29th June We've parked in Kings College Road, from where its a short walk into Ruislip Woods. They are clearly well used and well loved...and rightly so! In a congested part of suburban London, places like this are to be treasured. Memories of wide games and British bulldog come flooding back...as do autumn blackberry picking expeditions, planned like military operations. We used to return home with more blackberries than Mum could reasonably process and lived off jars of Bramble jelly and blackberry and apple pies well into the following winter.
18th May Another pub walk this evening. This time from the car park of the Crown and Sceptre in Briden's Camp. We were last here in September 2016..that does feel like an age away! There's not much to Briden's Camp...if the Romans did stop off here they didn't leave much behind...a couple of cottages clustered around the pub and a cricket club over the road...which, as if to disown its location, is named after Great Gaddesden...all very confusing!
11th May A short evening walk. In spite of the dull weather, this walk is a pleasant mixture of Hertfordshire woods and fields and takes in Berkhamsted and Northchurch Commons which overlook the Bulborne Valley. We catch fleeting views of the valley through the branches of some of the most gnarly oaks we've seen for a while. The last of the bluebells brighten the darker corners of the woods...by next week the display will be over for another year.
5th May It's probably the last 'Bluebell weekend' of the season...and the best! From Christmas Common the route follows a long, gentle descent through Queen Wood, Fire Wood and Longhill Hanging Wood and there are bluebells aplenty. We have the paths to ourselves and, by the time we reach the bottom of the valley, the air is thick with the scent of bluebells and the sunlight and shadows swirl through the heady mix.
4th May Discovery of the week! If you get home early from work, at the moment there's enough daylight for an evening walk! From Cassiobury Park we cross the Grand Union Canal at Iron Bridge Lock (#77) and head up through Whippendell Woods, Lees Wood and Harrocks Wood...