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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 Vol. 26
2019Vol. 27

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

Volume 27 - January to March 2019

Walk 363 - Sherfield-on-Loddon and Rotherwick

Lyde River
Posing for a photo on a footbridge over the Lyde River.

Fourteen of us, including a few visitors from local groups, met up for the first walk of the year on a dry but dull Sunday morning. Leaving the car park in Sherfield-on-Loddon, we headed up the old Reading Road and crossed the busy A33 to begin following the River Loddon.

Shortly after passing the weir at Longbridge Mill, we left the river to join the Brenda Parker Way. Named after a once very active Ramblers campaigner, this long-distance path was opened in 2011, three years after her death. The 78 mile route stretches between Andover and Aldershot, and sections of it have featured in several of our walks.

River Loddon
Following the River Loddon.

After passing through a few fields on the outskirts of Hartley Wespall, the route began to follow the Lyde River, a tributary to the River Loddon. We crossed the Lyde River by Mill Farm, continuing on the Brenda Parker Way as it alternated between following the Loddon and the Lyde.

Leaving the two rivers, the route took us through farmland until we reached the church at Rotherwick. Here we left the Brenda Parker Way and followed a route of my own devising.

St Leonard's Church
Lychgate at Saint Leonard's Church.

Skirting the top of Tylney Park golf course, we were soon crossing farmland again on a well-defined and fenced path. Here we saw a number of Galloway cattle, casually observing us as they munched on their lunch of hay. Soon it was our turn for lunch, stopping for a picnic on the edge of a large empty field a bit further on.

After lunch, we continued our way through fields and woodland until we reached Church End. A bit of road walking took us the the A33, which we crossed and entered the grounds of St Leonard's Church at Sherfield Court. Following the footpath through the church grounds, we emerged into more farmland.

Passing a terrace of narrow fields containing horses, we were greeted by a couple of young women who were cheerfully shovelling up the horse manure. Soon we were crossing Sherfield Green on our way back to the car park. See our route on Google Maps. Quite a few of us stayed on after the walk for a drink at the Four Horseshoes pub before heading home.

Thank you to Denise and Keith for taking the photos while I got on with leading the walk.

Walk 364 - Yattendon and a Brewery Lunch

Drink Stop
Stopping for a drink of water near Cassy Fields Farm.

On Saturday 12th January, thirteen of us (plus a dog) met up in the West Berkshire Brewery car park near Yattendon for an easy 4½ mile walk, to be (optionally) followed by lunch at the brewery's Taproom & Kitchen. (The leader had booked a table for us.)

Setting off from the brewery's car park, we walked through the village of Yattendon, leaving it on a footpath by the church. This took us north-east, through woodland and fields, in the general direction of Ashampstead.

After stopping for a water-break near Cassy Fields Farm, we turned east to join a track called Pinfold Lane, which we followed southward, through Greenaway's Copse, Lye Wood and Gravelpit Copse, to Burnt Hill.

Lye Wood
Passing through Lye Wood on our way back to Yattendon.

We walked along a quiet lane through the hamlet of Burnt Hill, passing a tiny Methodist Chapel about the size of a single garage. The sound of the M4 motorway gradually became more noticeable as we followed the lane through Tanner's Copse.

Then we took a footpath that ran parallel to the motorway for a short while before heading through Frilsham Park and emerging in the grounds of the West Berkshire Brewery! See our route on Google Maps.

A few of the group said there goodbyes and left, while the rest of us went into the Taproom & Kitchen for a drink and some lunch. What a splendid way to combine a walk and a social event.

Thank you to Mike and Alison for leading the walk and organising the drink and meal.

Walk 365 - Maidensgrove Common and Pishill

Upper Maidensgrove
More dogs than walkers on Upper Maidensgrove Common.

Twenty-one of us met up on Sunday 20th January; a mixture of regulars, not-so-regulars and newcomers. It was one of those bright winter days with sunshine, blue skies, no breeze to speak of, and ice in the puddles. A real treat after the succession of miserable grey days we've been having so far this year.

We set off across the gently undulating open fields of Upper Maidensgrove and Russell's Water Common. It wasn't long before we came across what appeared to be a few dog walker with far too many dogs. As we got closer, it became more apparent that this was probably some kind of organised event, such as a dog training exercise.

Passing through Woodlands on the Chiltern Way near Pishill.

We joined the Chiltern Way and the open fields gave way to the mixed woodland of Pishill Bottom. After some steep ups and downs, we emerged from College Wood into the open farmland of Hollandridge Farm. Here we left the Chiltern Way to follow a footpath to Turville Park Farm.

A more gentle downhill path took us along the edges of fields until we came to a crossroads by a barn. This was the location for our lunch-stop. There was a grassy bank, which made a good place to sit in the sun while eating our packed lunches. There was also a trailer by the barn, which provided a platform to sit on for those who didn't want to sit on the bank.

Lunch Stop
A sunny spot for our lunch stop.

After lunch, we walked through the hamlet of Pishill. Here The Crown Inn would have made a lovely pub-stop, but it was closed for renovation. Next came a steeply inclined woodland path at Pishill Bank, which put some of us to the test.

At this point a few of us questioned the accuracy of Jane's walk description: The paths rise and fall gently as they cross the hilly terrain. Nonetheless, we all got to the top without incident. There was one more descent and ascent, through Doyley Wood, before we back at the car park. See our route on Google Maps.

After the walk, quite a few of us went to The Five Horseshoes in nearby Russell's Water, and the weather was nice enough to sit outside with our drinks.

Thank you to Jane for leading the walk and to Jo from providing two of the photos.

Walk 366 - Virginia Water and Coworth Park

St Michael's Church
Stopping off to look at the old Yew Tree at St Michael's Church.

There were fifteen of us on the walk on Sunday 27th January, a mixture of BWW, LVR and new walkers. Several arrived by train, which was good.

The weather seemed to go through all the seasons, from sunshine and cloud to brief rain showers and hail. It was of course cold and windy, as predicted, though no-one seemed deterred.

Yew Tree
This yew tree is believed to be over 1000 years old.

We made our way from Ascot, via roads and light woods, to Sunninghill then had a stop at St Michael’s church to admire the hollow yew tree, said to be over 1,000 years old.

The Church Path then led us aside Silwood Park, emerging on to a long road that we walked, fringing Windsor Great Park. We entered Blacknest Gate to Virginia Water and noted the lake to be very muddy and water levels high, maybe from the heavy overnight rain?

Shortly after, we crossed into Coworth Park and our lunch spot. A lucky escape as on reaching it, it began to rain and hail, but we found the picnic tables conveniently and suitably covered by a gazebo! Perhaps they knew we were coming?

Lunch Stop
Lunch-stop, complete with picnic benches and a handy gazebo!

After lunch, the path becomes a bridleway through woods and was here we met our first mud of the day. Safely through, we the reached the main London Road and soon crossed into Wentworth estate. Here we admired the many palatial properties and wound our way around the fairways of the golf course.

Leaving the estate through some woodland led us to more properties to be admired. Then on via small linked footpaths, past smaller Victorian houses with their own character before arriving on the main A30 in Sunningdale. Here, the end of our walk, and perfectly timed for our return train.

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

Walk 367 - Ascot Heath and Great Pond

Ascot Heath
Crossing Ascot Heath in the centre of the racecourse.

Sunday 10th February started off grey and drizzly, but this didn't stop thirteen of us, including a couple of newcomers, from turning up. As often happens with days that start like this, the weather improved throughout the day.

We set off from the car park on Ascot High Street and soon joined the Three Castles Path, which ran parallel to the 'Straight Mile' through a thin strip of woodland before joining Cheapside Road. We followed the road for a short stretch before entering woodland at Penslade Bottom, where we left the Three Castles Path, taking a route past Great Pond to Wood End.

Picnic Lunch
Having our picnic lunch in Ascot Heath.

Crossing the busy A322 Windsor Road, opposite Loch Fyne, we followed some quieter roads to Woodside. We were a bit early to stop at either of its pubs for refreshment, so we carried on through Brookside Farm and into North Ascot and Burleigh.

We re-joined the Three Castles Path as it entered Ascot Racecourse from Kennel Avenue. Here the road crosses the race track in an ingenious way. The track is not high enough above the road for a bridge, so there is a sliding platform with turf on the top and the road just beneath it. It slides on rails, to leave a gap in the track and revealing the road, allowing road traffic to enter the area of land within the loop of the race track.

Straight Mile
Crossing the Straight Mile at Ascot racecourse.

Passing the pavilion of Royal Ascot Cricket Club, we stopped in Ascot Heath to have our picnic lunch. Sitting amongst the low bushes and shrubs, we could clearly see the racecourse grandstand.

After lunch, we continued to cross the heath on the Three Castles Path, passing under the race track though a road tunnel. We then walked across the race track itself at the Straight Mile. We left the Three Castles Path at the point we had joined it in the morning and it was then just a short walk back to the car park. See our route on Google Maps.

Thank you to Jane for leading the walk and to Colin for providing one of the photos.

See Volume 26See Holidays scrapbookThis is Volume 27