Long Walk: 3rd December led by Roger Newman
Wendover Woods, 8 miles
This was an 8 mile walk with 5 miles before lunch and 3 miles after. Having endured many dull and damp days, it was refreshing to have an almost perfect walking day for this time of year – clear blue skies after a frosty night with very little wind. Starting at the central car park in Wendover Woods we walked along familiar paths including a section of the Ridgeway which we had walked in the opposite direction when the group walked the length of this national trail. We also touched the Chiltern Way and Chiltern Link and our old friend Grim’s Ditch. The route was not too muddy along these early stages but we were warned that worse was to come after lunch. On numerous stops Roger kept us informed with details of the flora in the surrounding area.Passing through The Lee we soon arrived at our lunch stop, The Old Swan at Swan Bottom. We were booked into the restaurant but dogs were allowed in the bar area only which could not accommodate us all. Unfortunately, Anne and Sammy, her dog, had to eat in the bar and Janet, unselfishly, stayed with her. Meals had been pre-ordered and soon arrived. Peter was distraught when his plate arrived without the chips he was expecting, but all was not lost as the waitress later brought the chips in a large bowl containing enough for two!
Dragging ourselves away from the warmth of the pub, we set off back. The warning about mud on this section proved to be timely. Any thoughts of keeping boots reasonably clean went by the board. Eventually, we ascended the long incline back to the cars in Wendover Woods. However, there was time to pause and have a group photo taken by the large wooden Gruffalo statue now featured not far from the café.
All in all this was a very satisfying day.
Strollers Walk : December 10th led by Anne legg
Eleven hardy souls turned up for the Monday Strollers Walk – five men and six women plus two dogs. The weather was lovely but underfoot I warned all eleven that it would be very, very muddy.
We met in the Whiteleaf car park at 10.30 a.m. and walked into the woods turning right and following the path, then right again towards Green Hailey (very, very, very muddy). At the end we turned left onto the road and later right again into the woods on the path which leads towards the Pink and Lily. At a crosspaths before the pub we turned left still in the woods to reach a road which we crossed and joined Grimms Ditch. We continued down through the woods onto the hard road which leads down to Rignal Road, but turned left before meeting the road to cross three fields before joining a track to the left which led back up to the Whiteleaf Car Park – a walk which took us two hours mainly because we were very much slowed down by the mud.
Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves although a couple found it a little too long but it was a shame to cut short a walk with such beautiful winter weather.
Medium Walk – December 12th led by Angela Wall
Local Walk, 7 ½ miles
The previous day, Thursday, and overnight had been wet and windy, but nothing daunted, seven intrepid walkers set off from Kings Oak Close and tramped through muddy fields and down be-puddled lanes to Bledlow, where we were joined by Pat and her two dogs. Onwards up the track past The Lions and right to Hempton Wainhill, we joined the Icknield Way and following the Ridgeway, took the path through sheep fields towards Lodge Hill. Up and over Lodge Hill – lovely views in spite of the murky skies. All three dogs (Sammy came with Anne) enjoyed each other’s company and spirits were raised as the skies brightened for a brief spell. After descending the hill, passing the golf course and crossing over the two railway tracks, we left the Ridgeway and headed for Loosely Row. Crossing the main road we tramped up the hill to the lower end of the village and eventually reached The Whip. After a good lunch we caught the bus back to Risborough feeling satisfied that, although very muddy, we had enjoyed a good walk.
Christmas Party – December 15th.
We had a very successful Christmas party as guests of the Garden Group. About 50 of us met in the Carrington and Club Rooms bearing a plate of food for the buffet. We then all found a friend and took part in a very interesting quiz set by Janet Molloy. She had gathered together lots of old, some antique, implements, gadgets, etc for us to guess their usage – some were very obscure! The quiz was won by Mike & Doretta who managed to get 20 out of 30 correct. Well done to them and well done to Janet for all her hard work. Then it was time to eat and to take a glass of wine or fruit juice – the variety of food was very good and a very convivial time was had by all. Thanks go to Angela and her team for organising such a very pleasant afternoon.