Long Walk: 4th February led by Colin & Jenny Robinson
There were 15 of us on the walk from the Bridgewater monument and back, lunching at the Bridgewater Arms, Little Gaddesden. It had been frosty for a while and the ground was covered in a light dusting of snow (see pic).
We walked under a watery sun, with no wind or rain. The lunch, which had been pre-booked, was excellent. Nobody took up the option of tea at the National Trust café – we were all too full!. Everyone thought the trip was most enjoyable.Strollers Walk : February 9th led by Jan Roberts
In view of predicted weather I had decided to walk along the Phoenix Way. We were lucky to enjoy a perfect winter morning so there was much admiring of the landscape and identifying of busy birds. An hour out and an hour back with 10 people.
Medium Walk – February 13th led by Chris Mansfoeld
Ewelme & Swyncombe, snowdrop walk, 8 miles
The forecast was not at all good, overcast and rain sooner rather than later so 14 of us set off from the Shepherd’s Hut at Ewelme at 9.30 dressed for the weather. It stayed overcast and dull all the way but the predicted rain did not arrive until quite near the end, and so we did not get too wet. Our route took us away east of Ewelme on an undulating path with good views over the hills and not too muddy underfoot. After a couple of miles we joined the Ridgeway going southwards now a more demanding path with 2 steep hills to climb before descending to Swyncombe Church. The snowdrops and aconites were out and quite impressive, though the dull weather prevented them from being the spectacular show we have seen in the past. After a coffee stop we set off again to climb out of the valley to reach Ewelme Park marked by a fake Elizabethan Manor House. Here we turned off the Ridgeway on to a wide grassy path descending slowly heading west, back towards Ewelme. This path led us onto a green track, Grindon Lane, over a road then crossing a final field before reaching the road at Ewelme. The rain, which had been falling gently for the last 15 minutes, now intensified as we walked through the village and back to the Shepherds’s Hut, arriving at 1.10pm. A table had been reserved for us and lunch provided – very good , if a little slow in coming. We all enjoyed a chat and a laugh before setting off for home at 2.30pm. A very good day.
Main Walk : February 23rd led by Pat Fowler
5 ½ miles around Wheeler End and Cadmore End
It was a rather dull morning with the promise of rain as 11 of us met at the Dashwood Arms, Piddington. There had been a lot of rain the day before so the going was very soft with lots of mud to contend with. We set off at 10am on a flat exposed path at first, soon climbing gently up a slope slippery with mud. Once at the top we turned into woodland, out of the strong wind to follow a woodland path, downhill and uphill – much pleasanter walking out of the wind. After passing Head and Body Lake (what a name!) we crossed the road near Wheeler End, then turned northwards to reach and walk across the Common – long grass here to clean our boots! Sadly, more mud was to come as we crossed more fields, exposed, but now with the wind behind us. Finally we followed a long downhill path to reach the valley where the walk had started and turned to walk along the valley to reach back to Piddington. Only one short rain shower a one of hail had occurred so we were not wet when we reached the pub, though the heavens opened after we were safely ensconced inside having lunch! The territory was new to most of us, very interesting with wide views – a good walk to repeat in the Summer.