Reports from Recent Rambles
Saturday 19th May Steeple Claydon
On a glorious Saturday morning, when most people were watching TV witnessing a Royal Wedding. 16 Winslow Ramblers chose to make the most of a near perfect day and met for a walk at Steeple Claydon. Starting at the church, we set off across fields in the direction of Claydon House. We were delighted to hear a cuckoo and woodpecker close by and stopped to enjoy this now rarely heard call. A brief stop for a water break was taken in the grounds of Claydon House, where we took in the lovely views towards the fishing lakes. We retraced our route to return to Steeple Claydon Church, as pipe laying works were being carried out on the originally planned route. An excellent start to the day, and still time left to catch up with the Royal Wedding later.
Saturday 5th May Mentmore
On a bright warm sunny morning we gathered on the green at Mentmore the sky clear and blue and yes the sun was shining. Trevor gave us a quick history of the area and the local familes of note. We then headed across fields towards Ledbury with the sun on our backs. After a short road section we crossed the main railway line taking time for a drink and remove some excess clothing. At Church Lock on the Grand Union Canal we stopped by the church, that was once the smallest in Buckingham, here we took our apple stop. It was then along the canal which was busy with walkers and cyclist but no boats. We then crossed the busy road and stopped at the bridge were the Great Train Robbery took place in 1966. Onwards then back to Mentore with a gradual climb up the hill which was hard work in the now growing heat. We were rewarded with good views of the valley on either side of us.
Saturday 28th April Woughton
On a damp and overcast afternoon 5 members gathered to walk part of the Ouzel Valley. Starting at Woughton On The Green car park we soon passed ancient fish ponds at Woolstone with the church in the back ground. Then on to Willen lake where we saw families using the Treetop Extreme course, too adventurous for our party. We then passed the Peace Pagoda and Labyrinth before joining the Grand union canal. On our return, a visit to the tree Cathedral proved very interesting. A walk with lots to see and many points of interest.
Sunday 22nd April Padbury
Starting from Padbury we walked past Norbury, an ancient fortified camp near Padbury Mill, then along the Padbury Brook from Oxlane Bridge. Following flooding the water was murky so only one minnow was seen. We passed near the spot where the Claydon Brook from the Winslow direction meets the Twyford Brook from the west. At Kingsbridge, where it's believed five people were killed in the civil war, we took a ten minute stop before continuing on the tarmac lane and then across fields to the White Bridge and along the road. Near Padbury Hill Farm we crossed the line where the old Verney Junction to Buckingham railway ran until the mid 1960's. On the west side of Padbury we walked through Windmill Piece, a Millennium Wood managed by the Woodland Trust. It seems a good site for a summer picnic! Four and a half miles twelve walkers and good weather.
Saturday 14th April Stoke Goldington
On a bright warm sunny morning 7 members joined Don on a walk around the Stoke Goldington area. We climbed out of the village to over look the valley in the sunshine. We had a good view of the surrounding area. Passing through Stokepark Wood we took a break for a drink and watch the birds building a nest, the warm weather having a effect on us all. On our return journey we encountered a couple off lost walkers who we were able to lead back to the village via the church.
Wednesday 11 April Winslow to Addington
On a damp cold misty morning 10 members took part in a mid week walk. Passing Glebe Farm we encountered a very frisky pony in the first field. Over sodden fields we trudged later passing under the old railway bridge to join a lane. We were able to see the deer herd clearly through the trees before arriving at Addington Church. Here we took a break and celebrated Bills birthday with chocolates all round ( Thanks Bill ). Some members explored the church and its history. The return trip was via the Cross Bucks Way crossing muddy stiles and seeing many new born lambs. In Winslow we briefly looked at the new build at Winslow Grange before returning to the start point.
Sunday 8th April Wing
Nine members and two guest joined Jacqui on yet another damp and over cast afternoon for a walk around Wing. With all in good spirits we headed past the allotments to the site of the original Ascott House and grounds. Then to the Wing Church a very early example built in the Norman style. We then went to a newly opened community wood next to a new housing estate. Returning through Burcott to the car park. A very interesting afternoon walk showing members the old and new areas of Wing.
Saturday 31 March Quainton
Torrential rain over the last few days meant that Peter decided to shorten this to an " out and back" walk over the first part of that intended, passing Grange Hill with the 7 intrepid walkers who had gathered. The pasture fields were waterlogged in places. There were some very interesting methods of getting over stiles and through kissing gates where they were surrounded by puddles involving upturned buckets and bricks. Luckily nobody had a camera so there are no embarrassing records! We heard skylarks up in the gloom saw some spring flowers in gardens and finished the walk before the rain came.
Sunday 25 March Bourton Park, Buckingham
Eleven members of Winslow and District Ramblers Group headed for the towpath on Sunday morning. Of course, the leader had forgotten when she put her name down for the walk that it was the morning after we changed the clocks so we saluted those who had risen so early to join us. The first section of this Ouse Valley Walk (OVW) was alongside the only part of the old canal which has been rewatered during restoration. After that we followed the OVW across fields roughly parallel to the Great Ouse and entered the woods and passed the Hyde Lane Reservoir lakes. The OVW goes on towards Leckhampstead Wharf and Thornton. It had been partially blocked by fallen trees but one of the members had spent part of the previous day cutting these back so the route was relatively easy. We turned round after 2.5 miles and our apple stop was taken by the Hyde Lane Lock ( the only restored lock ) where benches were available. We were so lucky as it was the first warm day of spring which raised everyones spirits after the long cold winter.
Saturday17 March Whaddon
12 intrepid walkers set out from Whaddon in a bitterly-cold, gale-force wind and falling snow. We started along a stretch of minor road, then made our way around the edge of some fields to avoid very waterlogged ground, on to a strech of concrete road. which for once provided some light relief underfoot. We then joined the MK Boundary Walk and made a detour to avoid a treacherous hill and stile, and made our way along the North Bucks Way. We turned off across sodden grassland, unfortunately disturbing sheep with their newborn lambs who were trying to shelter from the wind, then return to Whaddon.
Saturday 10 March Stowe Deer Park
19 Members and 2 guest gathered at the Corinthian Arch, Stowe on a mild and cloudy afternoon for a 4.5 mile walk. Starting down the bridleway west of the gardens we met a rider on a smart piebald pony then passed the mere with 2 very photogenic swans drifting around, before meeting the main drive past Stowe School with its new developments. We continued past Home Farm and the wall marking the edge of former gardens, now overgrown. After a short break by Haymanger pond we made a steady ascent to the Wolf Obelisk, with a view of Silverstone Circuit beyond the trees. The Bourbon Tower was another interesting feature, before we passed a ditch full of snow. There was a mass of snowdrops among the trees and the Farey tree, an ancient sycamore with various tales of magic associated with it. Our leader Peter gave us the brief history of the various features as we passed and we almost managed to complete the walk before a heavy shower arrived. After the recent weather we counted this a success.
Wednesday 7 March Ouse Valley Park
Jill and Geoff Clements led 8 ramblers on The Ouse Valley Park walk. The weather was good and sunny, which was a wecolme change after the recent snow. The walk was on hard paths and were relatively dry. We walked around a lake that is part of the Stony Stratford Nature Reserve, then alongside the river Great Ouse until it joined the Grand Union Canal. After ducking our heads to get through the tunnel under the canal we went up the steps to join the towpath which we followed in sunshine to Old Wolverton, from there to the old parish church. Here we had our apple stop. Then we returned via the Great Ouse river bank passing Wolverton Mill and back to the car park.
Saturday 24th February Three Locks To Great Brickhill
On a bright sunny morning eight members joined Mick and Julie for 6 mile walk around Great Brickhill and Rushmere Park. We headed along the Grand Union Canal for a mile before crossing the canal and climbing to Great Brickhill. Here we took a break to gather our breath and take in the history of the area. Then a stroll through Rushmere Woods to take another brief stop near the cafe. It was then all down hill through the woods to rejoin the canal for the final mile back to the vehicles. A very pleasant walk in early spring sunshine.
Saturday 17 February 2018 Loughton Lodge
Twelve members made the most of blue sky and sunshine for a walk around Lodge Lake and the Teardrop Lakes; the swans and herons were also enjoying the better weather, and swathes of snowdrops added to the springtime feel.
A deliberate stretch alongside the A5 near Milton Keynes railway station reminded us just how it is possible to move between very different environments within minutes in Milton Keynes. Christine.
3rd February 2018 Stoke Bruerne
9 members joined Mark and Jill Alger to lead their first walk with the Winslow Ramblers. With the weather doing its best to put the dampers on the event, we headed along the towpath towards Grafton Regis. A visit to St Marys the Virgin Church with snow drops and aconites giving a good display. We also found out that this is where King Henry IV married Elizabeth Woodville in secret. This the subject of BBC's The White Princess which was on TV very recently. Due to the adverse weather we then headed back along the canal to Stoke Bruerne. A stop in The Navigation Inn where a warm drink and something to eat was most welcome, before we headed off to our cars.
27th January 2018 Cheddington
Peter led a group of 8 members, well wrapped up against the cold wind, from the village hall down the interesting High Street, then under a high railway arch to join the Grand Union canal towpath near a swing bridge for farm traffic. This was followed northwards past various locks and houses to Horton Lock. We appreciated the hedges sheltering us from the wind. Many barges were moored up, but none moving. Even the ducks seemed recluctant to go swimming. We left the canal to go through an old orchard cross several wet and muddy fields, disturbing a roe deer in a ditch which we watched as it bounded away, before going under the railway again to return to Cheddington with views of Mentmore Towers. We were cheered by many snowdrops and aconites in the well kept churchyard before reaching our cars as the rain started to fall.