Speech House

8th August There's something really odd about The Forest of Dean! Set on a plateau between the Severn and the Wye, it's cut off from the rest of the world. As far as this walk is concerned, there's really not much to record...a pleasant walk in the woods on another hot August day. A couple of summer showers blow through during the walk but you'd hardly know. We're hidden away, deep in the Forest. Occasionally we catch fleeting glimpses of Fallow Deer ghosting amongst the shadows but no sign of the famous wild boar...but plenty of evidence of their rooting.


7th August A gentle walk after yesterday's exertions. It's too warm to do much else! We park in the car park at Goodrich Castle and head off for Coppet Hill. Symonds Yat Rock towers above us as we sit in the shade at the edge of the woods. Peregrine falcons wheel and swoop through the haze. Other than the herd quietly grazing by the River, the silence is complete.


4th August The first part of this walk follows the Sculpture Trail. Some of them need an explanation, others are more obviously worth looking at. There are plenty of cycle paths and we bump into cycling families at every turn. However we leave the families behind by the time we reach Great Kensley Inclosure and cross Speech House Road into Little Kensley and Russell's Inclosure. For a while the walk is more like I imagined the Forest would be, peaceful and undisturbed...until we reach Cannop Ponds...and once again we're dodging bell-ringing bikes all the way back to the car.

Burnham Beeches

21st July An 8.1 mile ramble through Burnham Beeches and Egypt Woods before a return across Farnham Common. Sandwiched between the M4, M40 and M25 these woods are an oasis of wooded calm. There have been woods here stretching back to the last Ice Age and they're surely worth preserving. So much so that 138 year's ago the City of London Corporation bought them to prevent local developers from building houses on them...a rather enlightened approach for 1880.


15th July In which we discover a 'killer herd' in Ickenham! An unremarkable walk until we reach Harvil Farm. We park in Bayhurst Woods and walk north west through Harefield before joining the Grand Union Canal at Broadwater Lock. Turning south, the long walk along the canal as far as Denham Country Park is easy and the towpath empty...everyone's watching the World Cup Final. We feel smug as we cross Uxbridge Golf Course, we overtake a couple on mountain bikes...the heat is too much for at least one of them and today walking is quicker! At Harvil Road we pause for photos...today we can see as far as Central London. In the next field things take an exciting turn.


7th July An easy, early evening walk. Hannah joins us for this reprise of our visit to Ruislip Woods. This time we loop through Mad Bess (some interesting speculation about the origins of the name) and Bayhurst Woods before ending up crossing Newyears Green Lane. By the time we approach the outskirts of Ruislip the sun is dipping below the horizon and the warm sunset is some compensation for the previous unpleasant smell. An overall enjoyable, short 4.9 mile walk.


1st July Today's walk starts in Beaconsfield, famous for its model village (warning, model train geeks only!) and not much more. By the time we reach Chalfont St Giles, and Milton's cottage, refreshments are badly needed. We stop off briefly for a ice cream. The return takes us by way of The River Misbourne, Jordans and Sear Green. At Sear Green we join Longbottom Lane back to Beaconsfield.