Cookham has more than its fair share of famous residents…Gerald Ratner, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Ulrika Jonsson, Timmy Mallett, Chris Rea, Jim Rosenthal, Clive Woodward, Connor O’Shea…OK, so you’ve not heard of any of them? Well, in someone’s world they’re famous!
As we drive into the the village it’s clear why people might want to live here…it’s a charming village, ‘picture postcard perfect’ for the Chilterns. Old, warm red brick, cottages with wonky roofs and low front doors, clustered either side of the common and right on the doorstep of Moor Hall (now an expensive conference centre). Today the local scout group is busy putting up tents for the village fair. Fortunately, at 8-30am this morning there’s still room in the car park.
Leaving the car, we walk south across the fields to Cookham Rise before the long, gentle climb to Fultness and Quarry Woods, high above Bisham. Through the trees we glimpse Marlow but to tell the truth, for the most part the view is obscured by leaves and trees. I hear there are moves afoot from the National Trust to thin out the trees and return the area to the chalk downland of 100 years ago…but now there are plenty of aforementioned rich people living around here and they’re protesting loudly that their privacy will be threatened. I guess the poor people get to see the view in the winter when the leaves are gone!
The return takes in some views from Winter Hill, a gentle stroll along the Thames and a stop for an ice cream at The Bounty. We’re back at the car as the village fair swings into full throttle and an arriving villager gratefully grabs the parking spot as we leave. A great 8.2 mile Thames-side walk but the views may be better in the winter rather than summer.
Cookham picture gallery (more pictures on Flickr):
Distance: 8.2 miles ; Difficulty: Easy
Postcode for Satnav: SL6 9SA