After last week's detour via East London we're back in the Chilterns. As last week, the weather is dull as dishwater and it's left to the autumn colours to lift our spirits. As per normal we meet few people, which by and large, is the way we like it! The odd dog walker with an over-excitable puppy, a young couple with rucksacks who look like they mean serious business and 'Tory Boy' landowner!
We park in Beech Road and head across the fields to Cuddesden. Rain's in the forecast but for now the sun's out and we can see the full length of the Chilterns stretched out from Ivinghoe to Woodcote. I get the feeling a clear evening's view, with the sun in the west, would be spectacular. From Cuddesden we skirt Garsington and Horspath before the steep climb into Shotover Country Park.
An early Autumn walk along the Thames near Henley. It's been a while since we last walked and we'd been looking forward to getting out again all week. If the weather let us down the walk itself had plenty to keep us interested. The Thames, river boats and posh houses mean we do little talking.
Not many Bedfordshire walks in our list and this is certainly outside of our normal 'Chilterns' patch. Essentially, this is a 9 mile ramble through the grounds of Woburn Abbey. Plenty of opportunities for pictures of deer, some views of the Bedfordshire countryside and time to chat.
One last walk in the Misbourne Valley, this time starting from Old Amersham. If last week's predominant colours were green and blue, this week yellow and red are starting to appear...a hint that Summer is reaching its height. We park up in Amersham Old Town car park and walk south to Coleshill, crossing the route of HS2 on the gentle climb up to the village. We'll cross its path again later in our walk (as we return to Amersham along the South Bucks Way). Enough has been said here and here about HS2 so I won't reopen that festering wound!
This is a Sunday afternoon walk slipped in between a 'decorating marathon' and the weather is good. The route takes in the Misbourne River before a climb through Goldhill and onward to Jordans. Jordans and Seer Green are barely separated by a field but from there on we walk through sleepy country lanes and quiet footpaths. We pass Upper Bottom House Farm, which just seems like a collection of words to me (someone needs to do some rebranding) before dropping back into the Misbourne Valley and back to Chalfont St Giles, a 9 mile ramble through 'commuter Buckinghamshire'.
Hurley stirs old memories of other's generosity. 40 years ago our boys' club leader had a motor launch moored here. Back then he used to take us on trips along the Thames. Altogether more innocent days! As we park up in Hurley it seems not much has changed in the intervening years. There are many more threatening 'No Parking' notices but the village shop and church look like they've been stuck in a time capsule. However the 21st Century comes crashing in as we walk west along the River...they're charging £3 per head for a picnic in the Riverside Park! Taking care not to inadvertently unpack food or drink, we press on as far as Culham Court.