Gay Outdoor Club
The activity club for gay men and women and their friends

(sing) "The (Chiltern) Hills were alive with the sight of Bluebells......."

10 May 2016 | London Group
Some Belles in the woods immersed in Bluebells....

Some Belles in the woods immersed in Bluebells....

 

We went in search of these wonderful wild flowers and were rewarded with carpets of them!  Richard Nowells, took 38 of we GOC's, over 9 miles of some of the 5,000 acres which make up the Ashridge Estate, up there in the stunning Chiltern Hills, above Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire. It was a really good day, an excellent weather forecast got the numbers up, and it remained popular despite a Saturday walk for better transport links, and some late change in the forecast (meaning rain!) for the afternoon of the walk.  Berkhamstead was only 30 minutes by rail from Euston. Within minutes we were marching onwards and upwards into the woods, and it wasn't long before we sighted our first Bluebell!  And said Bluebells, in their droves, just went on and on! We were taken through ancient woodlands, saw stunning views over the Chilterns, and visited the sweet, ancient, very English village of Aldbury, with its duck pond and stocks.  Lunch was under the massive Bridgewater Monument, built in 1836, dedicated to Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater. The Egerton family being the owners of the  Ashridge Estate at the time.The Duke was famous as the originator of British inland navigation, the commissioner of the Bridgewater Canal - often said to be the first true canal in Britain, and the modern world. There was, as always, lots of good chat, on topics wide and diverse, goodness knows what a plank-athon was, but it came up as a suggested activity over our long, welcomed lunch break under the monument..... We never bored of even more Bluebells in our walk back to Berkamstead, though we were challenged by a passing rain shower.  Back in Berkhamstead, some went for teas, while some went on to tour the ruins of the castle, then a beautiful short walk along the Grand Union Canal, to finish for beverages at the picturesque The Rising Sun pub beside the canal.  Thanks Richard for an all round excellent day!

 

Enough from me, the pics tell the story!

 

Robert

(Pictures are my own unless otherwise stated)

(please send me your own memories of the day to publish!)

 

Bluebells nestled in the woodland

Bluebells nestled in the woodland

Gentle ambling.....

Gentle ambling.....

And yes, some more.....

And yes, some more.....

......get the gist????

......get the gist????

Where's Amyn trying to lead us astray to now????

Where's Amyn trying to lead us astray to now????

And more of the same!

And more of the same!

Small gathering of GOCs, with the cutesy village of Aldbury in the distance.

Small gathering of GOCs, with the cutesy village of Aldbury in the distance.

Atmospheric woodland with yet more Bluebells. (Picture Courtesy Of Helmut Mayer)

Atmospheric woodland with yet more Bluebells. (Picture Courtesy Of Helmut Mayer)

Lunch stop under the towering Bridgewater Monument

Lunch stop under the towering Bridgewater Monument

More woodland....... (Picture Courtesy Of Helmut Mayer)

More woodland....... (Picture Courtesy Of Helmut Mayer)

Hooray, no Bluebells! Picture (Picture Courtesy Of Helmut Mayer)

Hooray, no Bluebells! Picture (Picture Courtesy Of Helmut Mayer)

Homeward bound

Homeward bound

Local lads on the cricket pitch in Berkhamstead on the walk back into town (Picture courtesy of Helmut Mayer

Local lads on the cricket pitch in Berkhamstead on the walk back into town (Picture courtesy of Helmut Mayer

Resident Heron in the lock on the Grand Union Canal.

Resident Heron in the lock on the Grand Union Canal.

Well earned beverage at the Rising Sun Pub, and no, the pink hat and coat is NOT one of us!

Well earned beverage at the Rising Sun Pub, and no, the pink hat and coat is NOT one of us!

Thank you Richard (far left)!!

Thank you Richard (far left)!!

 
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