Long Walk 2nd August led by Chris Mansfield
Eight of us met at the public car park in Goring on a rather grey day with rain promised later. We set off at 9.30 up the High Street, over the railway then crossing the road to walk through an estate of nice houses to reach fields. Our path led uphill giving good views before descending into a valley and entering Great Chalk Wood. After half a mile we turned off right to follow a pretty bridle path passing Bottom Farm to reach a road at Blackbird’s Bottom near Cray’s Pond. We crossed the road to continue on a wide track across a field to reach another road. This we crossed into woodland but then missed our path by turning too soon and reach an encampment of young people living off the land.
A very helpful young lady put us on the right track and we continued on to reach Whitchurch Hill. We then followed a series of paths until reaching the road leading into Whitchurch on Thames where we saw a large field with lots of alpacas. The rain that had been threatening all morning now started so we donned our waterproofs for the last half mile or so to The Ferryboat at Whitchurch for lunch arriving at 1pm. A table had been reserved for us and the good food was quickly served while the rain poured outside. We set off again at 2.15 to walk the four miles back along the Thames Path – not that we saw much of the Thames for the first couple of miles as the path does not go near the river at this point. It was quite a wet walk and we were pleased to get back to the cars at Goring at 4pm after a very pleasant walk, despite the rain.
Strollers 14th August led by Jacqui Kennedy
On a fine morning, 11 of us, together with Carol’s dog Vinnie, met at The Swan, Kimble to stretch our legs. From the pub, we crossed the main road and picked up the Aylesbury Ring which led us over the railway line, over to and past the school, and up to Kimble Church. We crossed the main road and took the footpath that goes up to Pulpit Wood. About half-way along we turned left into the adjoining field, which we circled, joining Cradle Footpath at the top, where we turned left again. The path gave us fantastic views over the Aylesbury Vale, despite the lack of clear skies. Half-way along the ridge, we went right, down and then up towards Wharley Wood. We headed towards Ellesborough, down the steps next to Ellesborough Warren, emerging at the foot of Beacon Hill. We then crossed over the next field towards the Church, where we had a break. Following the path down, we joined the Aylesbury Ring at the bottom all the way past Kimble Church, coming out on the main road. Crossing over, we picked up the footpath near Kimble Station, and made our way back over the fields and railway line, arriving back at The Swan; several of us enjoyed a really good lunch and everyone agreed it had been a lovely walk.
Medium Walk August 11th led by Jenny & David Brown
Circular Walk from The Five Horseshoes, Upper Maidensgrove 7 miles
After recent heavy rain it was a relief for 13 members to drive out, in brilliant sunshine, to start our walk at Upper Maidensgrove. The route from the pub took us down a challenging steep path to the valley bottom before climbing up again on a slightly less steep path to arrive at Park Corner. From here we joined the Chiltern Way and then through fields with tempting and copious blackberries in the hedgerows. Soon we arrived at Ewelme Park Manor House where a friendly local described the history of the Manor. Essentially Ewelme Park was originally a royal palace used as a hunting lodge in the 16 C and the landscape still captures this context. From the Manor we made a short mistake and needed to retrace our steps for 5 minutes onto the Ridgeway national trail. Soon we were down in Swyncombe with its pretty Saxon Church in an idyllic setting. By this time we were running a little behind schedule so after a short break in the warm sunshine we were off again up the hill and through Church wood, to Cookley Green and then along bridle paths to Russell’s Water. Here we met up with Jenny and Sheila to complete the final stage around the duck pond and across Russell’s Water Common. Fortunately the sun was still shining and we could enjoy our lunch and the superb views down the valley, from the pub garden.