17th February Probably the first spring-like walk of the year and Hannah's joined us. Some mix-up over ordering a new printer and she's back to collect. Whatever the reason, any weekend either of them are back is special...and at last we pick the sunny day to go for a walk. Not that the first part of the walk goes to plan. I'd hoped to be able to walk through the grounds of Taplow Court but we're accosted just inside the gate and directed back to the road.
25th August Our best Thames walk...I think. It has great views (possibly one of the best in the UK), history and a mix of river, park, woods and castles...what more do you need on a walk? A really enjoyable 11.2 miles and, I'm sure the variety made the time pass much more quickly than usual. A thoroughly recommended walk!
27th August We were last here 30 years ago and, even then, the place was a well known for gridlock, with traffic queuing both sides to cross the narrow bridge at Sonning Eye. We're parking up at 8am on Bank Holiday Monday and already there's a short queue for the bridge. How do local celebs cope living around here? Perhaps the Clooney's arrive and leave by boat. This is a gentle, morning walk. Nothing too strenuous, just a pleasant climb onto the high ground above Sonning at Dunsden Green, followed by a loop past Binfield Heath and back to The Thames at Shiplake.
17th August The first of several Thames walks and I'm kicking myself. I meant to set off in a broadly clockwise direction but walking out of the Lardon Chase car park I get confused and we end up walking through Common Wood and down the hill to Streatley. I do my best to pass it off as a planned diversion but to tell the truth it annoys me for a large part of the walk...we've already walked along this stretch of the Thames and in this direction...I'd wanted to do it in the opposite direction! Sue reckons I'm a bit up-tight sometimes.
16th June 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. 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.
26th May Today we're walking in the Kingdom of Wessex and, it turns out, I've been joined by Ethelred's long-lost grand-daughter, 'Susan the Unready'. We arrive at the Lardon Chase car park to discover that Sue's left her walking boots behind! In spite of our inauspicious start, this is a thoroughly enjoyable walk. It has a pleasing mix of river views, secluded valleys, downland views and sleepy country villages. We follow the Thames as far as Moulsford before striking up onto the Downs through Unhill Wood and Cow Common. From up here the views are far and wide, including the Chilterns in the distance.