We have a busy spring and summer ahead of us because in June our daughter Lolly is getting married. I am not sure there is much for me to do towards the wedding preparations other than make a financial contribution and write a speech. However, Lynnie has a little more involvement in the wedding plans.
Today we are visiting Lolly as Lynnie is accompanying her to a wedding dress fitting. We have left the dogs at home so unusually I am walking on my own. Having dropped Lynnie off in Beaconsfield I head off to Pinkneys Green where I park besides the cricket pitch on Pinkneys Drive.
Leaving the car park I cross the road and turn left following it to a junction with the A 308, here I turn right to skirt the edge of the housing development. Soon there are open fields on the left and on reaching the top of the hill I see the trig point in the hedgerow on the opposite side of the road. Crossing with care I bag this, my 126th, trig point.
Back on the pavement I continue along besides the A308, as I pass schoolchildren are emerging from their study. It is a sad reflection on modern society that children are now schooled behind high locked gates. At a set of traffic lights I cross the road and head down Swithback Road South for a couple of hundred yards before turning left into Cannon Court Road. This narrow lane soon reaches open countryside and at a junction with a by way I continue straight on along the tarmac lane, I am now following the route of the Cookham Bridleway Circuit.
After passing Cannon Court Farm the road sweeps to the right, but I continue straight on following the bridleway signs through a gate and then along a well made track as it gradually heads uphill.
As I ascend there are extensive views, to my right I can see the tops of the buildings in Maidenhead town centre.
The driveway ends in a small car park where I cross Long Lane and continue along Spring Lane. At a junction I continue straight ahead, still on Spring Lane. There is no pavement but plenty of space to get away from the occasional passing car. On reaching a sign for Pudseys Close I turn left. Here I make a slight detour from the path to bag the trig point on Mount Hill Reservoir.
Back on the footpath I follow way markers through trees to reach Church Road in Bigfrith. It is amazing how rural it feels here. Turning left I walk the short distance down the lane and then turn right into Stubbles Lane.
Following the narrow lane I reach a crossroads where I cross and then take a footpath on the right. There are several options of paths here, I take the route of the Chiltern Way Berkshire Loop, passing through a gate into a field where immediately in front of me are high security gates surrounding the Copas free-range turkey farm.
Whilst initially the gates look intimidating a sign explains the footpath runs through the farm and the gates are designed to keep foxes out. Being early January the inhabitants of the turkey farm have recently been dispatched and the area has a slightly odd feel to it.
After going through another security gate the path continues alongside the edge of the farm buildings to emerge onto a tarmac lane, Kings Lane. I turn right and within a few hundred yards take a footpath on the left heading steadily uphill to reach Dean Lane. I go straight across into Job’s Lane and carry on uphill.
At the top of the lane I reach another minor road where I turn right and walk to the top of Winter Hill with its views across the River Thames and beyond.
There are a couple of options of paths from here, I opt for the one going southwesterly starting along the driveway to houses. After the driveway the path enters woodland with the River Thames below on the right and a fence on the left.
At a fork in the path I go right continuing through the trees to reach a minor road. I do not cross the road but take a downhill path leading around the boundary of a house. Clearly the owners do not want intruders, there is a high fence, inside which are rolls of razor wire.
Continuing gradually downhill the footpath leads to a junction with Quarry Wood Road. I cross and take a footpath along the Cookham Bridleway as it enters the Woodland Trust land of Quarry Hill Wood and Bisham Wood.
Apparently the quarries in the ancient woodland were the source of the stone used to build nearby Windsor Castle. It is a cracking bit of woodland with a network of paths, I follow the map and way markers with care to keep to the route of the Cookham Bridleway Circuit.
Helpfully there are regular blue marked posts to keep me on the right track.
The path reaches a driveway where I turn left and head towards Park Farm following the well marked route besides the farm to reach Winter Hill Road, which I cross, entering Cookham Dean Common where I turn right and walk along the edge of the common.
This path re-joins the side of the road briefly to the junction of Choke Lane, I cross joining the Chiltern Way as it heads through woods besides the road.
At a footpath sign I cross the road to enter the woods on the opposite side. The way markers for the Chiltern Way are unclear but there is a network of paths through the woods, I am heading to the southwest corner of the woodland where I emerge onto a track by cottages.
This track brings me onto Golden Ball Lane close to the Golden Ball pub where I turn right to walk the short distance to the A308 Marlow Road where I turn left heading towards the Robin Hood Inn. Before reaching the pub I cross the road and take the Chiltern Way footpath leading onto the common at Pinkneys Green.
From here I walk across the common to the car park where I started. My walk has covered eight miles and as I end the light is fading fast so I have timed it just right.
To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Explorer 172 Chiltern Hills East
11th January 2019
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2019)