Sunday, May 21, 2023

Saturday 13th May Chicheley walk led by Lynn


Three ladies - Brenda, Kate and Joy - met Lynn in The Chester Arms car park. Nobody else arrived so we set out on time and crossed the A422 to head down Hall Lane. Soon after the houses end, we turned right through a gate and followed the path along the edge of the field, turned right at the top corner to walk parallel to the Chicheley Road, then crossed it to head up the track which leads to Hill Farm. Following the track to the left past the farm, we spotted two hares a short distance away and watched them chase each other around for a while and then carried on to reach North Crawley Road and turned right to walk along there for a short distance. 
At the top of the small hill, we took the footpath going left through the grounds of a house called Regatta’. The people here are obviously collectors. Not only was there an awful lot of different things, there were some bizarre items there too, one of which looked like some sort of strange bell!
Anyway, on with the walk and through the kissing gate with two hard hats on it’s posts (!) and along the edge of a couple of fields, climbing gradually. We turned left at the top and stopped at the corner of the next field for elevenses. This was a spot with good views, although not so great on the day as it was disappointingly grey with low cloud. It was very chilly too! Joy was the only one that had brought a woolly hat and gloves with her. It took quite a while for the rest of us to warm up.

Kate, Brenda, Lynn & Joy
The path then took us past Tickford Park Farm from where we followed the track downhill. Just as the path started bearing left , we took a path going right but the farmer hadn’t reinstated the path through the crop, so Lynn had to practice using her compass (thanks to Ruth for the lesson) to pick the correct route across. Keeping in the same direction, we crossed another field and into a third before veering left to go through a lovely patch full of flowering red campion. A little later on we faced a watery challenge trying to pass one flooded corner into the next field without getting a bootful! At the top of the next field we joined a bridleway then turned right to reach Folly Lane in North Crawley. Walking up the lane we came across an unexpected place to momentarily put our feet up - a swinging seat on the roadside!

Kate, Joy & Brenda on the swing

Further up the lane we headed to the church, which was unexpectedly open, so we were able to have a look round.

We walked from there, along the High Street, past the top of Folly Lane and then took the path going right and followed it through the houses to Orchard Way. Across the road we picked up the path heading across the fields to Little Crawley and Gog Lane (where did that name come from?). Around the corner, the path went across the fields back towards Chicheley. As you walk through some trees closer to the village, you suddenly get a glimpse of Chicheley Hall (if you can zoom in on the photo below you can just about make it out in the distance behind us), which is on or near the site of the old Manor House that belonged to the Pagnell family of Newport Pagnell fame. 

The path goes very close to the Hall and you get another view of it if you look left when crossing an avenue of trees before reaching the A422. From there it’s just a short distance back to the pub and a well-earned lunch. 

Track of walk in yellow.


Friday, May 19, 2023

Thursday 18th May Hilary's walk at Woburn

13 of us met at Woburn car park for Hilary's short walk. We were particularly please to see former member Denise who had recently lost her husband, Paul. We hope that she will rejoin and enjoy our company in these difficult times.
We started off by walking out of the car park towards the park, we passed through the park gate and shortly stopped to admire the pond and nearby trees.

We then carried on past the toll booth and stopped for a photo in front of the head cowman's cottage.

Shortly afterwards we turned left up the slope towards the abbey which had scaffolding covering the front. It seems that work has been going on the years on both the house and gardens which are still closed to the public. Indeed many contractors' vehicles were in the car park. At the top of the hill we stopped for a water break before tuning left and following the estate road. This road is not marked as a footpath on either the OS map or the ROW map however it has yellow marker posts indicating its use as a footpath. When we reached the main east - west footpath near Stump Cross we joined it to walk west down hill. Part way down the hill we saw a small herd of light coloured deer which could not make their mind whether or not to run from us.

 We continued downhill  to rejoin our original track and hence make our way back to the car park. 

Track of walk, walked in anti-clockwise direction


Thursday, May 11, 2023

Sunday 7th May - Coronation Sunday Bluebell Walk

We enjoyed an unexpected treat!  Beryl Pengilley organised an extra ramble to see the beautiful bluebells in Kingswood before it was too late. In lovely sunny weather five of us met at Houghton House Car Park at 3.30 pm. Beryl, Nita, Yvonne, Hilary and Penny strolled along the track to the woods admiring the extensive views and wonderful cloud formations.

Yvonne, Nita, Beryl & Penny
We met one of Beryl’s friends who lives near the wood. She showed us the newts swimming in her pond.
We then followed a narrow winding path through the woodland with amazing views of the bluebells in all directions.
Penny & Hilary

  Plenty of logs, branches and wood anemones added to the interest. 


What a wonderful sight!

Hilary, Yvonne, Penny & Nita

We arrived back about 5pm.
Many thanks to Beryl for arranging such a lovely stroll for us.

Thursday 4th May Clophill / Chicksands Woods.

This 7 mile walk was led by Tony P with 11 walkers.
Meeting just off Back St on a nice and bright sunny morning, we made our way past the Stone Jug , turning left onto the The Slade which would take us out from Clophill to join Old Kiln Lane.
Continuing up the slight incline we passed Kiln Farm where the new calves were in the barn.
Walking through the growing wheat crops, we were soon at Great Lane and with some road walking we joined with the track taking us towards Chicksands Wood 

 On entering the wood we were greeted with a carpet of bluebells, which continued all the way round 

We made our way past the elevated observation platform to the memorial  monument at the top of Long Drive.

Then continuing through the woods on Long  Drive, we passed the Obelisk (with it's controversial link to the slave trade), on our way to Appley Corner, where a well earned coffee break was taken in the glorious sunshine 

Back on the track on the other side of the woods, again we were greeted with an explosion of bluebells.
The wood this side presented us with a number of small gullies to cross over and was quite wet in places.
Leaving the wood, we made our way back towards Clophill, passing through the small stables and back down the track toward Back St.
For the end of a very enjoyable walk in nice bright sunshine with a light breeze.


Track of walk

Saturday 29th April Ampthill / Maulden walk,

This 6 mile walk was led by Sharon with 4 walkers.
Meeting along the lane leading to the well tended allotment’s, four intrepid walkers started too made our way from Ampthill, out along the tracks and into Duck End on the outskirts of Maulden.
Down the lane with some very well tended thatched cottages, through too the new housing and more well tended allotments, we continued along the Silsoe Rd until we reached Rosedale Farm.
Turning left we continued along the road & tracks, before crossing the Clophill Rd and heading down towards Green End.
Passing around the back of the barn conversion’s at Old Farm, this gave a view of the new housing being built in Maulden.

Sharon (leader). Lynn, Ruth & Tony P (scribe)

We made our way past Maulden Grange and up towards the church where we were to have our well earned picnic stop in the church yard.

Leaving the church, we followed the tracks which brought us up to where the donkeys were in the field..

Crossing over the road we passed Kings Farm, which was very quiet with no cattle in the yard or fields.

Bird song was in abundance during the walk, with time being taken to try and identify them.
Walked back through Ampthill coming to the end of a very pleasant walk on a nice bright sunny day, which was enjoyed by all the walkers.

Track of walk, walked in anti-clockwise direction