20th October The early mist is still clinging to the fields in the still morning air as we leave the car park at Cowleaze Wood. This is an early start...and would have been earlier had we got going when we intended. Nevertheless there is something strangely satisfying about being out before the rest of the world...we're getting a head start on everyone else today. This is a beautiful, mid-Autumn walk. The woods are suffused by the full range of autumn colours...russet reds, honeycomb yellows and lime greens.
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.
15th August It's been quiet a while since we were walking in The Chilterns proper. A holiday in The Forest of Dean and, before that, some walks around Ruislip Woods, have distracted us. So this is an opportunity to get back to some typical Chiltern scenery. From Christmas Common this walk drops down off the escarpment and heads west before steadily climbing to the Ewelme Park Estate. Harvest is in full swing as we pass through and tractors scurry backwards and forwards staking hay bales. There's rain in the forecast.
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.
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.
25th February A Sunday afternoon walk in one of the most beautiful parts of the Chilterns. We love Hambleden and the surrounding woods.