In the somewhat corny words of William Wordsworth’s poem to his sister Dorothy, I put on my ‘woodland dress’ (shorts and a T-shirt, for the first time this year), took advantage of the longer evenings and set forth on an eight-mile circuit from Turville in the Buckinghamshire Chilterns.
I walked anti-clockwise through the Wormsley valley to Northend and back along the county boundary to Turville Heath.
Ibstone churchyard was awash with daffodils and primroses.
The woodland path to Hell Corner was inviting.
At the top of the Wormsley valley there was a view which will soon be obscured by leaves (left, below); there was already a hint of green in the hawthorn bushes (right).
From the top of the valley I could hear a lot noise coming from the bottom. It turned out to be a tractor clearing the ground in Hale Wood. This is a sacred site, the first breeding ground of the red kites which were introduced from Spain in 1999. I trust no damage will be done.
I crossed the valley floor and headed up to Northend, with a great view up the Wormsley valley.
From Northend I took Turville footpath 24A, which unfortunately has been fenced in—it used to run across an open field. I wrote about it here.
Then I joined the path on the Bucks-Oxfordshire boundary, which still has the feel of an ancient way, although the hedges are gone.
As I passed through Turville Park Farm I saw lambs in the fields.
The county-boundary path up to Balhams Lane is always left undisturbed, a message to farmers that there is no need to mess around with cross-field paths. It had a David Hockney appearance because the grass on one side had apparently been sprayed.
At Turville Heath, on top of the hill, I stopped at the bus shelter, which contains bits of information including a copy of the definitive map for Turville, with a surrounding drawn by villager Sophie Fois.
I walked over the common and back down to Turville. On the last field before home there was a herd of deer resting. A peaceful sight with which to end my walk.