Pete's Walks - Hambleden and Turville

I did this walk on Friday, 20th March 2009. It was basically a shortened version of Walk 15 of my Chiltern Chain Walk (missing out Ibstone) done in the opposite direction. I added an extra objective for this walk, in that I wanted to try to get some photos of Red Kites. I took the 1.7x converter for my camera with me (a bit like an extra zoom lens), and sat on a couple of stiles near Turville where I'd seen Kites close up before, but unfortunately the birds just didn't want to co-operate today.

I was blessed with another beautiful warm Spring day. Starting the walk, I went a short way west from Hambleden, along the bottom edge of Ridge Wood, before following a farm track heading north along a very pleasant valley.

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Hambleden

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Path through the edge of Ridge Wood, Hambleden - the yellow flowers are Lesser Celandine

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Farm track heading north towards Great Wood, Hambleden

The route then continued for some distance through Great Wood, Hambleden. After a short section of lane walking, I re-entered the woods, continuing northwards.

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The path through Great Wood

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The path through Great Wood

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The path near the end of Great Wood

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Path through Kimble Wood

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Path through another Great Wood, this one in Turville (I think!)

Finally leaving the woods, there was then a short walk across fields to reach Turville (the setting for 'The Vicar of Dibley', and used in numerous other TV shows and films). I took a short diversion northwards and uphill, to sit and wait on a stile in order to photograph Red Kites, but in vain. I was equally unsuccessful when I sat and waited on a stile en route to Fingest.

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Approaching Turville, with Cobstone Mill on the hill beyond

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Looking back at Turville - this was where I failed in my mission to photograph Red Kites

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Fingest church - this is one of my favourite churches, the huge Norman tower is very impressive

From Fingest I followed a path uphill to Fingest Wood. On the edge of the wood I stopped at Fieldfare's Stile (named after a well-known naturalist and writer) to admire the views.

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Path from Fingest to Fingest Wood

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Looking back over Fingest (and Cobstone Mill) from Fieldfare's Stile

The route then took me through Adam's Wood, and then on downhill towards Skirmett. It was then a straightforward walk south along the charming Hambleden valley back to my starting point.

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Looking back to Adam's Wood, from near Skirmett

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Looking back north along the Hambleden Valley, from near Pheasant's Hill

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Sorry, not a very clear photo - this is a topiary face in the corner of a hedge at Pheasant's Hill. I saw it he first time that I walked the Chiltern Way (it was much clearer then) but I had not seen it on my subsequent visits until today