Long Walk 7th November led by John Stallwood
10 of us gathered together at the Wheel pub just before 9-30am. It wasn’t raining at the time but the forecast was horrible ! I handed in our pre-ordered menu to the pub and off we went. First we headed towards North Dean through fields and woods, on up the hill towards Speen then down towards the former pub, The Plough, then up the hill opposite towards Lacey Green where we stopped for a coffee break. We had had drizzle and a shower but not a lot yet ! Continuing on we went round by church lane down a path towards NT car park in Small Dean lane nr Saunderton. Here the weather did start to change for the worse so I changed my intended route so that we stayed mostly in the wood, sheltered from the full force of the wind and rain before going diagonally across Bradenham/Napill commons to the pub arriving a bit bedraggled but surprisingly not too wet. Good food awaited. A excellent walk, with stunning views of the autumn colours. A few too many stiles which were very slippery due to the wet. About 7.7 miles long.
Strollers 12th November– led by Elizabeth Rouse
15 of us met in Askett on what turned out to be a very sunny and mild day. Our walk took us over open fields with plenty of wildlife en route (donkeys, llamas, sheep and cows) all just grazing in the open. We walked on part of the Ridgeway with lovely views towards Pulpit Hill and over the nature reserve before dropping down to Cadsden and going over the golf course. At this point we saw the house that has been built into the hillside. On arriving at Monks Risborough we continued our walk through the churchyard before strolling down Askett Lane back to our starting point. There were 4 stiles en route but they did not present a problem for anyone and minimal muddy patches. It was a most enjoyable walk with lovely autumn colours and a few of the party went off for a light lunch at a local pub afterwards. We took things gently and took around 2hrs to complete the circle.
Medium Walk 23rd November led Chris Mansfield
Twelve of us met at The George and Dragon, Quainton on a dull, dank November day – very low cloud but no wind and no rain! After ordering our lunch in the café cum shop next to the pub (what a wonderful place that is!) we set off at 9.30 to walk through the village, stopping to admire the Alms houses and the church before going over a stile and on across fields. We soon reached a junction of paths and even with the aid of an App on libby’s phone still managed to take the wrong path ending up at Denham farm where a very kind lady pointed out our mistake. Back down the hill we went and soon found the correct path leading uphill to the radio mast – the views would have been wonderful but low cloud and mist prevented us from seeing much at all. Onwards along the ridge then downhill – meandering as we tried to find the path, we reached and crossed a track to continue on over large ploughed fields with little or no signage – amazingly ending up in the right place! After a short coffee break the decision was taken to walk along the road and miss out a loop taking us to East Claydon and Botolph Claydon as time was pressing and it was so difficult finding the path. So after a good stretch along roads where we could walk easily we picked up the field path again for the last mile and a half – fortunately mostly grassy so our boots got cleaned but with some quite high and difficult stiles. Almost there we left a path too soon and entered the village in the wrong place! – but after a little more consulting of the App we found our way and arrived back at the George & Dragon at 1.45 – all very thankful to be there. It had not been the best of walks but the conviviality of the pub more than made up for it where we stayed chatting until being turfed out!
Shakespeare Way Leg 8 November 15th
Oxford to Chiselhampton, 10 miles
Just nine of us met at the Coach and Horses Chiselhampton on a mild, sunny November morning. We parked our cars and then caught the 9.41 bus into Oxford arriving at 10.13. We set off in glorious sunshine down St Aldgates, passing Christchurch looking beautiful in the sunshine and reached Folly bridge where we joined the Thames path. We set off at a good pace but after a couple of miles were disconcerted to find the path closed for resurfacing! Fortunately a diversion was in place and only added about half a mile to our walk although it did involve walking beside some busy main roads. Having regained the path we soon arrived at Sandford Lock where we left the Thames and had a short break before continuing on through Sandford village. The weather by now, though still dry had clouded over making everything a little grey and misty as we continued past a sewage works and then over very large flat fields, finally turning off along a pleasant woodland path to emerge on a lane at Toot Baldon. We walked into the village then out passing Court Leys, a large mansion house to reach the Church of St Lawrence where we stopped for another short break sitting in the churchyard with distant views (rather misty murky) of the Chilterns. Setting off again we soon reached the village of Marsh Baldon then across more fields, now rather uneven and ascending so the going was more tricky. Nearing the end we diverted from our path to avoid a very muddy stretch and then were faced with a daunting metal gate to climb over – some with more ease than others! Now back on our right path we soon reached the road and the Coach and Horses where platefuls of sandwiches awaited us plus a warm welcome. Another very successful day.
Main Walk November 26th – led by Sheila Lane
Sixteen walkers met at the Shoulder of Mutton in Wendover on a cold and cloudy day, though the sun did try to break through a few times. We set off at 10am to walk uphill out of town until reaching the foot of Bacombe Hill where we took a leafy path running along the bottom of the hill towards Ellesborough. We passed some very impressive homes set so far back from the Wendover road, you wouldn’t know they were there! Our path ended at Ellesborough Golf Club where many golfers were out – here we took a public footpath across the golf course and on down across a field where we met the Aylesbury Ring – a long distance footpath. After a short coffee and Werther’s break we continued on, now following the Aylesbury Ring across fields with some rather difficult stiles to climb (thanks to Arthur for offering his arm to those who needed it) as it led us back to Wendover arriving at the pub just on midday. After changing our boots, 9 of us went in for lunch served quickly and efficiently by the very friendly staff. A good walk – and pub, enjoyed by all.