Event led by Martin T
Attendance: 11 men, of whom 1 new member.
Distance: 10 miles (16.1 km)
Time: start 11:06, end 16:15, lunch 36 minutes
Terrain: pavement, track, crop field & edge, woodland, towpath.
Elevation: start 136m, high 161m, low 76m
Weather: changeable, from sunny 18°C until lunch, to overcast and cooler 15°C thereafter.
Number of churches on the walk: 3
Number of golf courses on the walk: 1
Number of sewage works on the walk: 0
This was a 10 mile circular walk from Chipperfield in Hertfordshire, NNE to Apsley, WNW to Boxmoor, SW to Bovingdon, and ESE to Chipperfield. Parts of the route followed the Grand Union Canal, Chiltern Way and Hertfordshire Way.
Pictures, with captions.
Links relating to some of the pictures.
This route featured a classic mix of rural and urban, complete with railways and canals.
The route started from a slightly romantic English countryside village scene, moving through an area of luxury properties, before entering Scatterdells Wood (a hornbeam woodland with some amazing views, gloriously lit by paddled sunlight), crossing underneath the A41 and entering into Shendish Manor Golf Course (vendor's website). Crossing over the railway took us into Hemel Hempstead, introduced by a church and a large Sainsburys superstore. We followed the Grand Union Canal, past the point where the River Gade meets the Canal, to Boxmoor Common, where we had lunch near the River Bulbourne.
Then the uphills started! From lunch, we ascended from the level of River Bulbourne to that of the railway and continued an even steeper ascent though Roughdown Common. This took us through a former (!) golf course (Sheethanger Common, formerly Boxmoor Golf Club until 2011) to the highest point in Bury Wood, the altitude being 161m. Boxmoor, Roughdown and Sheethanger Commons are all managed by the Box Moor Trust.
We moved towards Bovingdon, taking in some more luxury properties along the way. At Bovingdon, we encountered a church. The churchyard boasted two works of art, one of which formed our group shot. The church was open for a quick internal inspection.
A brief amount of urban village quickly broke into open countryside and woodland for the remainder of the walk. The woodland of Chipperfield Common was particularly majestic as we walked through a woodland boulevard towards the church on the common, where the walk ended.
On reflection, this route could have been called “Posh Metroland”, to contrast with next month’s walk, “Gritty Metroland”!
Words by Martin Thornhill. Pictures by Peter O’Connor.