Long Walk: – August 7th led by Chris Mansfield – West Wycombe – Fingest – 10 miles
A group of eleven set off from the car park by West Wycombe garden centre on a dry sunny day with a lovely cooling breeze – perfect walking weather. We set off at 9.40 to cross the A40 and take the lane uphill to Toweridge. From there we walked past some houses before taking a field path leading down into Hellbottom Woods where we soon turned right to walk along a woodland path through the wood, then on through Great Wood and finally Denham Wood where we emerged into a field to reach Wheeler End Common.
We crossed the common passing near to the Brickmaker’s Arms (under refurbishment) and had a short break by the war memorial before continuing on along lanes through Cadmore End Common, passing some very desirables residences. Our path now took us over the M40, then downhill through more woodland then fields giving glorious views over the Hambleden Valley towards Fingest.
Just after Hanger farm, some half mile before Fingest, we turned off onto a bridle way leading uphill skirting Hanger Wood with yet more beautiful views to reach the road at Cadmore End. We crossed the road and took a path leading down under the M40 and then on through more woodland before emerging into a field on a path leading to Piddington and the Dashwood Arms for lunch, arriving at 1.20.
We sat out in the garden and then waited and waited and waited….. The first meal arrived at 2.15, amidst lots of apologies and last one at 2.50! The food was very good and the apologies many but we would probably not eat there again in a large group. We set off at 3.15 to walk the last two miles, first crossing the A40 and taking a path uphill, then at the top turning right to walk through Gt Cockshoots Wood and on down across fields, again with wonderful views, to reach the A40 again at West Wycombe, just by the turn to the garden centre, arriving at about 4.15pm. It was a lovely varied walk with lots to see, enjoyed by all.
Medium Walk – August 16th led by Chris Mansfield – Thame Valley circular, 9 miles
Thirteen of us met in the car park in Haddenham on a rather dull, drizzly morning with a forecast of rain most of the day. We set off at 9.30am wearing our waterproofs and soon became very warm as it was not at all cold, in fact rather muggy but the drizzle was still falling intermittently.
Our route led us through lanes to the north of the village and then onto a field path leading north west towards Cuddington. After crossing the A418 we continued still on fields paths to reach a copse, when just as we were emerging once more into a field, the rain really started. We sheltered here for a short time whilst people put on water proof trousers, though by the time we did leave the copse the heaviest rain was over!
We continued on to Cuddington then took a paved footpath leading down to and over the River Thame and on into Nether Winchendon. We walked through the village stopping to admire the church and the Victorian post box and then on to the Thame Valley Path which runs some way from the river so we couldn’t actually see it. At one point the path came to a dead end with impassable scrub in front. After some casting about looking for a way round, Libby produced her iPhone on which she could bring up maps and with GPS could pinpoint our exact position – we had strayed 50 yards or so from the path, but the signage was so poor that this was not too surprising!
With the info from Libby we soon regained the path and continued on without further incident to reach the bridge at Bridge Lodge near Eyethrop Park. Here we crossed back over the river and soon joined the Aylesbury Ring crossing fields and then climbing gently up to the A418 again by Dinton Castle, a part ruined folly. We crossed the road and took the road into Dinton and the Seven Stars for lunch, arriving at 1.30. A large table had been reserved for us and very friendly staff took our order and served our food quickly and efficiently – very good pub & good value, would certainly go there again. It rained heavily while we were in the pub but when we left to walk the last 2 miles back to Haddenham, the sun came out and it became very hot. We arrived back at the cars at 3.45pm and all agreed it had been a lovely walk, a good one to repeat in better weather.