About my walk
This journal describes my walk on the Chiltern Way between late March and early June in 2007. It took me 26 days of walking in that time, at pretty close to my target of three walks a week (allowing for a two week break due to a walking holiday in the Lake District and a week of wet weather). As usual, I did the walk Ďboth waysí, each day walking about 7.5 miles along the route, then retracing my steps back to my car.
This was the second time that I have walked the Chiltern Way. The reason I walked it again was because I was not happy with the journal I wrote for my earlier walk on this route. I didnít decide to write a journal until I was part way through that walk (and didnít think of creating a web site until even later), and I didnít carry a camera with me that time. Consequently the entries are very short, and there is only one photo per entry, taken sometime after the event when I spent a couple of days driving round the route with a camera. Having walked a dozen or so long-distance paths since, the Chiltern Way was still my favourite and I felt that my journal really didnít do it justice. So I decided to walk the Chiltern Way again, in order to produce a more satisfactory journal.
Having made that decision, I then chose to do my second Chiltern Way walk straight away, rather than do any of the two or three other long-distance paths in my home area that I had yet to walk. If I had done those other walks first, I might have ended up walking the Chiltern Way at exactly the same time of year as I had done two years earlier. If I was going to do the walk a second time, it seemed sensible to vary it by doing it in a different season of the year. It was quite fortuitous that this meant that I did it in late Spring and early Summer, a great time of year for walking, especially for someone like myself with a burgeoning interest in wildflowers.
Dunstable Downs , where I chose to start and finish my walk
I made the obvious choice to do the walk exactly as I had done it in 2005, starting and finishing at Dunstable Downs and splitting the route into the same 26 walks of approximately 7.5 miles each way. This meant I didnít have to spend any time at all planning my walks this time, I already new where to start and finish each walk. It also meant I knew where I could park each day, and where there were good spots to stop for lunch.
Most people walking the Chiltern Way would do a circular route, either along the original (2000) route, or else along most of that route and along the Northern and Southern Extensions that were added in 2003. As in 2005, my walk covered all of the original route as well as the extensions (hopefully the map will make this clear!). I did this primarily because I enjoyed the walk so much that I wanted to walk every possible part of it. It has the added advantage, though, that it means my journals may be of interest to both people walking just the original route and those people walking a circular route including the extensions.
The mileages that I give at the start and end of each dayís walk are based on those in the guide book. As usual, most of the historical and other data I give is taken from the guide book.
I took far more photographs on this walk than I have done on any other. I have therefore included more photos than usual in this journal, but have made the 'thumbnails' smaller so that the pages don't take too long to load on slower connections. As usual, if you click on any of the smaller images with a blue border, the photo will appear full size (click the 'Back' button of your browser to return to the journal).
I have also numbered each photograph (in red) and inserted the same number in the text to show where in the walk the photo was taken.
Click here to see a very rough map of the Chiltern Way (but only if you have already read my disclaimer and notes regarding maps).
Note: In 2010, a few years after I did this walk, the Chiltern Society celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Chiltern Way by opening a further extension to it, through the part of the Chiltern Hills Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty that lies in Berkshire. Click here to read about my subsequent walk on the 'Berkshire Loop'.