Monday, July 15, 2024

Sunday 14th July STRAWBERRY TEA Afternoon at Lower East End Farm, Harlington

Sue led a short walk from Harlington Village Hall car park to Lower East End farm where we thoroughly enjoyed an afternoon in the sunshine having our strawberry tea.

The walkers
We walked down through the fields to the lower road and through the copse where we stopped for a short break.
In the copse.
Then continued along The Bottoms to the farm.
Walking along The Bottoms.
Six other members were already there when we arrived having driven to the farm as well as many villagers. We all enjoyed an afternoon with live music and some of us joined in the singing.
Looking around the beautiful gardens and meeting the horses and a donkey. Some of us even won raffle prizes. We were able to bring a picnic or enjoy the delicious cakes and cream and strawberry scones.
All donations raised went to the Harlington St Mary's church restoration fund.

Enjoying Tea and cakes.

Penny, Hilary & Anna looking around the beautiful garden

Beryl and Sue climb the castle!

Tony & Neal looking at the fish

Some of us joining in the singing
A lovely afternoon enjoyed by all.  Thanks to Sue

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Thusday 11th July Sharpenhoe Sindon Hills walk

This 5 mile walk started from Sharpenhoe Clappers car park with 8 walkers.
Originally it was supposed to have started from Sundon Hills car park but due to road closures the route was reversed.
We left the car park and crossed the road, climbed a few steps & went through a kissing gate to cross a meadow with sheep grazing in it. We descended the hill to arrive at the path that goes along the base of the hills. The fields here seemed to be growing enough oats to feed the nation.

Eventually this climbed up to a seat with lovely views of the Bedfordshire countryside. Here we stopped for a short coffee and banana break.


We then descended into the chalk pit via some wooden steps. On leaving the chalk pit we further descended many steps where the old rail trackway used to take chalk to Harlington station. We then again walked along the base of the hills before climbing almost level with the top meadows. Here Sue & Hilary left us before we continued onwards down & then upwards to exit the valley through a kissing gate into the top meadow. 

Diane leading Janet up the steps.

Here we were joined by Beryl, who had started late & walked in the opposite direction to us hoping to meet us part way through the walk. We stopped for a second coffee break just outside Sundon Hills car park where we noted the old picnic tables had disappeared.

Here we met some young men searching for their drone which had become stuck in a tree. On starting again the followed the hedge line in an easterly direction, We passed through several gates before ascending another short flight of steps where formally using a rope was the only way to ascend the slope. Here the ground was very slippery & care was essential. We the followed the track through the woods keeping the steep drop on our left.  At the end of the woods we turned right to cross the road and enter another footpath directly opposite via a gate. This field contained a good crop of barley which we walked alongside before leaving it on a path between 2 sheep fields. This led to the main path from the car park which we followed back to our cars. We felt we had had a good walk with wonderful views and good weather.

Track of walk, walked in anti-clockwise direction.

Monday 1st July to Friday 5th July Club Holiday at Bourton on the Water

 Photo of building

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Thursday 4th July Toddington > Milton Bryan 7 miles led by Tony P

This 7 mile walk had 8 walkers
Starting from the village hall, we followed the path leading us down to Park Rd before crossing over into Long Lane for about 300 yards. We then left the lane by a footpath and on through fields of rape, ready to be harvested.

Finding the path through the rape was difficult as it was all overgrown.

We passed Lodge Farm & Herne Green Farm, almost doing a circumnavigation of Toddington Manor.

A well earned coffee break was taken before walking past Happy Land farm, following the tracks through the fields we came to a wooded glade that offered some shade from the sunshine.
However,  many of the tracks were now overgrown with long grass, making walking difficult.
Continuing our way onto Cuckoopit spinney again with the long grass and this time with the addition of very boggy mud holding up progress, once we tiptoed out way through we came out onto Park Rd.
After some road walking, we came to Milton Bryan,  where we stopped for our picnic lunch by the duck pond.

Already their to greet us were Joan & Viv, who were joining with us for a nice afternoon picnic, in the sunshine.

Once suitable refreshed, we continued on our way.
Walking on the path that leads through the back garden of one of the houses, before entering the fields and on towards Town Farm, we were now keeping almost parallel with the road to arrive back at Toddington, very hot and almost worn out.

Toruun, Tony R, Beryl, Wendy, Richard, Debbie, John D & Tony P

For what was the end of a very enjoyable walk, on a nice sunny day with a cooling breeze.

Track of walk, walked in anti-clockwise direction

Regards - Anthony Price

Friday, June 28, 2024

Thursday 27th June Maulden > Kings Wood led by Tony M.

This 6 mile walk had 16 walkers and started from the George pub in Maulden.
Leaving the car park, we made our way up to and through the church, then joining the track taking us towards Green End, with views over Maulden & surrounding countryside.

We followed one of the trails through Maulden Woods passing by Clayhill cottage's & joining the Greensand Ridge.

 We came to a memorable stone, where we were reliably informed by the leader was Dick Turpin's horse ( believe that if you will! )

The Stone

On towards Limbersey Lane, where some road walking was required.
We then turned to walk through Brickhill Pastures & on into Kings Wood, where we stopped for a well earned coffee break.

Suitably refreshed, we joined the trail leading us down to Kings Farm, still unoccupied & boarded up.
Once again on towards the highlight of the day a couple of donkeys in their paddock, (without their kiss me quick hats on )
Joining the back streets of Maulden, we arrived back at the George for the end of a very enjoyable walk.
On a very warm, humid & sunny day.   -  Regards  Anthony Price

Monday, June 24, 2024

Thursday 20th June College Lake walks

 Fourteen walkers met at College Lakes.

 6 members joined Beryl for a longer harder walk.  We walked along the Grand Union canal & around Tringford & Marsworth reservoirs built to feed the canal, There were plenty of mallard in evidence.
Tony P,  Cathy, Kate, Jean S, Beryl & Tony R on the longer walk
8 members had a really enjoyable walk at their own pace. Lots of chat and several stops admiring the scenery. 
 Once the orchids were spotted there was great excitement. 
Mike & Nita looking over the lake
The weather could not have been better, blue skies and not too hot.
Yvonne and I were very pleased that we all managed to do the full circuit. 
Sandra, Penny, Mike & Anna
 When we got back to the Centre the other group were there before us. 
Brenda, Joan & Vivienne joined us there and there was plenty of  catching up to do seeing  friends that we had not seen for a while. 
Yvonne and I intend to put on the programme a similar walk on the next programme.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Saturday 15th June Walk with Londeon Blind Walkers - Leagrave to Harlington

This 6 mile walk was led by Beryl & commenced at Leagrave station where the Blind Walkers arrived by train from London. TRC members had previously arrived on a train from Harlington. Unfortunately the weather was very wet. Twenty walkers left the station via the car park where we stopped for a photo.

Beryl with her "brolly" guiding the walkers

With difficulty due to faulty traffic lights we crossed many roads at the Horseshoes roundabout to follow the Upper Lea Valley walk past Wauluds Bank. This led to a footpath between two giant housing estates, Sundon Park & Marsh Farm. There were many tree roots here which were successfully negotiated by all. Eventually we reached open fields with much wheat growing. Soon we were walking through grassland which had been cut making the walking more difficult. We arrived at Manor Rd which we crossed and followed for a short distance before turning off again towards Upper Sundon. The rain abated and we stopped for a picnic at the recreation ground. 

Several members crossed the road to the Red Lion to use their facilities. After our picnic we took the track by the side of the pub towards Harlington. We avoided the old sewage works and followed the old road through the wood. Unfortunately due to the previous rain the ground was very slippery & great care had to be taken. At the bottom of the hill we turned left & then followed the railway towards Harlington. Due to building work the best footpath was closed & we had to pass through Harlington Spinney which again was very slippery. Eventually we again arrived at open fields & we followed to path behind Pilgrim's Way houses to reach the road. We continued up Sundon Road & crossed Bury Orchard to pass the village shops. soon afterwards we reached our goal at the Chairman's house where tea & cakes awaited us. As the weather had much improved we were able to sit out in the garden.
It was all over too quickly as the blind walkers had to catch their train back to London from Harlington station.

Map showing track of walk, walked south to north

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Thursday13th June Great Linford walk led by Tony R

16 walkers met at the Stonepit Field car park in Milton Keynes to start the walk at 10.15. We walked across Stonepit Field to join the Swan's Way, which was the old railway track from Newport Pagnell to Wolverton. We walked past an old station with its raised platform to reach Grafton Street. Here we turned left and left again to reach Wolverton Windmill where we had a water stop and many removed their outer layer.

The group at Wolverton Windmill

We left the windmill and crossed the Grand Union canal by means of the Millennium Bridge. To the left we could see the canal crossing Grafton Street by means of the famous aqueduct however we followed the canal in the opposite direction. We walked along the canal towpath for about 3/4 of a mile. We then left the towpath and turned into Joan's Piece, an area of woodland recently acquired by the Park's Trust.
After about 600 yards we left Joan's Piece to rejoin the canal towpath, but almost immediately left it through a gate into Stanton Low Park. We followed the path cut through the grass to the ruins of St Peter's church where we stopped for a coffee break.

In the ruins of St Peter's church

We left the church and continued to walk through the park until we reached the surfaced track which we crossed to lead  back to the canal. We rejoined the towpath for just over a mile passing many parked narrow boats, some being worked on until we reached a footbridge near the Gifford Park pub. We crossed the footbridge to bring us into another meadow with cut paths. We followed the signpost to Great Linford to reach the Marsh Drive which we crossed to enter into Great Linford Manor park. We saw the giant horseshoes before stopping at the wooden sheep.

The walkers and the sheep.
We then walked down to the ponds where we found benches to have our picnic. Several mallards visited in the hope of titbits, but were sadly disappointed. On the other side of the ponds we saw several vehicles drive into the park to help the setting up of a food festival to be held that evening. Unfortunately we had to depart to make our way past St Andrew's church and the "quarry" back to the canal and hence the car park, passing the half stone circle on the way. Everyone said how much they enjoyed the walk as it was a new area to most of them. The distance was measured as just over 6 miles with no mud and no stiles. Thanks to Ruth for helping me reccy the walk. Tony R.

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Saturday 25th May Ampthill Walk led by Nita

Six ladies - Nita,Jean Sykes, Kate, Sharon , and Linda Bellingham.. Linda was delayed joining us.
The weather was perfect for a leisurely walk over Coopers Hill and onto Ampthill Park. 

Sharon, Kate, Jean & Nita enjoying themselves

We had our Coffee stop as planned at Wooden Hill Coffee shop.
As usual we had plenty to talk about.
Having had half hours rest we then did a brisk walk back down to the Park.Crossed back over to Coopers Hill and our cars.
A super way to spend a Saturday morning.
Approximately 4 miles.

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Thursday 9th May Ayot St Lawrence led by John D

After a tour of many roadworks 12 of us met outside the old church at Ayot St Lawrence. We started off by walking past the new church which was open and some went inside.

The interior of the new church

This "modern" church was built as the lord of the manor didn't like the view from his residence blocked by the old church and therefore ordered its demolition. This was eventually stopped by the church authorities but he was made to build a new church. 

The walkers in front of the new church
We left the church along its approach road at the rear of the church to briefly join Bibbs Hall Lane. We then followed a track round the back of Shaw's corner where we saw an old garden shed where GBS used to write his novels inside. After crossing Codicote Road we continued south east until we crossed over the Ayot Greenway. We stopped here for a coffee break on a very uncomfortable ledge to the bridge.

The coffee break

We then joined the Ayot Greenway before turning off past Saul's Wood to Ayot St Peter.

Ayot St Peter church

Here we stopped for another break in the shady churchyard where benches provided a welcome relief to the heat.

Hilary & Debbie plus Wendy & Tony in Ayot St Peter churchyard

After leaving the shade of the churchyard we walked along Ayot St Peter Road for a while before turning off at a sharp bend to follow a bridleway back to Ayot St Lawrence.  Here we found some benches outside the old church where we had our picnic lunch.

Track of the 6 mile walk, walked in anti-clockwise direction

Monday, April 29, 2024

Saturday April 17th Barton, 7 miles

 8 ramblers, led by Sharon. 

Sharon was already outside the Barton football pitch as we arrived, a full car load from Toddington, and she welcomed us with enthusiasm, saying she thought perhaps no-one would turn up! Considering the weather forecast of more rain and cold, it was understandable. Then the Harlington car load turned up.  We all agreed that we had waterproofs, so what did a bit of rain matter? As it turned out, there was no rain for the entire walk, and it didn't matter that the sun never came out, because the visibility was excellent. We began with a steep ascent by the side of Lest Wood up to  Barton Hall Farm , past bright yellow dwarf oil-seed rape. 

Next we picked up the Bunyan Trail , stopping off for a coffee break by a pile of logs. 

We swung round to Warden Hill, to admire the view of Luton and beyond. 

 Next we passed the golf course and through a gate leading to a lovely scrub with small trees. Black caps were singing, as well as the ubiquitous blue tits. 


Lunch was on a bench near Streatley, with another excellent view of Luton, this time from the North.  We made good time and were back at Barton by 1.45.


Track of walk, walked in clockwise direction