Pete's Walks - Wigginton and Wendover Woods (page 3 of 4)

There were a couple of points along this track were there breaks in the trees on my left, giving good views out over Wendover and the Vale of Aylesbury. As I approached an area set aside for picnics and barbeques, I met  and greeted four walkers coming the other way - to my slight consternation, one of them looked at me and exclaimed "Pete Collins!". Not recognising them at all, I rather dubiously said "er... yes?"  - it turned out it was a fellow follower of the WildAboutBritain web site, who recognised me from the photos on the 'About Me' page of this web site (that's definitely a first, nobody has ever recognised me that way before!). We'd never met, but had emailed each other a couple of times to share information on the location of wildflowers in South Beds, where we both live. It's only recently that I'd discovered we both enjoyed walking, too. We had a quick chat and I mentioned the Buddleia bushes with the butterflies, which was on the route they were walking (it was very nice meeting you, "alindsay").

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Looking out over Wendover and the Vale of Aylesbury, from Wendover Woods

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Approaching the

barbeques area near the visitor centre

A little further on I passed the car park by the visitor centre, on my tight - the car park was full and there were cars parked along the edges of all the tracks round about, so not everybody's deterred by the charging fees! I followed a drive going straight on (it's a one-way system and I was walking against the flow of traffic) for about a quarter of a mile, when a path started at a barrier on the right. This continued through the woods, then went through a very tall kissing-gate (a tight squeeze with my rucksack on!). It then ran alongside a long garden fence, and then along a tree-lined drive to reach a minor road close to the top of Aston Hill.

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The car park at the visitor centre - they can clearly get away with charging 5 to park

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The drive from the visitor centre - I took the path past the barrier shown here

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The path to Aston Hill

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The path to Aston Hill

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The path to Aston Hill

Aston Hillhas nice views over the Vale of Aylesbury. It takes its name from the village of Aston Clinton at its foot. The hill has a proud claim to fame in the field of motoring. Between 1904 and 1925 the road up the hill was a renowned venue for hillclimbing, and on 4th April 1914, Lionel Martin made his first ascent in a tuned Singer car. The next month, he was so successful in the Herts County Automobile and Aero Club meeting, that the sporting light car first registered in his name was called an ASTON-MARTIN. There is a plaque by the side of the road commemorating the origin of the famous Aston Martin marque.

Over the road, I set off down a track with a Mountain Biking centre behind the fence on my left. The track led towards Aston Hill Farm, from where it continued beside a wooden fence on the right, still with the Mountain Bikers to the left. Soon the path was dropping downhill through woods, and a little further on there was a field on my left - occasionally I could see out towards the Vale Of Aylesbury or to Ivinghoe Beacon.

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Start of the track past the mountain biking centre on Aston Hill

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The path past the mountain biking centre on Aston Hill

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Looking out towards Ivinghoe Beacon from Aston Hill

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The path descending Aston Hill

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The Vale of Aylesbury from the path descending Aston Hill

At the bottom of the hill I turned right along Dancers End Lane, but after a hundred yards or so I turned left onto a footpath. This was soon running along the edge of a large cornfield on my right, with views over it to the wooded slopes below Hastoe, where I was now headed. I foolishly made a mistake by turning right at the field corner, before realising my mistake, retracing my steps and continuing through the next, much smaller, cornfield. Here I spotted some Wild Clematis growing in the hedge on my left (it's also known as Old Man's Beard or Traveller's Joy). I stopped for lunch on a tree trunk here, then turned right along a hedge-lined track (a byway named Fox Lane on the OS map).

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Dancers End Lane

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The path from Dancers End Lane

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Looking towards Grove Wood, Fox Lane on the left

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Fox Lane