Autumn walk through the beech woods around Cholesbury Buckinghamshire

We were supposed to be going round A&C’s for a look at their new extension then on for a walk, but C, the Olympic torch bearer, was feeling a bit under the weather so Helen and I decided the weather looked so nice that we should go for a walk anyway.

We decided that we would walk from Cholesbury cricket ground, and keep as much as possible to the surrounding beech woods, as it was mushroom season and there should be plenty to photo. The sun was shining and it was ideal autumn weather. We walked towards the village hall then took the foot path that runs along side it. We passed the church on our left and entered a small section of woods, by crossing the site then following the footpath NW, we then came to an opening where there are usually some horses. We kept to the footpath and enter Buckland Wood, where the footpath seems to peter out but if you keep in the NW direction you eventually hit a T junction with a bridleway where we turned right.

The bridleway lead us to a rural road where we turned right and followed the road for about 400 metres. There were not many mushrooms about, we theorised that the conditions were perhaps not quite right, perhaps it was too warm. There was the odd clump about but not the usual abundance. We soon turned off and followed a path though a small wood then across a field with a crop in it. The small wood had lots of holly in it which had more than the usual amount of berries on it, the birds are in for a treat this winter.

Eventually we hit the track, called Shire Lane, that leads to Hastoe but we turned right away from Hastoe but back to Cholesbury. The lane is a great one to cycle down from the Hastoe end because it is just slightly down hill all the way and you can keep a fair lick going. At the end of the lane we hit the road again which we followed back to Cholesbury cricket ground, just round the bend and after a dip in the road, you can get off the road and go via the woods adjacent to it.

We both agreed that it was a nice short walk, 4.5 miles and took us 1 hour and 40 minutes. There was not many birds about, probably because it was around the middle of the day, traditionally very quiet.

Tring and back

Wild raspberries

Nice sunny day with fluffy clouds about 21 degree, perfect for a walk. We got the number 500 bus to tring at about 11:00 and Helen allowed me to sit on the top deck, as a treat. At the bus stop I tried out the bus service computer which shows how long to the next bus and where it is going, as well as other interesting information.

We got oFf the bus at the Rose and Crown hotel then headed up Akeman Street past the Natural history museum, and out into the country side. As we went under the bridge over the A41 we noticed lots of small snails on the painted/varnished walls. They all without exception had shells with the most recent growth was clean and light in colour. I guess that the shell colour must reflect their diet, and I have a theory that as the graze on the greenish algal film growing on the wall, or the wall itself, presumably the amount of the shell growth would reflect the time that the snails had been living on the wall.

Next came a hard slog up the hill and onto the Ridgeway, it made a change to be in Beech woods after the last two weeks walking on cliff paths. We also noticed that the lack of a strong wind meant that holding a conversation at more that a few yards distance was possible.

The house at The Crong

The views over Dancersend were lovely and we passed by the fantastic house at The Crong, before heading towards the Cafe in the woods, in Wendover woods. We had some lunch brie panini for me and marmite on toast for Helen, the we headed down for a coffee at Hillside.

On the path just above the forestry offices we came across some wild raspberries, we ate a few. We could have picked some but we did not have a container to put them in and to pick enough for a Pavalova would have taken some time as the berries were quite small. Hillside was a welcome stop off for coffee, walnut cake, and the women’s Wimbledon final!

Suitably refreshed we headed home, then we were off out to celebrate Lizzies birthday at Malebon.