Bell, Chartridge
* * * *-
9 of us met in the large car park. Overnight rain but a fine morning. Some sunshine and still relatively mild. Soon after the start of the walk we realised that we were in fact walking the route in reverse. This (to my mind) turned out to be a good thing as the start was a very steep downhill track - with steps - and would have been quite a climb at the end of the walk. The rest of the walk was reasonably flat and climbed back to Chartridge fairly gently. There were some slight deviations - mostly planned - and the total distance was just over 5 miles in just over 2 hours. This is good walking country - peaceful with decent views if a bit hilly. A disused well was interesting - an a white 'black sheep' was spotted.
3 more joined us at the pub. A table for 12 was set for us - just right. A nice pub - if lacking in a bit of character. My pint of Youngs was good and reasonable at £3.00. Good selection of food again at reasonable prices. My french bread with ham, mushrooms and melted cheese - with a little salad - was very tasty and cost £4.95. Toasted sandwiches again looked good and were cheaper. The liver and bacon looked particularly good - we did have a bit of a wait for the food - partly I think because they waited to serve all of us at the same time . I didn't really warm to this pub - perhaps because it was almost empty apart from us - but I can't really fault it. I give it 4- stars. walk, pics

Black Cat, Lye Green
* * * *+
It was a fine day - although most of us started with jackets on we quickly shed them as it warmed up nicely. I modified the route slightly to make it a bit longer - and we soon took the wrong path by mistake so had to modify it even more. It was a very pleasant walk of 4.8 miles. Fairly flat and some interest. A bit too much 'single file' walking for my liking due to narrow paths but generally varied countryside - including a very quiet golf course. Due to the extra diversions we had to cut the last bit of the planned walk to get back in time.
Two more joined us at the pub. I liked the pub - It wasn't pretentious, the staff were friendly and attentive, the food choice was good and very reasonably priced, the beer (I had the Youngs) was excellent and one of the cheapest pints lately at £2.90. It was on a quiet road, had a very large car park and had a decent beer garden (though we ate inside). I can't fault it so give it top rating of 4 stars. We may well be going there again sometime. walk, pics

Not a great day but dry and not cold. Six of us walked a decent walk. 4.8 miles of mixed walking with not too much road and no real hills. Some interest - a very large badger set, a good scrap yard with some old stationary engines (well they weren't moving) and some other things that I meant to remember - but have forgotten.
Four more joined us at the pub. I quite like this pub but it didn't quite live up to my expectations. Two reasonable beers on - but one ran out - £3 something. Food OK and reasonably priced but my baguette wasn't the best quality - £4 something. Very pleasant ladies running the pub. 3 stars. walk, pics

9 of us walked - and one more joined us at The Hen and Chickens, Botley, after having got lost getting to the pub. A threatening day with rain forecast so most of us kitted up in waterproofs. The rain in fact held off until about the last 1/2 hour and then wasn't too bad but I don't really enjoy walking in the rain - in fact a few of us took a bit of a short cut at the end of the walk. Good walking country around The Black Cat - mostly flat and we avoided the roads on the planned walk. Some interest in some old rusty stationary engines, a grain store and a private house that used to be The Five Bells. The full walk was 5 miles and the short cut would have knocked a couple of tenths off.
2 more joined at the pub. I like this place - nothing pretentious - just a good decent pub offering just what we like. 3 beers on hand pumps - all good I think. Good variety of sandwiches/baguettes - I had a bacon and mushroom baguette (with a bit of salad and crisps) at £5. The bacon was very tasty but I thought the baguette - although OK - was not top quality. Our food receipts went into a pot for a draw for 2 free Sunday Lunches. Very pleasant serving wenches and we had a table for 12 reserved for us - all worked very well I thought (after a panicky start earlier when I realised I had booked the wrong pub and had to make some last minute phone calls). Again 4+stars walk, pics

7 of us walked. Another very hot day in prospect and only a limited amount of shade on the walk. Off we went but a lot of head scratching a little later as we had missed the first footpath - soon corrected and no great time lost. Good walking country around Lye Green - generally flat, lots of mixed terrain, good views and a nice quiet part of the world. Very little road on the route and mostly deserted. Most of the walk was over old territory and the one new stretch I had included was missed by 2 of us as we took a shortcut so I can't say what it was like. We got back a few minutes early (only 4 miles) and the others 15 minutes later.
An excellent pub. Not a huge choice of beers (3) but I had a very nice Timothy Taylors. Good choice of food - My tuna melt baguette (no chips) was £5.50 and I enjoyed it. The ham, egg and chips (with bread and butter) looked particularly good. 1 more joined at the pub - total 8 - bit of a low turn out especially as I had booked for 12. I know I shouldn't care but I did feel a bit embarrassed and felt I had to apologise. walk, pics

Black Horse, Chesham
* * * *+
8 of us met in the car park. A fair bit of overnight rain but dry for us and improving. A bit of a chill wind but the sun did appear later in our walk. A slightly late start of 1145 (delayed due to pub warning us that they had a large party in at 1200). I thought the walk was good. Very little proper road on the route - and what there was very quiet (some stretches of metalled tracks -but they were almost a bonus against some of the very muddy bridle paths). No real single file walking. A bit of a hill to start but no problem. Good views. Some interest in an old priory, some very large glass-houses and a model hippo. As always some very nice property in some lovely positions. About 5.2 miles in 2hour 5min.
4 more joined us at the pub (eventually). They were very busy but beer was served straight away and the food was a bit delayed - but we were warned. Decent beers on - including two from the Tring Brewery - about £3.30 per pint. Good selection of food (including a two course meal for £8.50 for OAPs). Everyone enjoyed their food - I had an excellent prawn and crayfish baguette with a nice bit of salad and crisps at £5.95 - not the cheapest but very good value. The pub had a good large car-park, a good quiet outside eating area, a decent atmosphere and the service/staff were excellent - a top rated pub, 4+ stars. walk, pics

10 of us walked. Weather was perfect - sunny, dry and quite warm. As asked, we parked in the overflow carpark and just about filled it. We set off down a short stretch of narrow road which was a bit awkward but after that we were mostly in very pleasant, quiet countryside with some excellent views. This part of the world is a bit hilly but we managed a route with only a few ups and downs - the rest being along a valley side and then back along the top. Some interesting sights - we watched a couple of guys boring a hole in the chalk. Judging by the length of cable they had already gone quite deep. We also passed a field of ostriches - have I told you the one about the male ostrich chasing the female ostrich ....... oh well another time maybe - and some very tasty properties. We didn't hurry (Rhys wasn't with us) and covered the 5.3 miles in about 2h15min.
2 more joined us at the pub. It wasn't as busy as last time we were here but still a reasonable number of customers. I really like this pub. As I said before it ticks all the boxes. A good large car park and a large grassy beer garden, fairly quiet location, plenty of character, good beer (most of us had the Tring Sidepocket, very tasty, at £3.20), good food (I had a prawn/crayfish baguette with crisps and a decent bit of salad at £5.95), and good friendly service. I can't really fault this place so I rate it one of the best with 4+ stars. walk, pics

5 of us walked. A small but quality turn out. Not too warm, very windy and a bit drizzly - otherwise fine. Difficult to know what to wear - but I kept my fleece on. Some new ground on the walk - and some familiar places. I thought it a good walk - lots of wide grassy footpaths, some hard surfaces, some quite roads and some open woodland. Dry underfoot but some of the longer grass had got very wet with the drizzle and soaked my boots and trouser bottoms. As usual we had difficulty following the planned paths in the woods but generally followed the route. As is my way the route was planned with were very few hills so it was easy going. Just over 5 miles in just over 2 hours.
2 more joined at the pub. I felt a bit embarrassed as I had booked for 12 but it didn't seem to matter - the pub was reasonably busy but by no means full. We were well looked after and the beer and food were among the best. I drank Tring Sidepocket (at £3.30 I think) and had a ham and tomato baguette (£5.30) which came with a good handful of crisps and a very good salad. A nice old pub with a good, quiet beer garden and sizeable car-park. Top marks again I think. walk, pics

10 of us walked. Lucky again with the weather as it was dry and a fair bit of sunshine - but a very chilly wind especially on the outward leg along the ridge. Another walking group also met up in the car park and set off just before us in the same direction. We caught them up just as they turned off our planned route but they arrived back after us and must have walked further. The recent poor weather (lots of rain) had left its mark and most paths were very muddy and one impassable due to a lake. This forced a short diversion but didn't really hold us up much. Our group did fragment at one point and although there was some later amalgamation two of us found an alternative route back. A decent walk - the underfoot conditions making it a bit trying - I made it 5.07 miles in 2 hours 5 mins.
4 more joined at the pub. Excellent beer (I had the Sidepocket) and a good selection of food. I had a tuna sandwich with crisps and salad (£4.95) which I enjoyed. The pub got very busy later but the service was excellent and very friendly. (The do a pensioners special Tues/Thurs lunch - two course for £8.95 which partially accounts for the large numbers). A good pub with decent walking - I am sure we will be back. walk, pics

Black Horse, Mobwell (Great Missenden)
* * * *
Helicopter friendly
9 of us walked a linear walk but very pleasant. The weather was perfect for walking and the walk was not too hilly (a bit of a climb at first but then flat). Varied countryside with some good views and almost no roads. I did enjoy this one. Total distance about 4.8 miles.
The pub was excellent. A good car park with an interesting large pear tree that seemed to have two different types of pear (one possibly the root stock and the other grafted). Tables outside, fairly quite and not pretentious. Good food at reasonable prices (my ham sandwich at £3.95), a couple of draught beers at £3.30 and friendly staff. I think I will give this 4 stars as although it is not quite there it is along with the best (and I don't have any finer gradations). Three more turned up at the pub including Pete H. who again flew in to the balloon field in a helicopter - much to the delight of all concerned. walk, pics

10 of us walked. Another dry, chilly day - quite good for walking but still muddy underfoot in places. A decent walk really with the usual mixed terrain. Some of us cut off a short loop so only walked 4.6 miles as opposed to 5.1 for the others. The horse lady with the rosette display is the only memorable thing I can think of.
2 more joined at the pub - a few of the regulars were missing. The pub has been somewhat renovated - and I think a bit better - especially outside. Food very good if slightly expensive, I had the cheese and ham ploughmans at £7.25 - very enjoyable. Beer at £3.35 was also fine. I am sure we will be back here again. 4 stars. walk, pics

8 of us walked. A nice day really with plenty of sunshine and reasonable temperature. Still very wet underfoot in places and the river Misbourne was in full flow and flooding in places. some of us took a couple of short cuts which were unnecessary really as the hills were not too bad and we all got back early - in fact some of us added a bit on at the end to avoid being too early and tested some more flooding. I walked about 4 miles.
4 more joined at the pub (one by helicopter of course) making our standard 12. This pub has really smartened up recently and is a very nice place. A bit short on beers (2 working hand pumps) but mine was good (thanks Tony). Food looked a bit expensive but it all looked good quality. I had the bubble and squeak - starter size - at £6.50 and I really enjoyed it. I am sure we will be back. walk, pics

Black Horse, Lacey Green
* * * *+
01844 345195
Not to be confused with the Black Lion just along the road.
13 of us walked on a pleasant dry day. Not too much of interest on the walk but it was fairly flat and mixed countryside. We did go off route a couple of times - one of the detours being in Monkton Woods - a place we have not ever managed to correctly follow our route - another time perhaps. I pinched another sweetcorn cob - it looked OK but was again hard and starchy. Walk just over 5 miles in just over 2 hours.
Three more joined us at the pub making it a good turn-out. This is an excellent pub (and is used by another BBC group each Thursday - mainly OB tech ops. so I didn't know them but some of our group did). My toasted ham and cheese sandwich (with salad and chips) - very good- was only £3.25. Baguettes weren't much more and the main meals looked excellent. There were 4 real ales on - my Breakspear was good and reasonable at £3.10. This pub has a reasonable car park, a bit of a garden, plenty of character and the staff were very friendly. It would be hard to better this pub so it gets my top rating of 4 stars. walk, pics

10 of us walked. Another nice day. Lots of sunshine, quite mild for time of year, very little wind and dry. A decent walk of about 4.7 miles in about 1hour 50 mins. A bit hilly in places - particularly the long climb back up to Lacey Green. Lots of interest on the way including deer, chickens, donkeys, baby goats and the railway. We walked the route the opposite way to that shown on Tony's map to make it different from a previous walk - much to Tim's consternation.
We have been to this pub before and it's one of my favorites and still deserves its top rating. I wasn't drinking beer so can't comment or price it but the food was its usual excellence and reasonably priced (bacon and brie baguette with salad and chips at £4.95). We sat at one long table and the food came promptly - what more could one want. walk, pics

10 of us walked. Dry and very warm so we set off in shirt sleeves - the first for me this year. A bit hilly and slow walking so we cut a few corners - especially at the end as we were getting hot and tired and time was running out. Interesting navigating through the woods - the usual problem that the paths weren't where they were supposed to be. We walked through the 'old horses home' and said hello to some nice horses. A good walk but shortened to 4.6 miles.
Two more joined us at the pub - one of the extras having first visited the Black Lion - how could anyone make that mistake!!! One of my favourite pubs. Good beer, good reasonably priced food, a table laid out for us and nice people. We sat inside as it was cooler but there were tables outside. It still gets my top rating of 4+stars. walk, pics

11 of us walked. Weather a bit unsure and not too warm but turned out OK. A good walk but a bit up and down with a very steep hill near the start. Slight detour at Bradenham Air Base due to planned route going over the wire and through the base. Nice to see the Spitfire/Hurricanes on display outside the air base. A few of us took a short-cut near the end and only walked about 4.4 miles - the others 4.7ish.
4 more joined at the pub. We like this pub and it was up to it's usual standard. Not too busy but we had our usual long table reserved. Good beer and good food. walk, pics

9 arrived in the car-park as agreed when booked but ejected over to the village hall. Not a problem.
Early in the walk we missed a turning & ended up on a path more suited to picks & crampons but we all made it.
The final stretch - Grim's Ditch - lived up to its name. A long stretch of heavy going over partially dried mud. I will avoid this path in future.
We walked a length of (quiet) road to avoid a wood we usually get lost in. One day I'll map this in advance.
Otherwise a pleasant, unspectacular walk. 6 completed the full distance - 4.8 miles.
4 more were in the pub & Pete joined us in spirit (well, SMS).
Good venue as usual although it closes at 15:00. Maybe no bad thing after last week.
Beers were Black Horse LGS, Sussex something & Doombar. Didn't note the prices. Had an excellent liver, bacon, mushrooms & mash but can't remember the price. walk, pics

Black Lion, Bourne End
9 of met in the car park. Some trouble parking as the snake with the loud roar was weaving through the tall trees and bits were going everywhere. It didn't stop us having our images immortalized in numbers before starting our journey into the unknown. We first traversed the forbidden land lined with ogres' castles then down to the wide ribbon of the un-breathable which we crossed via the tent of the artisans who can change colours. On the other side of the ribbon we passed the once bountiful hovel of the golden liquor - sadly closed until the sun god re-appears and then turned inland. We just avoided the landscape guardian tending his furnace and hurried alongside the hill that steals the light. On approaching the dark tunnel where miners were collecting magic dust we hesitated and I dished out the magic apples to fortify ourselves against the multitude of small Trolls that I knew lay ahead. As the dust miners took a short break we dashed through the tunnel, tried to ignore the cruel ogres with their clubs that they used to beat the small round creatures and into the field of the Trolls. One of us - who had refused the magic apple - was disorientated and wandered from the chosen path. Luckily there was a crossing of the small ribbon that lay between us and he managed to rejoin the chosen path before a misadventure befell him. The apples worked well and the Small Trolls ignored us - but we had to be very careful not to walk on the sinisters that they had left around to catch the unwary, the effect of which would have left the unlucky traveler isolated due to the aura that would have surrounded him. We plodded on back to the wide ribbon which we again crossed via the artisan's tent, along the track of the noisy wheeled beast that eats people, up to his den where there was also a room for acquiring old objects in contest and then through to the peasants village where our destination beckoned. I made it about 5.4 miles in just over 2 hours. Whew!

Translation for the uninitiated.
They were cutting the trees in the car park. We had our photos taken. We walked trough a private estate with very expensive houses. We came to the Thames and crossed it via a bridge which was being painted. Past the Bounty which was shut for the winter. Past a National Trust warden tending a fire and along the side of a hill that shaded the sun. We stopped to eat apples and watched some workmen repairing the tunnel and then walked past some golfers. One of us took a slightly different path but later rejoined us. There were lots of dogs in the fields - and lots of dog mess. After recrossing the river we followed the train tracks back to the station where there was an auction room. Back through Bourne End to the pub.

Another 6 joined at the pub - another good turn out. A good pub I thought with a good selection of food - some better value that others - and a reasonable selection of beers - although at least one ran out. I had a bacon and brie sandwich with chips, coleslaw and salad (£5.95) and the Brakespear at £3.20. We might return one day but it probably wouldn't be top of the list. walk, pics

Black Lion, Walters Ash
* * *
Not to be confused with the Black Horse just along the road.
No report but awarded 3 stars.

11 of us walked. A lovely morning with sunshine and better temperatures than recently. A lot of rain over the last few days so we expected - and got - soft going with muddy patches. Some discussion on the direction before we had even left the car park but once underway we managed to follow the route pretty well except where we agreed slight changes. Mostly flat with one particular down and up. A fair bit of road but generally quiet. This area has been well walked by us as there are a number of our favorite pubs in the area so no new ground. A break away group took a bit of a shortcut and walked just less than 4 miles. The rest of us walked 4.64 miles in about 2 hours - bit surprised it was less than 5 miles as it felt longer.
4 more joined at the pub - 1 very late as he got waylaid into The Black Horse - a common mistake - there's always one. I believe this to be a community owned pub and as such was one of the best. Well staffed with well turned out and cheerful people. Not a very good selection of beer (3 but one was porter) and most of us drunk the Rebellion IPA which I like. Good selection of food and all looked very good. My sausage sandwich with salad and chips was £5.95. A few other customers around but not as busy as The Black Horse down the road usually is - I hope they are doing well and I am sure we will be back again. walk, pics,

Blackwood Arms, Littleworth Common
* * * *
7 of us walked. Decent sized car park - if a little puddly. Weather again not cold and dry for the walk. Most of the walk was in Burnham Beeches and was pleasant, being sheltered from the wind, not muddy underfoot and not hilly. Our orienteering is getting better as we managed to follow the planned route almost exactly (except where some made conscious detours). When those new Christmas presents get sorted we will be even better next time!. Generally speaking I like wood walks as the paths are very wide, there is always something to look at and the navigation is fun. Total distance just over 5 miles in 2 hours.
4 more joined at the pub. We had a table reserved, which was good as the pub is very small and did get pretty full. My Brakespear was excellent (£3.40) - others were available. A good range of sandwiches and other meals. I had half a Bacon and Brie and half a peppers and brie sandwich (don't ask). Very tasty and quite large - not bad value at £5.25. All in all a decent venue. I expect we will be visiting again. I think its better than The Jolly Woodman just round the corner (which is a bit expensive) but probably not quite up to The Royal Standard just along the road. 4-stars. pub, walk, pics

8 of us walked. A nice day that improved as the walk went on to be very pleasant. Overnight heavy rain meant that the walk was muddy in places but lots of the walk was on reasonable hard paths - mostly through Burnham Beeches where we could practice our orienteering skills - the final GPS track was a bit wobbly in places but pretty well followed the planned walk. A new information board had been installed near the moat that we always see telling us of the medieval encampment that used to be there. The last part was in open countryside in the sunshine and we cut off a little bit across Littleworth Common - preferring the road instead . About 4.9 miles in just under 2 hours.
Some confusion with the pub (when I rang last night to book they couldn't accommodate us due to prior booking - so I booked the Royal Standard instead) so we all got in our cars and drove off to The Royal Standard. pub, walk, pics
Report on lunch continues here

Blue Ball, Asheridge
11 of us walked. I had great difficulty finding the start as I had turned left too early in Chesham and ended up going along a parallel road with no easy way to get back - so I took the hard way and followed my nose - not a lot of help as it turned out. Anyway I arrived just before the off so apart from being a bit rushed no harm done. Another fine dry day with most of the route pretty dry - only a few slightly muddy patches. Not too hilly and really a very pleasant walk. 5.1 miles in 2 hours.
1 More joined at the pub. A new pub for me and it all seemed very good. A surprisingly large pub for such an out of the way location - and surprisingly busy. We were sat at one long table which was nice - and the food and beer were very good. I thought my bacon and brie ciabatta was very tasty but a little more would have been nice (The ciabattas were cut into thirds and I had two thirds - I think they could have given a whole one for the price). Another pub for the 'we will be back' list I think. walk, pics

Boot, Bledlow Ridge
* * * *
No Pete this week so report by TR-
Rain was forecast but nevertheless 4 diehards turned up fo walk. In fact, there was only one shower but the walk was dominated by the muddy going. This was a pity as the vistas were excellent. Mostly open ground, a few woods, no stiles. Not a flat walk by any means but well worth repeating in dryer conditions.
2 more were at the pub which had an open fire in a very spacious eating area. Rebellion IPA (£2.95), Tring Santa's Little Helper, Malt Winter Ale, & XT6 (which ran out). Good food selection, averagely priced, I had a sausage & onion baguette which was good. I see no reason not to give this pub 4 stars. pub, walk, pics

Brickmakers Arms, Wheeler End
* * * *

Charles Dickens, Beaconsfield

Chequers Inn, Hedsor
* * * *
12 of us walked. A fine day, plenty of sunshine and not too hot. After a good start it suddenly went wrong and we found ourselves doing a 20 minute circular detour in Woolmans Wood. We managed to meet a lady with her dog THREE times on our detour. After that it got better and we followed the route pretty well. Interesting walk I thought - we walked along the river, across the rail bridge at Bourne End, passed the auction rooms, followed the old railway line to Wooburn Green and climbed the hill back up to Hedsor. About 5.7 miles in just over 2 hours (we were 5 minutes late getting back)
5 more joined us at the pub (totalling 17). This is a very nice pub and we were well looked after. They have a good car park, a lovely beer garden (which we took advantage of), some excellent beers (if a bit expensive at £3.60 per pint), a wide range of food at reasonable prices. I had a beef sandwich with salad and crisps for £5.75 - very good quality. They really do seem to consider their customers and that's why it very popular. I will give it 4 stars - no + as it was a bit expensive. pub, walk, pics

Chequers, Wheeler End
* * * *+
No Pete today so a guest Ponder from TR.
7 made the walk. Some mud but not as bad as the last couple of outings. This led to an improvement over our recent slow pace with 5.3 miles in a couple of minutes over 2 hrs.
One or two light spots of rain early on but mainly sunny with a pleasant breeze in the open sections. Just enough inclines to get us up to the government's recommended heart-rate.
Fair number of animals - horses, goats etc - keeping an eye on us, we even being outnumbered by young pheasants at one point.
With a nice mix of woods & fields I thought this was a good route.
Another 7 attended the pub, which meant we rather overflowed the big table which had been reserved. My fault as I has told them we would be about 10.
Food not fast in arriving but good quality when it did.
Several beers, of which the only one I remember was Seafarers'. This was £3.10 / pint but if you had a meal costing £8.50 or more, you got a pint of beer free. This I did, which meant that my ham, eggs, chips at £8.50 kind of cost £5.40. Very good it was too.
The 2 bar-ladies were most attentive & helpful so I would definitely give this pub 4 stars. (I would give it 4+ but don't want to be subjected to a blizzard of abusive e-mails.) pub, walk, pics

No Pete so a guest Ponder from TR.
11 humans & 1 dog walked.
Pleasant walk without significant plusses or minuses. Not seriously hiily but not completely flat. Best features were the good views over to the north side of the Wycombe valley to West Wycombe church & mausoleum. As on our previous visit to this area, goats, horses & pheasants featured.
Those who completed the full walk covered 5 miles.
2 more (humans) went straight to the pub.
The request to pre-order food was a bit of a joke as the pub was still firmly shut at 10:30 but posting our order through the letter-box seemed to work.
Again, satisfactory venue without any high or low points to feature.
A Fullers pub so Seafarers' was the beer of choice. Good selection of sandwiches & meals. pub, walk, pics

Cock & Rabbit, The Lee
* * * *-
11 of us walked. Luckily the weather front had moved on after considerable overnight rain. Temperature had increased to a pleasant 8 degrees C but the light wind did add a chill at times. A fair amount of sunshine on the walk - with a bit of warmth to it - spring must soon be on its way. The drive here gave a clue to the underfoot conditions - I drove through a number of flooded roads. A generally flat walk - slightly uphill on the way out and downhill on the way back - but ground conditions were very bad - what with the overnight rain and the melting snow there were lots of flooded paths - and many impromptu streams. We almost followed the planned route - diverting to a road for the last bit for a bit of relief. Fairly slow going - about 4.7 miles in 2 hours.
5 more joined us at the pub. A new pub for our group and quite different from our usual. It's really a cross between a pub and an Italian restaurant. I read that it is a well established business - and I also see by its reviews that you either love it or hate it (like Malta or Marmite). We sat at restaurant tables (pushed together to form one long table) with the usual set of nice glasses, napkins etc - but plastic table cloths! The decor was very tired looking - but actually to my liking. Most of us had baps with various fillings and some salad. I had sausage filling - quite nice - but I found the bap a bit dry - and I suppose a bit expensive at £5.90. Other food I saw being served looked good so perhaps this is a place to be a bit more adventurous - I noticed later that they do two-course specials for £10. A couple of beers on handpump - I had the home brew Cock and Rabbit (at £3.30) which I thought quite acceptable. The place wasn't very busy but there were some other customers. Service was good and efficient and I think the staff were friendly. I will rate this place 4-stars. Its possible we might return in the future. pub, walk, pics

Cock Inn, Sarratt
* * * *-
8 of us walked. It had rained heavily overnight but was rain-free for the walk. Temperatures still fairly low (maybe 7 degrees C) but no cold wind so fine for walking. A fair few puddles around but no real mud on the walk. I think we all enjoyed the walk as it was mostly over new ground and pretty rural. We saw the water cress beds again and a couple of new pubs that may be good for future walks. 4.89 miles in 1h 55m.
4 more joined at the pub. We pre-ordered but still had a bit of a wait for the food to arrive (well some of us anyway). The pub was very busy with us, another larger group of walkers and lots of other diners so the wait was understandable - and it was all very pleasant. We were seated in the dining room - which actually was much like an extension to the bar area - and it worked out very well. The beers were good - I had a couple of pints of Sussex at £3.35. Food was a bit expensive especially the baguettes I thought so I went for the Ham egg and chips at £6.95 which I enjoyed. A good pub I think and I will give it 4-stars (the minus because of the price of the food). pub, walk, pics

Coy Carp, West Hyde
* * * *-
11 of us walked. Perfect weather for walking - dry, about 19 degrees C, no wind and no sun. The very large car park was handy. Very mixed walking including lots of water (canals, rivers and lakes), picturesque views, ancient woodlands, an interesting scrap yard, a massive sewerage works and some hooded horses. Slight hill at first but not serious and the rest was mostly flat. Some road walking (including some tricky narrow bridges to cross - tricky because of the traffic) but no one got run-over. There was a mistake on the route that meant we missed a turning (no way through) but no real problem. All in all a very good walk - made better by the weather. I made it 5.2 miles in just over 2 hours.
5 more joined us at the pub. This place turned out better than I expected. It was very large but we had a table reserved, service was fairly prompt (although I heard there was some delay in getting served at the bar), beer was good - I has the Jubilee something -a Leeds brewery - which was to my liking (£3.40), food was good with a good choice - I had a bacon and brie open baguette thing with chips (£4.95) and they got the orders right. The lemon meringue pie ordered by Mike was a surprise!!. Not as much atmosphere as the best but I give it 4-stars - I'd have no problem in using this place again. pub, walk, pics

Crooked Billet, Sheepridge
* * * *
9 of us walked. Really good day for walking being dry, sunny and not too warm. A good, if hilly walk. I found it fairly interesting with fields, woods, excellent views, part of the old railway track, a foot tunnel under the M40, a grouse(?) shoot and a lovely bubbling brook with a ford through a very desirable residential area - not to mention the farm that took some finding!. Not all of us saw everything as we split 3 ways due to carelessness and exhaustion. The correct route was 5.14 miles in 2h 10min.
The pub was a delight. The garden was a picture with an abundance of flowers (we sat in the garden). The beer was excellent (but only 2 beers) - I had a lovely Brakespear at £3.30 - and the food was varied,cheap and good - I had a pork sandwich made with good thick pork and proper crusty white bread at £3.90. Must deserve 4 stars. Could be a problem on a rainy day as its a bit small inside. pub, walk, pics

Crown, Burnham Beeches
* * * *
10 and 1/2 of us walked (dog not counted). Temperatures slightly down but good for walking. Some possible rain forecast but in fact only a few drops fell. A lot of new ground covered and I thought it a good walk. Some village walking (Stoke Poges and Farnham), a golf course (Stoke Park), a bit of countryside (mainly horsey fields) and the Beeches themselves made it a varied walk. Mostly flat and some interesting things seen - including an artificial tree (mobile Phone mast), some fiberglass dinosaurs and a row of baths. Interestingly the Beeches' car parks were closed (winds of over 40 mph expected) which meant that we saw very few people there. Two closed pubs passed on route - a sad sight. 5 miles in 2 hours
4 and 1/2 more joined us at the pub. We had a long table reserved for us but we spilled over to other tables. A fair selection of food - but a bit expensive. I had a toasted ham and cheese sandwich with some salad and chips at £6.50. Very enjoyable. 3 or 4 hand pump beers - I had a Butcombe bitter (£3.60) which was good. All in all an OK pub if a bit expensive. We were well looked after, there was plenty of room inside, a very large fairly peaceful beer garden outside and a decent car park. 4 stars. pub, walk, pics

7 of us walked. The weather has changed somewhat - it's now much cooler and rain around most days. We started in slight drizzle but it cleared up later and we even had a little sunshine. A bad start as one of the early footpaths was inaccessible (fenced off) and the alternative route we took had an impassible footpath (overgrown) which meant we had to walk on roads but fortunately they were very quiet. We eventually got into the Beeches and continued on our circular walk through the woods. We mostly managed to follow the planned walk. I usually enjoy these woods and this walk was no exception. I made it about 5.5 miles in 1hour 55 minutes but I think my GPS seems to be exaggerating lately - there is probably a setting.
4 more joined us at the pub (made me happy as I had booked for 10). We were sat in the back room - on our own - previously we had been in the main bar which had a better atmosphere. I can't remember the name of the beer I had but it was very good - if at bit expensive at £3.60 I think. Food was OK but again a bit expensive - my croque monsieur was £6.50 and a little on the small side. A decent pub but not the best I think. pub, walk, pics

Crown Inn, Little Missenden

Crown Inn, Penn

Dashwood Arms, Piddington
* * * *+
Very pleasant, dry, warm day. Good car-park and very good country walk. Some hills but not a problem. I think eight of us walked and another three turned up at the pub. A slightly shorter walk at 4.2 ish miles.
The pub was good. Decent range of beers - I was drinking shandy so can't comment. £3.10 per pint. I had a prawn baguette - no chips but came with some salad - pretty good. £4.95. We sat outside as the day was so nice. I think 3 stars (out of 4) pub, walk, pics

9 of us walked. The recent very hot weather had got me a bit worried but in fact the day started a bit cloudy and the temperatures were a little lower. After examining the old BT exchange building in the car park we set off for what turned out to be a very good walk. Still a bit hot for me but the hills weren't significant and a fair bit of the walk was in woods. Nice open countryside, few roads, little single file walking and good views added to the pleasure. Still surprisingly muddy in places but not a problem. Just over 5 miles in 1hour 50 minutes - we are getting quicker.
1 left and 3 more joined at the pub. Again the pub experience was excellent. As the weather was so good we sat in the garden which was very relaxed. My ham salad baguette (£4.75 I think) was good and my beer was XT (a Thame micro brewer - £3.40 I think) was very tasty. I think it was XT 3 - I am sure I could taste the CaraRed Malts and I noticed a hint of Celeia hops- what do you think Tim? All in all an excellent day. 4+ stars for the pub. pub, walk, pics

Derehams Inn, Loudwater
* * * *+
6 of us walked. A low turn-out - but quality - on a damp misty morning. Slightly chilly at first but did warm up a bit towards the end as the sun came out. An initial steep climb and some ups and downs were taken in our stride. Part of the walk was through Wycombe Heights golf course where the golfers tried to lead us astray - but luckily the GPSs came to our aid and we found our footpath. Surprisingly peaceful walk with just the faint drone of the M40 in the distance. Very little mud underfoot and mixed terrain making it a good walk. I made it 5.2 miles (in just over 2 hours).
4 more joined us at the pub. Although I had booked us in previously they didn't seem to have any knowledge of it - but it didn't matter as they were very quiet. We have been here before and its fine. I wasn't drinking beer but there were no complaints and the food was good and reasonably priced (I had a ham, cheese and pineapple toastie for £3.50 - rather too much pineapple for my liking but OK). I quite like this pub so I'll give it 4- stars. walk, pics

11 of us met at the pub on a chilly but fine day. As always there the walk started up a fairly steep hill but after that was reasonably flat until the descent back down. Another good walk but a bit muddy for the second half. The first half was up the hill then across part of Wycombe Heights Golf course which had some good views and pleasant walking. About 5.2 miles in just over 2 hours.
Three more joined us at the pub and 1 left. Pub was very quiet apart from us but was very good. Some good beers on (I had a Loddon Hoppit £3.30) and a very good selection of reasonably cheap food. I had the lamb casserole with tiger bread special at £5.00 and enjoyed it. I like this pub so I will give it 4 stars (lacking the + because the garden wouldn't be very good if we needed to sit out). walk, pics

13/12/12 Partners Xmas meeting
{walk - TR} 5 and a half walked, following approximately the line of the R. Wye as far as Wooburn Green. Sub-zero temperature I think but crisp & fresh. Something of a change from our usual woods & fields as some of the walk was on tarmac & the off-road stuff was firm & dry - quite restful after the recent mud & frozen ruts. Some of the quiet back-lanes were surprisingly attractive, in striking contrast to the industrial estate we also traversed. We saw a good deal of the Wye which was flowing well - see the pics - and we passed very close to the site where Loudwater station on the old Bourne End to Wycombe railway used to be. A walk to investigate what remains of the track bed might make an interesting future walk. 4.3 miles in 1 & 3/4 hours.
{pub - PN} I didn't walk but turned up at the pub at 1230 to find most people there. It was a good turn-out - just short of 30 I think. We mainly used the room at the back but as more people arrived we did spread a bit. Car parking just about worked out I think - but it is a bit small for our large group - fine when its just the walkers. I thought they looked after us pretty well. I didn't notice any mix-ups with the food and this pub does do a large selection of lighter bites as well as proper meals. I had the Cajun chicken baguette (with a little salad) - masses of chicken - and the Cajun was just a little hot for me - but very nice (£5.50). A decent selection of beers - my Black Sheep was very good. All in all a successful Ladies Day I think. walk, pics

9 of us walked. This promised to be a fine sunny day - and so it turned out. Not too warm, about 7degrees, and chilly in the shade but very comfortable in the sun. Underfoot conditions good - slightly damp in places but firm. The first part of the walk was along the Wye as near as possible and it led us through a housing estate and a business park - I found it quite interesting. After that we re-crossed the M40 and A40 and headed into the country. We had a stop to talk to a very nice man who was installing an information board in a nature reserve. Interestingly at the bottom of the valley at that point used to be an old Victorian rubbish dump which, when I first moved to the area, was actively mined by individuals for the artifacts it contained (mainly bottles I imagine) but was eventually fenced off by the council to prevent accidents (people were actually making quite deep tunnels to get at the rubbish). We continued on uphill to near The Royal Standard of England and then made our way back skirting Wycombe Heights golf course. I made it 5.56 miles in 2hours 10 minutes. A very enjoyable walk.
5 more joined us at the pub (making 14 again). A good range of beers - I had Gold something - very nice. Not sure of the price as it was another birthday beer (thanks again Ginny). My food was a bacon and mushroom baguette with a little salad for £5. The daily specials here are always good and good value - the chicken stew with dumplings and tiger bread was huge and only £5. I like this pub still. Friendly people, very accommodating and very efficient. No good for sitting outside in the summer and car parking could be better (particularly for late-comers) but still gets 4+stars from me. walk, pics

12 of us walked. A nice bright morning - no rain - and getting warmer. We started off along a permissive bridleway through the sports fields and down into a 'mobile home' estate with lots of classic old cars. Then up through Wycombe Heights golf course - all new ground so far. Finally we reached the top of our walk and it was then downhill all the way to the A40. We crossed the railway at some point (it was in a tunnel) after a long, straight footpath, rather overgrown but at least it was in the shade. At the A40 some of our group carried on straight back to the pub (and arrived on time) and the rest of us followed the planned route back up a hill, over the railway on a very elaborate foot bridge with the railway in a deep cutting, along the wrong side of a hedge so we had to climb over a barbed wire fence to get back on track and eventually back down to the pub (15 minutes late). An interesting walk - a bit hilly for me especially on such a warm day - some new ground and just over 5 miles I think.
3 more joined at the pub. I quite like this pub - a good range of beers (I had the Loddon Hoppit - very good) and a good range of reasonably priced foods. I had a good roast turkey baguette with stuffing and a little salad (£4.95). We started inside in their back room and later some of us went outside to join the wasps. The outside is a bit disappointing - they have made an effort to smarten it up but it hasn't quite worked. Still, a pub that has a condom dispenser in the gents can't be bad. We will be back sometime. walk, pics

10 of us walked on a very pleasant day. No rain recently and none forecast. Might have been a bit chilly due to the high winds forecast but as this walk always starts with a steep up hill bit we were all soon very warm. In fact the whole walk was a bit up and down and with lots of styles - all slowing us down such that we all cut off the last loop over the railway in order to get back in time. 4.5 miles in 2 hours.
2 more joined at the pub. This pub generally suits us very well I think. Decent beers and a good range of cheapish food - and for our walking group the smallish car park is no problem - especially as we arrive early. walk, pics

13 of us walked on a pleasant sunny day. A very good turnout with some non-regulars joining us. Due to the recent very wet weather and the uncertainty of the weather currently I planned the walk to include lots of pavement and surfaced paths with lots of short-cuts available. I thought it worked out OK with some interesting bits - and of course lots of views of the swollen Rye which we followed as close a possible. Enjoyable - and trouble free - but not ideal. 5.06 miles in 2 hours.
5 more joined at the pub making it one of the best turnouts for a while. As I say, I quite like this pub although it's not that smart. We are always allocated their back room, which is very convenient, a good range of beers and a good selection of cheapish food. I had the special - sausage and onion baguette with chips and salad (£6.0) which was quite good. walk, pics

Dumb Bell, Horn Hill
* * *
Eight of us (I think) met at the pub. Some of us had to make a diversion to get to the pub due to overturned(?) lorry blocking a road. It was raining - and continued raining until 100 metres to the finish when it stopped and looked quite bright. The walk was 4.95 miles long and we got back just about 1230 - good going I think. Walk was good - again rather a lot of single file walking with restricted views but generally mixed terrain with some interest - particularly the Chiltern Open Air Museum. Crossed a few roads but not much road walking.
Four more turned up at the pub making it another good turn out. Slightly mixed feelings about the pub. The pub had a large car park, the land-lady was very friendly and helpful, the food was good (and cheap) and a very good selection. Limited choice of beers - but my Pride was good. Now the downside - the beer was £3.50 - the most I have ever paid, we were sort of ushered into the dining room - which was fine but I personally prefer the bar area - we could have moved but it wasn't a big issue and perhaps was better as we sat at one long table - and on the website it said there was 20% discount for oldies - this was not mentioned to us at the time and although she might have thought I was under 60 that couldn't be said for some of the others. And to cap it all I discovered later (when I was looking at the website) that I had been overcharged by 25p. Its really a four star pub - but I am going to mark it down to three stars - a bit harsh you may say - but there you are. pub, walk, pics

Ethorpe, Gerrards X
8 of us walked. Definitely cooler - about 8 degrees C and windy - but sunny - and in fact it was just right for walking. There were lots of fallen apples in the car park and I made the mistake of collecting a few - little did I know that they were magic apples and put a curse on me such that I was forced to walk single file for most of the walk. A lot of the walk was through the built up areas of Gerrards Cross and parts of The Chalfonts but there was plenty of other variation with the river Misbourne and a golf course on the route and I found it enjoyable. We were hoping to collect the gold from the hill of the same name but unfortunately when we met the mystic gatekeeper with his white troll he had lost the magic key and we took flight in case of further misadventures. I made it 5.26 miles in just over 2 hours.
3 more joined us at the pub - a Chef and Brewer. Not our usual type of venue but it worked out OK. Poor selection of beers (at £3.39) but lots of food choices. A bit of alchemy going on in the kitchen whereby a cheese burger was turned into a chicken burger and a chicken burger was turned into a beef burger (both at £6 with chips and onion rings). Unlikely we will be back here as it doesn't get such a high score as our usual pubs but OK as a chain pub with a good selection of reasonably priced food.
After the pub meeting a couple of us went with the gatekeeper to try and retrieve the magic keys and after stumbling around aimlessly for a while in the petrified woods were lucky enough to come across a couple of witches whose spells had released the keys from the hidden - but too late to find the gold as the window of opportunity had closed - and we all went home. walk, pics

Falcon, Denham

Falcon, Wooburn Moor
* * *

Firecrest, Wendover

Full Moon, Cholesbury
* * * *
9 of us met in the car park. Not so cold as recently and dry with short spells of sunshine. Underfoot was very wet. Lots of bridle paths, some on hills, made for some very muddy walking - luckily no one fell over. Reasonably flat walk even though this part of the world is all valleys and ridges. A deer was spotted at one point and we walked through a Fairy Wood - with lots of little fairies dotted around (see pictures). Towards the end of the walk we came across a pre-historic fort - very impressive ditch but not much else. About 4.7 miles in about 1h 35m - we did cut a couple of corners as the heavy walking slowed us down.
2 more joined at the pub. This is a good pub - good beer (My Brakespear was excellent - £3.10) good food, maybe a little pricy - I had a duck sandwich with crisps and salad for £5.50, good service - our order was correct and all came together very promptly, some character to the pub and free wi-fi. This is a nice quiet area (although the pub was busy - maybe something to do with Christmas) and I can't really fault the pub. I am sure we will be back again sometime. 4 Stars. walk, pics

9 of us walked from the Half Moon (only to find they had completed it into the Full Moon). A pleasant morning and no rain forecast. Much of walk was new to us and quite nice. Rather a lot of muddy paths and also more tarmac than I thought (not muddy though and very little traffic). Not a lot of interest to mention although we did walk round the iron age fort again. Only gentle hills and coolish so we managed 5.3 miles in about the two hours.
4 more joined at the pub. Another decent pub with good beers and food. I had the duck sandwich (no chips) at £5.50 - I enjoyed it - and Doombar at £3.40 - again enjoyed. Some of us pre-ordered (not me) but none of us waited long. We had a table set for us in a corner which was very suitable. Again 4 stars I think. walk, pics

10 of us walked. Decent walking weather being dry and not too cold. Again a bit wet underfoot in places but we have had worse. Some new ground (after visiting the moated fort again) and I quite enjoyed it. A very muddy field towards the end was not so pleasant - but then we watched a bit of large tree pruning which cheered us all up.
4 more joined us at the pub. Although it has supposedly changed hands its all very much as it was. Good choice of beer (I has the Youngs at £3.20 - very good). I was going to have a jacket potato for a change - but no potatoes available - so I had a bacon and brie sandwich (with crisps and a good helping of salad) very nice at £5.95. Unfortunately no hot chestnuts this time. Still a top rated pub. walk, pics

11 1/2 of us walked. Another dry, reasonably mild day in prospect but recent rains meant that the mud is beginning to be noticeable. We made a few small alterations to the planned walk to try and avoid the worst of the mud. Some hills but nothing severe. Another decent walk I thought. 5 miles in the usual 2 hours.
2 1/2 more joined at the pub. Pub very quiet but a few other customers did turn up later. A decent pub with a reasonable number of real ales (although 1 at least ran out). My sandwich was a bit disappointing - rather skimpy filling and small amount of salad and no crisps - they must have run short. I hope they can keep up their standards - we need as many of these good pubs as possible (I noticed that The Nash Arms in Chesham had closed - The Pub-Co wants to turn it into flats but much local objection). walk, pics

Full Moon, Little Kingshill
* * * * *
Fine weather had 11 1/2 of us walking - a very good turn out. A good walk with plenty of countryside and little roads. About 5.3 miles I think.
Another 1 1/2 joined us at the pub. Very good pub with good beer (about £3.25 pint) and excellent sandwiches - I've forgotten the prices but very reasonable. Although we had a table nicely set out for us in the pub we sat in the garden (free of traffic noise) and it was a very enjoyable day. It would be difficult to better this pub so I give it top rating of 4 stars. walk, pics

12 of us met in the (now much larger I think) car park. A dull, chilly, windy day that deteriorated into drizzle and light rain towards the end of the walk. A decent walk I thought, fairly flat and not too muddy underfoot. Not much of interest to report, no apples to eat and no derelict buildings to prowl around - but we could have bought a Christmas tree. 5.2 miles in about 2 hours - getting faster.
5 more joined us at the pub. I have reported on this pub before and gave it top marks. I had 2 excellent pints of Pride at £3.20 per pint (other beers were available) and ham, egg and chips at £5.00. Sandwiches at £3.25. All the food was excellent value. We had a convenient table laid for us and we were well attended to by pretty girls. Food came promptly and everyone got what they ordered - and I also managed to brush up on my Slovakian - couldn't ask for more. 5 stars. walk, pics

9 of us walked. A very chilly morning with a cold wind and overcast but at least it was dry. A decent walk - the first half being flat and the second half rather hilly. Mixed walking - dry underfoot due to the current drought - and taken at a (slightly) more leisurely pace. Nothing remarkable to report on. I made it 4.9 miles in 1h 55min.
4 more joined at the pub. I have nothing to add to previous reports on this pub. We were very well attended to, a good selection of fine beers and food. I had the Adnams something at £3.20 and a prawn jacket potato with side salad at £4.00 - both excellent. Top marks as before. walk, pics

I didn't do the walk this time but I did make the pub. Just to say that it was a good turnout again - and of course the pub was excellent. walk, pics

9 1/2 of us walked. No rain forecast and temperature set to be rising though it wasn't so warm when we set off. The walk was two loops, meeting back near the pub, where the 1/2 joined us. The first loop was a bit processional in places - and there were some hills whereas the second loop was flatter and many wide paths - making it more to my liking. Lots of stiles slowed us down a bit - especially as some of them were not Ben friendly - and also there was some road walking which was a bit dicey at times. It did get warm and humid which also slowed us a bit so only 4.8 miles in just over 2 hours.
2 1/2 more joined us at the pub. As always this pub was excellent. A good range of beers (I had the Adnams at £3.30) and good food. I had a ham sandwich (£3.95) which was very nice but I remember last time we were here was nice thick carved ham whereas this time it was thin cut - maybe supermarket. We were well looked after and after our food some of us went and sat in the garden which was very pleasant. A large tent had just been erected in preparation for the beer festival next weekend. A top marks pub. walk, pics

[TR] 1 canine & 10 humanoids walked. We were lucky with the weather, very pleasant, although much of the walk was in the open so would be pretty uncomfortable on a cloudless midsummer day.
The route was flat with several stiles & a couple of short stretches of road, also a couple of minor mud patches but nothing serious.
We shed a few walkers at each timing loop but the full walk was just over 5 miles in a little over 2 hrs.
We were 16 in the pub but just fitted round 2 tables. Several good beers, I can't remember the beer prices but I had an excellent soss & mash for a fiver, We must like this pub as the last of the group didn't leave until nearly 18:00. walk, pics

Garibaldi, Bourne End
11 of us met in their reasonably sized car park. A coolish morning but no rain forecast and a warm walk likely. First part of the walk was mainly along roads but once over Cookham Bridge it was mostly country walking. The rest of the walk took in the river, a golf course, the railway, Cookham high street, John Lewis club, a weir, Cookham lock, a view of Cliveden, Tiny Rowlands old house and probably more that I have forgotten. At Tiny Rowlands old place one of us took off up the magical staircase and had to be rescued from the 'Lost my Way' Dragon by our Knight in Lycra but otherwise no great mishaps. 5 plus miles in just over 2 hours. A good walk I thought.
3 more joined at the pub. Slightly mixed feelings about The Garibaldi. I had a couple of good pints of Rebellion IPA and cheap at £3.05 but there was only one other hand pump on and that was Rebellion Red. The food was pretty good and again reasonably priced - I had the Patatas Bravas with Choirizo for £4.45 - I enjoyed it but the potatoes were just soggy chips in a tomato sauce. The coffee was quite expensive at £2.50 - small cups and no extras. We were the only customers and there was not much atmosphere. Its early days for the new tenants and it will be interesting to see if they can make a go of it. We may be back but not in the near future I think. walk, pics

Gate, Bryant's Bottom
* * * *-
Another nice day, mild, dry and plenty of sunshine. 10 of us walked. A very good walk, if a bit hilly in places. Varied countryside with good views in places and mostly good underfoot conditions. A bit under 5 miles in about 2 hours - the group did split a bit at times so distances would have varied slightly. A very steep decent to the pub which would have been testing in the reverse direction.
Two more joined at the pub. We sat in the public bar (as opposed to the lounge bar) this time and it was more to my liking - more like a real pub with a warm coal fire burning. We also had it almost to ourselves. The beer was good but unfortunately only Green King IPA and Abbot on - and the IPA ran out. Still I enjoyed my pint and the food was tasty and reasonably priced (my ham baguette (no chips) was under £5). This pub ticks most of the boxes but I fear that the lack of beer choice means 4- stars. pub, walk, pics

General Havelock, Wycombe Marsh
* * * *
9 of us walked. Only a small car park so some of us parked in the road which was not a problem. A damp day but none of the threatened rain materialised - in fact it was very pleasant for walking being a bit chilly but no wind. The walk was mainly along the river Rye and its tributaries (if that's what they were) and took in some small industrial areas and much recreational ground. There were some interesting features along the route - particularly the old flour mill, some stylish old houses, a boating pool, a lido, an extensive electricity sub station and of course the river with its various constructions - some of which had us puzzled. Wildlife was in evidence with some reddish squirrels, a flock of bull finches and an egret amongst others. Although a bit puddly in places it was easy going with no hills and very little mud. I think we all enjoyed the walk and I was surprised how nice some of the areas we passed through were given their proximity to the A40 and High Wycombe. 4.98 miles in exactly 2 hours.
7 more joined us at the pub - another good turn out. We have been here before but some time ago. Its downside is that its not in good walking territory (and maybe the small car park) but otherwise it ticks all the boxes. We were grouped together at one end of the pub, by the (real) fire, which was very good, and were well served by the friendly couple running the pub. A good selection of beers (mainly Fullers of course) and I had a guest beer (forgotten its name) - thank you Brian - and a prawn baguette - salad but no chips which at £3.80 was excellent value. Other food looked good, plentiful and again good value. A top-rated pub I think - and with walks possible to the south I expect we will be back. walk, pics

George, Gt. Missenden
* * *-
A dull, windy day but again mild for the time of year. The initial climb at the start of the walk didn't prove too onerous and the rest of the walk was flattish with a descent at the end. The wind was a feature of this walk - particularly at one point where we were in open fields and walking into it with some horizontal rain lashing us - as was the underfoot conditions - it really was wet and muddy. I slipped over at one point - never done that before - and ended up rather muddy. It would be a good walk in better conditions but I found it a bit of a trial on the day. Others appreciated the challenge. About 5 miles in 2 hours. Note to self - Remember to take clothes brush next time.
4 more joined us at the pub. It wasn't the best of experiences mainly due to the fact that they were moving all the furniture around to create a pool room. I think that they had actually closed the pub until 1500 but had allowed us in. I wasn't drinking beer so can't really comment on it but there were a couple of beers on and no one complained - £3.10 per pint. The food was limited and as they had an offer of 2-4-£8 (sorry Tim) on meals most of us took advantage of it. I had sausage, chips and baked beans for £4 - It was OK. Strangely we all had unofficial parking notices stuck on our cars even though we were customers - even one of the bar staff had a notice put on her car. Clearly there is a parking problem in Great Missenden (makes Beaconsfield look good). I rate it 3- stars. On another day it might get a bit better rating but I fear we are not likely to return given the number of better pubs in the area. pub, walk, pics

Golden Cross, Saunderton
Not yet Bashed.

Green Man, Denham
* * * *
7 of us (plus dog) met in the rain in Denham Village at 1030 for our walk. It rained for the whole of the walk - just easing a bit towards the end. Apart from the rain it was a good walk. Mostly flat, varied countryside and canal towpaths. It included some of Denham Country Park, a bit of the golf course, a pedestrian controlled motorised gate, various bridges over water and big roads, gravel pits and walking in a (temporary) stream. We saw sheep, goats, horses, foals, cows, calves, pigs and donkeys (and a bit of wildlife). Some interesting canal stuff (a barge used as a floating dry dock for a canal boat, a canal boat with a paddle wheel drive on the back). We walked through a field of Barry high thistles (well actually we walked round the field as we didn't want to lose anyone). The walk was 6miles long and we got back late (1240).
We joined 5 others in the pub - that made 11 of us (you may wonder where the 12th member went - well that was Nigel who went into the wrong pub and got seduced by the serving wench). I like this pub - good selection of beers (I had the Rebellion Smuggler at £3.30 - very good) and good selection of reasonably priced food (I had a ham baguette - which came with a few chips - for £4.95 - again very good). The biscuit with the coffee was particularly good. Due to the lack of a car park and the very restricted rear garden (and the fact that it usually rains when we are here) I will mark it down to 3 stars (out of 4 stars). walk, pics

9 of us met - parking in the street but no problem at this time of day. The pub had asked us to pre-book our food - so this we duly did - and then set off. A dull and slightly chilly day with some slight drizzle at times but I thought it reasonable for walking. We first paid our respects to John Mills at his grave (we ignored the axemans grave) and then off through the golf course - an expensive one by the look of its lovely condition. Lots of water on this walk - both the scenic sort (canal, river and lakes) and underfoot in places. Lots of interesting things - a 'horse turning' bridge on the canal, a very deep lock (Denham deep lock), an aqueduct where the canal crosses the river, an old steel barge used as a dry dock, a very large marina with loads of narrowboats, the Chiltern railway with real trains and a station, an old hulk of a wooden barge with mature trees growing through it and some interesting carvings. I enjoyed it. Just under 5 miles in about 2 hours as usual - no hills!!!.
4 more joined us at the pub. The were very busy, as warned, but we were well attended to. A table was reserved for us and as we had pre-ordered the food came promptly (perhaps too promptly as some of us hadn't even got our beer and sat down) with no mix-ups. Even the non-walkers did not have much of a wait. I had a prawn baguette. It came with chips and salad at £5.25 - very reasonable. I drank the IPA at £3.40. Slightly expensive perhaps but nothing unusual nowadays. Decent atmosphere in the pub. I enjoyed the pub as well - I think it deserves 4 stars (no + due to lack of car park). All in all a good meeting. walk, pics

9 of us walked. We pre-ordered (and paid for) our food as requested and then set of on a chilly but dry day to walk around Denham, taking in Denham Airfield - and quite a lot of road walking. Not a problem as there was a lot of water around underfoot and some of the non-hard surfaced bits were rather wet. I made it about 5.2 miles.
5 more joined us at the pub. We have been here before of course and we were well looked after - with a table for 14 reserved for us. Not over-busy in the pub. Beer and food good. Still, I think, a 4star pub (only street parking but not a problem the time we arrive) walk, pics

7 and 1/2 of us walked. Food pre-ordered and paid for as requested and we set off in the dry, not cold with a bit of sunshine later. Easy day to get a bit over-dressed for but it was clearly going to be a bit warm later. A decent walk with some new ground and fairly flat. Mike and Richard pointed out areas of interest on the way like the wood that 12 years ago was a cabbage patch (Hmmm), the field that was sold off in plots by some entrepreneur, a tree that was half lilac and half laburnum (or something), Clive Reader's house and a few other things that were so interesting that I've forgotten them. We had to take a bit of a short cut towards the end as earlier we were looking for Dr. Livingstone amongst the brambles and nettles. We didn't find him but the brambles took their toll on our bodies and our time (and I never knew before that nettles could sting through trousers). We also had an interesting stretch where we had to walk along a very smelly stream - nice. Some very salubrious properties on the walk. 4.7 miles in 2 hours.
2 and 1/2 more joined us at the pub - a lowish turn out compared to recent meetings. We have been here before and its very good. Beers were good - I had a Greene King IPA at £3.40 - and I had a prawn baguette with chips and side salad at £5.95 - very good and very good value which surprised me as their web site suggests their baguettes were £7.25. We sat at one long table and it was all very convivial. I expect we will be back again. walk, pics

I only did half the walk and didn't get to the pub so no real report. The weather was drizzle for the whole walk and lots of underfoot water around - and lots of water features to view. Some diversions necessary due to flooded paths but having said that it wasn't too bad and I enjoyed the bits that I did. A good turn out at the pub I see from the photos. walk, pics

Greyhound, Eton Wick
See entry for Three Horseshoes, Eton Wick

7 1/2 of us met at The Greyhound, Eton Wick - the one with the crooked tiles on the roof. A dry day in prospect and still not that cold. We walked down to the river and along into Windsor - nice scenic photos on Tim's web-site including pictures of the Duck getting in and out of the water. Under the road bridge with its high quality graffiti and under the train bridge (is that right Dave?) which seemed to be undergoing some sort of restoration - why they don't just close it and save money I will never know. Through Eton and Windsor and on to Romney lock and the weir where the Royal Screws are installed. Bit disappointing to see one of the screws stopped for maintenance - they were both working 4 days ago - but still good that they are fully installed and working at last. Back through Eton College and some fields to arrive back a little late. About 5 miles in just over 2 hours.
6 1/2 more turned up at the pub (eventually). This pub has had a bit of work done inside to 'open it up'. Certainly more room but a bit austere I thought. Three real ales on pumps (plus a barrel of 'Garter' at £3 that I missed). I had a pint of Trelawny (thanks Tim) which I enjoyed (£3.15 I think). Good choice of cheap food. The main meals looked OK but I had a Cheese and Ham Panini (with chips but no salad) at £3.80 ish. which I also enjoyed. Landlord has come from The Shepherd's Hut down the road. Friendly enough but made me feel uneasy. We might well be back but for me didn't press all the buttons. walk, pics

Hampden Arms, Hampden Row
* * *
Small so needs prior warning of a Bash

The walk was fairly flat except for the walk down to the canal from Harefield and the climb back at the end. It was very interesting as it walked canals, rivers and lakes and saw some interesting old yards and buildings. Underfoot was good - even though it drizzled all the time.
The pub was very good except perhaps for the parking - we parked in the road opposite which was OK. The pub was my sort of place being fairly basic (ie no frills) supplying good beer (I had the Rebellion IPA) and good, reasonably priced food. The chips were the best I have had for a very long while (especially as they were Mike's). (and not forgetting the attractive barmaid of course)

Harrow, Hughenden Valley
* * * *
5 of us met on a very wet morning. The forecast was for improving weather and as it happened the heavy rain stopped just before we started (and enabled us to get ready in the relative dry). There was only a little rain during the walk so we considered ourselves lucky. Nothing very special about the walk. More than usual road walking but still some nice countryside and some good views. A reasonable climb to the top of Cryers hill and the same down but otherwise flatish. Some very low branches at one point which we had to keep ducking under - except that I missed seeing one and ended up with a nasty graze on my head!!!.
Back to the pub on time to meet 4 others. Pub was good. Beer at £3.30. Sandwiches just under a fiver - genuine doorsteps with very nice granary bread - but maybe a little too much bread as I found mine a little dry. Again not quite as good as the best (not a great range of beers and food could have been a bit better) so I give it 3 stars (out of 4). walk, pics

8 of us walked on a still chilly but quite pleasant day. It's been dry for a while and underfoot conditions were generally OK but still a bit muddy in places. Some weak sunshine around and fairly light wind made it quite nice for walking. Rather hilly around this part of the world but we all survived. I made the difference between lowest and highest points to be 350ft and Tony added together all the climbs to make 450ft. Mixed walking of woods, pastures and fields was good - and some good views around. Very smelly stretch at one point where the farmer was spraying his fields but otherwise fairly event free. I made it 4.95 miles in 2 hours.
One more joined us for part of the walk and another 5 at the pub (making 14 in total - the number that was booked). This pub seems to have has settled down now after some previous disappointments (admittedly some time ago now) and we were well looked after. Not a big selection of beers but my London Pride at £3.30 (Happy Birthday Tony) was fine. Food was very good - a large selection of sandwiches and other meals - I had a warm pork and apple sandwich on granary which came with crisps and was very nice (£4.90). Others had a portion of chips included for an extra £1. Pub decor not special but overall still deserves 4 stars. walk, pics

10 of us walked on a rather damp day with rain forecast. Still not cold for the time of year and after the obligatory photo off we set - up hill (well it is called Hughenden VALLEY). Still very wet underfoot and some significant puddles making walking that much harder. Initially the rain was light but about half way it came down quite hard for about 10 minutes but then cleared up and the sun came out. As has been usual of late our group split up - some of us missing the last loop and took the road on the way back - trying to avoid the rivers running down them. Nice countryside with mixed terrain. A bit hilly but generally a good walk spoilt a bit by the rain. My group walked 4.22 miles and were back slightly early. The others must have walked at least 5 miles and were back late.
4 more joined us at the pub. We have been here before and have had varying experiences but it is now sorted out and is up with the best. The food I thought was excellent - if slightly expensive - my tuna ciabatta with chips was £6.50 I think. Beer was a bit restricted due to the guest ale having run out. I had a pint of London Pride (thanks Ginny) which was good. We were well looked after by the two ladies running the pub - with an area of the pub was set aside for us. The other customers seemed a fairly smart lot - suited gentlemen and well dressed ladies - I hope we didn't lower the tone too much. walk, pics

Harte & Magpies, Coleshill nr. Amersham
* * *
We met up on a nice bright morning. The car park was excellent and eight of us walked. The walk was rather muddy in places and a bit up and down but nothing too strenuous. Generally a good walk I thought - mostly away from roads. Three more turned up at the pub which was pretty good but a bit expensive. (Its a sister pub to the Royal Standard of England and has a similar menue - but not the atmosphere). I had a sausage baguette for £6.00 - not very good value - and drank Brakespear at £3.00 - many other beers available but all dearer. On my rating of 1 to 4 stars I would give it 3. walk, pics

10 of us walked on another nice day - mainly sunny but not too warm. A bit of a planning failure had occurred in that when I rang the pub (the night before!) to book us in I found that they already had a large party booked in and couldn't handle us. Quick thinking on my part rescued the situation. I arranged that we could still use their car park but then after the walk de-camp to The Red Lion up the road. Even the Red Lion were a bit iffy as they also had a lot already booked in and asked me to phone them in the morning with numbers. Luckily it all worked out fine. The walk was a good one - mostly ground walked by us before but I couldn't remember much of it. A bit up and down in places and the uphill bits in the sun were a little tiring. The wooded bits were better - and surprisingly muddy at times. We met some friendly llamas at one point and a really interesting old derelict pumping station which we had to study. Unfortunately part of our group went on and a few of us dillied and dallied and lost our way and didn't know where to roam. Well you can't trust a special (map) like an old time copper (gps) when you can't find your way home (back to the pub) - oh dear I think I am getting senile. About 4.5 miles in 2 hours.
4 more joined at the Red Lion. A good turn out again. We sat outside and it was very pleasant. I think the pub was a bit overwhelmed by so many customers (us and many others) such that they ran out of the good beer (but the Doombar at £3.20 was good I thought) and the food was slow coming. A bit of a doddery old barman - must have been nearly 70 - and a bit slow but he seemed to get the orders right. I had a very good ham and cheese toastie with salad for £4.80. Other food looked OK too. Another good pub - marked down a bit on the day but would normally rate top marks. walk, pics

11 of us walked. Very fortunate with the weather as this was the one dry day amidst many days of rain. It was also sunny and fairly warm - a real spring-like day. I had planned the walk to be a bit shorter than usual as I knew it would be wet underfoot but somehow it still turned out to be just over 5 miles - and we hadn't deviated from the route by much. It was very wet underfoot - with some large puddles in places - but we coped OK. Most of the walk was over familiar territory but I thought it was very good with woodland, open countryside, very little single file walking, very little road walking and not too hilly (although it was a bit up and down). I am not sure why (apart from the poor underfoot conditions and a few short stops to admire the views) but we were back very late - about 1250 - making it 5+ miles in 2hours 20mins.
2 more joined at the pub - a good turnout really. We were sat at a large table out of the way which was good (but unfortunately a nearby table had a very unhappy, inconsolable child sitting with its parents, which was rather annoying). They were very understaffed (only 2 doing all the serving and quite a lot of customers apart from us) but I must say it wasn't a problem. This is the sister pub to the Royal Standard of England but not a patch on that one for ambiance and food. All the food was a bit expensive and the lighter choices very limited. I had a cheese, ham and tomato baguette with chips at £6.50. Not bad but I am always a bit disappointed when the baguette is cut from a longer stick - a cheaper option (for them) I think. A decent selection of beer - I had the Chiltern at £3.40 - that was OK. Not a top rated pub but very conveniently situated for a lot of us, a large car-park, plenty of room inside and in good walking country so I expect we might well be back here at some time. walk, pics

Hen & Chickens, Botley
* * * * (toilets only * )
Eight of us gathered in the car park (very large) on an indifferent day. Checked with the pub - everything OK but told it would have been better to book as they had a party of 12 coming. Needless to say we had no problem when we did go in. It wasn't raining when we started but was a bit wet underfoot. It did start drizzling after about one hour - not too bad but did make it even wetter underfoot. Not cold and not hot so that was a bonus. We walked 5.13 miles in just over 2 hours. A good walk generally. Not a lot of interest on the way. Some very nice houses, again mixed countryside and part of a golf course (the footpath was poorly marked here so we ended up walking along the road instead). One bit of a hill to climb but fairly gentle. We passed a couple of pubs at Ley Hill, The Swan and the Crown (well when I say passed that was just some of us - four of us peeled of to sample The Swan and followed on later).
Three more joined at the pub. I liked this pub. A fair selection of beer - I had the Youngs at £3.00 which was very good. Fair selection of food - some had lunch meals like pie and chips, omelettes and chips and sausage egg and chips but I had a ham sandwich (1 1/2 rounds) at £5.00 (You could have one round for £3.50). mine was good and others agreed. There were tables out the front (but on the road) and also a reasonable side/rear garden a bit away from the road. Nothing really wrong with this pub so perhaps it deserves four stars - even so I am leaving four stars for the very best so I give it three stars. Last week I did say I would include a rating of the toilets (mens) for those that care (last week at The Green Man the toilet was excellent - 4 stars). I must say that the toilet here only rated 1 star. pub, walk, pics

Guest Ponder from TK.
As Pete is off visiting Mike at the IBC, Stratford and Tony is circumnavigating the country on a bicycle, it has fallen to me to write a brief report on this weeks walk. Six of us showed up for the walk which was a route we took about a year ago. Quite a bit of it was single file and in a couple of places very overgrown. Clearly not used much. Damp underfoot but generally good going with only one patch on the home stretch I recall having to tread either side of the path to avoid sinking to the ankles in mud. Naturally, a narrow bit with a wall to the left and brambles and holly to the right. Most difficult part was wading across a field of rape. The path had clearly not been used since the rape had grown up. Got away with being bitten only once.
The pub was a pleasant ex Ind Coope / Benskins establishment now owned by Pubmaster. Five more joined us here. Three beers on offer - Adnams Bitter, Fullers London Pride and Youngs ordinary. I started with the Youngs which was good but a little bland and then went on to the Adnams. This was more bitter with a stronger character. Can't comment on prices other than saying the beer was about average (£3/p) and my gammon, egg and chips was £8.50. Sarnies and baguettes probably around £5-£6. Pleasant, helpful lady behind the bar, large portions of food. I found it a very friendly, welcoming pub and would rate it 4 stars on Pete's scale. pub, walk, pics

Hit or Miss, Penn St.
* * * *
10 of us walked. A dull start with a little rain but soon got better and eventually we got some sunshine. Still mild (perhaps a little colder) so a very pleasant walk. Some hills and some road walking but not too bad. Quite a lot of walking through beech woods which I found very satisfying. Still some leaves on the trees, which were still falling giving a very pleasant visual effect. There was a shooting party out in the woods, which we could hear in the distance but didn't see. On my way home I passed a parked van with rows of pheasants on its side - the results of the shoot I guess. Just over 5 miles in just under 2 hours.
Another 4 turned up for the pub. Very accommodating, efficient, friendly staff. Pub was very busy - perhaps unusually so that day - but they still managed to get all our orders right and in a reasonable time. This is clearly a popular pub - very attractive both inside and out - good quality food - reasonable range of beers. There was a large car park (although late-comers would have found it full) and I think a decent garden. This pub ticks all the boxes the one downside being it was a bit pricey. My pint was £3.50 and my prawn jacket was £5.95. some things were definitely better value than others. Overall I liked it - and I would rate it 4- stars. pub, walk, pics

9 1/2 of us walked. Probably the best weather yet this year. A very pleasant walk. The first half was a loop through farmland and the second half was in Penn Wood. Some slight hills on first half but pretty flat through the woods. Generally dry-ish underfoot but some of the tracks in the woods were puddly - much to Ben's delight. I enjoyed the woods as it gave us a chance to use our GPSs. We did quite well following the planned route - difficult in trees as some of the paths have 'slipped' and also the GPSs lose their accuracy. A pond full of frogs and frog-spawn brought the cameras out but the monument (or what remained of it) went un-noticed. Just over 5 miles (for those of us that did the full route) in 2 hours.
1 1/2 more joined at The Hit or Miss (making 11). I enjoyed my beer and coffee (thanks again Tony) and my prawn/crayfish tails french stick. Slightly expensive at £5.95 but well worth it. We had a table set for us and the service was first class (perhaps helped by the fact that they had extra staff for a large party which arrived later). Together with a good car-park and location this pub gets top rating at 4 stars. pub, walk, pics

8 of us walked. A fine dry day - some sunshine but a bit chilly at first - warmer later. We have walked this walk before in the opposite direction so this time we started off in the woods and finished across the fields. No real points of interest but a good walk generally - only one fairly minor unforced diversion. Again fairly muddy in places. About 5.2 miles in 2 hours.
5 more joined us at the pub. We were well looked after but I wouldn't like to get on the wrong side of the owners. The pub was a bit quiet for a change - we had a big round table in an otherwise empty room. I had a pint of Badger Fursty Ferret - very good - and the food is always good here - I enjoyed a prawn and crayfish sandwich. A bit expensive maybe. Definitely a 4 star pub. pub, walk, pics

{TR} 9 of us walked in constant though barely noticeable light drizzle. This was a good walk route with woods, fields, no roads & only one short hill. Unfortunately, heavy overnight rain had made the going rather muddy in parts but it wasn't a big problem. The frog/toad pond was occupied though not quite so spectacularly as last year. We passed a swanky estate about which you can read at We also walked through Penn Street church yard and examined the elaborate grave of Richard William Penn (see pics). Presumably, unless it's just a coincidence, he was the founder of Penn & Penn Street although I can't find anything about him on the internet. 4 walkers took a short-cut back but the full walk was 5.1 miles in exactly 2 hrs.
Another 7 arrived at the pub which was exceptionally busy, although the staff dealt very efficiently with the workload. Prices weren't too outrageous - Badger Sussex was £3.40, although for some reason the Badger Fox was £4.10. I had a baguette laden with a variety of cold meats with some salad - £7.50. We had a single, large table which was good but we detected a vaguely tense air about the place, probably because they were so busy - we had been warned that there would be a large party when we arrived and another coming around 14:30 and in the event, as our numbers reduced, we were asked to move to a smaller table. However, we had been warned that this might happen. Still a pretty good venue on a less frenetic day I feel. pub, walk, pics

Jolly Cricketers, Seer Green
* * *
11 (yes 11) of us met for the walk. It was a fine day weather-wise and the walk a good one. Fairly flat with few roads - and they had good footpaths so no problem. Quite a lot of interest. We walked through Jordans, the Quaker village where the Mayflower was conceived and manned. There was a greyhound dogs kennels (with a racing track). We walked round and past the entrance to the Chalfonts satellite farm (was SSVC), Through a well kept golf course which was being well used. There was some single track walking but that is difficult to avoid. Total length 4.93 miles in just under 2 hours.
3 more joined us at the pub (a total of 14 - one of the largest for some time) and we ended up with two groups - one inside and one outside. The beer was very good with a choice of four but a bit expensive at £3.40. This is a bit of a gastro pub - and that showed in our food. The sandwiches were very good quality - and reasonable size - but expensive - my bacon and brie was £5.75 and others were dearer. I must say I enjoyed this pub - I liked the feel of it but with the prices a bit high I can only give it 3 stars (out of 4). pub, walk, pics

11 of us walked. A cold morning (0 degrees on my car thermometer) but sunny. Very little wind, few hills and frozen ground made it easy walking such that we got back slightly early. A decent walk - mostly over old ground. Some interest - the greyhound track that we saw before has gone - as have most of the kennels. Jordans was peaceful as always but on the downside there was a lot of single file walking. 5.2 miles in just under 2 hours.
9 more joined us at the pub making a total of 20 - one of the largest turn outs for a long while (apart from Christmas). We managed to grab one side of the pub but we were on three tables. The pub was quite busy, surprising really as it was quite pricey. It's interesting how a lot of the good, cheaper pubs that we have been to seem to be struggling whereas some of the dearer places are doing well - a lesson there perhaps. I only had 1/2 pint of IPA which was very nice but I understand that one of the first beers was passed its best. Still they had a few decent beers on but I don't know their prices - but they weren't cheap. The food was very good but very expensive. My bacon,brie and red current sandwich was one of the cheapest at £5.75. Nicely presented on a wooden platter with a nice side salad - but a bit small for the price. Beefburgers and chips were again well presented and good but too dear at £12.00 ish. A decent pub but expensive. Last time I gave it 3 stars - and I won't change that. I don't think we will be back there again in a hurry. pub, walk, pics

Jolly Farmer, Cookham Dean
* * * *-
Nine of us walked. Weather was decent - perhaps a little on the cool side but soon warmed up as we walked. No sun but no rain either. Cookham Dean is on a hill so we started by going down hill but then generally flat until a gentle climb back up to the pub. Nice countryside, some quiet roads and some woods. I enjoyed it. Total distance just over 5 miles in 1hour 50 minutes.
The pub was excellent. We had a bit of a worry as another group or walkers (15) arrived at the same time as us and there was quite a few other diners so the pub was pushed with the food orders. Mine was the most delayed (and mixed up) but it didn't seem to matter and I did enjoy it when it arrived. I ordered a bacon, brie and avocado baguette but got a bacon, chicken and avocado sandwich (which they did change for a baguette). It was very tasty and reasonably priced at £6 (£5 for sandwich). I drank Brakespear at £3.00. Again very good. Three more of us turned up at the pub so a good turn out. I will forgive them the food mix up (I am sure it would be OK another time) and give it my top rating 4stars. pub, walk, pics

10 of us walked. A dull start but still not cold. A little rain fell towards the end of our walk but only a light drizzle. We walked down from the pub, past a small, well maintained graveyard with a chapel near - I looked on the internet but could find no information on this - passed an old quarry and on to our highlight of the walk - the turkey farm. Lots of pictures taken, lots of discussion about their feeding etc. and a few interesting conversations with the turkeys. The rest of the walk was a bit mundane after that. Pleasant enough with mixed, fairly flat walking with a slow climb back up the hill to the pub. Rather a lot of road walking, mainly towards the end - but it did avoid some steep hills. We did try and not scare the horses. Just under 5 miles in about 1h 50m.
6 more joined at the pub (another good turn out). I had phoned the pub to ask if it was OK for about 10 of us - and they took it upon themselves to reserve a room for us. It turned out OK as they were a bit busy - and we were 16 and a bit noisy - and it was almost part of the bar - but this is the problem with warning the pub - I would rather sort ourselves out. This is a pretty good pub. Four beers on hand pump, Breakspear a £3.00. Reasonable selection of food - slightly expensive - my ham sandwich was £4.50 with £1.00 extra for baguettes - but good quality (no chips). I rate it 4-stars (the minus really only because it wasn't quite as good as the best). Interestingly as we were leaving a post mistress was setting up a post office in our room with all the usual paraphernalia ready for 1500 opening (twice a week). She had done the same thing in the barn at Hurley in the morning. pub, walk, pics

9 of us walked. A lovely day - sunny (even warm at times), dry and very little wind. We decided to do the walk in reverse after representations from Ben. Cookham Dean is at the top of a hill so initially we walked down to see the turkeys - and splendid they were. We dallied a bit with the turkeys and then continued through the woods. This was the only muddy bit of the whole walk and even then wasn't too bad. In the woods we saw a special fairy ring - with very large mushrooms. Then back to the turkeys at feeding time (except that the generator that powers the feeders wasn't working - lots of unhappy turkeys). On the last leg some cut off a loop and so got back a bit early. The rest of us continued and after a long steady climb got back a few minutes late. 5+ miles in 2+ hours.
1 left and 5 (total 13) more joined at the pub. This pub is owned by the locals and is doing well. They have built a good children's playground since we were last here. Good beers and a reasonable choice of food. I think £1 extra for baguettes is a bit steep - but not unusual - I'll go for sandwiches next time. As I left I saw that the Post Office still use the other bar for their mobile P.O. An excellent day out - we will be back next year. pub, walk, pics

Jolly Woodman, Littleworth Common
* * *
A perfect day for walking - just warm enough, dry underfoot and nature looking its best. Ten of us walked (plus dog). A nice flatish walk through countryside and woods (Burnham Beeches). I was hoping to do a bit of orienteering in the woods but was outvoted (by everyone) so we stuck to the paths. Lots of interesting ant hills on route. We also passed a large area that was being flattened by lots of heavy earth moving equipment. We asked our resident local authority (Bill) what it was but he had no idea but promised to find out - you should have seen his explanation sent last week. We also passed the Blackwood Arms - which has re-opened and looked promising - a recce is called for. Total distance 5.35miles (in a fraction over 2 hours)
Four more joined us at the pub. We sat outside (in the rear beer garden) which was very pleasant and away from any traffic. There was a good selection of beers but I just had the Rebellion IPA - which was very good. A bit expensive at £3.45 - but we have paid more. A very good selection of food - I had a bacon and brie baguette which came with chips and salad - very good but again expensive at £6.95 (just as well Dave L. not with us this time!!). This is a good pub - ticks all the boxes - but is rather expensive so doesn't get my top rating - only 3 stars. walk, pics

10 of us walked. Another pleasant day with no rain, pleasantly warm and no wind. Rather a lot of road walking for comfort, some very quiet bits to be fair but the busy ones with no real footpaths were rather uncomfortable I fear. Some hills but we seemed to manage. Not a bad walk but not one of my best. 4.8 miles in under 2 hours.
5 more joined at the pub. This pub can be a bit expensive - and certainly the beer was at £3.60 - but it was nice - and luckily they had some food specials on - beef or pork sandwiches with chips and salad at £5.95. I had the pork and it was good. They were a bit overwhelmed by our party such that my meal (the last to arrive) was well over 1/2 hour after I ordered it - still the crispy pork crackling in bowls on the bar kept me going. Most of us sat inside and a few outside at the front (in the car park - why they didn't go in the very nice rear garden I don't know). A very nice pub with a good choice of beers and food (If a bit expensive) Just below top marks I think walk, pics

9 of us walked. A few grumbles from some as the road from Beaconsfield service area was closed because of flooding and there was a long diversion - Hey Ho. Not too warm but a decent day forecast and that's how it turned out. A little sun around but no rain and the temperature was just right for me for walking. We were asked to pre-order again - I think I am going to try and avoid this in future. Walk a bit muddy in places - and one area was completely under water such that we had to divert around. A fair bit of tarmac walking - but very quiet roads so no problem. No hills at all so I enjoyed the walk and didn't take any short-cuts. 5.12 miles in 2 hours.
8 more joined us at the pub eventually - another big turn out. A good pub I think with a good selection of food and beers (the food slightly expensive I thought). I had a nice pint of beer (the name I have forgotten) - thanks Bill - and a ham and cheese baguette with chips (£6.95). All very good. Some confusion with paying for the food (their fault) meant I paid again for one of the meals and I'll have to go back and collect a refund some time. As is getting common nowadays they were a bit short-staffed and in particular our coffee took an age to come and there was a fair bit of waiting for attention generally. Still it's a nice pub - and the garden is particularly nice I remember. I am sure we will be back. walk, pics

King's Head, Little Marlow
* * * *+
Not the Queen's Head
Seven of us met in the various car parks and set off in lovely warm dry weather. I think we all enjoyed the walk - partly due to the fine weather but also because it was varied scenery with some good views and a pleasant riverside stretch. A gentle climb involved and a bit of road walking - and unfortunately another pub on the way (The Spade Oak) which netted a couple of our walkers.
Five more turned up at the pub. We sat outside in their pleasant garden. The place was well populated with lunch time clientèle - a good sign. The beer was a bit expensive at £3.40 for the IPA. Food was average price but I enjoyed my prawn baguette with salad garnish at £4.50. I quite like this pub but I think 3 stars is probably enough. pub, walk, pics

12 of us walked. After a wet night the weather for us was dry. A little cloudy to start but the sun came out and it was a very pleasant morning. A decent walk I thought, a bit wet underfoot in places, very flat and quite interesting. We walked down to and along the Thames into Marlow, had a look at Marlow lock and the bridge and wandered through some of the back-streets before crossing the bypass road via the footbridge and eventually back to the pub (on time of-course). 5.1 miles.
3 more joined us at the pub. It was a bit busy so we ended up on separate tables. This is another of the pubs that I like. Beer a bit expensive at £3.40 but a selection available. Good selection of food. I had a chicken and bacon baguette (bit surprised it was cold) which had a little salad with it - very nice - £4.50. I wished I had chose the chicken and bacon and melted cheese jacket that looked very tasty. Service was good and they have a good car-park and a very good garden area. It deserves 4 stars. pub, walk, pics

9 of us walked. Weather is warming up again - maybe about 24C. Sunny as well so walk a bit warm. We have done this very walk before and it's good with some good views and some interest like the Thames, the railway, a 10inch model railway layout in someone's garden, a boat in a field (well alright, not very interesting). I cut off a large corner and only walked about 4.4 miles - the others walked about 4.8 miles - in under 2 hours - plenty enough on a hot day. I was a bit surprised by the long stretch of road walking - I didn't remember that from before but it was OK.
Another 5 joined at the pub. As it was a nice day we sat in the garden which was very pleasant. The fine weather had brought the people out and the pub was very busy but not a problem (except perhaps those unruly children). Decent choice of beers and decent choice of food - the food reasonably priced at around £5 for most things. I still like this pub - ticks all the boxes and gets 4+ stars. pub, walk, pics

{TR} 8 walkers today for a rather chilly walk - around 0 degrees. This turned out to be a blessing though as what would have been long stretches of muddy paths were frozen solid. Pleasant surroundings with reservoirs & the Thames path though rather noisy alongside the Marlow by-pass. No stiles & completely hill-free. 4.5 miles in 1:45 hours.
Another 8 were at the pub so we rather overspilled our reserved table but there was plenty of room. In fact we had the dining room to ourselves. Food & drink as on previous visits - completely satisfactory, apart from one pint of Pride which had to go back. Worthy of note were the very swanky new men's facilities (as, I'm reliably informed, were the ladies). pub, walk, pics

8 of us walked (and one of us cycled). A hot dry day - a bit cooler than recently but I to my surprise found it quite OK. A flat walk of course, around the lakes and along the river which probably helped to keep us a bit cooler. I like this walk - very picturesque and the river is always good. 4.4 miles ish in a little under 2 hours.
2 more joined us at the pub. We had tables reserved for us outside undercover - very suitable with the hot sun. Beer was good - although it did start running out. Food also good and reasonably priced - a very good pub and ideal for hot sunny weather. pub, walk, pics

King's Head, Prestwood
* * *
Nice warm, dry day saw 9 of us walking. Good walk, fairly flat and some interest. We walked about 5 miles of mixed terrain with some road walking.
The pub was good - I give it 3 out of 4 stars. I drank the Green King IPA at £2.90. The food was generally good - and Thursday was pensioners day - all main meals for £5.00. I had a tuna sandwich with chips and a bit of salad for £4.50ish - very good. There was a comment that the ham was tinned ham - but still not bad. pub, walk, pics

Le De Spencers' Arms, Downley Common
* * * *
9 1/3 of us walked. We had a weather 'window of opportunity' which we took with both feet for a rain-free walk. Heavy rain overnight meant lots of water and mud around, One narrow path was so flooded that we turned back and took another way round. The first part of the walk was through Naphill woods and then down to the river Wye - no longer a river, just a weed infested trench - through Hughenden park (nice change to walk through parkland) and a long climb back to Downley Common and the pub. Very humid atmosphere made the long climb back rather tiring for me - and others - but a decent walk nevertheless. 5.05 miles in 2 hours.
3 2/3 others joined us at the pub. This is an excellent pub - amazing that it is over 2 years since we were last here. We had a corner reserved for us and we were well looked after. Food was good - all sandwiches and baguettes at £4.50 - beer a bit limited choice I thought but the Seafarer was fine - usual sort of price. 4 stars - maybe deserves 4+ but I think the choice of beers needs to be better for the +. walk, pics

8 of us walked. A dull day with a hint of rain in the air but mild. A lot of rain lately so we mostly togged up with waterproof gear. Another good walk. Not very hilly, mostly through woods with some nice autumn colours but very muddy in places underfoot. Another chance to test our orienteering skills. We did quite well but missed a fork and had to rearrange slightly. We also cut off quite a large loop as we were running short of time - the muddy paths really slowed us down. Only 4.2 miles in the 2 hours.
4 more joined at the pub. Another very good pub. We had an area reserved for us. A better choice of beers than previously (4 hand pumps) but we still chose the Seafarer (at £3.10). Good range of food with all the baguettes, sandwiches etc at £4.95. I had a toasted cheese and ham with crisps and salad - and very good it was. Good to see it was fairly busy (apart from us) - lets hope it stays popular and survives. All the pubs we go to now are top notch and are getting top marks - so I won't bother to rate in future (unless new) but just mark down if things have deteriorated. walk, pics

{walk- TR} Appropriate clothing was the order of the day for the 5 walkers because, as correctly predicted by the Met Office, this walk took place in steady rain. Plenty of mud of course but luckily no stiles to slip on. Good though to see plenty of water in the Hughenden stream for a change. Nice mix of woods & open ground. A few inclines but a good walk to repeat in dryer conditions. Last time we traversed Hughenden Manor we noted a hut round the back labelled 'Air Ministry Photographic Unit' but it was locked up. This time it was open & revealed itself to be a tableau of how it looked during WW2 - complete with ringing vintage telephone! See the pics below to get an idea. The slow going meant we had to cut a few corners off the planned route to avoid an over-run so we only managed a bit over 4 miles in 2 hrs.
{pub- PN} Walkers arrived dripping wet - the rest of us turned up in dribs and drabs, but dry, to make an eventual total of 12. The Le De Spencers Arms was pretty full with our group, another similar group and smaller groups but we were well looked after as usual. We had our usual table reserved for us and it was all very pleasant. I drank the Seafarer as usual and had a toasted cheese and ham as usual - both very good. We like this pub and it stays as one of the top rated in our list - and it was the only one of the 4 contacted that could fit us in this near to Christmas. walk, pics

8 of us walked. We are in a warm, dry sunny spell - but there was a cool breeze which was pleasant. Shirt-sleeve order - with a light top just in case. Some or the regulars missing due to other hobbies getting in the way (boats and trains). We had to pre-order food (and post the order through the door - but in fact one or the staff turned up as we were leaving and took the paper). Quite a hilly walk but not too steep so I found it OK. Varied terrain with some good views. The last bit through the woods (Naphill) was a bit muddy in places - surprising really. Some of us spotted Bambi (but missed the photograph - these amateur photographers!) I made it 5.2miles in 2 hours.
1 left and 4 more joined at the pub (i.e. 11 there). We sat inside at our usual tables and it was all very pleasant. I had the Seafarer at £3.30 a pint and a ham and cheese toastie with crisps and salad - excellent. A very good pub - we must come here more often. It's in a nice quiet location, has a good car park, has a very pleasant beer garden, pleasant staff and as already mentioned good beer and food at reasonable prices. It gets top marks. walk, pics

10 1/4 of us walked. A very nice day for a walk being dry, no wind and not too hot, not too cold - if you know what I mean. Very good walking territory with mixed terrain and some good views - but a bit hilly for me. We did take a slight deviation to miss a bit of down and up but otherwise followed the route. I made it only 4.5 miles in the 2 hours - I think the hills must have slowed us a bit.
1 more joined at the pub making 11 in total (the 1/4 was not seen again). We do like this pub. Good beers mainly Fullers with a Guest (I've forgotten what I had but it was nice - thanks Brian). Good selection of our type of food. I had the Welsh Rarebit - two slices with salad - which was the best Welsh Rarebit I have ever had (£5.95). Nice friendly people and a traditional country pub - excellent. walk, pics

[TR} This was the same walk as we did on 6/6/13 (see above) so I needn't say much about it apart from mentioning that it's not the least hilly walk we've ever done.
7 started off on the walk, 3 completed it. Just over 5miles in just under 2 hrs.
5 more were at the pub so we we were just quorate.
I found participating in conversations difficult thanks to some protozoan lifeforms playing with a smartphone but otherwise the food & beer was good. It was rather crowded initially but it was half-term. walk, pics

Lions of Bledlow
* *

Mayflower, Hazlemere

Merlin's Cave, Chalfont St. Giles
* * *
Plenty of parking in the pub's large car-park. The weather was dry and pleasant with very little wind and a bit of sunshine. Eleven of us walked. The walk was fairly flat, some interest and not too much road. Generally a good walk - my only complaint was that there was rather a lot of single file walking.
I Liked the pub. Not one of the picturesque country pubs but plenty of room for us (15 in total) to be put together in a 'wing'. The staff were friendly, the food good and reasonably priced (I had a tuna sandwich on good brown bread with chips and a salad garnish for £4.45). I had a pint of London Pride at £2.90 but there was Bass at £2.35. I give it 3 stars (out of 4 stars). pub, walk, pics

Oak & Saw, Taplow
Couldn't accommodate us so we moved to The Pineapple, Dorney. See entry for Pineapple below

Oaks, Maple Cross
* * *+
13 of us walked. Lucky with the weather as yesterday was very wet but It was fine for us - if a little chilly at first. Quite a bit of sunshine and dry for the walk. Despite the rain yesterday the going underfoot was mainly firm. A bit up and down in places but none of the hills were serious. A pleasant walk - marred slightly by the M25 and the amount of rubbish in places - but maybe they added interest!. We got a bit of a move on - 5 miles in 1hour 50.
4 more joined us at the pub - making 16 - a large turnout - and outnumbering the other customers 8 to 1. I liked the pub. It ticked most of the boxes - a good car park, well positioned, decent well priced food (my chicken and crispy bacon baguette with salad and chips was £4.75), well kept beer (but only one hand pump - Flowers at £2.80), plenty of room for us to put a number of tables together and friendly staff. I wouldn't hesitate to go there again but because of the lack of beer choice and the lack of atmosphere I mark it 3+ stars. I haven't mentioned the coffee - proper coffee with more than enough for two cups each for £1.50 each - saved Dave J. a fortune. pub, walk, pics

(Ye) Olde Greene Manne (sic), Batchworth Heath
* * * *-
7 of us walked. A rainy morning but luckily the rain stopped as we started walking. The first part was along a very muddy footpath through a wood but after that walking conditions got better (for those that carried on that is). We walked down to the Grand Union Canal in Rickmansworth - canal area very interesting - and then back across Moor Park golf course. Very well kept golf course but very poorly marked footpath that caused us some confusion. A steady climb all the way through the golf course but no real steep hills to worry us. About 5 miles in just over 2 hours.
4 more joined at the pub. This is a Vintage Inns chain pub (the same as The Coy Carp we visited in the same area before) and my report will be very similar. Good well priced beers. Very good range of foods ranging from bacon and brie melt on ciabatta (with a large bowl of chips) at £4.95 (that's what I had and very good too) to steaks and more. We were booked into a smallish room which was OK - but of course away from the bar area - and well served by a nice waitress. She insisted that we paid a single bill and divided up ourselves - could have caused problems but in fact worked out OK. Not sure how to rate it. Everything was fine - but it is a chain pub. I'll give it 4- stars. pub, walk, pics

Old Queen's Head, Tyler's Green

Old Swan, Swan Bottom
* * * *
No vodafone signal
No Pete this week so this is a guest Ponder from TR.
Walk specially designed to re-pass the pub halfway through to collect those unable to make the 1030 start. Nice idea but not planned sufficiently accurately. 4.8 mile walk not completed till 1245.
A very pleasant walk, mixed fields & woods, a few short stretches of quiet road, rather too many stiles. Mostly sunny. 5 started, 2 joined at the midpoint, 1 more waiting at the pub. The Stig arrived later.
Sat in the sunshine in the pub garden, few other customers. Brakspear's £2.95, Chiltern £2.90. Both excellent. Everyone satisfied with the food (someone had a pint of prawns). Someone unnamed had issues with the basin tap in the Gents - too-modern technology.
Pete has already graded this pub 4 stars so if I were asked, I'd rate today a 4 star meeting. walk, pics

An overcast day (after overnight rain) with a poor forecast but infact only slight drizzle on the walk. Still not cold and temperatures fine for walking. Most of us wore light jackets/waterproofs. Good walking country round here. Very little road walking and no real hills. Not too much interest but we did come across an old piano and I did spot an interesting wooden painted figure near our route which I photographed and Tim put on his web site. A bit wet underfoot but OK. No missed turnings or deviations so we managed just over 5 miles in just under 2 hours.
Four more joined us at the pub. We have been here a few times and its good. Fine Chiltern beer at £3.00 and good selection of food. A bit expensive at £5.50 for my cheese and pickle baguette with crisps, salad and coleslaw but it was very tasty with a good quality baguette. 3+ stars I think. walk, pics

9 of us walked on a hot, humid day. 5 of us cut a corner and only walked 4 miles whereas the other 4 walked 5 miles (so same really). The shorter walk took us 1 hour 50 minutes, the longer 2 hours 15 minutes. Mixed walking with rather a lot of bridle paths which were narrow and muddy. The muddy ground seemed to have encouraged the insect life and the horse flies were a particular problem. We walked through an interesting farm-yard with goats, geese, budgerigars and others things. Another had rows of some odd looking wooden 'units' - use unknown - and three old combine harvesters in a barn.
3 more joined at the pub. This is a good pub, nicely situated with a large car-park and large garden. Good beer - most of us had The Hooky (£3.05 I think). Nice-ish food. I had a crayfish tails baguette (with a few crisps and salad) but a bit expensive at £6.75 - and at that price should have been fuller (and fresher). The other baguettes were slightly cheaper but all over £6. Ribs were cheaper but not available. The coffee was rather weak I think. Summing up - very good pub, well situated and we were well looked after - but I was a bit disappointed with the food. I'll give it 4- stars this time. walk, pics

6 of us walked. A very cold morning (-2C) but calm and bright (a little watery sun at times). The walk would have been very muddy in places but in fact was mostly frozen so OK - if a little hard on the feet. A good walk over varying terrain. We did the walk in the reverse direction to that planned and did cut a few corners as we were running late. Not sure why we were so slow (no Rhys I expect) so we ended up about 4.3 miles in just under 2 hours.
6 more joined us at the pub. This is one of our favorite pubs with Chiltern Brewery beer and a cosy fire. I suppose if I was being picky I could say that there was not a big choice of beers (2 I think) and the food a bit pricy (most sandwiches and baguettes were £6.50 - no chips) and they close at 1500 - but it still rates 4 stars. walk, pics

9 of us walked. Busy car park as another walking group had just left. A much warmer day - in fact shirt sleeve weather - and dry. We got lost straight away in somebody's garden - and in fact the owner directed us to the right path. A good walk - they always are in this part of the world. Varied terrain and getting very dry (and hard) underfoot. The last part across a couple of very large fields was a bit bleak - the planted crops were only just visible. Some of us walked 5.95 miles in just about 2 hours and were back on time. The long cutters walked 5.45 miles and were back late.
2 more joined at the pub. As the weather was so nice (and sunny) we sat outside on one long table. The other walking group were at another long table. The bar lady insisted we had one tab for our group and could settle up individually as we left. This seemed like a recipe for disaster but in fact worked out fine in the end. It did mean that buying rounds was not really possible. I had a crayfish tails baguette (salad but no chips - only crisps) at £6.75 - I think I have said before that the food is a little expensive - but nice. I drank the Chiltern beer - no idea how much it cost but reasonable I think. Even though they had 2 largish groups to service the food came reasonably promptly and no mix-ups. We like this pub and the area. 4 stars. walk, pics

9 of us walked. Another fine day in prospect - still in the heat wave but not too warm for the walk and no rain. A good part of the country for walking - very few roads - and the few we did walk on were very quiet. Generally flattish with a variety of terrain (and lots of broad bean fields) and lots of wide paths. Nothing of real interest but a very good walk I thought - and none of us took any short cuts. 4.84 miles in about 2 hours.
2 more joined us at the pub. We sat inside for no particular reason. Pub was quite busy but we were well served and it was all very nice. The Chiltern beer was excellent (and £3.10 I am told). Good choice of food from sandwiches to meals (2 courses for £10). I had a crayfish tails sandwich about £6+ I think but very nice - no chips only crisps. As always a very good pub with no downside (well maybe the sandwiches/baguettes were a little expensive). Top marks. walk, pics

9 of us walked. A rain front had just passed through but was still a bit rainy at first but dried up later - and we even had a bit of sunshine. I thought it a bit chilly at first but seemed to warm up. No wind made it pleasant for walking but the very wet going made it unpleasant in places - such that half the group (me included) used more roads than planned which also made it a shorter route. It's nice countryside around The Old Swan with some good views. I walked 4.2 miles in 1 3/4 hours. The other group walked 4.9 miles in a little longer.
3 more joined at the pub. We were asked to pre-order our food (but then they were surprised when we did). We sat in our usual corner by the fire and it was very cosy. The Chiltern beer was the favorite (£3.30) and very nice. A variety of food was ordered and all good and plentiful. I had soup and rolls (£4.50) but the doorstep sandwiches (£5.25) looked very tempting. On reading previous reviews I see I often commented on the food being a bit expensive (over £6 for baguettes without chips) but I think the sandwiches now (with sweet potato chips) were very good value. I also marked the coffee down before but this time it was fine. Still a top rated welcoming pub. walk, pics

[TR] Mixed review for today.
The walk (5 miles) was excellent, weather perfect, no significant hills, and it's always interesting to walk through someone else's garden.
Note though, it was a Spring day & it would have been tricky during a wet spell (mud) and parts of it would be rather exposed for a blazing summer day.
The pub turned out ok, but only just.
It seemed particularly busy (because it was the Thursday before Good Friday?).
There had been something of a fiasco over pre-ordering the food. Apparently this had been essential, even though no seating was reserved for us which meant that I had to eat my soss & mash off my lap (actually, a plate on my lap). It was lucky there were only 9 of us rather than the 12+ we have been of late.
I will continue to visit this pub because it is actually rather good, but I doubt that I will organise another Thursday session there. walk, pics

Old Swan Uppers, Cookham Pound
* * * *
Six and a half of us walked. A lovely day and a good walk. Nice along the river and all very flat. 4.83 miles in total.
The pub (CAMRA pub of Slough and Windsor) was to my liking. A good range of beers - I had the Caladonian (?) £3.30 I think and it was very good. Food was good but pricing a bit variable. My baguette was £5.95 but jacket potatoes were £4.50 ish. Pub not very busy - and wasn't when I did my recce - I guess its position is against it. Another five and a half of us turned up at the pub. As I felt a bit sorry for them so I give it 4 stars. pub, walk, pics

Peacock, Henton
* * * *
9 of us walked on a pleasant, dry day. Slight chill in the air but good for walking. The walk was flat and quite good. Poor stiles in Oxfordshire but luckily Ben has got the hang of it and managed most of them on his own. Some interest. A very skittish horse worried some of us (and bit Tony's elbow. We needed Richard to give it a kiss - the horse, not Tony's elbow), we walked through a field of reeds that we think were for thatching and some fields of sweetcorn that towered over all of us (I pinched a cob but it turned out to be very hard and inedible). As usual we passed some very desirable property. Walk length 4.9 miles.
3 more joined us at the pub. We were treated very well - we were seated at a large round table set out with cutlery and water. Tring beer was good and cheap at £2.70 (but ran out and after various attempts to get some more on failed we were left with only the London Pride - £2.90 I think). Food was good - £4.25 for good ham sandwich with chips - but proper meals looked a bit expensive. Pub a bit quiet but still had a bit of character. I liked it and would give it top marks but the lack of beer choice was a negative so I give it (4-) stars. pub, walk, pics

9 of us walked. Rain had been threatened but in the event it turned out dry, reasonably warm but very humid. As we have found before, Oxfordshire is a difficult walking county. To be fair some of the stiles have been replaced with metal gates but there were still many difficult stiles to cross and a number of the footpaths were very overgrown. It was flat - which helped me particularly as it was humid - but we still ran very late and had to take a short cut to get back by 1230. For all that it was a good walk but only 4.2 miles in 2 hours.
5 more joined at the pub. We had been asked to pre-order - not a problem. We were sat at one long table which was good and we were well attended to. The food selection was not excessive but certainly adequate. I had a roast beef sandwich which came with salad and chips (£4.95) which I enjoyed. Not a big selection of beers but I had the Peacock something or the other (a Tring brewery beer) which was good but a bit insipid I thought. I don't know how much the beer cost as it was bought for me - thanks John and happy birthday. A few other people in the pub but quiet really. We like this pub so will be back again - top marks of course.
(Note from TR- the beer was Pickled Peacock & was £2.50 a pint.) pub, walk, pics

Pineapple, Dorney
* * * *
Eight of us met at The Oak and Saw, Taplow. I had a word with the East European cleaner who said it was 'OK' to park. As we were putting our boots on the Publican came out to say that the pub was booked out and he couldn't serve us. A quick decision was made to re-convene at The Pineapple at Dorney. Messages were left and some people contacted on their mobiles and off we went.
We all found our way to The Pineapple OK. Richard saw the Landlady and booked a table for later and off we went walking about 15 mins late. The walk was much of the planned walk and as such was pretty good. Flat and lots of water (including the mostly continuous drizzle). Birds, boats and Brunel Bridges were in evidence. The walk turned out to be a bit longer than normal (about 5.8 miles) and we got back at about 1245.
Three more joined us at the pub, which I thought turned out to be very good. It was very busy and we were fortunate that we had a table booked. The food was unusual in that they only served sandwiches at £7.25 each but there was a choice of about 40 - and you had a choice of bread - and you had a choice of salad, chips or soup - and the sandwiches were enormous. They were actually too big - they were a real struggle to finish. The two Daves there had the right idea and shared one. I chose a BBC (bacon,brie and cranberry) and enjoyed it. A choice of real ales but pricey at £3.45 per pint. All in All a very good meeting I give the pub 3 stars (out of 4) - only downgraded because of the price. I feel we might visit this place again. pub, walk, pics

8 and 4/5 of us walked. Lots of rain last night but dry by 1030 but a bit iffy although we had a dry walk. Still not very warm but good for walking. We walked round the finish area of Dorney rowing lake and in doing so missed our footpath - well we knew we had missed it but thought we could join it again but the Dorney Lake authorities have decided to put a fence all around the lake area - and so had blocked off what previously was an exit. Some of us climbed the fence, others backtracked a bit and went through an unlocked gate. Past Monkey Island (The venue for my Son's wedding the previous Friday), along the river Thames, under the M4 and then back along The Jubilee River (built not long ago as a flood relief scheme for Rolf Harris's house). Back to the pub just before 1230. I enjoyed the walk - flat all the way and quite scenic. I made it about 5 miles.
6 and 1/5 joined us at the pub. Nice pub with interesting food - a very extensive choice of sandwiches with different bread, fillings and choice of chips,salad or soup. We have been here before so I knew that the sandwiches were huge so I opted for the baguette with salad - much more reasonable. All options were £7.25. Only two beers on but my Doombar (thank you Frank) was very nice. A good pub and very popular - it was completely full such that we had difficulty fitting in our extras (I only booked for 12). 4 stars. pub, walk, pics

Pink & Lily, Parslow's Hillock
* * * *
(TR in lieu of PN) Seven of us had, in spite of early, ominous indications to the contrary, a totally rain-free walk today.
Largely through woods apart from a prairie-sized field & a short piece of road. Some soggy patches but generally a very pleasant outing.
Only 4.3 miles as we couldn't find the turn-off for one of the timing loops. This meant we arrived back at the pub slightly early.
Three more joined us at the pub. Nice place, out in the country, serving Rebellion IPA, Greene King Abbot, Sharp's Doombar, Timothy Taylor's Landlord.
Too chilly for the garden but we all sat round one large table inside which was nice. Food good but not cheap - burger £10, fish & chips £11 though sandwiches cheaper. Still worthy of its 4 stars I think. pub, walk, pics

No Pete so a guest Ponder from TR.
10 walked. As this was going to be a hot day (hottest for 10 years it turned out) most of the walk was under wooded cover, the notable exception being the totally exposed (but optional) Groot Trek across a huge field near the end.
A very good walk apart from one very short, very steep bit although other parts of it looked as if they could be quite muddy after too much rain. No more than a few yards of road except that one of the tracks was unexpectedly tarmac'd (apparently to service a posh house).
Those that braved being frizzled walked something over 5 miles. The others, something under.
3 more met us at the pub. It is just over 2 yrs since our last visit here during which time it closed down, was re-furbished & re-launched a few weeks ago.
It was busy & a touch chaotic but that might have been due to a big leaving party that was going on.
Delicious XT1 at £3.40 (I think). Filled baguette with chips £5. pub, walk, pics

Plough, Belsize
* * * *-
11 of us walked. A damp start with rain threatened but not too cold. Some of us pre-ordered lunch as requested but I didn't and it wasn't really necessary. A good walk through varying terrain. This is a nice part of the world - with some expensive properties. Some hills but not excessive. We did get a bit wet - both from the rain and underfoot but generally I enjoyed it. About 5 miles again in about 2 hours.
2 more joined us the pub. Again we made up the majority of the custom. Decent beer (I had the Green King IPA - not sure of the price) and decent food (I had prawn baguette with a bit of salad for £5.45 - sandwiches were cheaper). Pub lacked a bit of atmosphere - it had been done up in a slightly clinical style I thought but deserves 4- stars. pub, walk, pics

Plough, Hyde Heath
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HP6 5RW 01494 783163
Parked on the common next to the 'No Parking' sign. Eleven of us walked. The weather was dry, a little sunshine I think and very pleasant walking weather. Mostly dry underfoot except towards the end where it got a bit muddy. Fairly flat walk of just under 5 miles. Some road walking - a good walk.
The Plough was a nice pub but some downsides on the day. We were given tables in the restaurant area - very nice but the bar generally suites better. I had a ham sandwich with garnish. A bit disappointing as the garnish was just a few crisps and the bread was sliced supermarket type - OK - but not what you expect in a pub for £4.50. Other meals were variable - and the 'Fish and Chips' Special looked very good and the best option. Beer was fine. Another four turned up at the pub making a total of 15 - a good turn out. I give the pub two star out of four - possibly a bit harsh and another day it could easily be better. pub, walk, pics

Plough Inn, Wexham Street
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A chilly, cloudy day but no rain. Parking was a bit awkward being in a lay-by alongside a busy road. I thought the walk was OK - Fairly interesting, flat and the roads were not a problem. Muddy in places (particularly where the cows had been).
Six of us walked and five more turned up at the pub. The pub was OK. I give it 3 stars out of 4. I had a pint of London Pride at £3.00 and a 'steakwich' baguette at £2.95 plus a huge bowl of chips at £2.00. - very nice.

Red Lion, Bradenham
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9 of us met in the car park. Another decent morning - still a bit chilly but dry and little wind. Some weak sunshine during the walk so very pleasant conditions really. We had a fair climb initially up to Naphill Common, then flat until the final descent back to the pub. The first part was over our previous routes but then over new ground so a bit different. Some of the paths through the woods were very muddy but otherwise good underfoot conditions. Not much special to report but I found it a very enjoyable walk. Just over 5 miles in 1hour 55min.
5 more joined us at the pub (making 14 again). Some early difficulties with the beer - and no great choice - but my Rebellion IPA was excellent (£3.40). The selection of food was very good and my ham baguette (with chips) at £5.70 was really good. The main meals that others had also looked really good - and reasonably priced. We were sat at one long table and were well attended to (even though there were a fair few other customers). A very good pub. I will forgive them the difficulties with the beers - I am sure that another day will be OK - so I will give it 4+stars. As a footnote I will add that it wouldn't be so suitable on hot days for sitting outside as its situated on quite a noisy road. pub, walk, pics

Red Lion, Coleshill
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Seven of us walked on a pleasant dry day (well it did rain a little on the walk and more after). The walk was varied and not very hilly - so suited me. As usual we had difficulty in the woods but just managed OK. Walk was a bit long at 5.1miles but we did get back on time.
Four more turned up at the pub. The pub was good. Only two beers but OK. I think my pint was £3.30. Food very good and reasonably priced (My bacon and brie baguette with some salad was £5.45). Good car park, reasonable tables outside and fairly peaceful. Inside was traditional and not large. All in all a very good pub. I don't think I can rate it at 4 stars - and as I don't do halves it will have to be 3 stars. walk, pics

10 of us walked. Another excellent day for walking. Sunny, mild, dry and no wind. Mostly new ground for the walk being a mixture or fields and woods. Some mud in places but nothing like as bad as we have had. Rather hilly but we all survived. Really quite a good walk I thought but not a lot of interest. 5.1 miles in 2 hours.
3 more joined us at the pub. Only a couple of beers on hand pumps. I had a pint of Windsor and Eton Knight of The Garter - good - and a stilton ploughmans - very good. All the food looked to be good and large servings - at reasonable prices (my Ploughmans was £6.15). We sat inside at one end of the bar. There wasn't too much room in the bar but there weren't many other customers so it wasn't crowded. We were well served and everyone was very pleasant. What more could you ask of a pub. 4+stars. walk, pics

See entry for Harte & Magpies.

9 of us walked. No rain forecast (but we did have a little later on the walk) and still mild. A very pleasant walk I thought. Nothing special to report but it was very varied countryside with nice mixed terrain. A bit up and down but only gentle hills. Again one of us set off seeking the secret potion without consulting the magic map - and this time held a spell over the rest of us such that we all ended up in the 'lost my way' dragons territory. Luckily a few of us regained our senses in time and after consulting our magic maps found a secret path back to the way of righteousness - but not before the dragon had stolen some of our time such that we were late back to the fairy castle. 5.4 miles in 2 hours 15 minutes.
7 more joined us at the pub (one of them and his pet Troll had tried to free us from the dragon by backtracking but was defeated by the screen of invisibility and the time shifting).
We have been to this pub recently and I do quite like it. The chap behind the bar was no quicker but I did get my order in early so I was OK. Decent selection of beers (no idea of the cost) and a very good selection of foods. My Coronation Chicken baguette with salad was good at £5.50 - but next time I will have the toasted cheese and ham sandwich which looked excellent. walk, pics

Red Lion, Great Kingshill
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Red Lion, Little Missenden
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13 of us met in the street outside the pub. Another beautiful day - as it has been of late. Perfect walking as it wasn't too warm, it was sunny and dry underfoot. A very good walk, a bit hilly in places for me - and the pace was a bit fast for me. My natural pace has slowed somewhat in latter years and I seemed to be hurrying to keep up. We got a bit strung out towards the end. I know that doesn't really matter - and I know that for faster walkers it is difficult to walk slower (I have that trouble when walking with my wife) but it would be a shame if we end up walking in separate groups. Not too much of interest to report - some nice property again of course - and did you spot the horse-trainer contraption? - 5.3 miles in 2 hours.
4 more joined at the pub. Some confusion over our table booking and they were understaffed for the number of customers - but that is becoming more common. Also some confusion over closing time - but all in all this is a decent place especially if the weather is fine for sitting in the garden. Food was reasonably priced (I had a Stilton Ploughman's at £6.50) and very enjoyable. The Tring Sidepocket was excellent but a bit pricey at £3.40. I think, due to the shortcomings on the day, I will give this Pub 3+ stars - but having said all that I did enjoy the day. walk, pics

11 of us walked. Bit of a gloomy day but the forecast was OK - which in fact turned out to be correct - even a little sunshine at times. The planned route actually started at The Crown, just down the road, so we walked along the road to there and then turned right up the hill. The rest of the walk (apart from the initial climb) was fairly flat and mixed countryside. It wasn't too muddy - which was fortunate as there has been loads of rain lately - and meant that we got a bit of a move on (some idiot was almost galloping up the hill at the start) such that we were back a bit early after just under 5 miles.
2 more joined at the pub. We had to pre-order - which worked out OK - we had a table reserved and we were well attended to. Good beers on hand pumps - I had a nice Black Sheep (bought for me - Happy Birthday Bill) and the Sidepocket sounded good as well. I had two sausages and a basket of chips for £4.50 - enjoyable (and better value than the same thing with baked beans all on a plate at £6.50). Food generally good and prices reasonable (especially for those that didn't pay!!!). I have rated this pub before (at 3+stars) but I think we had a few problems then. This time it went very smooth so I'll up it to 4stars. walk, pics

[Pete didn't walk so this from TR]
9 walkers although it looked at the beginning as if we might be joined by a gaggle/parliament/murder/herd (substitute appropriate collective noun) of ducks but they seemed to lose interest when they realised snacks would not be forthcoming.
Sunshine in a totally clear sky & no wind made this a very pleasant outing. A fair amount of hard surface walking which avoided too much mud, in spite of certain barbed comments.
A low point where we had to stand aside for a funeral procession- the hearse (a pick-up) festooned with a large number of pheasant corpses, followed by the cortege of 4x4s full of smug-looking types, obviously pleased with themselves for managing, armed with nothing more than shotguns, to overcome dangerous hordes of pheasants who had been employing the sneaky tactic of pretending to be minding their own business.
The last section of the walk was the now closed-to-traffic Beamond End Lane. It was hard to imagine that it was once a public road although at the time of writing this, Google Street View still shows the journey.
After completing 5 miles, we were welcomed back by the ducks.
5 more at the pub - a nice, traditional place with a log fire & a large table which accommodated all of us. I drank Sidepocket - delicious - & ate a bacon & egg sandwich at £4.95. walk, pics

Red Lion, Marsworth

Red Lion, Penn
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Guest Ponderers today as Pete wasn't there.
Walk-(TR) Our first sub-zero walk this year. Nearly all the walk was on snow or ice.
Due to topographical constraints and the adjacent urbanisation, the route was dominated by woodland but this was no bad thing as some of the more open tracks were extremely slippery. However, no incidents and a good invigorating outing with enough moderate slopes to make the exercise meaningful.
Lots of animal tracks in the snow- clearly a busy place when no-one is watching.
Following the planned route (which was based on paths shown in the Common Wood pamphlet ) was a little tricky as the paths are not shown on our GPS-enabled OS devices. Nevertheless the result was surprisingly close.
As the going was harder than usual the walk was a touch shorter than normal at 4.6 miles (exactly 2hrs).
9 walked, 2 then left before the pub session. 7 more arrived at the pub.
Pub-(BB) The pub was warm and cosy with a nice wood burner blazing away and, at first, no other punters. A table was neatly laid for us. Service was excellent with Rebellion IPA, Pride, and Directors all at £3 a pint. Food was prompt and good value, I had a brie and cranberry sandwich which came with chips and a salad for £5.50, baguettes were £6.50. A very friendly and well run, pub I give it 4 stars. pub, walk, pics

9 of us walked. Fine weather, dry and mild. A good walk with mixed terrain. Lots of fields of broad beans I seem to remember - but I can't remember much else - I really should write these reports on the day - but it was a very pleasant walk. As usual about 5 miles in 2 hours.
1 left and 4 more joined us at the pub - making 12. A large table was booked for us - which was good - but it was in rather a small room making it a bit tight - perhaps we should have moved into the main pub - which was mainly empty. Beer was good - not sure of the price - as was the food. I had a toasted cheese and ham sandwich with chips at £5. A good pub and we were well looked after. Nice atmosphere if a bit quiet but the lack of a car park marks it down a bit. 4-stars. pub, walk, pics

9 of us walked. No car park at the pub and lots of builders' vans around so some of us were parked some distance away on the road side. Still a slightly chilly wind but OK for walking. It was noticeable that out of the wind we were getting too hot and stripping off but in the exposed places we were wrapping up again. Rain forecast for 1200 and blow me if it didn't start spitting at 1200 - those weather people are good!!!. Apart from the late spots of rain it was a dry walk and underfoot had dried up considerably and was quite hard in places. Another good walk with mixed terrain and some hills. The shortcutters walked 4.9 miles and the others 5.1 miles. Both groups were back early so we must have got a wriggle on.
4 more joined at the pub. We were put in their back room which actually worked out well I thought. 13 or 14 would be the max for this room I think. Decent beers on - I had the so called own brew - quite good. Good range of food - I had a BLT baguette (no chips or salad) at only £4. Enjoyable but I thought the baguette poorish quality and I think I had salad cream on the bacon which was not necessary and a bit detracting. We were well served and the place has some character. 4 stars I think. pub, walk, pics

Red Lion, Wendover
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7 of us met at 1030. Although we were prepared for the paying car park, in fact the meter was out of action so it was no issue. A heavy downpour preceded our walk but although threatening and wet underfoot most of our walk was dry and partly sunny - with some light rain towards the end. Not very warm but as most of us were togged up for the rain it seemed much warmer. A good walk. Some hills at the start but flat for the second half along the canal. Quite interesting with various bits of RAF Halton visible and walked through - and later along the canal various wildlife was spotted - including the much sought-after ducklings. The Church at Halton was interesting, being (I think) a war cemetery for the RAF. We were accompanied on most of the walk by the sound of gunfire from the rifle butts on the camp. I made it 5.3 miles in 1h 57min - a good pace.
4 more joined at the pub (and 1 left) ie 10 of us in the pub. Pub was fine. Food a bit expensive at over £6 for sandwiches (I had a tuna jacket potato at £5.75 - better value. The Ham Egg and Chips at £6 was definitely the best value meal (if spotted)). Beer was good and reasonably priced (Seafarer at £3.20 I think). We were sat at a (reserved) long table in the dining room. Good that it was a single table but I always think it better in the bar area. (That might have been a problem as the pub was very busy). All in All a decent pub (and the best in the town) but the food price, the slightly odd car parking arrangement and the lack of pub atmosphere in the dining room I think means 3+ stars. NB. Dave L. special in the market - A net of Horse carrots for £2.75 pub, walk, pics

Rose & Crown, Hawridge
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11 of us walked. A decent day, about 9 degrees C, dry, slight breeze and some sunshine. We modified the route slightly to miss some muddy bridle paths and so most of the walk was pretty good underfoot. Very good walk with good views, few roads, some hills (with some very steep) and fairly interesting. We saw ostriches, rare breed pigs, a working brick works (passing close to some hot kilns) and the usual desirable properties.
The Pub was well situated with two large car parks and views over the valley. 3 more joined us there. We had a couple of tables laid out for us and most of the walkers had pre-booked their food (I didn't). Excellent Tring beers at £3.20. Good food reasonably priced (Baguettes £5.25 - £6.00, sandwiches 50p less). Some mix-up in the food - and particularly mine seemed to have been missed. As is more and more common they were understaffed with only a barmaid and a cook but they did manage pretty well. I thought my actual baguette was not particularly good quality and the coffee I thought poor. Not really 4 stars so I give it 4- stars. pub, walk, pics

Royal Standard, Wooburn Common
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Not to be confused with the one in Forty Green
Six of us walked - a better walk than I thought it might be. The weather was perfect, the walk flattish (a bit of a climb out of the valley at the end). A slight amendment to avoid some of the road walking took us along the old railway line instead - much better. Much of the walk was new.
The pub was as good as ever. Very good choice of well kept beers (at about £3.20 per pint). Baguettes came with chips and cheapish at £4.25 for my tuna one. Another 4 or 5 joined us at the pub. This pub is almost worth 4 stars (out of 4) except perhaps its lack of a garden - so it has to be 3 stars. walk, pics

Seven of us walked on a very pleasant day - dry and not too hot. Most of the walk we have done before but I still found it interesting. A fair bit of road walking - but very quiet roads so no problem. Generally flat (we did come down one very steep hill but I didn't notice and real up hill - must have been gentle). The roads and lack of hills contributed to us doing 4.68 miles in 1 3/4 hours - we are getting faster - but it did mean we were back early - I'll have to make it longer in future!!!
Three more joined us at the pub - which was its usual excellent self. Ten real ales on and baguettes and chips at less than £5 - what more could you ask. I think I might have given this pub 3 stars in the past (due to its lack of garden and being on a fairly busy road) but I think it deserves 4 stars as it has the best range of beers of any of the pubs and the food is just right. walk, pics

Overnight rain had left it a bit soft underfoot and it was overcast but luckily did not rain during the walk. Mild again and little wind made it comfortable walking (except for those who were over-pessimistic and wore several layers). A decent walk I thought - a bit much road walking really but mainly quiet roads. Very flat and good, varied, terrain. We saw the results of the extensive earthworks that we walked passed last time -now a very large flat area recently grassed - a lot of work for a few houses (sorry I meant horses). The colours weren't anything special but we didn't get very far into the Beeches to be fair. I made it 4.8 miles in 1 hour 52 minutes.
7 more joined us at the pub, making a total of 16 - one of our largest turn-outs. This is an excellent pub - good large car park, a massive range of beers, excellent food and very friendly with a good atmosphere. Beer at £3.30 and baguettes with chips at £4.25/£4.95. This is a 4 star pub - but because of the lack of a beer garden (could be important in the summer) I will rate it 4- stars. walk, pics

9 of us walked. A stormy day but we were almost lucky - it only raining for the last 20 minutes or so of the walk. Not too much of interest - we did examine the Wooburn transmitter - with its BBC marker. We also called in on one of our original members (who doesn't join us much any more). A bit hilly with a descent into Wooburn Green and a climb out. We crossed a field of clover and grasses that was very wet and managed to get into my boots - not what I expect in the summer. The gravel pits meant we had to follow a diversionary footpath - we did know this would happen but I couldn't remember its route - but it worked out OK. We did miss the last bit through the mobile home park and Odds farm due to the rain - we took the more direct road route. 5.1 miles.
5 more joined at the pub. We split onto two tables. This is a good pub - excellent beers (at least 10 real ales), good variety of food (baguette with chips and a little salad about £5) and proper pub atmosphere. The only drawback would be the lack of a beer garden. 4 Stars. walk, pics

Continued from the walk report from the Blackwood Arms entry-
6 more joined us at the Royal Standard. They had reserved a bit of the eating area for us so that worked well. This pub is pretty well known to most of us. The range of beers is legendary (at least 10 beers on hand pumps plus others) and the quality is always excellent. Not sure of the prices as they vary depending on the strength. The range of baguettes (with chips) is also good and very reasonably priced. Other meals are also available. One of our best pubs - only marked down in the past as it doesn't have a garden. 4+ stars. pics

12 of us walked. A very nice day. Lots of sunshine and no wind counteracted the low temperature (about 3 degrees C) making it an ideal day for walking. I chose the walk with a fair bit of road (very quiet roads) to try and avoid the poor underfoot conditions that we have been having - but it didn't work out so well. The first road we used had 'Road Closed' and 'Flood' signs - which we ignored - only to find the road was closed and flooded making it impassable!!! Some of us detoured through the barbed wire into a field and others backtracked to an alternative route. We soon meet up again and continued as one group. Not a bad walk generally (at least it was flat) but nothing of great interest and there were further bits that were flooded and needed small diversions. All in all I enjoyed it - mainly I suppose because it was such a pleasant day. I measured 4.86 miles in exactly 2 hours. As a side note I was using my wife's Samsung 10 inch Tablet running Alpinequest to navigate and it proved very satisfactory. The GPS locked up instantly and never lost lock and the battery was still 75% full at the end even with the screen on all the time. Only downside is that it tended to swing around a lot as I walked and did get in the way a bit.
5 more joined us at the pub. I had only booked for 12 so we overflowed a bit but I think it worked out OK. I like this pub a lot. They are always very efficient and pleasant, they always have at least 10 beers on and the food is good, plentiful and reasonable (my sausage (3 of them) and onion baguette with lovely chips was £5.25). Top rating of course. We will be back. walk, pics

9 of us walked. Another cold day with light snow flakes blowing around for most of the walk. Not a bad walk but did include a drop down into Wooburn valley - and of course the climb out again!!! and the motorway was noticeable for some of the time The recent dry spell did mean that there was no real mud around. The route did explore another section of the River Wye. A short cut was available towards the end of the walk which we all took so that we arrived back early - just in time to meet Tony arriving on his bike. 4.6 miles in 1h 45m.
We were rather shoe-horned into the far corner of the restaurant section of the pub - OK but a bit tight - our previous seating area was a bit better. As always we were well served, the beer choice was excellent and I enjoyed my usual sausage and onion baguette with chips at £4.75. In total there were 13 of us in the pub. walk, pics

8 of us met at The Royal Standard, Wooburn Common and 1 of us met at The Royal Standard of England, Forty Green!!!. Still in the heatwave so I choose a flatish walk with plenty of shade and opportunities for short cuts. In the event we were forced to miss a bit near the start due to the encroachment of the gravel pit and most of us managed the rest as planned (to be fair 3 of us were going to take a short cut but took the wrong turning and walked the planned route by mistake). I didn't find it too hot or tiring but it was only 4.5 miles (in a bit under 2 hours).
5 more joined us at the pub. We had tables reserved but in the event sat outside. The one disadvantage of this pub is that there is no beer garden - the tables are out the front right near the road. Still we did have the interest of the one way traffic system to keep us amused - the traffic lights due to some sort of drainage work going on. I have said it all about this pub many times before - 10 real ales + others, good baguettes with good choice of fillings at reasonable prices and we were well looked after. Top marks. walk, pics

9 1/2 of us walked. A bit chilly (mainly due to the strong wind I think) but dry and bright. We reversed the route (again) to accommodate the 1/2. Well-walked ground so nothing special to say. Another good walk I thought - some road but very quiet. I was hoping to see the beech trees in their autumn colours but a bit disappointing really. The usual 5 miles in 2 hours.
1 left and 2 1/2 joined at the pub (making a total of 11 in the pub). Usual excellent beers (The Blue Monkey proved popular - thanks Barry) and usual excellent food - most went for the baguettes - with the sausage and onion most popular (£5.75 with chips and salad). A very good pub - we will be back. walk, pics

10 of us walked. Still dry but turned a little colder. Well-walked terrain, but still some new interesting things to be seen - particularly the very big hole that is part of the gravel pit. The walk did include dipping down into Wooburn valley with a fairly steep climb out of it - but otherwise nice and flat. An enjoyable walk of 5.1 miles (some took a small shortcut towards the end) in exactly 2 hours.
5 more joined us at the pub. We were allocated a table for 12 but with the few extra we were a bit squeezed in. This is one of my favorite pubs and as always there were 10 real ales and a good selection of reasonably-priced good food. walk, pics

Royal Standard of England, Forty Green
* * * *++
We met in the (good, large) car park. Nine of us walked and an extra seven turned up at the pub later. The walk was generally good - not too much road and good varied terrain. It was rather muddy in places and there were a few ups and downs but nothing too strenuous. It was chilly but did not rain. Some slight diversions due to getting lost but that's normal.
Pub I thought good. Lots of character, we were well attended to, plenty of room inside and out, excellent choice of beer, good food - if a little pricey and not such a choice of lighter bites. The ham and cheese toastie with chips looked the best value at £5.50. I drank Brakespear at £3.00 a pint.

Eight walked and three more turned up at the pub. Lovely day, dry underfoot, a bit warm and a good walk. We walked 4.8 miles (and we cut off a corner due to lack of time) and were back by 1230.
The pub is a good one. The car park is very large so no problem. The pub is old and very interesting - particularly inside - but we sat outside on a large table. The outside seating is extensive and the pub is off the beaten track so very pleasant. Good selection of real ales - I had Breakspear at £3.10 (10p more than last time) but other beers were more. I had a toasted ham and cheese sandwich with chips for £5.50 - very good value. The proper meals are rather expensive for a lunch snack (ie fish and chips at £12.50). Generally a very good meeting - partially because of the really fine weather. walk, pics

8 1/2 of us walked. Another fine dry day. Sunny to start and sunny to finish but a bit cloudy in between (and a little chilly I thought). We met in the extensive car park - another small walking group was also getting ready as we were. Good walking country if a bit hilly. Lots of nice expensive houses in Penn - and some interesting old shops. The Red Lion in Penn looked promising for a future meet (the Landlady came out to speak to us - not sure why). Slight detour to see Pistle's Pond - disappointing - and some slight changes to the route - mainly to avoid hills. The 1/2 was Grant who joined us half way after visiting The Royal Standard at Woburn Common. Total distance 4.6 miles.
4 more joined at the pub. I am warming to this place. It has the previously mentioned large car park, lots of character, plenty of room inside, good range of beers starting at £3.10 and good food - if a little expensive. Good efficient service, lots of outside seating and a quiet location. I rate it 4- stars (the only downside being the slightly high prices) walk, pics

6 of us met in the car park on a very pleasant morning. Dry with quite a lot of sunshine and temperature just right. The walk was over well trodden (by us) ground with only a small amount of new stuff - but very good walk never-the-less. Still a lot of mud around making going a bit difficult (and slow). Mixed walking with woods, fields and a very small amount of road. Nothing of real interest but I am sure we will be walking the same paths again soon. Just under 5 miles in about 2 hours 10 minutes.
9 more joined us as the pub and as the sun was still shining we sat on our usual large table in the garden. As said before this is a very good pub with lots of character, very large car-park, excellent range of good beers (I had Brakspear at £3.30 per pint), decent food - if a little limited in choice for our lighter meals (I had a toasted ham and cheese sandwich with chips for £5.50), quiet location, large pleasant beer garden and we were well attended to. 4+ stars I think. When we left we noticed that our cars were now in a coned off area due to the imminent arrival of an Aston Martin gathering. walk, pics

10 of us walked. A good day after a very wet night. First loop of the walk was new territory and very pleasant. The second loop has been well walked by us before and again was good but much muddier. We did change the route at one point to avoid a known muddy stretch (but had to put up with a busy road instead). At another point the footpath had turned into a stream - which was actually quite good for walking in as it had washed the mud away. About 4.7 miles.
4 more joined us at the pub making 14. A long table in the long room had been set aside for us and was quite acceptable. Lots of choice of beer. I had the Brittania Gold - brewed on the premises - at £2.90 - which I thought very good. Lots of choice of food as well but limited in the cheaper range. I had the toasted cheese and ham with chips at £5.50. Pub is very large and very busy - I think its here to stay. They have local sister pubs - The Red Lion at Penn and The Magpies near Amersham. Good pub with lots of quirks and character. walk, pics

9 of us walked. Temperature about 0 degrees but felt much colder in the cold east wind. No rain forecast (or fell) but no sunshine either. Ground soft underfoot but had dried up considerably since last week. The overnight freeze meant that even the soft patches were a bit frozen in places. Mostly flat walk with some short hills - particularly near the end. This walk skirted parts of Beaconsfield and also cut through part of the town but I found it a good mixture - especially as underfoot conditions still weren't ideal. Not much of real interest but I enjoyed it better than I thought I would. We managed 4.67 miles in 1 hour 50 min.
Another 7 joined us at the pub. I was a bit disappointed that they hadn't reserved us the long room but put us on the alcove table which wasn't big enough for the 14 I had booked, let alone the 16 that turned up. Luckily the adjacent big round table was free when we arrived and so it worked out well. This is a very popular pub and although very large was pretty full on the day. A good range of beers - the local brew (Britannia Gold or Pale Ale) was quite acceptable and only £2.90 - and there were no complaints about the others. The cheap food selection is limited but the toasted ham and cheese with chips at £5.50 ish was favourite and very good. The Welsh Rarebit was also good at £4.50 ish (but no chips). The main dishes, not expensive for mains, are also very good. The staff were very pleasant and attentive (They only employ the best - my son used to work here) and the ambiance first class. This pub has an excellent car park and lots of good outside seating well away from the quiet road. I can't think of any downside so it gets top marks - 4++stars. walk, pics

11 and 1/2 of us walked. Lucky again with the weather as its was still mild and some sunshine. Possible rain showers were forecast and we did get a short sharp shower (with hail) during the walk. As expected it was very wet underfoot. I had planned the walk over high ground - so there were no lakes to contend with - but all the paths were very muddy making walking difficult and not so enjoyable. The walk was also quite hilly - some of the hills were avoided by some of us as there was again some fragmentation of our group. I walked 4.75 miles and was late back (by 5 minutes). Some walked 4.3 miles and were back on time and a couple walked further and were back even later.
More joined us at the pub to a total of 19 - a very good turn out. We like this pub. They had allocated the 'long room' again for us - although the extra turn out meant we were a bit squeezed in. Service as always was excellent and I enjoyed my ham and cheese toasties with chips (yes again) and my pint of Chiltern. (£5.50 and £3.50 respectively). They seem to have stopped their in house Britannia beers but had a good range of other beers available. We will be back I have no doubt - and hopefully the paths will have dried up by next time. walk, pics

Russell Arms, Butler's Cross
HP17 0TS
Tel: 01296 622618
Nine of us met in a car park near Coombe Hill. Another indifferent day. There was plenty of rain around and although it wasn't raining when we started at 1030 it soon started and the last half was in steady rain. Temperatures on the cool side again so that was OK. I wasn't feeling at my best on this day so I found the walk a bit hilly and we seemed to walk a bit fast - but that was probably just me. A decent walk on a good day. Some good views and we did stop to look at The Rising Sun pub (which we have visited in the past) which is now a private house. We walked just under 5 miles (some discrepancy in our GPS track lengths probably due to poor signals in woods and cloud) and got back to the car park at 1225 from where we all drove to the pub.
Three more joined us at the pub. The pub was a bit of a problem and my report will be as I found it with the proviso that on another day it might be OK. We had trouble getting in - only the garden door was unlocked - to find that the only staff was Christine - the kitchen worker. She did a sterling job in that she sorted out our drinks and our food but it wasn't ideal. She didn't fill the pint glasses to the top - insisting that they had pint lines on them - but they didn't. One of our food orders was wrong - but of course we have had that before and is not a big problem. My Chicken, bacon and mayo sandwich with chips was pricey at £6.95. The bread was white thin sliced bread and the twice cooked chips were thrice cooked (or seemed to be). Barry's brown bread looked a bit better (thicker) but had some mould on it! Ham egg and chips looked OK though. I wasn't drinking beer but it seemed OK and reasonable at £3.20. We had to keep our own tab and present it to the barman (yes he did finally turn up after we had eaten). Our whip round generated a bit more than the bill so we donated the surplus to Christine as a tip as we felt sorry for her. The pub itself was fine with a decent car park and a nice garden. I can only give it 1 star now - another visit would be needed to see how it shapes up normally but I think the sandwiches would have to improve (considering their high price) to bring it up to 3 stars.
I did say I would rate the pub toilets as well but I now think it might lower the tone of my otherwise excellent reviews so I will only mention them when they are notable. (Here they were just about presentable - 2 stars) walk, pics

Saracen's Head, Amersham

Shepherd's Crook, Crowell
* * * *
No Pete so guest Ponder from TR-
10 of us walked. Luckily, the threatened rain failed to materialise.
Completely flat walk, verging on the dull. Four 90 degree left turns at 1-&-a-bit mile intervals & that was it.
The first leg was across an open field, the second along a track between 2 fields, the third was along a quiet lane into a quiet village (Aston Rowant) which was dominated by a stud establishment then across another field where we shared the track with a fair few horses & riders from the stud.
Last leg was a section of the Ridgeway, partly alongside a disused railway trackbed.
About 4.6 miles, completed in well under 2 hrs as there were no hills or stiles.
2 more awaited us at the pub which I thought proved rather good. Not long re-opened after a protracted closure the landlord was particularly friendly & helpful (supplying umbrellas both at the pub & at the car-park to enable moving between them under cover).
The beer selection was outstanding - see Tim's picture of the bar. Favourite seemed to be Vale's VPA at £3.60.
Rather restricted menu but I had their 'Platter' which comprised slices of cold meats, a couple of chunks of cheese, ditto bread, usual trimmings for £6.95. Not at all bad.
If there had been slightly more menu choice I would have given it top marks. Actually, the beer selection was so good, I'll give it top marks anyway. pub, walk, pics

Shepherd's Hut, Eton Wick
* * *
7 of us walked. A dry morning (after a fair bit of rain recently) and mild - good for walking. Fun and games with cameras meant we didn't get a proper group photo - bring back the professionals!!. I enjoyed the walk - a bit town y for some I know but I found it interesting. Lots of interesting things to see but the highlight was the Royal Screws - they caused much head scratching and debate. They still aren't turning - but perhaps nearing completion. The Lock keeper said the were still doing the wiring - which we had guessed - but didn't know when completion was expected. So much time taken looking at the screws that we were running late and had to rush to get back only 5 minutes late. The fact that it was over 5 miles didn't help - but it was flat.
4 more joined us at the pub. A Fullers pub so I had London Pride - which tasted very good I must say (£3.25). A fair selection of simple food all at very reasonable prices. I had a tuna jacket (no salad) at £3.90. This is not a pretentious pub. What you see is what you get. I liked it. We were well attended to (they had warned us that they had a funeral party in at 1400 but we were mainly finished by then), beer and food was good and the car park was OK. A bit spartan inside perhaps - and no proper garden for summer days - so 4- stars I think. pub, walk pics,

A good turn out for the 'Royal Screws' walk. 11 of us walked and one man and his dog joined us for the last bit. Mild for the time of year (about 11 degrees I would guess), overcast but no rain. A lot of the walk was on surfaced paths and other parts were not very muddy considering - making walking easy (and it was flat!). We started off along the river which was not especially high - though it was running fast. We crossed the river at Eton/Windsor bridge and continued along the river to Romney lock (the river downstream was much higher making the drop at the lock only a foot or two) . We had some discussion with the lock keeper about the advisability of walking along to the weir but managed to persuade him that we were a sensible lot and promised not to get swept away by the raging torrent. At the weir we met our old friend David Dechambeau who gave us a talk on the progress of the Royal Screws and answered questions. We then ambled back past the train station (OK Dave?), back across the bridge and a different route back to the pub. About 5.3 miles in 2 hours ish. An ideal walk I thought.
4 more joined at the pub (including 2 who had cycled from Monkey Island way (and had to cycle back) and one left making 15 in the pub. The landlord (a relative of Basil Fawlty I think) seemed a bit put out - he said he thought there would be 12 of us all having sandwiches. I wasn't that specific when I rang but most of us did have sandwiches - and other food was just simple stuff - you would have thought he would have been happy to have the extra trade. Having said all that we were well served - only 2 beers on hand pumps but the London Pride (at £3.25 I think) was good and the sandwiches were basic (but did come with chips) but OK and were only £3.20. Some strange characters in the pub (apart from us that is) and a bit of a 'rough and ready' sort of place so I can't rate it very high - 3 stars maybe - but it does serve a purpose so we might be back again. pub, walk, pics

Squirrel, Penn St.
* * *
3 and 2/3 of us walked on another fine dry day. Another good walk - about 5 miles - very little road walking and otherwise mixed countryside.
The pub was good- beer at about £3.30 and baguettes from £5.25 (but no chips). We sat in an annex - a bit bleak - the main pub would have been better but no room. Another 6 and 1/3 turned up at the pub. Again not sure about the star rating but a little expensive compared with some - and the bleak room makes me downgrade it a bit to 3 Star (out of 4 star). pub, walk, pics

Stag, Burnham Beeches

Swan, Beaconsfield
* * *+
Google Street View shows it called 'The Old White Swan' (Dec 2011)
15/12/11 Partners Xmas meeting
This was our Christmas Meeting. I didn't walk (nor did most of us) so no report. I drove to the Swan as I was with Valerie and suffered the parking with the others. Still we all managed to find somewhere and the pub was pretty good. There were about 27 of us (I had some difficulty in counting) and we were well accommodated. Decent beers and good food. I thought it ideal for this sort of meeting but the lack of close parking would make it awkward for a standard meeting. 3+ stars. pub, walk, pics

Swan, Ley Hill
* * *
11 of us walked. Decent, dry day ideal for walking. Good walking country round Ley Hill being fairly flat (if you choose the right paths) and quiet roads if you have to walk on them. Mixed countyside as usual with some interest (a brick works). Some of us took a bit of a short-cut near the end but the full route was just over 5 miles (in just over 2 hours). We did modify the original route on the way to avoid some road but then were forced to detour due to brick clay quarry.
Another two joined at the pub (and 1 dropped out) so 12 of us. My review of the pub is a bit 'coloured' by the fact that it was undergoing refurbishment which meant a smell of paint, men working inside, restricted toilets and only one room available. To be fair our hosts were very friendly and helpful and did reserve a large table for us which mitigated some of the previous. Good point were friendly publicans, good food, good beer, good atmosphere. Minus points were expensive food (£5.50 for cheese sandwich with crisps and salad - main meals not too bad ), expensive beer (£3.50 pint), only two beers on (might be due to fact that they were closing following week), closing at 1430 (chucked out at 1500), no car park (although ample parking around). Will need another visit when refurbished - but it won't get any cheaper - but for now I give it 3-stars (out of 4)(sorry Pete). Some of our group fell into the pub next door after we were chucked out - we await their views on that. pub, walk, pics

Swan, West Wycombe
Not yet Bashed.
Beer cheap, shuts 1430. Small, not really Bash suitable.

Three Horseshoes, Burroughs Grove

Three Horseshoes, Eton Wick
* * *-
13 of us meet at The Greyhound, Eton Wick. A really nice day with clear blue sky and temperatures getting into the high 20s (bit hot really). The walk had lots of interest, was very flat, had very little road walking and also very little single file paths - just my sort of walk. We walked through part of Eton and over the bridge into Windsor. We stopped to look at the buildings and boats at Windsor lock and meet a Canadian (guess from his name) who was installing the Archimedes screws that will produce electricity for the Castle. Further on we came across the site where they were preparing the turbines etc. apparently to be installed by 15th November - optimistic I think. We also saw trains going over the bridge, a very quiet golf course, some of The Jubilee river control sluices, a nice lady on a bicycle, and some interesting Eton College buildings. Total distance about 5.3 miles.
We got back to the pub at just after 1230 only to find it closed. I suggested we all go to The Shepherds Hut, a short distance away but unfortunately the rabble got no further than The Three Horseshoes, leaving Phil and Val on there own in The Shepherds Hut. The Three Horseshoes was OK. Food not really to my taste being a bit Mexicanish but others liked it. Good prices with special offer of 2 meals for £10. Only two ales on but my Courage was good and reasonable at £3.00. Décor was a bit sparse, no real car park but a bit of a garden out the back.
The Shepherds Hut looked better to me. Had a car park and some tables outside. Fullers pub. Didn't buy and beer there but food prices very good with sandwiches £3 something and mains from about £4. Quite nice inside.
3 more joined at the pub and one left making a total of 15 (split 2/13 between the two pubs)
I rate The Three Horseshoes at 3- stars (yes I have started to add + and - to discriminate a bit)
The Shepherds Hut 3 stars
The Greyhound 0 stars ( This is the second time we have had problems here - so two strikes and out I am afraid) pub, walk, pics

Three Horseshoes, Flackwell Heath
* *
13/12/12 Partners Xmas meeting

Uncle Tom's Cabin, Cookham Dean
* * * *
5 of us met on a pleasant morning. Rain showers were threatened but we only had a few spots towards the end of the walk - otherwise it was mainly sunny and not cold. I thought it a very good walk. We did have a few hills but they weren't too bad to cause any problems and the benefit was that we had some good views - particularly over the Thames. Very mixed walking - including country, golf course, quiet country lanes and urban streets. A few interesting sites - we saw a lovely shire horse pulling a trap, an original VW camper van and some historic buildings. There were also a lot of very desirable properties on the route - again benefiting from the good views. 5.2 miles in 1hr 55min.
Thankfully 5 more joined us at the pub. I was getting anxious as I had told the pub there would be 12 of us. A total of 10 was fine and the pub was pretty good. Three beers on hand pumps - I had the Brakespear and it was good - not sure of the price. Reasonable selection of food. I had the sausage and onion baguette with a bit of salad for £5.45. We had the end of the room reserved for us but really there weren't too many other customers. We were well served and the place had some atmosphere so I think it deserves 4 stars. (Also a decent car park - but the gravel defeated some of the smaller cars). walk, pics

9 of us walked. A bright day with no rain forecast but a chill wind forced many of us to wear wind-proof tops. As usual with Cookham Dean all ways led down - meaning that the return is always a climb. After passing the front door of an expensive restaurant (they must hate the fact that a footpath passes so close) we headed down to the turkey fields. This is our annual pilgrimage to see the turkeys and wish them A Merry Christmas (but we forgo the Happy New Year). I must say they all looked very happy. The rest of the walk was incidental but did go through some pleasant woods and along the top of Winter Hill with some excellent views over Marlow, the Thames and lakes. The later part contained more road than I normally like (partly because we too a bit of a short cut as we were running late). 4.8 miles in just over 2 hours (delayed by the turkeys and views).
4 more joined us at the pub. I had a good pint of Brakspears (thanks Bill) and a bacon and cheese baguette (some salad but no chips £5.50) - I am always a little disappointed when the baguettes are cut from a large stick instead of individual - I think at £5.50 they could have been better. A decent pub but I think The Farmers Arms just up the road is a better venue for the next turkey run. walk, pics

Wheel, Naphill
* * * *
CAMRA local pub of the year 2011
Walkers (7 of us) gathered in the ample pub car park and started walking at 1030 in the rain. We were all togged up for the rain (and a bit chilly) but that was a mistake for as soon as we started it stopped raining and got quite warm. A good walk. Apart from the initial bit of road it was all off-road. Mixed terrain and quite interesting. There were a few hills (both up and down) but we all seemed to cope OK. We did have to cut off a bit of the walk to arrive back at 1230.
The pub was very good. I give it the top 4 stars. It had excellent beer and a good selection of food. I have forgotten what I drank but it was £3.00 per pint. I also had a tuna jacket with salad garnish for £5.50. Other food look good as well. Another three more of us turned up at the pub.
I have an addition to my review. I forgot to mention the smelly dog. The pub dog was a nice golden Labrador - very friendly and would have been OK except that it had a very strong doggy smell. This could put you off - so perhaps I should downgrade the pub to 3 stars. pub, walk, pics

Seven of us walked. Weather was again excellent being dry, sunny and not too hot. We walked 4.94 miles taking in Naphill Woods and Downley Common. A very good walk, some hilly bits but very varied terrain. A few split off towards the end to take a short-cut and missed some wonderous sights.
Four more joined us at the pub. We sat outside in their grassed front garden (the back was gravel) - very nice in the sun and not much noise from the road. Not a big selection of beers - I can't remember what I had but it was good and £3 per pint. Good selection of food with baguettes at just over £5 (no chips though). Smelly dogs not a problem as we were outside. I gave this pub 3 stars last time. I still don't think it is as good as the best so I will stick to my 3 star rating. pub, walk, pics

11 of us met in the pot-holed car park on a dry, mildish day with a chilly wind. I had driven through heavy rain to get there but the skies had cleared and had turned blue. We walked down into the valley (and eventually back up!!). We had a problem with a closed footpath about half way through and some confusion caused us to split - some going on and taking a road section and others (me included) went back a bit and then cut across to join the original track. My group ended up just ahead of the others. We walked about 5 miles, the others a bit more.
One left and six more joined us after the walk. We had a portion of the restaurant to ourselves which was quite convenient. A few other customers in the pub but not that busy. Four decent beers on pumps (my EP was good and £3.10) and good range of baguettes etc. I had a sausage and onion baguette (no chips) at £5.25) A good pub - especially as the smelly dog was missing - and deserves 4 stars. pub, walk, pics

Whip Inn, Loosley Row
* * * *
11 (I think) of us walked. Dry day and fairly warm. Parking a bit of a problem here but we all managed to get along the road. Due to my incompetence I had to go back to my car as the others started off so didn't see which way the went. I took the short leg of the first loop and waited for the others to arrive - they were much delayed by the very muddy stretch along Grim's Ditch. It was a bit warm and half of us took a short cut half way round. All of us seem to have had trouble navigating through Monkton woods as usual - the witch's house just seems to draw us in and we have to use the magic GPS to break the spell. The long walkers walked about 5.4 miles - the others about 4.8 miles.
3 more joined at the pub - and another walked in and walked out. Not too busy - and we had a table reserved for us (which we overflowed). Large range of beers - I had a summer something which was delicious. Food very good and reasonably priced - my ham baguette with chips was £5.50. A very good pub. 4stars - would be 4+ but for the parking. pub, walk, pics

11 of us met in what passes as a car park (ie we parked along the road). Some rain during the night combined with a warmish day made it a bit muggy but generally quite pleasant for walking. After the obligatory photo we set off along the road. Another good walk with varied terrain. No short cuts taken and even some bits added on due to slight errors in our navigation (a few of us took a slightly longer route in Monkton Woods - again!). A few hilly bits but nothing exceptional, some nice views, a bit of road walking - but very quiet roads - so all in all very enjoyable. My GPS made it 5.9 miles (in 2hours 10minutes) but I think that a bit high - it felt like about 5.5 miles.
5 more joined at the pub - car parking now very difficult for anyone arriving. Pub busy but not overfull. We sat inside at a long table and a round table. Excellent beers on offer - I had a Darkstar 'Hophead' (as did many others) and very nice it was (£3.30 I think). Good choice of food - I had a Stilton and mushroom jacket potato - with a fair bit of salad - at £5.50 and I enjoyed it. A very good pub and it gets full marks. pub, walk, pics

White Horse, Chorleywood
* *+
12 of us walked. Smallish car-park but OK for us. Decent weather for a change being dry, bit sunny but not too warm (about 22 degrees C). A nice walk partly along The Chess with its water cress beds. Some discussion about which was the water cress - and I am still not convinced - perhaps someone will send a link that proves it one way or another. Not too much to comment on but it was a good walk made better by the weather. I and another cut off a part of the route to avoid a steepish hill but we did arrive back on time having walked 5 miles whereas the others were late after 5.3 miles.
3 more joined at the pub. Only one beer on (Green King IPA at £3.70 !!) and I think that ran out at the end. Not a great choice of food. I had a chicken and bacon baguette (at £7.95 !!!). It came with a good portion of chips, some salad with water cress and a large filled baguette. I was expecting pieces of chicken with fried bacon but it came as a mixed up sandwich filling type. In fact it was rather too much for me - half that at half the price would have been OK. Not really a bad pub but the lack of beer and expensive food and drink means it doesn't compare with our best. 2+ stars I think. pub, walk, pics

White Horse, Hedgerley
* * * *++
5 of us walked on a very nice day indeed. The walk was very pleasant, much of it walked before. The usual varied countryside (not much woods) and the roads we did have to use were very quiet. One they had even closed for us and we shared it with a flock of pheasants. Saw a deer on the way and some interesting abandoned buildings (see Tim's photos) and some very desirable property. About 4.7 miles.
Four more joined at the pub. We sat in the back garden and it was again very pleasant. As always the beer was excellent and just over £3.00 a pint. I had the last two baguette rolls and at £2.00 each were very good value. The others sandwiches and things looked good but a bit more expensive. 4 Stars. pub, walk, pics

12 of us walked. Another perfect day for walking - we have been lucky as our Thursday walks have often slotted in between some much worse weather (ie rain). A decent walk - some new ground - with very little road walking. Rather a lot of single file walking but not too bad. Underfoot conditions good and no real hills - so I was happy. We managed to follow the planned route pretty well. 5.35 miles in exactly 2 hours so we got a move on.
6 more joined us at the pub - a good turn-out. We managed to take over the public bar so it was very convenient. This is just about the best pub in the area for good beer. They make a real effort to keep their beer in excellent condition and have a good range. Not sure what I had - it was one of those 'never seen it before - never see it again' sort of beers - very nice. I managed to get the last of the turkey rolls (about £2) and others had sandwiches etc. from the salad bar - all very good. Really a very good pub so I give it 4+stars. pub, walk, pics

10 of us walked. Warmest day yet I think for our walk. Plenty of sunshine, no rain and just a gentle breeze made it good walking weather - if a little warm up the hills. Generally dry underfoot but some muddy patches - and a lot of Stoke Common was still under water - luckily not the bit we walked. We shouldn't really have been near Stoke Common but an earlier part of the route was down a road that turned out to be gated so we had to make a diversion. A good walk generally, some very nice property to admire and not too many hills. A few of us were tempted to take a shortcut near the end but we resisted. 5.14 miles in exactly 2 hours.
4 more joined at the pub. We had a large table reserved for us under the awning out the back (with very comfortable chairs) which was excellent. The beer at this pub is the best kept in the area and a good selection of unusual ones. I had the Rebellion IPA which was excellent. I had a couple of rolls which were very nice and reasonable at £2 each but I regretted not having something from the salad bar because that looked very good. Very pleasant people serving us and the food orders were correct and pretty quick. An excellent pub with a nice beer garden on a quiet road gets my top rating of 4++stars. pub, walk, pics

White Lion, Buckland Common
* * *+
11 of us walked. Ideal day - ie not too hot and dry. A good walk - and no shortcuts!. It's nice counrtyside out here - especially if you can find a fairly flat bit - which we did. Lots of (mainly cut) corn fields and some wooded areas. About 4.6 miles in 1hr 50 min.
4 more joined at the pub. Some problem meant that the hand-pumps weren't working but the beer (choice of 2) from the pins on the bar was fine. Food good - but I think a bit expensive. My prawn jacket was £6.95. It was tasty but a bit small. I noticed that the ham was pre-sliced - and looked a bit lost in the sandwiches - but other fillings looked better. OK pub but not one of the best, I think I'll be mean and give it 3+ stars. pub, walk, pics

White Lion, Cryers Hill
* * *