8th January 2017
One of those Chiltern days when lazy clouds can’t decide whether they’re mist or cloud. In fact, it had looked so unpromising that we’d nearly turned back as we drove out to Great Hampden. Parking in The Hampden Arms car park again, this time we walk West rather than North out of Great Hampden. We splash and slip our way through Keepershill Wood before descending from the Ridgeway at Hillock Wood and across the fields to Brimmer’s Farm. There is not a breath of wind and Red Kites sit marooned in trees like airliners grounded by traffic control.
Looping out across the fields we end up at Loosley Row. We’ve done this part of the walk several times before but not in this direction and certainly not when it’s been this muddy. Still, it’s pleasantly warm for January and after the steep climb back onto the Ridgeway at Lacey Green, we pause for breath outside the windmill. I rashly promise Sue that we’ve climbed the last hill for this walk. Thirty minutes later I discover my mistake! Our route descends Highwood Bottom and then abruptly up the other side. This time our hearts are pounding by the time we reach the top. However, we’re rewarded for the last mile of our walk as the sun finally burns through the cloud and the low afternoon sun picks patterns among the bare branches.
A 6.7 mile walk and, in the end, our persistence pays off.
Lacey Green picture gallery (more pictures on Flickr):
Distance: 6.7 miles; Difficulty: Moderate
Postcode for Satnav: HP16 9RQ