Walking – December 2016

Long Walk 7th December led by Alan & Hana Mace

A 35 minute drive from KOC along country roads and through pretty Chiltern villages led us to East Claydon church, where we parked our cars. This was going to be a pleasant, not too strenuous walk through three small villages of black and white cottages built through the centuries to house rural craftsmen and estate workers.The weather was overcast but stayed dry and the walk started by passing a large and very old oak tree surrounded by a wooden bench with a conical thatched roof. To separate the next village of Botolph Claydon from East Claydon is a 1913 clock tower with one clock face for each community and next to the clock tower stands a disproportionately large Public Library built and stocked by the Verney family.

Walking through the village we pass a cottage, which had enough lighted Christmas decorations to make Piccadilly Circus look drab. The elderly owner said he wanted to scale back the decorations this year but had relented due to village pressure – I hope they are paying his electricity bill! The walk then traversed peaceful pastureland with fine open views of the Vale sloping gently away. The view was then interrupted by the Greatmoor Energy from Waste plant, which was formally opened in October. This modern facility is revolutionising the way Aylesbury Council deals with the county’s waste. The state-of-the-art green technology behind the process allows unrecyclable waste to be turned into electricity rather than being dumped into landfill. It also allegedly stands to save local taxpayers £150 million over the lifetime of the contract. After walking for a mile through a splendid avenue of poplars we crossed the road to enter Claydon Park. Here stands Claydon House, the home of the Verney family. We walked past All Saint’s, the church of Middle Claydon, which stands on a hillock only a few yards from Claydon House, which in 1956 was given to the National Trust along with part of the garden and parkland. Mr and Mrs Ralph Verney now live in the Victorianised south wing. And then our final stretch was walking across fields, fortunately not too muddy, and back into East Claydon to collect cars and make the short drive to the nearby village of Granborough and The Crown pub for lunch.

Medium Walk December 16th 2016 led by Jenny and Colin Robinson

Fifteen walkers met in Kings Oak Close on a dry, still winter’s day. We set off at 9am walking up to Whiteleaf then on over the golf course to reach the Ridgeway where we climbed many steps then continued on an undulating path towards Chequers. We turned off the Ridgeway and continued into Happy Valley then down and up past Cymbeline then downhill across fields to reach Ellesborough Church. Here the walk turned sharp right and traversed a large field leading up to the base of Coombe Hill where we joined a path going along the bottom to eventually join up with the Ridgeway again. Turning back towards Chequers we followed the path over the Drive and then on uphill into woods, across more fields before taking a path leading down to the A4010. After crossing the road we walked across fields to arrive at the Three Crowns in Askett for lunch, arriving at 12.20. After a very good lunch we then had just a short half mile walk back to Monks Risborough.

Strollers 12th December led by Sheila Lane

Six strollers met at the George & Dragon for a short stroll around the local area followed by lunch in the pub.

Party time December 19th

Some members of the walking group joined the gardening group for our annual get together in the Carrington Room – now renamed the Cherry Baker Room. To get us moving a quiz had been organised which was great fun then we ate from out bring-a-plate buffet – wonderful variety as usual – washed down with wine or fruit juice. A very jolly event!