Walking – May 2015

Long Walk: 6th May led by Chris Mansfield

Eleven of us met in Ferry Lane down by the river in Medmenham on a rather blustery day with heavy showers forecast. We set off at 9.50 to walk up Ferry lane, over the main road and then quite steeply uphill to reach the top of the hill which was very pleasant with bluebells & beech trees emerging into new leaf. After walking through this pleasant woodland we emerged onto a lane to walk pass some very desirable properties before descending and then taking a path leading northwards along the side of a valley. Finally we descended, crossed the valley and walked up the other side to enter Widefield Wood – again lots of bluebells. We followed the

obvious path through the wood to later emerge on a lane at Brockmer End. We then followed lanes for about half a mile before turning off onto the Chiltern Way into Homefield Wood where we followed a broad flat path before turning off to walk gently uphill and over more fields before reaching a small lane near Rockwell End. We followed this lane, soon turning into another lane before taking a footpath leading us through Bushes Wood with yet more blubells to finally arrive at the small hamlet of Pheasants – the highest point of the walk. Now it was all downhill through beautiful woodland to reach Colestrope and then along a flat path to reach Hambleden and the Stag & Huntsman for lunch, arriving at 1.15pm.. A table had been reserved for us and the good food was quickly served. All too soon it was time to don boots and coats again for the final flat walk down to Mill End and then along the Thames back to Ferry lane and the cars. Apart from a few spots, the rain kept away and we all enjoyed a lovely walk.

Strollers Walk :  May 11th  led by Janet Griffin

A short walk from Shardeloes, Amersham

Medium Walk – May 15th led by Chris Mansfield/John Stallwood

7 of us met at the Gate Inn, Bryant’s Bottom on a sunny May morning, though there was a chill breeze. We set off at 9.20 to walk along the road for a while before taking a footpath leading uphill through woodland, with bluebells, over the top and then down again to reach the road at Upper North Dean. We turned right along the road before forking off left onto a foot path which led us to Speen where we continued in a northerly direction along Lily Bottom Lane to reach Lily Bank Farm. Here we turned right into woodland to follow a somewhat muddy path to reach Redland End where we continued on through more woodland before forking off right on a path leading us to Hampden House. After passing the house and church we took a path to the right across a grassy field before reaching and crossing a field high with rape where the path through had not been cleared very well – as it was all rather wet form the rain the day before, most people reached the end of the field with wet trousers – definitely a case for shorts as bare legs dry very quickly!. At the end of the field we turned southwards  along a field and then a lane to reach the small village of Hampden Common where we continued on field paths then woodland along the top of a ridge before turning off left to reach a lane  above the deep valley of Bryant’s Bottom. We turned right along the lane passing some lovely properties before taking a very steep downhill path through the woods which ended right in the garden of the Gate Inn! Superb planning! A table had been reserved for us and the food pre-ordered so we were soon tucking in to very good food in a lovely old pub atmosphere with very friendly staff. A good walk in very pleasant weather.

Grand Union Canal Walk – leg 3 May 14th  Hayes to Uxbridge, 6 miles

11 of us met at Wycombe bus station on a cool drizzley day with forecast of lots of rain to come. We took the A40 bus to Uxbridge then the U4 to Hayes – a most interesting journey – arriving at 11.15am. We soon regained the canal and as the rain was just starting most of us donned out waterproof trousers before we set off. The canal was very pretty with cow parsley, red campion, some dog roses and many other wild flowers, detracting from the rubbish that had accumulated in some parts of the canal. The heavy rain held off until just before Cowley Lock – our FIRST lock! – where we stopped for lunch at the optimistically described ‘Bistro’ – really a very welcoming café, actually on the lock in the old Lock Keeper’s cottage. We crowded into the very small room where tables had been laid for us and our orders for drinks – tea, coffee, juices – not a pint of beer in sight! – were taken. Then we studied the menu – such reasonable prices – which contained everything from full English breakfast to liver & bacon. The food was quickly served despite there only being 1 omelette pan and 3 of us ordered omelettes! – all down to earth and extremely good value. By the time we set off again the rain had really set in but with only 2 miles to do we soon reached the road at Uxbridge and the bus stop for the bus back to Wycombe. After 15 minutes the bus arrived and we were all very pleased to be inside out of the rain and were back in Wycombe by 4pm. Then we went our separate ways – some driving, some taking the 300 after a very successful, if rather wet, day. It could have been worse – it could have rained ALL day!

Main Walk :  May 25th  Bank Holiday – no walk