23rd February A resumption of my 'Luton' obsession. Since September we've been walking our way around Luton. There's not much to see in Bedfordshire so it's my way to make it interesting. We're up and out early. Indeed the first part of the walk is in the early morning gloom which is enjoyably atmospheric today. Starting from the village green at Toddington we splash our way west, across muddy fields still shrouded in mist. Our only company on the paths are lycra-clad runners. Milton Bryan is slumbering quietly as we trudge through. Its hard to believe this quiet Bedfordshire village was once the home to WW2 black ops! Hidden away here, in the heart of rural England, Churchill established a propaganda radio station that encouraged German soldiers to surrender, shared misleading instructions with civilians and played Jewish music that Mr Goebbels couldn't stand.
16th February We've had a series of Bedfordshire walks over the last few weeks and it was high time we did a quintessentially Chiltern walk...and this was going to be it....except that the muppet who arranges the weekly walks forgot to load up the coordinates on the GPS before leaving...and I only discover this as we're getting ready to walk out of Rotherfield Peppard.
9th February To tell the truth, I'm still smarting from the 'Not one of your better walks' put down of a few weeks ago! It's Bedfordshire, for goodness sake! What did you expect? This week we're in Hertfordshire...just...completing the Nickey Line from Redbourn as far as Hemel Hempstead before heading north towards Gaddesden Row and then picking our way through the lanes and bridleways back to Redbourn.
15th February We've walked around here so much now that our walks just link up sections we're already explored, at least for the first 5 miles of this walk. This generates much conversation about what happened when we were here last and what time of year it was. Who'd have thought our lives were so … Continue reading Wendover Canal
You can over-think life and it's always good to get out and blow away the cobwebs. This walk is an easy stroll, the sort of walk where talking and thinking comfortably accompany walking but there are enough views to prevent self-absorption.
10th February It's been a month since we last walked. The weather has conspired to reserve all the good stuff for the week (what use is that?) and the rain for the weekends. We're up early and, although we miss the sunrise, we do catch the first few hours of daylight. We've parked in the … Continue reading Lee Common
This was a dull Sunday afternoon walk and would be so much better on a warm summer's afternoon. I love this part of the Chilterns and although the 'stripped back' appeal of the Winter months makes a change, even now I'm looking forward to Spring. Highlights of this walk? The sleepy villages of Fingest and Skirmett, the view back over Fingest from Fingest Wood ( a classic Chiltern view) and tea at The Barn, Turville Heath.
OK...so windmills are becoming a bit of a weird obsession...Cholesbury, Pistone (twice), Clayton, Rottingdean, Turville (twice) and now Brill. It'll be trainspotting next! The walking is easy. There are no difficult climbs and sleepy Buckinghamshire villages are well spaced and make interesting diversions from crossing muddy fields. We walk through Chearsley, Chilton, Brill (the overcast skies make for some moody pictures of the windmill), Dorton, Ashendon, Nether Winchendon and back to Cuddington.
The steep climb up onto Ringmoor Down leaves us our of breath and besides, the roads are surprisingly busy. Lots of people are out for a half-term drive over the Moors, taking advantage of the fact the skies have cleared and the sun is now shining.
Memory is a funny thing. It's been forty years since I was here last and parts of Challaborough haven't changed a bit. The view of Burgh Island from the beach, the caravan park, the stream across the beach that we used to dam...and yet this walk is much longer in my imagination.