An honest country walk is never too far away. With a bit of planning, a few hours to spare and not least a stubborn fondness for fresh air, it is quite possible to make a quick yet worthwhile getaway from the humdrum of London. A stone’s throw from Amersham and well within the comfort of the M25, begins the Misbourne Valley walk - one of many wonderful routes that criss-cross the edge of the Chilterns. Being pressed for time, we stuck to a section of the route close to the River Misbourne, that led via the sleepy village of Chalfont St Giles through thickets of woodland and back.
With Autumn well under way, we were hoping to catch the colours before the season was out. Woodlands are always a joy to behold, but even the humblest of thickets can turn into something of a spectacle at this time of the year. A short walk through Rushcroft Wood and we arrived at Chalfont St Giles.
The small village churchyard is well worth a visit, and curiously enough a perfect spot for bird watching. The village was also incidentally home to John Milton, who moved there during the Great Plague in 1665. Milton’s cottage which still retains its Tudor character is a popular attraction in the village, and opens daily between March and October, barring Mondays (which of course we did not know till we arrived). Our good luck ensured we turned up promptly on a Monday; a useful point to consider when visiting Chalfont! We did not though let that deter our spirits. Indeed that would be hard in a village as gorgeously simple, free from the blight of Tesco and all the fanfare of larger towns. Long may it stay that way! Before we left, we bought a little piece of Chalfont to preserve the visit – a fine jar of locally made damson jam, from Stratton Bakery, a few shops up from Milton’s Cottage.
Technical details: Olympus ZD 12-60mm lens; all unedited and straight from the camera.