Below you will find descriptions for a variety of walks in England (around 21 of them) plus photographs from around the Chilterns which might be of interest and wish to just go sightseeing). These walks generally work out around 8 to 12 miles - although there are a couple of heavys described too - they are mostly circular and often incorporate hiking along parts of several National Trails.
These Trails include The Ridgeway National Trail, The Oxfordshire Way, The Icknield Way and The South Bucks Way
- plus along the River Thames and parts of the 185 miles of Thames Path National Trail. There also several walks described from a little further north - around Market Harborough and Welford which may be of interest too.
The walks visit amongst other places Blenheim Great Park, Woodstock, Thame, Goring, Henley, Islip, Reading, Maidenhead and Marlow.
Walking Gear and Possible Hazards when hiking in England. Everyone has their preference for what to have on their feet when out rambling but certainly some of these
walks really do require walking boots
or at least wellies rather than simply trainers. For instance the Oxfordshire Way Trail is quite often really wet in places - it just seems to have a remarkable ability in finding underground springs on it's route - so sometimes you can be walking through deep slippery mud patches.
It is also of note how quickly the weather can change especially in the winter - we have set out on The Ridgeway Trail in reasonably warm conditions, then ended up being snowed on a few hours later so again taking a bit of appropriate gear is
worth while. The Ridgeway is surprisingly isolated in places especially towards the Wiltshire end (Avebury area etc.). Also we usually take a walking pole
with us particularly when we expect to be walking across fields where they may be cows
and sometimes even bulls grazing.
In England public footpaths and Rights of Way are by law not meant to be blocked or obstructed or create any sort of hazard to walkers however young
cattle in particular have a habit of running towards you. This is simply because they are inquisitive. However 20 or 30 calves racing towards you is a bit of a hazard in
that (we know) sometimes they forget they have to actually stop in time - what they do tend to
respect and pay attention too is a stick being waved at them.
Remember also that normally docile cows can become somewhat concerned and even aggressive when they have very young calves with them so give them plenty
of room. Obviously dangerous bulls
are not allowed to wander freely where public access is permitted however you can come across a bull now and again. The one thing that might just help you should
you come across a bull is by having a stick or walking pole - bulls know about sticks and respect them (again usually!.
The instructions for the walks are for guidance although we believe them to be accurate however of course a good Ordnance Survey Explorer map
should be carried/utilised as well.
Quite apart from the lovely countryside around the area when walking it is always worth slight diversions to look at the churches in the various villages, some of which are very old. You may be interested in looking at a few photographs of some of the old churches in England
which we have come across whilst out and about walking.
In addition at the appropriate time of year we have the "pre-Spring warning" of snowdrop displays
followed by the massive displays of bluebells doing their thing in the woods - for example up at Christmas Common. Then there are the fantastic autumn leaf displays for which Wendover Woods is justifiably famous. Please take a look at our English Wild Flowers
- nearly all the pictures were taken whilst on walks mentioned above.l
As far as wildlife is concerned The Chilterns is full of all sorts to enjoy - particularly we have a thriving population of Red Kites. For instance around Thame (Oxfordshire) it is very unlikely that you will fail to see at least 5 or 6
and quite often 30 or more of these wonderful birds flying around often at tree height. Other locations to expect to spot these Red Kites is around Christmas Common and up at Stokenchurch. If you are happy to go walking then another
good place to spot Red Kites is around Stonor Deer Park where in addition you often see hawks and buzzards as well as owls, woodpeckers and other birds.