Anyone for Cricket?

One of the challenges of our new lifestyle is overcoming the temptation of feeling the need to see something new everyday, as you do on holiday. Over the last week or so we have decided that we have enjoyed this summer so much that we will do the same next year, albeit visiting some different locations. One place we will revisit is Cholsey Grange CL. It is very convenient for seeing Lolly and Toby plus it is such a great site. So today we decide to have a chill day and do very little.

There is of course shopping to do and Lolly has told us about the local farm shop she uses at Little Marlow which has an excellent butcher, so we drive there and dodge the heavy showers.

It is the local Ibstone Horticultural show today but we decide against visiting it because of the heavy rain. As the rain stops there is an aerobatic display presumably for the show or for another event that is taking place just a few miles up the road.

By late afternoon the skies are clear and we go for a stroll. We leave the site and walk down hill to Penley Wood, turning left and walking through the bottom of the valley. This is an interesting bit of woodland and the path is clear and well marked. Eventually we reach a stile and cross to walk through a clear path through a field ready for harvest. The path takes us to Coopers Court Farm, which is just below the M40, although we cannot hear the traffic.

At the farm we follow the well marked paths leading us initially to Bissomhall Shaw and then into Commonhill Wood where we take the path that leads behind Lower Studdridge Farm.

On reaching the road we turn right to walk along the verge for a couple of hundred yards and then turn left down a track into Bowley’s Wood. This is a steady descent emerging at Wellground Farm. Here it is a left turn to walk along the tarmac drive towards the Wormsley Cricket Ground. There is a sports event going on and we here the tannoy announce today’s special guest the ex-England rugby player, Austin Healey.

This is no ordinary cricket ground. Wormsley Park is the former home of the philanthropist Sir Paul Getty, he moved to Wormsley in 1986 and spent five years renovating the house where he lived until his death in 2003. The cricket ground, built by Getty to be a replica of The Oval with a mock Tudor pavilion, has over the years hosted many games featuring top class cricketers and celebrities. Unfortunately, I do not qualify on either count so I have never played there. When we were here last year it had just hosted one of the Women’s Test matches between England and Australia.

We walk by the ground but it is hidden from view by tall trees, as we climb the hill we get glimpses but not enough to fully appreciate the setting. We meet the Chiltern Way and follow this back to Ibstone Common, then across Ibstone Cricket pitch and back down the drive to Cholsey Grange.

In the evening I need to find some wi-fi to upload a few blogs so I wander up the road to the Fox Inn. It is just ten minutes walk from the site. It is surprisingly quiet for a Saturday evening, but the staff are friendly and I am served up a couple of excellent pints of Sharp’s Doombar.

[To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 171 – Chiltern Hills West]


2nd August 2014

© Two Dogs and an Awning (2014)

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