23 November 2017 – Chesham to Amersham (8.5 miles)
Having assembled in Chesham, we left town via The Chiltern Link path, and headed north-west along ‘Herbert’s Hole’. After overnight rain the ‘Hole’ was rather muddy but somehow, we all managed to stay more or less upright. In fact after an hour’s walking we were able to turn off the ‘Link’, and follow a minor road south towards an area of woodland. The path through the trees (still in their autumn colours), led us to the very busy A413, which we crossed safely before continuing south into the delightful village of Little Missenden. This is where we stopped for lunch at the ‘Crown Inn’, a delightful country pub with a good reputation. Pleasingly it didn’t let us down, not only was the food good, but the service was also first rate. We shall return!
Unfortunately we couldn’t stay in the ‘Crown’ all day, so it was back on with our boots for the afternoon walk. This section followed the Misbourne valley, which ran south east into a landscaped park complete with water features belonging to the Shardeloes estate. By now we were close to Amersham Old Town and were soon walking along the High Street with its fine collection of listed buildings (150 apparently!). In the centre of the old town, our final stretch of walking was revealed, a steep climb of 50 metres through Parsonage Wood to reach our train home. A walk with a gentle sting in its tail!
26 October 2017 – Totteridge Circular (8 miles)
Our inaugural group walk started bang on time, as we headed south from Totteridge underground station along the Dollis Valley Greenwalk. After crossing Dollis Brook we cut through some 1930’s suburbia to reach Totteridge Green and the illusion of a rural idyll at least for a while. Following a brief road walk, we turned southwest through The Darlands, where, with overgrown parkland to our left and pasture land to our right, it really felt like we were in the countryside. After going through a very muddy field corner (nobody fell over!) we exited through a kissing gate to pass Folly Farm. The walk now went uphill across cricket fields to the Ridgeway and then on into Mill Hill Village and our lunch stop at ‘The Three Hammers’.
Despite having pre-ordered our lunch, service was painfully slow, so we were well rested when we emerged into the drizzle to complete the walk. After descending Highwood Hill, we re-entered pasture land to climb back towards Totteridge, where a walk through the Totteridge Fields Nature Reserve reunited us with the Dollis Brook. At this point we joined the London Loop heading towards Underhill where we followed the Greenwalk back to the tube station.
A successful first outing, even if we never did find Arsène Wenger’s house!