Local walk – Hughenden Manor to Prince’s Risborough

I had a lie in after my late night at the Buckland Church film night. A monthly event where a film is screened a and supper servered during an interval. Last night’s film was Les Femmes did Sixieme Etage, a French film set early sixties about Spanish maids working for Parisian households. The following on was quite good and a bit of a comedy. They also serve drinks and I had a couple of beers during the film, it is an unusual thing to be doing in a church watching a film and drinking. The only down side was the pews are not very comfortable.

Anyway I digress, I wax my up early so I opted for a local walk, and after some poring over mas I decided to get a bus from Princes Risborough to Hughenden and then find a route back via Speen. I would pass some of the places from my walk the Sunday before. I parked up and walked into the town centre, luckily for me the bus was running late.

I was soon at the Hughenden stop but it had started to rain and being a cold day I did not fancy getting wet and cold. Luckily it was a short walk to the National Trust cafe where a lingered over a coffee, waiting for the rain to stop. The BBC weather app suggested it would pass over between 12:00 and 13:00, I had my fingers crossed. I noticed out of a window that the corner of a table umbrella was dripping quite fast so I timed 50 drips to estimate the rain fall rate, a second count of 50 drips a while later took twice as long so I decided that it was safe enough to venture out again.

I was on familiar ground for a while then turned off the path from the week before to follow a good path with little mud for a couple of miles, before reaching Walters Ash which is where RAF High Wycombe is located, I paused at the entrance to the officers mess which prompted the guard to come out of his hut. Electronics c signs were advertising events happening and how to web surf safely at Christmas.

I crossed the road and was soon back to foot paths, as I left the vilkage the path boatdered a school playing field all that was left of the snow were large snowballs and melting snowmen.

My next stop was Speen where I had vaguely planned but the King William IV was shut so I settled for a packet of crisps and a Chelsea bun from the village shop which was just about to close for the day, but not before the kind lady told me the the story about the now closed pub. I had lunchand in a bus shelter, as it had the only dry seat I could find, however the day was finally getting brighter.

The final few miles were familiar to me from previous walks and eventually I got to the Whiteleaf car park above Prince’s Risborough. I followed a footpath which ran parallel to Kop Hill famous for its hill climb. I was tired by that point probably because of the cold weather, so did not linger too long BT did get a reasonable shot of the sunset.

I picked up a couple of 2.7℅ beers from Mark’s and Spencer when changed I have found to be very flavoursome.

Cadsden, Whiteleaf circular walk

Great Kimble Circular Walk

Sunday morning the weather is overcast but bright so there was a cube of sunny spells. I consulted http://maps.bing.com as it is in my view the best place to look at OS maps and plan walks. I have not been over Whiteleaf direction for some time so I took a screen shot and emailed it to my phone for reference during the walk.

I had a vague plan for the walk but like to play it by ear as I go along depending on how I feel and the weather. I did know where I would start from just past the Bernard Arms (now closed) heading towards Princes Risborough there is a small lay by or parking area enough for a few cars.

From the parking area I followed the signs to the left of the thatched cottage up the track, which is up hill but allows you to warm up as you grind out your steps. At the top of the hill the is a great view looking back over the vale of Aylesbury towards Waddesdon manor. In the area around the top there is a hill fort if you take the time to find it. Strangely there is also a load of Leylandi which clearly are not natural, makes you wonder how and why they are there.

View around Pulpit Hill , Whiteleaf Buckinghamshire

I walk down the other side in search of a bridle path that I had used sometimes when I did a lot of mountain biking. Once found I followed the path to near the car park for Whiteleaf cross, which is where you pick up a foot path that heads back down hill and into Lower Cadsden where there is a pub/restaurant which I may try one day. Today however I had to walk on by up the hill out of the other side of the valley. Eventually I came to an open area of scrub land where you can sometimes see birds such are twite and bull finch.

Out of the other side of the scrub area you pick up a track that runs parallel to the one that you started out on. You will pass a stable before you get to the bottom where you hit the road that leads to Princes Risborough. Cross the road and head down the drive to a house which you pass and then the path bends round back to the road opposite where I parked my car. A great walk.

A circular woodland walk around Cholesbury-cum-St Leonards CP

Cholesbury St Leonards Walk Map

I received a text from an old friend who was worried that I had fallen off the face of the earth, because he had not seen any updated on my blog. To remedy the situation I promise I will make extra effort to update more often. My excuse is that I am pretty busy at work in my new role at work, but I quite enjoy doing the updates so will make the time to keep people up to date so here the the first of many more.

On Saturday Helen and I had a long arranged agreement to go for a walk with A&C in the hope of a fungal foray, I thought it was a bit late to be looking for mushrooms, but I will take any excuse to go for a walk in the woods with good friends. A&C are also birds watchers so nature would be on the agenda either way. I thought I would try something new and document the walk for others to enjoy.

A&C picked us up just after 10am much to Helen’s annoyance as she had slept in and was a bit short on time, but we were soon on our way. The walk starts up in the hills near St Leonards. Drive up the hills via the forestry commission Wendover wood entrance, past the golf club then follow the road. Once past the caravan park you will come to a bend in the road at St Leonards church their is a turning on the right onto a road called Gilbert’s Hill. We parked up on the verge of the road at the bottom called Bottom Road.

Cholesbury Fort, Buckinghamshire

The walk is circular and this would be third week running that I have done it. I first chose it by looking on a map and trying to find a shortish walk which took in a good amount of woodland and was pretty local. It turned out to be a nice fairly flat walk, which I shared with Helen the week after, and when we were deciding where to walk with A&C it seemed like a good choice, as there were mushrooms and birds to spot.

Take the path that leads in to the woods north and follow the path just in the woods next to the open field, until you get to a cross roads take the path right past the bug hole. The bushes on the edge of the woods are a good place to look for birds we saw Redwing, Coal Tit, and Gold Crest. See label (1) on the map you know you are in the right place if you can see manhole covers for a pump station. Follow the footpath towards the house in the distance, the footpath passes through the barn yard of the farm buildings. A pony was making a lot of noise try to catch our attention.

Along the track from the farm there is another food path that joins it with a plaque on the gate remembering a “knowledgeable man”, label (3), there is some scrub-land here it is worth taking the time to scan the vegetation, as if you are lucky you will see the bright Yellow Hammers that seem to hang around this spot, the first time I did the walk I also got a male Bullfinch, which is always brings joy. In the distance we saw a Red Kite perched in a tree and we were surprised at how bright and light the bird was.

Buckland Woods, St Leonards, Cholesbury, Buckinghamshire

Follow the path to the row of terraces on Little Twye Road, cross the fields (3) good place for flocks of Yellowhammer, then keep going till you get to a modern house and take the footpath down the side of the fence, and just keep on going straight till you get to an open filed with a couple of houses in the corner near the road that leads to Cholesbury. At the road turn left and after about 50 yards there is a path that leads to Cholesbury church and it’s grand wooden gates. Take the path that leads around the Cholesbury camp hill fort (4), then when you come to the footpath junction take the left turn away from the fort and across a couple of horse paddocks, it can get muddy here.

At the entrance to the woods keep on the path that goes through the woods (5) look out for the fairy and pixies that someone has arranged in various places as you walk through. Keep on the path and keep your eyes out for Tit flocks and if you are lucky the odd Treecreeper (6). If you get a a road then you have missed the turning that almost takes you back on yourself. Head towards (7) and keep your eyes out for mushrooms in the leaf litter until you get back to the place where you parked up. It took us 2 hours but we were doing bird miles, it could easily be done in less that and hour and a half.

When we finished the walk it was about lunch time and after trying a pub that was shut nearby we settled for the Old Swan at Swan Bottom (Steve will know it well), the food was great and the staff very accommodating and friendly. I had Fish and Chips, Helen cheese sandwich and chips, and A&C both had Chicken Pie, as a starter we shared deep fried sweet potato and salsify with a water cress aioli.

A very enjoyable walk with great company, and thanks to Steve for inspiring me to keep up the blog posts.

The bells the bells

The Bells The Bells

With the weather not at its best I started the day off tinkering with my computer. I had taken delivery of a current cost electricity monitor which is capable of sending the readings down its serial port using a specialist cable that converts the serial signal to USB.
The monitor in question is the CC128 which believe was given out by EON to its customers a few years back. I eventually got it working with the help of Google and my basic scripting skills.

After some lunch I made Helen a sandwich and headed down to the village church to deliver a marmite sandwich to Helen who was manning (or is that womanning) the bric a brac stall.

The pulling room

I had a quick look around then headed home to catch the Tour de France on ITV4. Helen then phoned to let me know that they were doing trips up the church tower, Le Tour would have to wait I have lived in the village for quite some years but never been up the church tower. I grabbed my camera bag and quickly cycled round.
When I got there I was slightly disappointed to find that it was only as far as the bells that was open, and that my hope of pictures from the top of the tower PhD the village was not going to be,I was however going to make the most of the opportunity to have a go at going one of the church bells.

The steps/ladder up was a bit of a challenge especially with a rucksack on my back. The first and longest ladder leads to the room where the actual pulling off ropes happen to make the bells ring.the next shorter ladder leads to another room which is empty apart from from the bell ropes running from floor to ceiling. The final and even smaller ladder lead to the bells themselves.

I had think there was a total of 8 bells each attached to a large wheel made of wood.the guide explained how they were makeof mahogany rather than the traditional wood. Then we were treated to the deafening sound of a bell being rang at close quarters, very loud! I quickly grabbed some photos and headed back down the ladder to have a go at bell ringing.

A different angle

A patient gentleman explained how it all worked then pulled the Sally while it took care of the easy end of the rope, I guess that that they only let you go solo after a few lessons. It didn’t seem that difficult, but then I was not having to synchronise with seven other bell ringers. After that a had a chat with some of the other ringers and they showed me the computer program they used to show them the right bells to ring when and also stopped the scripts for them to follow. The bells had magnetic sensors to help them get their timing correct.

Back down to earth I hung around for the raffle draw, then headed home. We had fish and chips for tea and went to bed early I was off to London in the morning early to have a go on the dangleway, and take a look round a Royal Navy boat parked up on the Thames.