Our latest walk began at Burnham Beeches, a popular starting point for hikes for any local walking groups including ourselves. The area is characterised by a diverse mixture of ancient woodland, wood pasture, coppice, ponds and streams as well as grass and heath land. Much of this we could see today.
We gathered at the main car park on Lord Mayor’s Drive. A decent turnout of sixteen was supplemented further by the addition of three friends of the walk leaders. It was Jack’s first time taking on walk leading responsibilities so nice that so many people came to provide their support.
I have been on walks here before and was slightly anxious thinking it might be a little muddy underfoot but thankfully despite much precipitation falling the previous weekend we had mild dry weather leading up to our walk so the ground was generally easy to negotiate.
The route took us to the village of Hedgerley, home to one of my favourite pubs as well as a nice setting for scenes in Midsummer Murders and in film. We had our picnic lunches here, splitting into two smaller groups to make use of two benches available. The walk leader’s choice was to have the prerequisite pub stop later in the walk so I had to be patient for my alcohol intake for a while yet.
We left the village via the local church through one or two awkward and aging kissing gates. We continued ahead towards Fulmer passing through fields that had one or two inquisitive horses coming over to say hello. Eventually we arrived in Fulmer for our pub stop. I remembered walking past here a couple of years back and seeing the post box painted in gold honouring Paralympian Gold Medallist Sophie Christiansen. Inside the hostelry a few of us spotted a well known celebrity (clue – think of a number?).
Suitably refreshed we continued on our walking earnest enjoying the splendour of the heathland that is Stoke Common, a site of special scientific interest. The autumnal sun was starting to set making for a rather relaxing and peaceful environment to enjoy.
Understandably our walk leader was keen to make good progress as the car park was due to shut at 4.30pm. However, progress was such when we arrived back at our cars most of us took the opportunity to have a hot drink and a slice of cake at the conveniently located café. All in all, a very enjoyable day out and having accomplished leading without a hitch Jack has already submitted further walks to our programme!