Long Walk 7th June led by Pat Fowler
11 of us met at The Crown public house for a 9 mile walk around the area. Having pre-ordered our lunch we set off smartly heading through fields towards Stokenchuch. With houses appearing in the distance we turned right to enter woods, going steeply downhill. Our tracks became undulating, a mixture of fields and woods. We crossed the first of five stiles by Hall Barn Farm nestling in the valley below Stokenchurch. (It was here a good number of years ago an ex policeman who ran a boarding kennels was murdered by some itinerants because he refused to let them have their dog back).
We then entered High Wood, before climbing up a steep rise and crossing a wheat field. A short coffee /water stop and then we continued through the trees to the Spriggs Alley lane. Turning left off the lane we again came into woods going steeply down hill. At the bottom we joined a right hand track which took us all the way through the valley back to Radnage. A short walk along the lane, past the vineyard, we then turned left through the church meadow, past St Mary’s church. Here we had another welcome coffee/water stop before embarking on the very steep climb to get to the top of Yoesden Bank, nature reserve. Walking down the well worn path we were able to admire the many orchids dotted over the area as well as appreciating the wonderful views in the sunshine. Fears that the torrential rain of the day before would make the path slippery were unfounded. One more climb saw us joining the lane to take us back to the pub and lunch.
Strollers 12th June led by Penny Young
Four of us met at the George & Dragon and caught the bus to Hunts Hill (all with our bus passes). From there we walked down the lane and across the fields into the woods to our final destination the cafe at Hughenden where we all had a coffee and a nice chat. The woods were particularly beautiful and sun was dappling through; altogether a very pleasant way to spend a morning “strolling.”
Medium Walk June 16th led by Peter West
Ten people met in the carpark of the George and Dragon,West Wycombe, to start their 8 mile circular walk. The weather was ideal; sunny with occasional clouds but not too hot. Our route took us through the village and up Church Lane passing the picturesque row of cottages. We turned off the main path and down across fields to cross the main A4010 road. The footpath followed the railway until it branched up steeply through woods for a quarter of a mile or so leaving us gasping by the time we reached the summit.
After catching our breath, we walked through lovely woods with sunlight filtering through the trees until we reached Bradenham. From here on, it was open grasslands gradually ascending with fine views over the valley. We were surprised to see the abundance of pink Pyramidal Orchids which appeared all along our route as we approached Small Dean Farm. We followed the narrow Small Dean Lane before striking off across a field of growing wheat until we reached the A4010 again. Crossing the road, we headed up Haw Lane and turned left just after passing the railway bridge on to a very attractive path bordered by verdant vegetation. We were soon above Saunderton Station and on a path which led us up very steeply eventually to pass Nobles Farm. It was now a case of keeping on the pathway and we were then back at the ‘Golden Ball’ church above West Wycombe. We wandered through the church yard and then by the Mausoleum to descend steeply to Church Lane once again.
It was a relief to return to the George and Dragon where we had a very satisfactory lunch sitting in their large secluded garden under shady trees. This concluded a very pleasant day walking in typical Chiltern’s scenery.
GUC Walk June 22nd Lapworth to Solihull
Just 6 of us met at Princes Risborough station for the 9.26 train to Banbury, then on to Leamington Spa and finally on to Lapworth arriving at 10.50. We left the station to walk the half mile or so back to the canal where we met Peter Dixon and his brother so there were 8 of us walking this leg. The weather was grey and cool, good for walking – so much better than the heat of last few days when temperatures had been in the thirties! We set off along the canal at 11.05 – it was very quiet and peaceful, no traffic or train noises, just a few ducks and ducklings paddling about. After an hour we reached the bottom of the Knowle flight of locks – just 5 but very impressive. We stopped here for a drinks break and to take in the scene before walking uphill beside the locks to reach the top. We then continued on along the towpath, going under the M42 to later arrive at the Boat Inn, Catherine-de-Barnes at 1.40. We hadn’t booked but a very friendly landlord soon found a table for eight and the good food was quickly and efficiently served. Leaving the pub at 2.45 we soon completed the last mile along the canal leaving it at bridge 79 to walk the last mile and a half into Solihull town to reach the station arriving at about 4.15. We all bought ice creams then settled down to wait on the station for our train at 17.04 which arrived on time, and after changing at Banbury we arrived back at Princes Risborough at 18.20. Another very good day – just one more to go!
Main Walk June 26th led by Jacqui Kennedy
On a fine summer’s morning, ten of us set off from Henton towards Forty Green; on reaching the road we crossed over an continued towards Waltons Farm, coming out on Holly Green Lane. At the corner, we took the foot path to the left towards the Phoenix Trail, which we passed over; the footpath on the other side turned left and we kept on this path over several fields, until we reached a footbridge on our right taking us over a stream and on the other side could see Ilmer Church spire to our right. However, we turned left and following this path passed the old site of Coldharbour Farm – but with waist-high nettles, we didn’t venture in to find the remains! We continue on over the old ford, which used be part of the old original road that once ran from Thame to Risborough, eventually coming out at the end of Manor Road. Here, we went left which led us back to and over the Phoenix Trail. We continued down the track and just past the newly converted farmhouse, took the path on the left; this had been very overgrown, but we were pleased to find a large section had been cleared; towards the end, the secateurs came out and we managed to get through! The footpath then took us through a couple of fields packed with large ‘cages’ of young pheasants, presumably being raised to get shot to pieces come the shooting season. At the sewage works, we followed the path over a small field and through a crop of elephant grass and back to The Peacock, where a few of is enjoyed a lovely lunch. Nice walk, which we all enjoyed.