The last Saturday in September is always wonderful weather but this year it must have been the most beautiful day of the decade. Even so only a select group made it to Marylebone Station for an early start (were the rest at London Bridge perhaps?) but that did not blight the spirit of the outing to Saunderton just north of High Wycombe.
Immediate long valley views south, lovely varying woodland, and only a few moments of uncertainty when the guidebook was almost certainly wrong, “open fields” replaced by new woodland, that kind of confusing thing. How were we to know ? Mind you we also almost lost the pub, tucked away down an unmade up road and only uncovered by a recce party. But there is something slightly dubious about an inn with the name the Le De Spencer Arms, isn’t there ? Meal only satis, except for Our Man with the Spotted Dick and Custard, “pudding” he called it obeying the new political correctness. (It wasn’t spotted, either) picture. Nice Gale’s Seafarer beer.
The party held together for the long work and hot assault on the return leg of the walk, across the valley and up to the striking but slightly pointless Dashwood Mausoleum and St Laurence’s church with the weird ball on top.
No time for the perversions of the Hellfire Club’s caves; instead through healthy woods to where we started.
ADVT: The next Ramble is on the second Saturday of 2010, January 9th (this gives people who are away for New Year a chance to join in). Probably a London one, maybe around Richmond if we can find a walk with healthy woods a pub in the middle, not at either end. Suggestions welcome, and do come. healthy woods More in due course. Watch this space!
Text: Peter. Photos: Annie, Peter