Wandering across the western part of the Isle of Wight from Carisbrooke to the Needles, the Tennyson Trail is a …
8:00 am – Home. Waking up and find that I could not walk was a bit of a damper to …
7:20 – Forty Green. Cliveden is political ground: the home of the Astors and the Duke of Sutherland before them …
The Thames is a perfect companion in the height of summer, a cooling mirror between trees. I first met it on the National Trust’s Ankerwyke Meadows, which once belonged to an old priory, bare remains of which stand in the corner of a field.
The route this morning was mainly beside the river.
7:20 am, Hythe End. This is a practical rather than a pretty place, between Staines behind me and the M25 …
The Buckinghamshire Way has been a long time in contemplation, but I will finally be starting it on Saturday, 13 July 2019. The starting point will by Buckinghamshire’s south-easternmost point, in Hythe End. I will then walk down to the Thames and the National Trust’s Ankerwycke meadows, and follow upstream to Eton and to Clivedon before turning due north. The next day should see me through the Chilterns and on to Aylesbury.
Some of the route is on paths I know, while most is completely new – in any case, the Buckinghamshire Way is no more than a line on a map until it is actually walked.
There are more stories about Alfred Wainwright than about any other fellwalker. A list of his favourite places would fill volumes. He once though tried to sum up the best places of the lakes in a walk. No one but Wainwright would have thought of inviting his friends for a weekend walking 107 miles across the highest tops of Lakeland, but he did.
The Wainwright Memorial Walk is Wainwright’s own account of the epic walk. It loops over many tops, the best in Westmorland and Cumberland, and with the best views of the shining waters which lie between the fells. It is not a walk I would recommend trying in even a long weekend, but when challenged, the sights seen are spectacular.
Slieve Donard, the county top of County Down, Prince of the Mourne Mountains, stands looming above Newcastle; the silly seaside boutiques and rides, gaudy ice-cream stalls and beachwear shops looking tiny beneath its silent, majestic presence.
Previously I described the initial climb from the beach, though the woods by the Glen River up to the Ice House. It is here, having emerged from the woods, that the walk opens up, and the way to the top of the mountain appears.
Slieve Donard, the highest mountain of the gorgeous Mourne Mountains, and the highest point of County Down and of all Ulster, was a challenge not to be missed, and gave me another county top to tick off the list.
The distinctive shape of this mountain, its bulk and whale-like profile, was visible from many of the places we visited around the edge of the Mournes, and called out to be trodden. It is not without neighbours equally haunting in their shape and immensity, but Slieve Donard is the greatest of them. For those who have not been among the Mourne Mountains, they create in a relatively small compass in the southernmost of one county a sudden landscape of rare intensity.
The Gerald Colton Way looks an oddity, but there is a sharp logic to it. It runs from the South Bank Centre in Central London, out to the Buckinghamshire Chilterns, with loops and eccentricities on the way.
The route is 65 miles long, so do not expect to walk it in one weekend. It was devised in 1994 by Gerald Colton, a founder member and long-time Walks Organiser of the Hampstead Ramblers, to mark the first multi-racial elections in South Africa that year. He named it the ‘Mandela Way’ and it ran from a statue of Nelson Mandela by the Royal Festival Hall, out to the Boer War monument on Combe Hill in Buckinghamshire. It has no other connection with South Africa though and so after Mr Colton’s death the next year, the Hampstead Ramblers renamed his route in honour of its inventor.