21 December 2013: Aylesbury Vale Parkway to Amersham (new)

21 December 2013: Aylesbury Vale Parkway to Amersham (new)
Walk descriptor Test walk Day 00
Date Sat 21 Dec 2013 Start to end time 06h 59m
Start point Aylesbury Vale Parkway End point Amersham
Miles today 23.45 Cu miles 0,000.00
Ft today 1709 Cu ft 000,000
Route miles left 0,000 Route ft left 000,000
Today’s weather Rained more or less all day, varying in intensity from heavy drizzle to extended torrential downpours.   Quite mild (about 7C), very windy – near gale force on Coombe Hill.   No sun although it brightened for an hour or so around 1:30pm
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Today’s location
(the red cross in a circle shows where I am at the moment)
GPX based track of today’s walk
(click here to access to access downloadable file)

This was a trial of the walk I’m leading for the London group of the Long Distance Walker’s Association in January.   I took the train from Amersham to Aylesbury Vale Parkway and started walking as soon as the train got to Aylesbury at 10:17.   The first 3 miles of the walk was on a concrete path alongside a small stream running through fields and looking across to the  ruined mediaeval village of Quarrendon, now barely visible and being rapidly encroached on by the new town of Watermead and Aylesbury Vale.

Then through more (very muddy and often flooded) fields to the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal.   Through the Chiltern village of Wendover and up Coombe Hill, highest point in the Chilterns, at 852 ft.   The weather briefly cleared, allowing good views across the Vale of Aylesbury.   Back through beechwoods to Gt Missenden, passing the Roald Dahl museum on the High St, then a brief late lunch stop by the church.   Back to Amersham through the woods near Hyde Heath, where numerous notices announcing the impending arrival of HS2 had recently been posted, arriving Amersham rail station a shade under 7 hours since starting and in near pitch dark.

It was an invigorating though exceptionally wet walk, allowing a good test of the cagoule recently purchased for LEJOG next year.   Lots of mud, and not much wildlife (though did spot a red kite, a heron and a hare) 

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)
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Aylesbury Vale Parkway station Flooded path on way past Quarrendon
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Testing the new cagoule on the Wendover arm of the Grand Union Canal Crimea War monument at top of Coombe Hill
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Gt Missenden High St – Roald Dahl museum is the blue building in the centre distance Last vestiges of Metroland at Amersham station
Through the beechwoods between Coombe Hill and Gt Missenden
The previous day’s blog follows below the blue line
Solid line blue