Long Walk 3rd January led by Chris Mansfield
After lots of heavy rain over Christmas and New Year and damaging winds overnight, ten of us met at The Shoulder of Mutton, Wendover not sure what to expect. As it was, the winds had died down, there was no more rain and we even had glimpses of the sun. We set off at 9.30 to walk down through the town and then out along a path by the clock tower, soon leaving it to follow a muddy path leading us to Hale Road and then on into Hale Lane to reach a forestry footpath uphill into Wendover Woods. We climbed steadily through the woods, later gaining a contour path giving good views over Wendover and the surrounding countryside before reaching a wide track on top leading us to the car park and toilets.
. We followed the vehicle road for a short distance before forking off right onto a footpath, then over a field to reach the road opposite Aston Hill car park. After walking through the car park we descended on a path leading to a golf course – no golfers out today! – and here we stopped for elevenses, amazingly completely out of the wind. After a break we continued on down across the golf course and along a narrow path to reach the road from Wendover to Tring at a T junction. We crossed the main road and followed the other road to reach the Wendover arm of the Grand Union canal which we followed for 3 miles back to Wendover. The canal is very overgrown here, in places almost completely full of weed but we saw ducks. moorhens and swans as we neared Wendover where the canal ends. Then it was just another ten minutes walking up through the town back to the pub, arriving at 1.15pm. It was a lovely walk and not as muddy as we had feared. Lunch at the pub was not so good with 2 orders coming very late and the quality of some of the food rather poor – but we still had a jolly time sitting and chatting until 3pm!
Strollers 8th January – led by Jill & Richard Jones
Fourteen strollers met at the 5 Bells Vintage Inn Weston Turville at 10.30am on a rather cold, damp morning. It was a circular walk of around 3 miles and it lasted just over 2 hours. First we walked to Weston Turville church using various footpaths over and beside fields. I gave the group information about the Old Rectory, the Church and its Tapsell Lychgate, a house once used as an inn, and about the Manor House where Noel Edmonds once lived. From there we went through the churchyard and across various fields till we reached the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union canal. I gave them information about the history of this, of the Weston Turville Reservoir and about Perch Cottage where Lord Rothschild’s water bailiff once lived. We walked along the canal until we came to the place where the Wendover to Halton railway had crossed the tow-path. I told them about its history then we turned right down the line of the track and across a park to the Wendover-Aylesbury road.
Having cut through a side road we walked along the footpath at the side of the reservoir which brought us back into Weston Turville. Here we negotiated 2 stiles and walked through the allotments. Finally we crossed the field which took us back to the 5 Bells where 9 of us had lunch.
Medium Walk January 12th led by Chris Mansfield
Fourteen of us met at the Golden Cross, Saunderton on a grey, misty day. We set off at 9.30 walking up Slough Lane then on up the drive to Nobles Farm. Half a mile after the farm we turned right off the familiar ridge path to walk through woodland emerging at the top of a steep valley giving wonderful views. Our path now led us steeply downhill to the valley bottom – it was quite slippery in places but everyone managed to get down without mishap, then on across a field to the road going up the Bledlow Ridge. We crossed this road then on to Chawley Farm, a beautiful 17th century farmhouse, then continuing on, now uphill to Chawley Wood at the top of the next ridge. Then it was downhill again, not so steep as the last downhill – stopping for a short break part way down – to reach Ham Farm at Piddington. From here we took a level path leading through Plomers Bottom and Bottom Wood – muddy in parts with occasional large lakes! After a mile and a half we turned right off the path to follow a very muddy bridleway going gently uphill to reach a road at Radnage Common. We walked up the road to reach another road in Radnage where we turned left before reaching a bridle way on the right leading us downhill again then a long slog up to reach another lane -Bottom Road. Here we turned left and soon took a path on the right leading uphill but not too steeply to finally reach the road at Bledlow Ridge Hooray we thought – no more uphill! Wrong! We turned right to walk along the road until reaching Scrubbs Lane on the left which we followed to its end and then continued down a grassy path to reach Slough Road again. We turned left along the lane which led uphill for a short while before turning downhill and back to the Pub on the main road arriving at 1.45. A table had been reserved for us and our pre-ordered food came quickly – very good value here – a proper pub. We lingered talking until 3pm before setting off home. A good walk, quite strenuous but with lots of variety- and walking on paths that most of us did not know.
Main Walk January 22nd – led by Chris Mansfield
After a very wet weekend just 3 of us met at the farm shop in Wilstone on a dry, bright day with some sunshine and not as cold as it had been. We set off at 10am to walk through Wilstone village to reach the Aylesbury arm of the Grand Union canal and then to walk along the canal to the junction with the main Grand Union at Startops, then continuing on the main canal until the junction with the Wendover arm. Here we turned off to follow the Wendover arm until reaching and taking a path leading down to Wilstone Reservoir. We walked alongside the reservoir then took a steep path down the bank taking us back to the farm shop. We all enjoyed a light lunch then spent some time looking around the shop to see what interesting food they had on sale before setting off for home. A good walk, muddy in places as was to be expected but plenty of easy walking as well – a very interesting morning.