African Adventuers (Chiltern Walk)

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I designed this 13.5km hike to include as many thigh-burning gradients as possible – which explains its rather inelegant plan. It starts and finishes by the church in Stokenchurch. Churches are always good places to start walks; prettiness, parking, often a pub – plus you can see the tower or steeple peeping encouragingly over the trees on your final leg. From Stokenchurch, it’s down, up, down, up to Bledlow Ridge then along a bit and down, up, down, up, down, up back to the start. Walked anti-clockwise, lots of the downs are across open fields (grass, stubble, plough) and almost all of the ups are through shady woods or along Hobbit paths – which was good because it was surprisingly warm for September. The gem in this Chiltern coronet of a hike has to be the little Church of St Mary the Virgin in Radnage. Built by the Knights Templar at the end of the 12th century; boxy and quite plain from the outside, utterly delightful and clearly well used and loved within. The footpath passes through the living wildlife churchyard so do look in, leave a donation in the honesty box – and spare a thought for George Phillimore, Victorian rector of this peaceful village, and his wife Henrietta whose two sons died, seven years apart, adventuring a world away in Africa. My approximate route is on [osmaps.ordnancesurvey.co.uk]. Find the starting point then click on Discover Routes and search for Chiltern Ridges and Furrows. #autumnwalks #Chilterns #countrywalks #getoutside

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About Hannah

Author of literary historical fiction set in the First World War. Revising my first book, writing the next, seeking representation. Mountaineer, gardener, traveller, off-road runner. Africa, modern history, coffee, roses, films, book and unrealistic romance. NHS midwife in a former life.
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