Reports from Recent Rambles
1 OCTOBER 2017 - HETHE
John's walk in and around Hethe, through fields to Cottisford where there was an opportunity to visit the church of St Mary, featured in Flora Thompson's Lark Rise to Candleford stories, returning to Hethe via Widmill Hook.
23 SEPTEMBER 2017 - NORTH MARSTON
16 walkers joined Susan on this 5 mile circular rural ramble. This was a pleasant, quiet, rural walk though open farmland on field tracks and bridleways passing Hideway and Buttermilk Farms towards Christmas Gorse, where we took our break. We returned across fields passing Marstonfields Farm and back into the village.
20 SEPTEMER 2017- COLLEGE LAKE
Mick and julie led a group of six members on a walk around College Lake. The weather was kind as the sun came out to make a pleasant morning. We saw many birds, and wild flowers in the herb garden. At the location called the Bus Stop we observed an edibile dormouse (Glis Glis) which was a first for some. The morning ended with a cup of coffe and cake in the cafe.
16 SEPTEMBER 2017 - WILSTONE BLACK POPLAR TRAIL
Bill led a group of 13 members on a winding walk beside streams and across fields to look at the many black poplars in that area. These trees are in declining numbers, and Aylesbury Vale contains most of those left in the country. Many are very old and losing branches but we did see some new plantings. This 5 mile walk was well waymarked and easy to follow. An interesting walk.
10 SEPTEMBER 2017 - BRILL TOWARDS DORTON
Peter greeted 14 members on a breezy and overcast day for a walk to the west of the village, postponed from Saturday due to the cycling tour of Britain passing through the village. As soon as we left Brill extensive views northwards of Quainton and Waddesdon hills and the woodlands in the Vale. A gentle decline through grass fields got us to Spa Farm, where the Chalobyte spring once was the site of Spa which could not rival Bath! We passed an ash tree looking like a stag, before crossing a large pasture with a herd of resting cows and calves with a large bull. Some of us were soon picking some fine blackberries before entering a long winding spinney to emerge into watery sunshine and find more blackberries! We soon had to force our way through a jungle of fat-hen overgrowing a grass field, which all survived to be presented with a climb gaining 200ft to Chiltonpark Farm where we rested to look south and west to Stokenchurch, the Ridgeway and Cotswolds. Brill soon came into view as we passed more quiet cattle then a maize field, to complete this varied 4 mile walk before the threatened rain arrived.
2 SEPTEMBER 2017 - PICNIC IN THE GARDEN
Courtesy of Peter and Valerie, members enjoyed a social afternoon with their picnics. The sun shone and we all had a relaxing time. There was also a quiz featuring local landmarks which Peter had put together for us to get our heads around.
26 AUGUST 2017 - MAIDS MORETON
Christine led a walk from Maids Moreton across fields to Akeley.
19 AUGUST 2017 - CUDDINGTON
Trevor's walk from Cuddington to Nether and Upper Winchendon and return.
5 AUGUST 2017 - NORTH MARSTON TO QUAINTON
14 of us gathered in sunshine for a circular 5.5 mile walk to Quainton following the OAR and returning on part of Matthews Way. As we crossed the first pasture we were met by a group of many coloured cattle that took a quiet interest in us. As we approached the bottom of Quainton Hill a darkening sky rapidly overcame us and the rain fell in varying intensity all the way to Quainton village, though Waddesdon Hill and the wireless mast at Stokenchurch were visible in the distance.
A group of smartly clad people were arriving for a wedding complete with umbrellas as we sheltered with coffee at the cafe in the village and thunder echoed in the air. As the rain eased and some blue sky appeared we set off past sheep shaking the rain from their backs, and up the sharp incline past Denham farm. With the hilltop reached, easier going on grassland and the warm sun drying our coats we had a pleasant stroll back to North Marston.
29 JULY 2017 - ADSTOCK
Robert's walk from Adstock, walking to Addington and Great Horwood.
9 JULY 2017 - BRILL
A walk led by John from Brill to Boarstall via Touchbridge partly along the Bernwood Jubilee Way. We passed close to Boarstall Tower and Duck decoy, and returned to Brill via Boarstall Wood.
1 JULY 2017 - BOW BRICKHILL
Bill led this walk from Bow Brickhill through woodland on the Woburn Estate.
25 JUNE 2017 - SWANBOURNE WITH THE LONDON BLIND WALKING GROUP
18 JUNE 2017 - CHEARSLEY-LONG CRENDON
4 ramblers joined Susan on this Chearsley-Long Crendon circular walk. The very hot weather, combined with those who were involved in Father's Day celebrations probably contributed to our low number. However, we had an enjoyable walk and we took advantage of the shaded walks through wooded areas and by the River Thame.
We started out at The Green, Chearsley, making our way to Long Crendon via field paths with some lovely views. In Long Crendon we stopped for refreshment at the area outside the Court House, which was the first property to be obtained by the National Trust in 1900. Dating from the early 15th century the building was originally connected with the medieval cloth trade, and up to the Victorian period was used to hold manorial courts. We passed by the site of Notley Abbey founded in 1162 by Augustinian monks reputedly one of the richest monasteries in the country.
10 JUNE 2017 - BROUGHTON
Mick led a group of walkers on a bright sunny morning. We met in College Road North just off the A41 dual carriageway from Aylesbury. Our walk took us on bridleways and field paths to Broughton, along the towpath and passing the rare Breeds Farm.
20 MAY 2017 - ANNUAL OUTING STRATFORD-UPON-AVON
53 ramblers boarded the coach at Elmfield Gate car park, Winslow at 8.30 am on 20th May 2017.
We stopped at Stratford Manor Hotel, just outside Stratford Upon Avon, for tea, coffee, and cookies. Some even had hot chocolate. The cookies were delicious, freshly baked by the Chef. This set us up for the walking to come. At the hotel there was a classic car rally with some very interesting old cars.
The first walk started at 10.30 am from the coach park and was a circular walk of approximately 4 miles exploring a section of the River Avon on the southern outskirts of Stratford. We crossed the Tramway pedestrian bridge to the south bank of the river walking through the gardens with the beautiful willow trees. Following the recent rain the river was in full flow and the weirs were quite spectacular. We crossed back over to the north bank to continue the walk on the river bank path. We met up with the ‘Greenway’ railway walk at Stannell’s Bridge an old iron railway bridge, where we had our ‘apple stop’ From there we walked along the ‘Greenway’ towards Stratford. The race course was on our left. We arrived back at the Bancroft Gardens in Stratford at about 12.45 pm after passing Holy Trinity Church where William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway are buried and walking through Avonbank Gardens, seeing Vivienne Leigh’s memorial and The Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
Now was the time for lunch, many had a packed lunch but quite a few went to the Black Swan (Dirty Duck) for a cooked meal!
The afternoon walk started at 2.00 pm and was more of a stroll around the sights of Stratford passing New Place Gardens, Guild Chapel, Town Hall, Harvard House (the home of Mary Harvard, mother of John, who founded Harvard University), Shakespeare’ birthplace, American Fountain (where there was a street market), The Grammar School and Almshouses, Hall’s Croft (where Shakespeare’s sister lived). The old buildings such as the Shakespeare Hotel, Grammar School and Almshouses are very attractive timber framed buildings. We eventually arrived at Holy Trinity Church where we stopped for 30 minutes to allow everyone to visit the Church and the graves of William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway. The Church bells were being rung and the sun was out, a very pleasant experience. Afterwards, we walked around the church for a view over the River Avon. We then proceeded through the RSC gardens, passing the Brass Rubbing Centre, chain ferry and the RSC arriving at Bancroft Gardens at the completion of the walk. Bancroft Gardens are adjacent to the Canal Basin and Marina with an assortment of boats and narrow boats.
There was then 90 minutes of free time for afternoon tea or shopping before getting back on the coach at 5.00pm.
13 MAY 2017 - BEACHAMPTON
In Watery Lane we met the friendly pig (photo). Heading south-east past the field of solar panels we reached School Furze wood where we stopped by its large pond and admired the bluebells. Passing farm buildings and walking along farm concreted tracks we reached Grove Farm and then headed north across the field and through the spinney (photo) to reach the MK Boundary Walk. This is within the city limits but still undeveloped open farmland. We had another stop by a modern barn and then walked a mile on the MKBW with good views to Hanslope, the old A5 road and Calverton. Turning left on the bridleway and then half-left on a footpath we passed Hill Farm with its prominent wind turbine, then by direct paths back to the village's Main Street. 5.75 miles, 3 hours, 11 walkers, good weather, good conditions as footpaths had been restored through cereal crops.
29 APRIL 2017 - SHENLEY WOOD, MILTON KEYNES
Diana's walk through Shenley Wood - 26 walkers
22 APRIL 2017 - NORTH MARSTON
There were 19 walkers on Susan's walk which she led from North Marston. The walk took us around the field paths surrounding the village to Oving, where we stopped for our break, and then onwards back to the village via Pulpit Lane, passing Hideaway Farm. We visited John Schorne's well where, to the amusement of the assembled walkers, the devil was coaxed out of the boot by Susan who manned the pump. We then continued on field paths arriving back at our start point at the former Wheatsheaf public house.
18 APRIL 2017 - TINGEWICK
12 APRIL 2017 - FINEMERE WOOD, NR QUAINTON
A walk exploring the paths of this 76 hectare BBOWT nature reserve, described as a magnificent woodland, home to birds, bats and butterflies.
9 APRIL 2017 - EAST CLAYDON
Ramble from East Claydon village across the fields to Botolph Claydon.
1 APRIL 2017 - MARSH GIBBON
Edwin led 17 walkers on his ramble from Marsh Gibbon to Poundon via pasture and arable fields, returning via bridleway and pasture. The threatened rain held off, and it was a bright and sunny walk.
25 March 2017 - HARDWICK
15 walkers joined Bill on his six and a half mile walk from Hardwick which took us through pasture and arable land, partly on the Outer Aylesbury Ring, into Oving and around Whitchurch castle.
18 March 2017 - WOLVERTON MILL
There were 16 walkers on Don's walk from Wolverton Mill whch took us beside the river to Stony Stratford, along the canal to Cosgrove, returning to our starting point via the canal and riverside paths.
11 March 2017 - Quainton
From the village centre we headed north-west past gardens and through pastures under Grange Hill, which has an unusual sand-dune shape. Crossing a large arable field with larks singing, we then followed a disused railway line heading north and then went about 200 yards along the road to Hill Cottage Farm, Hogshaw. We passed along the banks of its fishing lakes and headed east past friendly cattle up the steep side of Quainton Hill on a "permissive" footpath. By the time we reached the brow of the hill some walkers were a bit "puffed"! We turned south along the ridge and rested for ten minutes at the summit by the tall metal mast. On a clear day you can see Stowe, Silverstone, Buckingham, MK and (with binoculars) Didcot power station, but this was not a clear day! Descent was by the bridleway south past Denham hamlet, reaching the road in Quainton village opposite the Old School House which has a green metal spiral wind vane in the garden. We saw old almshouses near the church. For once, no-one complained to me that my ramble was longer than was indicated in the programme! 4.25 miles, 12 walkers, 2 hours 10 minutes.
4 March 2017 - Stewkley
On a sunny morning 19 members came for Peters walk, our arrival muddled up with children coming for their football! We were promised wet ground and mud in places, the first bit being the farmyard as we left Fishweir Lane where the ground was deeply rutted beside the bale stack. Pasture fields followed with a little pond in a spinney, as we followed the route of an old droving road before we joined Stewkley Dean Lane. An awkward stile led into a large grass field with wide views across to Swanbourne and Mursley Water Tower. As we strolled up the next headland, skylarks could be heard. We had a short break in the sun sheltered beside Blacklands Covert, before joining a track and field paths, passing North Farm on a route of an old Roman road leading back to Stewkley, which included a VERY muddy arable field before grassland with a large fallen willow tree, crossing a stream and taking a hard track back to the cars. 4.5 miles but felt a bit longer due to the slithering!
25 February 2017 - Emberton Park
On a grey and blustery day Peter was pleased to welcome 13 members to this 4.5 mile walk. The route took us around the lakes with people exercising themselves and dogs. We met a young lady jogging with her pushchair 3 times, presumably doing circuits. We only saw a couple of ducks on the lakes, but when we left the park there were about a dozen swans grazing on the rape field. Evidence of recent gales was the fallen poplar beside the Great Ouse. There was good view west to Stoke Goldington and the river below us as we walked the bridleway to Filgrave. We took a break here by the clock tower erected to mark the coronation of Queen George VI & Queen Elizabeth and old school buildings both with inscriptions recording that they had been funded by the Gordon Konic and his wife & brother a family who once owned Tyringham Hall. A local gentleman told us he had come to the village as a child over 50 years ago when his father came from Manchester to help build a pool at the hall. We continued across fields and a short road section to join another bridleway, passing the humps showing the remains of a former medieval village which wound its way alongside a stream to Emberton village and the Park. Here Peter and Valerie invited us to join them for coffee to mark their birthdays – very welcome - and when we left it was raining!
15 February 2017 - Simpson
Jill & Geoff led 12 walkers and 3 dogs on their 3 mile Wednesday morning walk. The weather was dry and the sun came out about half way round. We walked to the Open University alongside the river Ouzel and then on to Walton Lake attempting to spot some of the wildlife that occupy the lake.We carried on through Woughton Park to the Grand Union canal. We stopped for our break at the back of the Plough Inn in Simpson on the bank of the canal. Unfortunately, the inn was closed, but there was moored up a barge that sold fuel to narrow boat owners that contained wood, coal and diesel to keep the boats moving. We then walked to Caldecocotte Lake . Returning back to the car park on the footpath alongside the river Ouzel.
4 February 2017 - Chackmore
On a bright sunny morning Peter led us from Chackmore on field paths and drives around the Stowe Estate for this 5 mile ramble.