Berkshire & Buckinghamshire Walks – December 2017

Two shorter walks to get you out in the fresh air over the Christmas break; a Buckinghamshire walk at Cholesbury and a Berkshire walk at Tidmarsh

Crossing the River Pang on the way to Tidmarsh
Crossing the River Pang on the way to Tidmarsh

Walk 1 – Common wandering…

Cholesbury Common which, along with Hawridge Common, was historically owned by the lord of the manor; the stone on the left, opposite the road junction, marks the boundary between Cholesbury and Hawridge and was erected in 1897 to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. After passing the Full Moon pub we catch sight of the late 19th century Hawridge Windmill (now a private house), said to be one of the last tower mills built in England.

Hawridge Windmill (private) was built in 1883
Hawridge Windmill (private) was built in 1883

After wandering over the common the walk arrives at the impressive, tree-covered earthworks of the Iron Age Cholesbury Camp. Located within the earthworks is St Lawrence’s Church. The final section heads through the village back to the start.

The walk follows the tree-covered earthworks of Iron Age Cholesbury Camp
The walk follows the tree-covered earthworks of Iron Age Cholesbury Camp

 

Walk 2 – Pang Views…

The walk meanders through Sulham Wood before crossing the River Pang to arrive at Tidmarsh. The road through the village was once a turnpike route and we soon pass the former octagonal toll house (private). On reaching the thatch-roofed Greyhound pub the walk heads back across the River Pang.

The thatch-roofed Greyhound pub at Tidmarsh
The thatch-roofed Greyhound pub at Tidmarsh

The walk then passes several pillboxes that formed part of Britain’s defences during WWII. A series of barriers, known as ‘GHQ Lines’, that made use of existing natural and man-made obstacles such as rivers and railway embankments, were devised to hinder a possible German invasion.

One such line – the GHQ Red Line – ran northwards from the Kennet & Avon Canal (another stop line) following the Sulham Gap past Sulham and Tidmarsh before continuing along the River Thames towards Abingdon.

Heading towards Sulham Wood
Heading towards Sulham Wood

The last section of the walk heads back through Sulham Wood to the car park.

Published in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire Life, December 2017.