We are walking the Chiltern Way http://www.chilternsaonb.org/ccbmaps/219/137/chiltern-way.html starting and finishing at Bovingdon in Hertfordshire https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bovingdon
Nearly all of us are Nordic walking which really helps especially on the hills and keeps us fit.
We chose to start in Bovingdon where it was easy to park and our first day took us to Chalfont St Giles
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chalfont_St_Giles a pretty Buckinghamshire village. We were lucky to be invited for tea at the end of the walk by one of our party who lives there and it was a very welcome finish to a lovely day. The route had taken us through varied countryside – Flaunden, Sarratt where we had a delicious lunch in one of the 3 pubs the Boot http://www.thebootsarratt.com/ who were extremely welcoming to humans and dogs alike, Chenies, Chorleywood and on to Chalfont St Giles
The second leg was Chalfont St Giles to Sheepridge so a few more hills, lovely countryside and
spectacular views across the southern counties and London in the distance. Bluebells were out, the larks singing high in the skies and we were blessed with lovely spring weather.
A well earned lunch at the Crooked Billet at Sheepridge which was fantastic value and really delicious.
The third section we tackled was Sheepridge to Fingest so into the Hambleden valley – famous for its filming locations and iconic Chilterns countryside. The blossom was beautiful, the bluebells almost at their best and tea at the village shop worth the walk before journeying on towards Fingest further up the valley. Hambleden http://www.visitchilterns.co.uk/market-towns/hambleden-valley.html was once owned by Viscount Hambleden (WH Smith) but was sold fairly recently to a swiss banker who has invested in the estate and adjoining estates renaming it Culdenfaw – incorporating Culham, Hambleden and Fawley.
The fourth was Fingest to Ewelme passing Stonor House http://www.stonor.com/ nestling in a perfect position in the Stonor valley. It has been the home of the Stonor family for hundreds of years.
The footpath winds through the deer park with lovely views and one is surrounded by deer grazing in the parkland. The Stonor cricket pitch is down in the valley – home of village cricket in the summer months.
Up again to Maidensgrove Common http://www.chilternsaonb.org/ccbmaps/1421/137/russell-s-water-and-maidensgrove-commons.html right on the top of the hill above the Warburg nature reserve http://www.bbowt.org.uk/reserves/warburg-nature-reserve home to wonderful wild flowers, birdlife and doormice amongst other things. Down a steep hillside to the reserve – steep enough to warrant steps that deter erosion, along a bluebell valley, across lovely grassy fields with lambs and calves grazing happily, until we reached Park Corner and cross the busy Nettlebed to Watlington road.
We are then sort of on the final stretch past Nuffield Place https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/nuffield-place and Huntercombe to walk down the path to the Old London Road – a restricted byway leading out to open fields and on towards Ewelme. The route approached Ewelme https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ewelme from above giving lovely views of this beautiful village. It has a strong community feel – the shop is now run by volunteers from the village and serves tea and cakes amongst other things, there is a primary school, alms houses , church and a pub and there are the historical watercress beds now run by the Chiltern Society https://chilternsociety.org.uk/our-sites/ewelme-watercress-beds/