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Scrap Book

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To give you an idea of what our walks are like, we have put together a scrapbook featuring some of the walks that we've done so far.

We have been walking since July 2012 and our ever-growing scrapbook is divided into quarterly volumes:

YearJanuary to MarchApril to JuneJuly to SeptemberOctober to December
2012 Vol. 1 Vol. 2
2013Vol. 3 Vol. 4 Vol. 5 Vol. 6
2014Vol. 7 Vol. 8 Vol. 9 Vol. 10
2015Vol. 11 Vol. 12 Vol. 13 Vol. 14
2016Vol. 15 Vol. 16 Vol. 17 Vol. 18
2017Vol. 19 Vol. 20 Vol. 21 Vol. 22
2018Vol. 23 Vol. 24

We also have a scrapbook page for the Walking Holidays we've been on.

Volume 24 - April to June 2018

Walk 325 - Crowthorne and the Blackwater Valley Lakes

Edgebarrow Woods
Walking through Edgebarrow Woods

Seventeen of us met up in Crowthorne on Sunday 15th April for a ten mile walk. This walk was the first to be led for us by Sue H. With help from friends within the group, Sue had designed and prepared for this walk, but was understandable still a little nervous. She needn't have been, as the walk went very well.

We started off heading out of town, passing Broadmoor Hospital and joining the Devil's Highway - the remains of a Roman road. We followed this only briefly before joining the Three Castles Path, which we followed south and west, through Broadmoor Farm, Edgebarrow Woods and Ambarrow Farm.

Joined by a Horse
A horse tried to join our walk at Horseshoe Lake.

As we crossed Ambarrow Farm to get to Horseshoe Lake, a horse seemed to want to join our walk. One of our members who is good with horses persuaded it to stay put as we continued to the lake. The man at the Horseshoe Lake Activity Centre kindly allowed us to use their picnic tables to sit at and have our packed lunches.

After lunch, we continued on the Three Castles Path as it merged with the Blackwater Valley Path. This path led us through the Moor Green Lakes nature reserve, before we left it to head north toward Moor Green Farm. After a brief wrong turn, we took a footpath around Beech Hill and back to Ambarrow Farm.

Blackwater Valley Path
More mud on the Blackwater Valley Path.

Here we retraced some of our outward route, but then took a different route through Edgebarrow Woods and a shorter route back into Crowthorne. See our route on Google Maps. Arriving at the car park, we all agreed it had been a good walk and had been led well. (The wrong turning at Moor Green Farm was easily forgiven. Even experienced leaders make the occasional 'unplanned detour'.)

Sue had also booked us a table at a local tearoom, so after changing out of our muddy footwear and divesting our rucksacks, we made our way there. Tea, coffee, cake and conversation was had before heading home. The rain just starting as we left the tearoom. (The rain had held off throughout the walk, despite a doubtful forecast.)

Walk 326 - Assendon, Greys Court, Bix and Bluebells

St James' Church
Stopping to look at the remains of St James' Church, Bix Bottom.

On Sunday 22nd April, twelve of us met up at Middle Assendon. By coincidence, this was also the meeting point for two other walking groups that day, which meant the large lay-by where we parked became quite full. (Our apologies to the residents.)

We started by heading north-west along a quiet lane, stopping at the ruins of St James' Church at Bix Bottom along the way. The previously crumbling ruins have recently had a partial restoration, and the masonry is now safe, but the church still only has three sides and no roof. I'm told that open-air services are occasional held there.

Oxlands Bottom
Passing through woodland at Oxlands Bottom.

The lane finished at Warburg Nature Reserve, where we followed footpaths through Kitesgrove Wood and Soundness Wood, until we reached Crocker End. Here we crossed the busy A4130 between Nettlebed and Henley-on-Thames and continued on woodland footpaths.

Passing a small group of houses that made up Lower Highmoor we entered a woodland full of bluebells. Julia, the leader, had been hoping they would be out in time for her walk, and we weren't disappointed. We had not seen many bluebells on the previous weekend, but the warm weather of the previous week had no doubt helped them on.

Lunch Stop
Stopping for lunch in Holly Grove.

We stopped for lunch after finding a suitable fallen tree to use as a bench. After lunch we crossed a field of sheep and lambs before entering Padnell's Wood, where there were even more bluebells.

Passing the tiny villages of Satwell and Shepherd's Green, we made our way to Greys Court - a National Trust house and gardens, through which passes the Chiltern Way. We followed the footpath through the grounds, only diverting to visit the café for tea, coffee, cake and/or ice cream.

Padnell's Wood
Lots of bluebells in Padnell's Wood.

Waving our NT cards at the lady on the entrance as we left Greys Court, we continued on the Chiltern Way though more bluebell-infested woodland before leaving it for a footpath to the village of Bix. Crossing the busy A4130 again, we passed through a grassy field and joined White Lane before descending through an avenue of very tall conifers into Middle Assendon, where we had started. See our route on Google Maps.

The footpath emerged next to the Rainbow Inn but they only open at lunchtimes and evenings, and it was now 3:30pm so we weren't able to pop in for a drink. Never mind, we had already had refreshments at Greys Court earlier on the walk.

See Volume 23See Holidays scrapbookThis is Volume 24