Monday, July 23, 2007

The long way round

I love walking. I'm not a massively experienced walker, but I like getting out on footpaths etc and exploring. One day I hope to walk the coast to coast path from St Bees to Wallsend, although I will probably miss out the mainly metropolitan area at the easterly end. This path follows the ancient wall built by Hadrian.

Anyway, on Saturday I began, with my friend Jeremy, to walk a local path called the Greensand Ridge. It begins in Leighton Buzzard and wanders for 40 miles through Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire to Gamlingay.

We did the first 10-11 miles from LB to Eversholt, a small village just outside Woburn.

What is interesting is that by walking from place to place rather than doing a circular walk, you get see such variation in landscape. There are some quite spectacular views to look at and maybe next time I'll take my camera along. The problem is that we don't stop that often to do a photoshoot.

The first part of the walk took us alongside the Grand Union canal. At one point we should have crossed a meadow but it was under water, so we followed the canal a little further and rejoined the footpath on higher ground. The meadow had boardwalks which looked more like jetties that day. After that we climbed up through woodlands and eventually reached a small hilltop that looked down to Woburn house. From there it was a short walk to Eversholt where we finished for the day.

For the most part of our journey we didn't meet another walker at all. A few folk were walking along the canal-side, and a few more exercising dogs in various wooded areas, but for most of the time we had the path to ourselves.

If you're the kind of person who sees walking as what you do between the car park and the shops, let me encourage you to go and explore. I'd bet that wherever you are there are some old trails that are worth the effort of finding.

And, as you can see, whilst most of my time is consumed with church and theology, there are other things that occupy some of my days.

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