A walk from Wendover Woods via Buckland Common. Chiltern woods, bluebells and an opportunity to reflect. "You know that feeling when you mind goes blank as you walk...?" My question seems to cut in on whatever Sue was thinking...she's there too! Sometimes it's great to get out on the hills, forget the week, observe nature and let your mind just free-wheel. It's been a busy week, we've a lot to talk about between periods of quiet and this is a perfect place to do it.
A walk that takes in two of the great panoramic views from the Chilterns, both also just a short walk from local car parks. It turns out that the principle of delayed gratification is over-rated! There are two great views on this walk. One from Coombe Hill and one from Whiteleaf Hill. We had a long walk planned and the weather was supposed to get better by mid-day. I intended to keep the views for the second half of the walk. Of course, doing this means the climbs are left to the end...
Back to Tring. We seem to have walked around here a lot...1, 2, 3...but this walk joins up sections of these walks with stretches we've not walked. Parking in Wigginton, we drop down from the Ridgeway into Tring Park and stumble into the Saturday morning park run...all very well organized with marshals in fluorescent jackets and routes pegged out with plastic flags. Our walk will be an altogether less well-planned affair!
A Chilterns highlight-the Spring bluebells at Dockey Wood, Ashridge Estate. We got up early Sunday morning to catch the sun rise and the bluebells before church...and frankly, it was worth the effort! As we arrive at Dockey Wood it's clear we're not the only people with this idea, the car park by the Wood is almost full and it's 7-30am.
There really is not much to say about this walk. No real views. The walking is easy and without stiles and the weather surprisingly cold compared to only a few days earlier. We're back by 1-30pm, opting to eat at home rather than at the Cafe in the Woods, which looked horribly overcrowded.
It's a special feeling knowing that you're enjoying yourself while everyone else has to work. I imagine this is what it feels like to be retired! The footpaths are quiet and there are times when birdsong is all we can hear, including the mewing of Red Kites. The good weather has them out in numbers, wheeling and swooping over the Ridgeway.
If yesterday was warm, today is hot! We've done this walk before and the aim is to end up at the Shoulder of Mutton pub for a late lunch and much needed refreshment. We descend from the Ridgeway, virtually onto the front lawn at Chequers and into what appears to be a Saga holiday outing...
I read blogs written by other walkers and our adventures are all together more prosaic. Perhaps I should invent a few stories of 'daring-do in the Chilterns'...but really, the charm of these woods and lanes is that nothing much has happened here for decades. I'll not be contributing any stories themed on UNTAMED, ON THE EDGE or ADRENALIN.
This is not a strenuous walk and as the distance is short it leaves plenty of time for taking pictures and chatting. We only meet runners and dog walkers and the early morning around here is peaceful. Were it not for the occasional background drone of a plane, circling before landing at Heathrow, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in a different century.
We head out to the Forest. This is the weather we've been waiting for; bright blue skies and a warm breeze. We park just outside Lyndhurst, close to the The Oak Inn and walk south towards Brockenhurst. The paths are busy, well for the first part of our walk. Things thin out on the return as we take a more 'off piste' route.