Long Walk 5th September led by Colin Robinson
Just seven of us met at the public car park near Streatley, Bedfordshire at 10am to walk around the Sharpenoe Clappers and Sundon Hills – a new area for us being right at the north eastern edge of the Chilterns. It was a fine bright day and the walk though undulating was never too arduous and afforded wonderful views in all directions. After 4 miles of this circular walk we reached the Chequers at Streatley where our pre-ordered lunch was soon served by very friendly staff. Leaving the pub we walked the final 3 miles back to the car park. It was a very beautiful and interesting walk, certainly one to do again.
Strollers 10th September– led by Arthur Edwards
Medium Walk 14th September led Jenny & David Brown
Although this walk is a little further afield than we normally travel, it is an area well worth exploring. There were 10 walkers in our group and we set off from The Cock Inn car park at Church End, Sarratt, at 9.30 am. The initial route involved a short steep descent, with impressive far reaching views across beautiful and peaceful river Chess valley. On reaching the valley bottom we followed the south side of the river Chess to Chenies village, onward to Latimer and returned via Frogmore nature reserve and the water cress beds which unfortunately were closed owing to issues with the water quality. This was disappointing as several members had bought and enjoyed their freshly picked water cress and ice cream on earlier visits. However, our disappointment was short-lived as we received a cheerful welcome at the charming Cock Inn, where we enjoyed excellent lunches from a varied menu, including great value ‘pensioner specials’. Overall a walking area and pub we shall be returning to.
Shakespeare Way Leg 6 September 27th
Ditchley Park to Begbrook, 9.5 miles
Fourteen of us met in Kings Oak Close for the mini bus to take us to Ditchley Park at the point where we left the Shakespeare Way last time. We set off at 9am and arrived at our destination at 10.15 ready for the walk to Begbrook. It was a beautiful, warm and sunny September day with not a cloud in the sky. The walk was mostly flat with a fair amount of road walking so we covered the first four miles to reach Blenheim Park quite quickly. We stopped for a coffee break on the Stonesfield Steps which go up and over the boundary walk of the estate. We then continued on walking through the Park stopping to look at the Victory Column with the Duke of Malborough on top and taking in the view in the distance of the Palace. Then continuing on we walked downhill towards a lake and followed the path around its end and along the other side before reaching a wooden door which led us out onto the noisy A44 in the centre of Woodstock – a sharp contrast to the quiet and peaceful park. We followed a stepped lane leading to the top of the town and after walking along the High Street rejoined the A44 for half a mile before taking a path across fields leading to the road into Bladon village and the White House pub for lunch, arriving at 1.45pm. We had a very friendly welcome and 2 tables had been reserved for us – but the food was a little slow in coming.
Leaving the pub just after 3pm we took a path opposite leading to the church and churchyard where Winston Churchill, Lady Clementine and other members of the family are buried. We spent a little time here before continuing on uphill out of the village then on across fields and along a pretty woodland path to soon reach the village of Begbrook. Here we left the Shakespeare Way to walk through the village to reach the A44 and the Royal Sun where the bus was picking us up. We arrived at 4.20 but the pub was closed so we sat outside to wait for the bus which arrived just before 4.30pm – what perfect timing! We climbed aboard and were soon whisked home despite the quite heavy traffic, arriving at 5.30pm. Another wonderful day.
Main Walk September 24th – led by Jacqui Kennedy
Thankfully, the rainy weekend gave way to sunshine for our walk and 12 of us set off along the path leading from the top of the Goat Centre layby. We went over fields, through a private garden, over a road and a couple more fields, until we reached the railway line, where we turned South. We could see Ellesborough Church Tower ahead of us and, glancing backwards, a wonderful panoramic view of the Aylesbury Vale.
Crossing the main road, we continued through a couple of pastures then over a stream, with a pond on the left (The Springs), into the meadow below the Church. After a short break, we picked up the Aylesbury Ring, and walked along the lane past David Jason’s house, then between paddocks with inquisitive horses, coming out at Butler’s Cross. We continued over the road and along another three fields before turning off the Aylesbury Ring and heading Northwards.
A few fields later, we passed behind the Chiltern Brewery, over Nash Lee Road and across the first small field. In the next, much larger field, a number of metal barriers had been erected, which we assumed was to do with preparatory work for HS2. In the following field, which had originally been a site of a village and also contained the remains of the original Church, a workman was busy digging a trench. We stopped for a chat with him and he explained that they were digging a large number of trenches in that area, looking for any archaeological artifacts that may be hidden in the soil, before the work on HS2 could begin. Leaving him to continue his digging, we went along the lane running past Stoke House (bet they’re pretty miffed to have a huge railway line about to be build infront of their home!!), back over the main road, and into the layby. A few of us then enjoyed a light lunch at The Wool Pack.
Apart from a rather muddy start and lots of stiles, it was a good walk which we all enjoyed. Many thanks to everyone who joined me.