Long Walk 3rd October led by Chris Mansfield
Nine of us met at the Black Horse, Lacey Green on a dry but cloudy day. We set off at 9.15 to walk down Kiln Lane then soon branching off along a bridleway to reach Lily Bottom Lane. After such a hot dry summer this bridleway which is usually extremely muddy at the best of times, was quite dry and we reached Lily Bottom in record time! We then took a path up though woodland to Redland End then on through more woodland to finally reach the track leading to Solinger House. Here we turned right to reach and cross the road continuing on and up past Dirtywood farm and into more woods where we stopped for a coffee break, seated on a large log.
Setting off again we soon reached Little Hampden and after walking through the village turned right to follow a path across an enormous field then down through woodland to reach a road. After crossing the road we walked up another large field then uphill through woodland to reach Hampden House and church. From here we took a field path to Great Hampden then another path across the top of the cricket pitch before entering more woodland leading us back, crossing Lily Bottom Lane to finally reach Kiln Lane again where we turned right for the last ½ mile – uphill! We arrived back at the pub soon after 1pm where we had a reserved table. The good food arrived quickly (no pre-ordering !) and we all enjoyed eating, drinking and a chatting.
Strollers 8th October– led by Janet Griffin
Thirteen members gathered at Bradenham Common and then walked along the lower track to Small Dean farm – good views across the fields. We returned through the woods when the sun came out filtering through the tress. The walk was a bout 2 ½ miles.
Medium Walk 19th October led Angela Wall
We (11 of us) set off from The Crown at Pishill and very soon climbed our first hill to Pishill Church, where we stopped to look inside and admire the John Piper stained glass window. Our path then took us on an undulating route through fields and then steeply uphill through woods to Maidensgrove. The sun climbed higher into a beautiful clear blue sky as we trekked across a large field and then down through more woods until we came to the top of the hill down to Stonor. Stopping to admire the fantastic views over the Stonor valley, we made our way down to the road, avoiding a few bored- looking cows who took no notice of us and kept munching the grass. We turned left on the road and walked to the gate into Stonor Park and slowly made our way up the path past Stonor Manor, which looked wonderful in the Autumn sunlight. We were treated to the sight of deer running across the parkland and after a long, slow climb we exited the park and arrived at the road at Southend. Turning left, we followed the road to a lane on the right and then walked along the lane and eventually the track which led down to Turville. By this time we were very warm and clothes had to be taken off to stay cool. We couldn’t believe that it was mid- October, but the red and golden leaves on the trees told us that it was true. On reaching Turville, we turned left along the road and then took a path on the left which led uphill, gently at first and then more steeply, before levelling out at Turville Court. Taking the road leading past Turville Grange, we walked to a triangular junction, turned left past a house and walked along a lovely lane with yet more superb views over the Stonor valley. After a steep climb down a field we then had another short uphill walk until we arrived at Pishill. At last, we arrived at The Crown where we were treated to a good lunch and rest after a lovely walk through the Chiltern Hills at their best in glorious weather.
Shakespeare Way Leg 7 Begbrook to Oxford, 8 miles Oct 11th
Thirteen of us met in Kings Oak Close for the mini bus to take us to The Royal Sun at Begbrook where we finished last time. We were dropped before 10 and after walking through the village picked up the Shakespeare Way where we had left it last time. It was a mostly cloudy day though very warm with quite a strong wind. Our path led us across fields then down towards the village of Yarnton – somehow we missed the path but ended up reaching the road into the village a few yards from where we should have done! We walked through the village and on to St Bartholomews Church where we stopped to visit the very interesting church and have a short coffee break. We continued on with the sounds of a big city getting more noticeable – large trunk roads and railway lines – to reach Dukes’s Lock on the Oxford Canal. Whilst at the lock and steam train whizzed over the railway bridge but only a few of us saw it! We then walked along the Oxford Canal to Wolvercote Lock – many barges tied up with flowers, vegetables and herbs growing around made for an interesting walk. We left the canal at Wolvercote lock to walk through the village, past the Trout pub and on to the Thames path heading towards Oxford. As we walked we saw a great herd of cattle being driven across Port Meadow on the other side of the river – by quad bikes, cars and dogs. It was quite a sight to see them galloping along – to where we didn’t know! Soon after this we reached the Perch pub at Binsey, a short walk off the path where a table had been reserved for us. The menu was very interesting and though not cheap, was good food and good value and the service quick and efficient – probably the best pub since the Bell? We left at 2.15 for the last 2 miles into Oxford, leaving the Thames path to continue into the City on the Oxford canal to its end at Hythe Bridge Street. Now we were in the City with all the traffic, people and noise – such a change from the canal walk. We walked along to George Street then down the Cornmarket to turn left into High Street for the 280 bus, arriving at 3.10pm. The bus came just before 3.30 and we all clambered aboard waving bus passes and up to the top deck. We all alighted in Haddenham where kind partners picked us up saving us a trip into and out of Aylesbury. Another lovely day when everything went like clockwork!
Main Walk October 22nd – led by Brendan Larkin
Today’s walk was started at Haddenham. Fourteen people attended and we were blessed with the best of weather. No report of mine would be complete without mentioning that only two beautifully maintained stiles were encountered. Bob mentioned that it was about 4.7 miles. It was the first time that I had seen wild hops, and so many of them. Not sure if you can make beer from them. We passed the new? Thame cattle market, skirted the old mill and then twelve of us went to Haddenham Garden Centre for a very welcome lunch.