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.
23rd June A long walk in a hot day...not much more to report. Some good views of the Gade Valley at Great Gaddesden and Hudnall. I think the Gade Valley above Hemel Hempstead is beautiful and, on a hot day like this, it's at its best.
17th June Not much to report here. A pleasant walk spoilt by diggers and dozers although all the building disturbance has meant that at this time of year the fields are filled with a profusion of poppies. The fleeting show is scant compensation but we enjoy the display while it lasts.
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.
3rd June A 8.5 mile walk through the woods and fields around Great Hampden. An enjoyable walk with some nice views at North Dean and Bryant's Bottom and plenty of shade from the sun in the woods...typically Chilterns!
1st June This is a gentle stroll along deserted footpaths and quiet country lanes to the Delectable Mountains...well, Pegsdon Hills. By the time we reach The Pegsdon Hills Nature Reserve its lunchtime and, unusually of us, we pause for a quick lunch. To tell you the truth, lunch provides an excellent excuse for a break. The sun and lack of even a breath of fresh air has made the walking hard work...or we're just growing old! Certainly, there are fewer woods on this walk than others. The views from Deacon Hill today are worth the walk. Bedfordshire is stretched out like a map before us and we can see Milton Keynes, Flitwick and Shefford in the distance.
This really is a walk of two halves and, on the hottest day this year for walking, we're glad the first 7 miles are mostly through woods. From Goring we follow the gentle climb through Great Chalk Wood, Cray's Pond and Goring Heath. It's noticeably cooler in the shade and we have the paths to ourselves...the heat seems to have selected for mad dogs and Englishmen. We pass a charcoal making camp at Cray's Pond but even they've stopped today!