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Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Wednesday walk Tring to Wendover - A Chilterns adventure with canals and reservoirs and Wendover Woods

Book 1, Walk 11 - Tring to Wendover

Length: 21 km (13 miles)  Option to shorten by 3 miles
Toughness: 6 out of 10    Terrain flat in morning, hilly in afternoon (hills can be avoided if canal route taken)

London Euston: 10-24 hrs   Milton Keynes service
Arrive Tring: 10-59 hrs

Wendover to London Marylebone: 15-56, 16-26, 16-39, 16-56, 17-23, 17-58 and 18-29 hrs

Rail ticket; buy an all zones travel card then a separate single to Tring, and for your return journey, a  single from Wendover to your travel zone boundary (Amersham).

This is a wonderful walk with lots of variety - and scoring highly for its water features. The morning leg is flat, and starts along the Grand Union Canal before you walk around three large reservoirs. Onwards then across country to the village of Aston Clinton (unfortunately split in two by the A41 bypass) for lunch at the Oak pub - with its generously sized food portions.
After lunch you walk along the edge of an airfield, used by the MOD for glider flying, and then you join the Wendover Canal. Decision time now - to avoid the hills and woods you can enjoy a leisurely walk beside the canal all the way to Wendover. Otherwise, you soon take to the hills as you ascend Wendover Woods. At  the top there is a cafe, then the Go Ape Centre, where younger walkers can take to the high wires. Then it's along the ridge of the woods and a steep descent to Wendover. Tea can be take at a number of places. Chocaholics make for the Rumsey's Chocolaterie. The pub next to station road and a few minutes from the railway station- the Shoulder of Mutton -  always wins my vote for the best tea stop.
Walk Directions here: L=1.11


Walker said...

It is 7.4 miles to lunch. Those of a mathematical bent might notice that this means we won’t get to lunch till 2pm. But I just checked and The Oak does do food all afternoon.

PeteG said...

Freedom Pass people should get a single from Harrow & Wealdstone. You can also get the overground to Watford Junction for a slightly cheaper fare if you have time to spare.

This route is a fares black hole. As far as I can make out. A Zone 9 day travelcard (for Amersham) does not include Watford Junction as far as mainline trains are concerned, so you would need a single from Harrow & Wealdstone.

Watford Junction is now a tourist destination (for Harry Potter theme park) so having the most complicated fare choices in London makes perfect sense!

Disclaimer: I accept no responsibility for you getting the wrong ticket & have no special skills in this area!

Walker said...

Day it was, oh what a. N=16 on this walk on the loveliest February day in the world ever. W=Sunny-and-summer-hot, with just a delicious hint of cold as we started out. To steal a line from Lake District author AJ Wainwright: “Heaven must be a bit like this.”

There were actually 14 of us on the train up: two (involuntary) late starters joined us later. The early canal section proved as interesting as ever and there were grebes, cherry plum blossom and butterflies to cheer us on our way.

Getting left behind due to contemplation of these natural wonders I decided to skip the second reservoir and do a short cut - with one of the late starters - along a disused section of the Wendover Canal. This was fascinating. First it was a track in a trench, then we came to sections which were being rebuilt, then it had water. Its banks were lined with coltsfoot - not a flower I see often.

After two beautiful churches (at the second of which the many sandwich eaters ate, I later discovered) we two got to the Oak at about 1.30, ahead of the main group. We were allowed to drink in the garden and to wait in the garden for our food to come and the staff came out into the garden to tell us it was ready, but we had to eat the food inside for reasons obscure to me. Portions were vast. The “light lunches” were big: full-sized meals immense. Five of the main group arrived just as our food arrived and we all ate together.

After lunch at least one caught a bus and three opted for the shorter canal route into Wendover. Eight of us headed up into the hills but four of us unwisely trusted the GPS not the walk directions and ended up on a road (the GPX will be amended). We met up with the others at the Cafe in the Woods but only two of us had tea there, the rest standing around and watching. Down in Wendover two went to Rumseys and six to the Shoulder of Mutton. We got the train home from Wendover station, where the deafening roar of the adjacent main road is soon to be “ruined” by the addition of a high speed train line.

PeteB said...

Sorry Walker , given the current configuration of oceans and land masses I don't think 20c UK temperatures in February are to be celebrated. Deeply worrying in my view.

Walker said...

I don’t entirely disagree, but some perspective is useful here. The excessive heat was caused by the position of high pressure, which brought air up from Africa. Last year at this time we had a high further north which brought air from Siberia. So in a way this year’s heat and last year’s cold came from the same type of weather. Both were probably due to a weakened jet stream due to Arctic warming, and that is worrying, yes. But interestingly there is evidence from the past that unusually hot and cold Marches (it is almost March) go in pairs: this was true of 2012 and 2013, 1962 and 1963, and 1947 and 1948 apparently. Also the record that was broken was set 100 years ago, so there was a hot February then too.

But yes, I do not want a weirdly early spring and am glad the weather has now turned more typical. Long may it remain so. Still, Wednesday was a lovely day to be out walking.