What a splendid day’s hiking! We started the day at Beaconsfield station circa 10am. The weather was fresh and clear. There was a 60% chance of rain between 11 and 1. Something which thankfully never surfaced. What we were left with was sunshine for the whole day. We were a group of 4 and once everyone was ready we were off.
The walk started as expected with a gentle ramble through the residential areas of Beaconsfield past some extremely expensive houses. I’d love to live there (if I were looking to buy in the London commuter belt) but it seems that it’s a tad out of our price range. We were all left impressed by Nick’s ornithological skills when he managed to point out the bird calls of both a seagull and a crow. He’s really coming along well…
Once out of Beaconsfield we were in to the first of many Woodland areas. We dissected our way along a very muddy track with Brown’s Wood on one side and Netherlands Wood on the other. As it was last week, mud would be a common theme today. The constant squelching ended up being quite sapping on all of our legs.
Once out of the woods it was downhill to the A355 past some quite wonderfully placed houses. On the side of a hill, surrounded by woodland, in the middle of nowhere. Can’t ask for much better than that. After cautiously crossing the road we headed up a short, steep path. The mud here was deep and slippery given the incline. There were no casualties though and we all topped out to a stunning view over the rolling hills.
We soon entered Hodgemoor Woods. This place was riddled with paths and bridleways. Many of which were not on the map. Extremely helpful I must say. After confirming that I had no idea where we were we headed east along the path knowing that we would pop out somewhere on the correct side of the woods with views of the lunchtime village. I soon thought I had found where we were and at a fork decided to head north rather than south east. We headed up to a road and met about 50 ramblers out for a stroll along the Chiltern Way and followed them out of the woods and then left them as we headed down the road to Chalfont St Giles.
Incidentally, having checked the route at home. Had we gone south east at the fork we would have come out exactly where I had planned. So close. So accidentally close.
Lunch was glorious. As it tends to be in these small village pubs. We were at Merlin’s Cave and 3/4 of us had the roast dinners. After a couple of beers and an hour sitting down we headed back out, conscious of the shortness of these winter days. It was at this point that one of our party got collected and headed home as planned for his Sunday roast.
We were left to amble through field after field alongside the
not such a River Misbourne. It was along this way that we passed through a field containing a horse, a donkey and an emu. It felt like some sort of Disney film gone wrong.
We reached Chalfont St Peter and skirted west around the outskirts, up an entirely unwelcome hill. After this it was more woodland, a quick pee stop and then onwards to Jordan. We plumped for the longer route which took us past the Quaker Meeting House and its burial ground with gravestones dating back to the 1600’s. The perfect place for a sit down and a bag of sweets to give us a kick for the last couple of miles.
Once are legs felt stiff enough to carry on we headed up in to the village of Jordan which is a delightful, mysterious and very small place. We wandered past the village green and the many large and expensive houses, out in to the fields again.
We headed in to our final village for the day. The slightly larger Seer Green. As we were about 30 minutes from darkness we kept a good pace as we passed through and on to Beaconsfield golf course. Thankfully there was no one playing golf as we strolled across the fairway to follow the railway line. After a few minutes we crossed the railway line and continued in a straight line through the remainder of the course to Beaconsfield where we met up with the car back at the station.
It was a great day and a very decent walk. The perfect distance, lunch and terrain. Not too exhausting but enough of a workout to warrant an Epsom salt bath upon my return. It was 12.1 miles but my GPS watch went a bit crazy at lunch and added on a mile and a half.
Our next hike is planned for Saturday. Hoping to do 4 hours in the morning from Denham to Watford. It’s about 13 miles and hopefully we can get it done in time to watch some football and have a beer in a pub. It goes along the Grand Union Canal and is a route Nick has done before so I’m looking forward to it. I’ll do a post about it soon. For now it is time for a film and to rest these weary legs.