Sunday, 26 June 2011

Chequers/Coombe Hill (figure of 8) – (Buckinghamshire) – 24/06/11 – 9 Miles – Helen

So if you’re sensing a tad of deja-vu here, you’re correct this is the same walk I did last time out on this blog as well. The reason for the hasty repeat, is that Helen wanted to try the full circuit (as well as IVC) after we had got ourselves lost the first time out we tried it.

So rather than retread old ground describing too much of the walk again, let me bang on about the journey instead. Thus on my previous three outings here, I had taken the underground from Osterley to Marylebone, and then Chiltern railways to Wendover. However Helen didn’t fancy the long traipse into London only to in effect, come all the way back out to Wendover. I on the other hand didn’t fancy driving all the way to Wendover and back on a rush hour Friday. However thanks to the tube dot com, we were able to follow an alternative travel plan. So here it is.

Take a 12 minute walk from home to Osterley station. Then travel from Osterley to Acton Town, cross over the platform. Then travel Acton Town to Rayners Lane, cross over the platform. Then travel Rayners Lane to Harrow on the Hill, cross over the platform. Hang around there some 30 minutes for an Amersham train, then hastily cross over the platform again when it turns up on a different platform than it is supposed to. Eventually arrive at Amersham, and cross over the platform to buy a ticket for Chiltern Railways, then cross back over the platform again to get the train to Wendover, only to find you have just missed it and will have to wait half an hour for the next one. Arrive at Wendover the best part of three hours later, having lost all idea of why you had actually travelled there in the first place.

Anyway suffice to say we didn’t fancy that route back home again. Thus we took the Chiltern Railways train back to Harrow on the Hill, and then picked up on the previous journey only in reverse order. Although this enabled us to take about an hour off the journey it was something of a pyrric travelling victory.

However returning to our eventual arrival at Wendover, we decided we didn’t want to begin the walk until we had our lunch. To this end we were excellently served by the Shoulder of Mutton pub just outside the station (where I had afternoon tea the other week with IVC). We both had the fish and chips and mushy peas, which were of a much higher standard than what most pubs throw up, and to wash that down I had a pint of Strongbow.

So what about the walk ? Well you know the usual. Up to the Coombe Monument where we met some belted Galloway cattle. Go past David Cameron’s weekend gaff, then past Beacon Hill and onto Ellesborough church (no diversion here off to lunch as obviously we had already had it). Cross a field with the Coombe Monument way off in the distance, before the steepest of climbs. Watch Helen play silly buggers with a swing on a tree. Go through Low Scrubs cursing that the ice cream man isn’t there on weekdays. Up a wooded hill, down a long bridleway, keeping ones distance from someones horse-shit eating dog, then enter a field after waiting for the cattle to cross it, to arrive back at Wendover station.

Walks since last blog entry:

1 x 7 miles – Osterley Park/Grand Union

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