21st December Circular walk from Ley Hill via Springview Farm, Flaunden Bottom, Latimer, Chess Valley, Broadwater Bridge and Cowcroft Wood.
14th December Circular walk from Bulbourne via Grand Union Canal, Marsworth Reservoir, Startop's End Reservoir, Tringford Reservoir, Wendover Canal, Wilstone Reservoir, Marsworth & College Lake Reservoir.
30th November Circular walk from Berkhamsted via Grand Union Canal, Winkwell, Bourne Gutter and Ashlyns Farm.
9th November Circular walk from Hudnell Common via The Golden Valley, Ashridge Estate, Dockey Wood, Dagnall & Little Gaddesden
31th October Circular walk from Hudnell Common via The Golden Valley, Ashridge Estate, Dockey Wood, Dagnall & Little Gaddesden
30th October Circular walk from Hudnell Common via The Golden Valley, Ashridge Estate, Dockey Wood, Dagnall & Little Gaddesden
17th August Circular walk from St Albans via Chiswell Green, How Wood, Park Street, Sopwell and Cottonmill
Our annual Bluebell-fest (see here and here). We're at Dockey Wood by 6-45am and we have the place to ourselves, except for two hard-core photographers. It may be my imagination, but I think the display is marginally less spectacular this year. Perhaps the recent hot weather or yesterday's heavy rain and high winds have taken their toll....nevertheless, the colours are still breath-taking. As is traditional, we wander around looking like rank amateurs, taking a few snaps, before leaving the Wood for The Coombe via Ward's Hurst Farm. The smell of the wild garlic is strong as we walk through The Coombe and we have the place to ourselves.
And so the encirclement of Luton is complete! As I type this it occurs to me, that sentence has probably never been used before.
To be honest, I'd hoped that last week we'd achieved this but, as I examined our routes, it became clear there was a tiny section across the East Coast railway line that broke my chain of walks. So we're back to finish what we've started. I have planned a walk from Heartwood Forest. It's the start of the bluebell season...at least that's how I explain the walk to Sue.
So this walk completes the Aylesbury Canal...which we'd started over a year ago. The canal itself was started well over 200 years ago...and never finished. The intention had been to drive a canal as far as the Thames to the south and, via the Kennet & Avon canal and the Thames, link Bristol and the West with the Grand Union Canal. Money ran out, railways arrived and, instead, the canal finishes in Aylesbury...an 18th Century equivalent of buying a 3D TV and finding the world had move on to 4K TV. However, today the Aylesbury Canal is a pleasant walk in early spring.