Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Saturday 6th April Steppingley Spring Cafe walks

 

Sue & Tony R about to start their walk

The longer walk went through Kingshoe Wood, crossed the motorway, then carried on through Town Mead & Poorshills Wood before reaching the road which we followed towards Water End where we turned right to cross the field containing a large dew pond. We arrived at the Greensand Ridge walk which we had intended to follow through Briar Stockings, however it had been churned up by tractors & was impassible. Therefore continued across the field towards Higher Berry End. We turned right to meet the end of the bridleway leading to Cobbler's Lane. Here we turned right & then left past the very securely locked buildings on our left. We stopped in a wood for our coffee break.

Sue having her coffee.

Soon afterwards we turned right to cross the motorway. Just before Lodge Farm we turned right, then left & right again to join Rectory Road which led down to Steppingley Church. Here we found many other members who had been on the shorter walk.

Coffee break on the shorter walk with Maureen, Nita, Sandra, Wendy Sheila, Mike, Jenny & Ged

Sandra, Paul, Janet & John at their coffee break

Penny, Sandra & Paul sitting opposite Tony R & former member Pat.

Jenny, John D, Ged, Richard, Pearl with Joan, Wendy & Vivienne in front

Penny, Sandra, enjoying her cuppa, & Paul

The cakes after TRC had helped themselves.
After sampling the food on offer we all departed going our different ways back to our transport home after having an enjoyable & interesting day.

Track of longer walk, walked in clockwise direction.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Thursday 21st March Streatley - Keech Hospice 7½ miles 15 walkers led by Tony P

Meeting up at the allotment car park we commenced our walk by joining the Icknield Way trail out towards Smithcombe Hill, leaving the trail just before the Sharpenhoe Clappers.

Neal leading Richard & Jill

Wendy & Brenda leading Sue et al

Crossing the Sharpenhoe Rd, we followed our old friend the John Bunyan trail, taking us behind the houses in Streatley, passing behind the church and on past the village duck pond before entering Streatley Bury.

Diane out in front


Joining with the Icknield way trail again we walked on towards Keech Hospice where a well earned coffee break was taken.


 

On down Great Bramingham Lane we crossed the busy A6 Barton Rd to join the parish boundary track up towards the golf club.
Keeping on the Icknield Way we stopped for a water break at Maulden Firs.

Then through the firs to join the Chiltern Way on our way back to Streatley, once again crossing the busy A6.
Walking through the village we returned to the car park for the end of a thoroughly enjoyable walk.
On an overcast but very mild day.

Track of walk, walked in anti-clockwise direction.

 

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Saturday 16th March led by Janet & John York

 

There were 5 of us on this walk starting in Pirton village on a bright morning. 
We set off on the Icknield Way - a gentle steady incline passing Tingley Wood then down to cross the B655. We were exactly on the Bedfordshire/Hertfordshire border here. Some convenient logs provided seats for a short coffee break then on a fairly muddy stretch past Telegraph Hill where we turned sharp left towards Little Offley. 
 
Janet, Judith, John & Paul
Arriving at the latter place we found some stacked pallets suitable for our packed lunch. Then back down to cross the B655 again up a short but steep hill and back into Pirton.
 
 
Janet, John, Sandra & Paul
A kestrel flew out from oil seed rape field and we heard skylarks and a  green woodpecker. 6.7 miles in total on quite varied terrain was enjoyed by everyone. 
Track of walk, walked in anti-clockwise direction

Track of walk, walked in anti-clockwise direction

Monday, March 18, 2024

Thursday 14th March Caldecotte Lake circular

The original walk on this date should have been at Priory Park in Bedford, however as this was flooded that walk had to be cancelled. Sue & Tony R therefore decided to lead another walk & so Caldecotte Lake was selected due to its lack of mud & also its free car parking at the pub.
We started off from the car park crossing the River Ouzel by a footbridge where we met runners coming in the opposite direction. They were doing 8 laps which is approximately equivalent to a Marathon distance.
We continued a short distance before re-crossing the river which was in full spate.

Sue, Beryl, Judith, Hilary, Jenny, Diane & Ged on the bridge over the Ouzel

We continued round the top of the lake over the boardwalk where we saw a pair of swans & a very noisy coot trying to scare the swans away.

 When we reached the top of the lake we saw many daffodils by the overflow weir.
The daffodils with the pub in the background
  We crossed to the east side of the lake where we stopped for a photo.
Diane, Beryl, Jenny, Ged, Hilary, Sue & Judith

The lake with the pub in the background.
We continued to walk down the east side of the lake, under the main road & round several circular bays with concrete tiered walkways round them.
Diane & Judith leading off
We soon arrived at the bottom of the lake with a bird hide & some seats where we stopped for a coffee & banana break.
Tony R, Judith Beryl & Diane at the "bird hide"
Jed with the 2 sisters
We followed the path round the lake passing under the main road before arriving back at The Caldecotte pub. Diane left us at that point but the rest of us found a round table for 7 at which we had our lunch.
Sue said "Tony, Beryl, Hilary, Jenny, Ged, Diane, Judith and Sue joined this walk. 
We had a coffee stop and a banana break much to my delight. Lots of daffodils and sunny at times. 
We all went for a lovely meal except Diane. Such a lovely day.  Thank you Tony"



Monday, March 11, 2024

Thursday 7th March - Northchurch Common walk led by Debbie & Nick

Nick & I were joined by Wendy,  Sue, Kate, Cathy & Neil at Northchurch Common car park where we started our walk at 10am.

Neal & Kate looking at the canal barges

We walked along the Grand Union canal for a while before cutting across a field over the railway line where we came across a field of Alpacas. 

Cathy, Kate, Wendy, Sue, Debbie & Neal by the alpacas

We headed uphill across a meadow where we stopped for our coffee .  

Coffee stop for Nick, Debbie, Wendy, Kate, Cathy & Neal

We then headed toward the village of Albury where we took the track up to Ashridge monument for our lunch Break. Returning across Northchurch Common.  A total of 7.4 miles.  We had a lovely day & Nick & I thank you for joining us.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Thursday 15th February Woburn walks

Again there were 2 walks. a short one of 3 miles, led by Hilary & a longer one of 7.5  miles led by Tony R. They both started from Woburn car park with the longer walk starting at 10 am & the shorter one starting half an hour later. Nita, despite doing the short walk, came early to meet the walkers on the longer walk. We were all pleased to see her.
The longer walk of 9 walkers started by walking into the park past Park Farm & due to some talking going on missed the turn off towards the Abbey. We cut across a muddy section of grass churned up by deer to rejoin the path. On reaching the Abbey fence & car park we turned left along the road. At the top of the hill we stopped for a water stop &, as it had become quite warm, for members to shed a layer of clothing.. On looking down the hill we could see the group of walkers doing the shorter walk approaching the bottom of the hill, still a long way off.. We continued & crossed the main road through the park near the cattle grid. We followed the yellow markers up the hill & at the top we saw a black bear in the trees on the other side of the fence. 

Some walkers decided to try & have a better look but they were warned off by the automatic loudspeaker system. We continued over the cattle grid & were about to turn left into the woods when we met a group of walkers coming the other way, who warned us that it was very muddy through the woods as much "foresting" had taken place. Undeterred we entered the wood & made our way downhill trying to avoid the worst bits of mud.

We arrived at the bottom of the hill & stopped by the concrete lions where had a coffee break & a photo.

Brenda, Tony R, John D, Cathy, Tony P, Diane, Kate & Toruun by the lion

After observing the prices for entering the wild animal park we continued our walk past the entrance, now blocked, to the old footpath which went past the elephants. After a short while we came to a new kissing gate leading to the new footpath. No views of any animals could be seen from this path. We went through another new kissing gate into the woods near the top of the Go Ape runway. We followed the path to exit the park by Crawley Lodge. We then crossed the main road & walked up Horsepool Lane thus avoiding the muddy field. After a bit of discussion we left the road & crossed the remainder of the field to meet the track to Birchmoor Lodge. We continued past the Lodge, past the sewage works to the houses at Birchmore Green. Soon afterwards we entered Woburn itself. & walked up High Street. On passing the Black Horse pub we observed the walkers from the shorter walk taking refreshments at the far end of the pub. We continued through Woburn to our cars in the car park.

Track of walk, walked  in anti-clockwise direction

No description has been received from the other group apart from the following photo.taken by Hilary soon after the start of their walk. However it was good to know the some found this walk more suitable for them.

Half of Anna, Nita, Denise, Sheila (almost hidden), Val. Mike, Hilda & Ruth


Saturday, February 10, 2024

February 10th, Steppingley Souper Douper lunch

6 + 10 + 3 ramblers, 7, 4 and 0 miles. Led by Ruth and Richard.

The shorter walk, led by Richard, started from Churchill Drive in Flitwick & basically followed Katherine's walk to Steppingley. They had a coffee stop on a log in the woods.


The brisk longer walk, led by Ruth, met at a small parking area near Flitwick Plantation, crossed the M1 and walked through woods then fields to All Saint's church, Ridgmont. After a week of heavy rain the paths were muddy in places but there was plenty of wet grass to dislodge the mud.  At least it wasn't raining, the sun was trying to break through and the wind had dropped.  One footpath along the side of a wood was over-grown with brambles, and Ruth went ahead to do some pruning. 
At All Saints, our coffee stop, two men were digging a grave! The new coffin was going over the old one, so it was not as deep as usual.

 

After a short break, we retraced our steps a little and turned East, to avoid a very muddy bit along the Greensand's ridge walk. Would it have been worse? We had to circum-navigate a wide lake!  As we re-crossed the motorway we stopped to gaze at the long queue of traffic South at an almost standstill. 

Soon we joined Rectory Lane that leads to Steppingley. We arrived at 12.35, only 5 minutes behind time. Has the short walk arrived already?  Yes, they got there early by 12 noon! They had followed the St Catherine's way. 

 

The village hall was hot, steamy, packed with people and very welcome. After a quick exchange of news, the short group left to make space and chairs for us, leaving behind the 3 (Anna, Penny & Sandra) who had come by car. 

The event is usually in the church, but today it was in the village hall to make use of their kitchen. The food, as usual was excellent. Two sorts of home made soup: Spiced Parsnip, or Lentil, Tomato and Chorizo, followed by coffee or tea and a wide choice of cake. It was all for donations: we gave generously, but it was still better value than any pub meal!  It is going towards their fund to install a toilet and tea station in the church. We were told a kitchen is not allowed in a church, but a tea station is!!
On leaving the village hall  it had started to drizzle. We only had a mile left to do and this was through woods, the last part on welcome firm ground. We just got back to the cars as the drizzle began to turn to rain.

Track of longer walk, walked in clockwise direction




Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Saturday 27th January Milton Keynes walk led by Beryl & Torunn

8 walkers met at Kents Hill Park to walk for 5 miles on nice, not muddy, paths. There were several football matches going on nearby but there was plenty of parking available. We walked along the northern edge of the park before turning north to Monkston. We continued to Milton Keynes Village, then turned left past the old church. This path led to the River Ouzel just south of Willen Lake. We crossed the river & followed it to the old fish ponds, some now full of water due to the recent rains. We stopped by the interpretation  board for a group photo when Beryl had a problem with her ancient map.


We continued along the river then after about 1.5 miles we crossed to the other side to follow the path passing the Open University on our right. We walked under Brickhill Street to enter the wooded western end of Kents Hill park & hence back to our cars.

Track of walk, walked in anti-clockwise direction.