Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Sparkling Walk – 11 February 2012

Despite another few centimetres of snow on Thursday night, the snow was nearly gone on the Chorleywood Common by Saturday, so we caught the train two stops further west into the Chilterns to Chesham. Here the snow was still deep in the countryside around the town.

The local council promote walking in the countryside, by making a free selection of colourful walks available at the local library. We choose a selection of appealing walks, and decided to do a 7 mile walk through the fields in a circle around the town.

This would have been pleasant, but unexciting on a normal day, but today with the fresh snow thickly covering everything, it was just magical. There was not only snow glistening with ice crystals, but long hoar frost needles were developing on fences, post tops, plants etc, and in the bright sunshine, it looked like all the diamonds in Antwerp were scattered everywhere.

Small numbers of children were out in isolated fields, having an exhilarating time whizzing down steep icy slopes. We took our walking poles and sun-glasses, both were essential.

About three-quarters of the way round we passed the Hen & Chicken pub. By this stage we were rather hungry, and glad of a rest too. The pub is a really old and one of the most appealing interiors we have seen recently. A large fireplace (originally the kitchen cookplace I suspect) had a warming fire and either side of the fire were chimney seats, tucked inside the chimney in typical inglenook fashion.

The bar area was tiled, so no need to take our boots off. They may have been wet, but after walking miles through the snow, were the cleanest they have been for a long time! The restaurant area was quaint, with old timbers and another fire. A very welcoming sight on a cold day.

Suitably refreshed we completed the circuit to the centre of Chesham and returned to real-life by filling our backpacks at the supermarket before training home.

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