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
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.
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.
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 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.
The last section of the walk heads back through Sulham Wood to the car park.
Published in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire Life, December 2017.