sun was shining, there was a gentle breeze blowing and the skylarks were singing their hearts out.
We headed toward Bledlow Ridge, past a cottage with a beautiful garden, then Callow Down Farm before the long, slow, tree lined climb up to the Ridge. We stopped to take photographs of a bank of primroses, or was it to draw breath…., bluebells were just beginning to come into flower. Spring really had sprung!
Now it was flat walk, winding down lanes and footpaths between fields until we reached ‘The Boot’ and a steep descent. What a different landscape we were in now, far reaching views over to Lacey Green and Loosley Row with rolling fields to the valley bottom below. We dropped down to Lodge Hill Farm and then skirted the bottom of Lodge Hill through a ‘tunnel’ of trees with, this time, banks of wood anemones to admire. When we came out of the ‘tunnel’ we’d arrived back at the beginning of the walk, it had taken 1 hour, 45 minutes but then we are the Strollers and we did enjoy the walk!
Medium Walk – April 11th led by Chris Mansfield
A circular walk based on Hambleden, 8 miles
It was a dry but grey and rather cool day as we set off from Hambleden village at 9.30am. Evidence of the recent flooding was still noticeable with The Stag & Huntsman still having water pumped away and the Hambleden river, normally hardly noticeable, was a very fast flowing stream. We set off walking through the village, stopping on the bridge to marvel at the river before continuing on over the main road to the path opposite leading uphill into Ridge Wood.
After a short steep climb the path levelled out turning back on itself giving views of Hambleden and the valley, before turning away from the valley to climb once more to reach the top of the hill. Now the walking was easier on level paths through woodland before descending into a valley. Bluebells were just coming out and made a pretty picture amongst the wood spurge. Once again we were climbing, though not so steeply, out of the valley and on through more woodland and across fields. At 11am we stopped for a short break having only covered 3 miles.
After the break the paths were easier – flat or downhill – so we scampered along as we descended a long gentle downhill path bring us almost to Turville. The sun had come out now and the difference in temperature was amazing as we all stopped to take off various garments. Just one more uphill and this only a short one into Poynatts Wood before a long & steep descent into Skirmett.
We walked through the village and then took the path leading along the valley bottom, thankfully some distance from the river, back towards Hambleden. Almost at the end we encountered one gate almost submerged with water! Most of us managed to get through it by clinging on to fences and making use of stepping stones without getting our feet wet while others managed to get through the barbed wire fence to avoid the gate and also got through unscathed.
Now no more hurdles but just a short walk into Hambleden & back to the car park arriving at 1.30. A table had been reserved for us at The Stag & Huntsman and the food came incredibly quickly! A lovely walk and a good lunch, all in good company.
Main Walk – April 28th led Jacqui Kennedy
A 5 mile walk from the Lions of Bledlow
On a slightly overcast morning, eight of us met up in the car park behind The Lions, Bledlow; we welcomed a new walker, Angela, an Associate Member, and set off up towards Lodge Hill. We skirted round its base and enjoyed some beautiful views across the vale, and then down towards Lee Road; passing Longdown Farm, which appeared to have been recently extensively rebuilt, we crossed the Risborough Golf Course, stopping to wonder at the size of some of fish in the pond just off the path, with their enormous gaping mouths in the expectation of being fed!
Crossing over the railway line, we headed towards Saunderton and then Horsenden. We continued on passed Horsenden Manor and the Church, over a meadow and across a field of golden Rape Seed Oil, then over a further couple of meadows until we reached the road up to Bledlow.
The showers that had been forecast held off and instead we enjoyed some bursts of sunshine, much to our delight. The warm weather over the past few weeks had resulted in an abundance of Cowslips and Ground Ivy together with Cow Parsley, Green Alkanet and Primroses. Spring has certainly sprung!
Four of us enjoyed lunch in The Lions and would highly recommend the Deep Fried Brie – it was absolutely delicious! A nice end to a lovely walk.