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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 Vol. 25

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

Volume 25 - July to September 2018

Walk 338 - Knowl Hill and Waltham St Lawrence

This walk had previously been planned to take in Knowle Hill and would have been about nine miles, but we chose to shorten it in view of the predicted temperatures of 30°C.

West End Farm
West End Farm earlier in the year, when we pre-walked the route.

I was pleasantly surprised that all together there were ten ramblers up for the walk today. We assembled in the centre of Waltham St Lawrence, parking in the main area by the church as well as on roads leading from the centre.

We left the village heading west initially walking on the road past church farm, leaving the road onto a footpath (which thankfully was quite shady) on the left heading toward Gunnersbrook. Reaching the B3024 we headed right and took the footpath on the left through West End Farm. When this was pre walked the fields were purple, see photo.

Some artistic thatchwork atop Foxcote Cottage.

We turned onto Bailey's road, then followed a footpath to a T-junction where we took the left path over the field, which in the heat, was very exposed. Heading straight into another field we continued until we reached the Hungerford Road, where we joined a footpath that was fairly shaded.

Turning left on the B3018 we continued until we came across a footpath on the left. This took un on a shady path, past an interesting building that looked like an old school. There were also many rhododendron bushes along this path, and would be good for a walk earlier in the year e.g. May/June.

Shottesbrooke Park
Stopping for lunch by the lake in Shottesbrooke Park.

At the crossroads, again on the Hungerford Road, we turned right, taking a footpath with Whitfield’s farm on the right of the path. We crossed two fields with several horses who were very curious but quite friendly.

Following the footpath until we reached the road, we turned right onto the Knowle Hill Bridleway. Following a footpath that led us into Shottesbrooke Park, we stopped by the lake and had lunch. When pre-walking this in May, there were sheep roaming freely in the park. We caught sight of them, but they were much further away in another park of the park.

Sheep Field
Sheep in Shottesbrooke Park

This is where the walk changed. In shortening it, we took the path on the left of the church, taking us through a very curious and interesting brick arch/tunnel.

We followed the footpath with Burringham woods on the left, then taking a narrow path to the left (mainly to avoid the sun) bringing you out on the same road which leads back into Waltham St Lawrence where the walk started.

A few walkers went straight home but the majority of us had a drink in The Bell Inn.

Thank you to Ann and Kathy for leading this walk, for writing it up and providing the photos.

Walk 341 - Upper Basildon and a Downpour

There were seven on the walk including Julie & Chris from Herts Ramblers who have joined us before. This was our first walk in the rain this summer! Whilst some might be put off (a change from the heat) it was a chance not to be missed by Chris to try out his new waterproof!

Wheat Field
Walking through a wet wheat field.

Beginning at the village Triangle, we set out on footpaths leading to Knapp Wood dominated by pines, oak, maples and giving a brief respite from the showers. There followed a stretch of country road walking before entering a field, meadow and Berry Copse with its variety of trees including conifers and cypresses. This led to the railway arch and the locked gate. However thanks to Chris we discovered it not necessary as expected to climb over, as the heavy chain and lock could be manoeuvred over the pole - not obvious on the pre-walk!

Church Notice
Church Notice at St Bartholomews Church.

Crossing the main road to the river Thames we turned left to follow the towpath, taking in the sailing boats, moored barges and variety of wildlife. Passing by Beale Wildlife Park the path continued along the river for some time before leaving to head along a path into a meadow and finishing at St Bartholomew’s church in Lower Basildon.

Built in the 1200’s is now a protected building run by the Churches Conservation Trust and makes visitors welcome. Indeed the local volunteer allowed us to sit comfortably inside for lunch and gave us snippets of local history and celebrity appearances. History reveals the resting place of Jethro Tull 1674-1741 of the Agricultural Revolution. Sir Francis Sykes and Major James Morrison of Basildon Park. Plus a monument to the tragic accident of the Deverell brothers from the village.

After hearing the chime from the newly restored clock tower we headed off down the road, over the railway bridge to the main road. Turning right past rows of mock Tudor houses we then took a lamp lined driveway into the Hillfield Estate. At the top this forked off onto a bridleway and field edges leading to Harley House and an intriguing antique filling pump - necessitating a group photo!

Basildon Park
Mysterious pump at Basildon Park.

Coming out onto a lane we reached Godwin’s Lodge an interesting 2 bed flint home opposite Basildon Park. For sale, Colin in the group quickly found at a price of £650,000 prompting a discussion on Lottery wins! Taking the Basildon lane and bridleway we followed the walls of Basildon Park - restored by Baron & Lady Lliffe then bequested to the National Trust, a splendid property and grounds which can be visited.

We left the lane entering a trail besides pastures and beech glade, emerging onto a drive then taking a footpath nearby across resplendent wheat fields. From here into woodland and track leading directly back to the triangle.

There was an optional pub stop at the end but, we agreed to return home to get dry, whilst one couple went on to visit Basildon Park.

Thank you to Ann and Kathy for leading this walk, for writing it up and providing the photos.

Walk 342 - Crondall Figure-of-Eight

Combined Harverster
A combined harvester working its way through a wheat field.

I think I'm not alone in finding it difficult to enjoy long walks in particularly hot weather. On Saturday 4th August, the forecast was for temperatures to reach 28°C in the afternoon, but our walk had a figure-of-eight route, meaning I could do the first half of the walk and leave before it got too hot.

Eight of us turned up for this 10½ mile walk in Crondall in Hampshire, which was a reasonable number for a Saturday, considering the predicted temperature and that we were a bit outside our usual Berkshire area.

Cracked Ground
Parched ground, cracking in the heat.

We set off along Croft Lane, past the imposing Grade 1 listed All Saints Church, and out of the village heading south-west. Leaving the road as it became a farm track, we took a footpath along the edge of a recently harvested wheat field, now just stubble and cracked dry soil.

The footpath took us into Lee Wood, which gave us a bit of shelter from the sun. Emerging from the wood, the path took us past some expensive looking houses to a junction of two lanes. We stopped just before the path ended to take a drink from our water bottles. Then we followed one of the lanes.

We followed the lane past Montgomery's Farm and at Travers Farm we left it for a footpath through Thorn's Farm. Here we saw a couple of deer running across a field. I wasn't quick enough with my camera. Joining a track, which became a lane and then a road, we made our way back to Crondall.

Stopping in the grounds of the Village Hall, we ate our packed lunches while watching people setting up what looked like a summer fete. We left before it got going and went to the Plume of Feathers pub for a drink. After we finished our drinks, two of us said goodbye and went home, while the rest of the group began part two of the walk.

Heading home. You can just see Crondall church in the distance.

This involved heading east out of Crondall and through Oak Park Golf Course to Dora's Green. Turning round, the route continued through Clare Park Farm and up to Wimble Hill. I'm told the views were good but in some places the parched ground had cracks in it almost wide enough to swallow a walking boot!

The last part of the walk was on footpaths through farmland, heading north back to Crondall. All Saints Church, the highest point in the village, could often be seen on this last leg of the route. See the complete route on Google Maps.

Thanks to Mark B for leading the walk, Denise for providing the photos and Rob H for recording the route on his GPS.

See Volume 24See Holidays scrapbookThis is Volume 25