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PUBS, STAR RATINGS and NOTES


Bell, Chartridge

http://www.thebellatchartridge.co.uk/

* * * *-

1/12/11
9 of us met in the large car park. Overnight rain but a fine morning. Some sunshine and still relatively mild. Soon after the start of the walk we realised that we were in fact walking the route in reverse. This (to my mind) turned out to be a good thing as the start was a very steep downhill track - with steps - and would have been quite a climb at the end of the walk. The rest of the walk was reasonably flat and climbed back to Chartridge fairly gently. There were some slight deviations - mostly planned - and the total distance was just over 5 miles in just over 2 hours. This is good walking country - peaceful with decent views if a bit hilly. A disused well was interesting - an a white 'black sheep' was spotted.
3 more joined us at the pub. A table for 12 was set for us - just right. A nice pub - if lacking in a bit of character. My pint of Youngs was good and reasonable at £3.00. Good selection of food again at reasonable prices. My french bread with ham, mushrooms and melted cheese - with a little salad - was very tasty and cost £4.95. Toasted sandwiches again looked good and were cheaper. The liver and bacon looked particularly good - we did have a bit of a wait for the food - partly I think because they waited to serve all of us at the same time . I didn't really warm to this pub - perhaps because it was almost empty apart from us - but I can't really fault it. I give it 4- stars.

pub, walk, pics

Black Cat, Lye Green

http://www.blackcatchesham.co.uk/

* * * *+

9/6/11
It was a fine day - although most of us started with jackets on we quickly shed them as it warmed up nicely. I modified the route slightly to make it a bit longer - and we soon took the wrong path by mistake so had to modify it even more. It was a very pleasant walk of 4.8 miles. Fairly flat and some interest. A bit too much 'single file' walking for my liking due to narrow paths but generally varied countryside - including a very quiet golf course. Due to the extra diversions we had to cut the last bit of the planned walk to get back in time.
Two more joined us at the pub. I liked the pub - It wasn't pretentious, the staff were friendly and attentive, the food choice was good and very reasonably priced, the beer (I had the Youngs) was excellent and one of the cheapest pints lately at £2.90. It was on a quiet road, had a very large car park and had a decent beer garden (though we ate inside). I can't fault it so give it top rating of 4 stars. We may well be going there again sometime.

pub, walk, pics

8/9/11
Not a great day but dry and not cold. Six of us walked a decent walk. 4.8 miles of mixed walking with not too much road and no real hills. Some interest - a very large badger set, a good scrap yard with some old stationary engines (well they weren't moving) and some other things that I meant to remember - but have forgotten.
Four more joined us at the pub. I quite like this pub but it didn't quite live up to my expectations. Two reasonable beers on - but one ran out - £3 something. Food OK and reasonably priced but my baguette wasn't the best quality - £4 something. Very pleasant ladies running the pub. 3 stars.

pub, walk, pics

11/10/12
9 of us walked - and one more joined us at The Hen and Chickens, Botley, after having got lost getting to the pub. A threatening day with rain forecast so most of us kitted up in waterproofs. The rain in fact held off until about the last 1/2 hour and then wasn't too bad but I don't really enjoy walking in the rain - in fact a few of us took a bit of a short cut at the end of the walk. Good walking country around The Black Cat - mostly flat and we avoided the roads on the planned walk. Some interest in some old rusty stationary engines, a grain store and a private house that used to be The Five Bells. The full walk was 5 miles and the short cut would have knocked a couple of tenths off.
2 more joined at the pub. I like this place - nothing pretentious - just a good decent pub offering just what we like. 3 beers on hand pumps - all good I think. Good variety of sandwiches/baguettes - I had a bacon and mushroom baguette (with a bit of salad and crisps) at £5. The bacon was very tasty but I thought the baguette - although OK - was not top quality. Our food receipts went into a pot for a draw for 2 free Sunday Lunches. Very pleasant serving wenches and we had a table for 12 reserved for us - all worked very well I thought (after a panicky start earlier when I realised I had booked the wrong pub and had to make some last minute phone calls). Again 4+stars

pub, walk, pics

Black Horse, Chesham

* * * *+

19/1/12
8 of us met in the car park. A fair bit of overnight rain but dry for us and improving. A bit of a chill wind but the sun did appear later in our walk. A slightly late start of 1145 (delayed due to pub warning us that they had a large party in at 1200). I thought the walk was good. Very little proper road on the route - and what there was very quiet (some stretches of metalled tracks -but they were almost a bonus against some of the very muddy bridle paths). No real single file walking. A bit of a hill to start but no problem. Good views. Some interest in an old priory, some very large glass-houses and a model hippo. As always some very nice property in some lovely positions. About 5.2 miles in 2hour 5min.
4 more joined us at the pub (eventually). They were very busy but beer was served straight away and the food was a bit delayed - but we were warned. Decent beers on - including two from the Tring Brewery - about £3.30 per pint. Good selection of food (including a two course meal for £8.50 for OAPs). Everyone enjoyed their food - I had an excellent prawn and crayfish baguette with a nice bit of salad and crisps at £5.95 - not the cheapest but very good value. The pub had a good large car-park, a good quiet outside eating area, a decent atmosphere and the service/staff were excellent - a top rated pub, 4+ stars.

pub, walk, pics

22/3/12
10 of us walked. Weather was perfect - sunny, dry and quite warm. As asked, we parked in the overflow carpark and just about filled it. We set off down a short stretch of narrow road which was a bit awkward but after that we were mostly in very pleasant, quiet countryside with some excellent views. This part of the world is a bit hilly but we managed a route with only a few ups and downs - the rest being along a valley side and then back along the top. Some interesting sights - we watched a couple of guys boring a hole in the chalk. Judging by the length of cable they had already gone quite deep. We also passed a field of ostriches - have I told you the one about the male ostrich chasing the female ostrich ....... oh well another time maybe - and some very tasty properties. We didn't hurry (Rhys wasn't with us) and covered the 5.3 miles in about 2h15min.
2 more joined us at the pub. It wasn't as busy as last time we were here but still a reasonable number of customers. I really like this pub. As I said before it ticks all the boxes. A good large car park and a large grassy beer garden, fairly quiet location, plenty of character, good beer (most of us had the Tring Sidepocket, very tasty, at £3.20), good food (I had a prawn/crayfish baguette with crisps and a decent bit of salad at £5.95), and good friendly service. I can't really fault this place so I rate it one of the best with 4+ stars

pub, walk, pics

Black Horse, Mobwell (Great Missenden)

www.blackhorseatmobwell.co.uk
Helicopter friendly

* * * *

1/9/11
9 of us walked a linear walk but very pleasant. The weather was perfect for walking and the walk was not too hilly (a bit of a climb at first but then flat). Varied countryside with some good views and almost no roads. I did enjoy this one. Total distance about 4.8 miles.
The pub was excellent. A good car park with an interesting large pear tree that seemed to have two different types of pear (one possibly the root stock and the other grafted). Tables outside, fairly quite and not pretentious. Good food at reasonable prices (my ham sandwich at £3.95), a couple of draught beers at £3.30 and friendly staff. I think I will give this 4 stars as although it is not quite there it is along with the best (and I don't have any finer gradations). Three more turned up at the pub including Pete H. who again flew in to the balloon field in a helicopter - much to the delight of all concerned.

pub, walk, pics

Black Horse, Lacey Green

* * * *+

01844 345195
(Not to be confused with the Black Lion just along the road).

13/10/11
13 of us walked on a pleasant dry day. Not too much of interest on the walk but it was fairly flat and mixed countryside. We did go off route a couple of times - one of the detours being in Monkton Woods - a place we have not ever managed to correctly follow our route - another time perhaps. I pinched another sweetcorn cob - it looked OK but was again hard and starchy. Walk just over 5 miles in just over 2 hours.
Three more joined us at the pub making it a good turn-out. This is an excellent pub (and is used by another BBC group each Thursday - mainly OB tech ops. so I didn't know them but some of our group did). My toasted ham and cheese sandwich (with salad and chips) - very good- was only £3.25. Baguettes weren't much more and the main meals looked excellent. There were 4 real ales on - my Breakspear was good and reasonable at £3.10. This pub has a reasonable car park, a bit of a garden, plenty of character and the staff were very friendly. It would be hard to better this pub so it gets my top rating of 4 stars.

pub, walk, pics


12/1/12

10 of us walked. Another nice day. Lots of sunshine, quite mild for time of year, very little wind and dry. A decent walk of about 4.7 miles in about 1hour 50 mins. A bit hilly in places - particularly the long climb back up to Lacey Green. Lots of interest on the way including deer, chickens, donkeys, baby goats and the railway. We walked the route the opposite way to that shown on Tony's map to make it different from a previous walk - much to Tim's consternation.
We have been to this pub before and it's one of my favorites and still deserves its top rating. I wasn't drinking beer so can't comment or price it but the food was its usual excellence and reasonably priced (bacon and brie baguette with salad and chips at £4.95). We sat at one long table and the food came promptly - what more could one want.

pub, walk, pics

24/5/12
10 of us walked. Dry and very warm so we set off in shirt sleeves - the first for me this year. A bit hilly and slow walking so we cut a few corners - especially at the end as we were getting hot and tired and time was running out. Interesting navigating through the woods - the usual problem that the paths weren't where they were supposed to be. We walked through the 'old horses home' and said hello to some nice horses. A good walk but shortened to 4.6 miles.
Two more joined us at the pub - one of the extras having first visited the Black Lion - how could anyone make that mistake!!! One of my favourite pubs. Good beer, good reasonably priced food, a table laid out for us and nice people. We sat inside as it was cooler but there were tables outside. It still gets my top rating of 4+stars.

pub, walk, pics

Black Lion, Walters Ash

* * *

01494 563176
Not to be confused with the Black Horse just along the road.

Blackwood Arms, Littleworth Common

* * * *

29/12/11
7 of us walked. Decent sized car park - if a little puddly. Weather again not cold and dry for the walk. Most of the walk was in Burnham Beeches and was pleasant, being sheltered from the wind, not muddy underfoot and not hilly. Our orienteering is getting better as we managed to follow the planned route almost exactly (except where some made conscious detours). When those new Christmas presents get sorted we will be even better next time!. Generally speaking I like wood walks as the paths are very wide, there is always something to look at and the navigation is fun. Total distance just over 5 miles in 2 hours.
4 more joined at the pub. We had a table reserved, which was good as the pub is very small and did get pretty full. My Brakespear was excellent (£3.40) - others were available. A good range of sandwiches and other meals. I had half a Bacon and Brie and half a peppers and brie sandwich (don't ask). Very tasty and quite large - not bad value at £5.25. All in all a decent venue. I expect we will be visiting again. I think its better than The Jolly Woodman just round the corner (which is a bit expensive) but probably not quite up to The Royal Standard just along the road. 4-stars.

pub, walk, pics

18/10/12
8 of us walked. A nice day that improved as the walk went on to be very pleasant. Overnight heavy rain meant that the walk was muddy in places but lots of the walk was on reasonable hard paths - mostly through Burnham Beeches where we could practice our orienteering skills - the final GPS track was a bit wobbly in places but pretty well followed the planned walk. A new information board had been installed near the moat that we always see telling us of the medieval encampment that used to be there. The last part was in open countryside in the sunshine and we cut off a little bit across Littleworth Common - preferring the road instead . About 4.9 miles in just under 2 hours.
Some confusion with the pub (when I rang last night to book they couldn't accommodate us due to prior booking - so I booked the Royal Standard instead) so we all got in our cars and drove off to The Royal Standard.

pub, walk, pics
Report on lunch continues here


Boot, Bledlow Ridge

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27/12/12


Brickmakers Arms, Wheeler End

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Charles Dickens, Beaconsfield

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Chequers Inn, Hedsor

* * * *

6/9/12
12 of us walked. A fine day, plenty of sunshine and not too hot. After a good start it suddenly went wrong and we found ourselves doing a 20 minute circular detour in Woolmans Wood. We managed to meet a lady with her dog THREE times on our detour. After that it got better and we followed the route pretty well. Interesting walk I thought - we walked along the river, across the rail bridge at Bourne End, passed the auction rooms, followed the old railway line to Wooburn Green and climbed the hill back up to Hedsor. About 5.7 miles in just over 2 hours (we were 5 minutes late getting back)
5 more joined us at the pub (totalling 17). This is a very nice pub and we were well looked after. They have a good car park, a lovely beer garden (which we took advantage of), some excellent beers (if a bit expensive at £3.60 per pint), a wide range of food at reasonable prices. I had a beef sandwich with salad and crisps for £5.75 - very good quality. They really do seem to consider their customers and that's why it very popular. I will give it 4 stars - no + as it was a bit expensive.

pub, walk, pics

Chequers, Wheeler End

* * * *+

19/7/12
No Pete today so a guest Ponder from TR.
7 made the walk. Some mud but not as bad as the last couple of outings. This led to an improvement over our recent slow pace with 5.3 miles in a couple of minutes over 2 hrs.
One or two light spots of rain early on but mainly sunny with a pleasant breeze in the open sections. Just enough inclines to get us up to the government's recommended heart-rate.
Fair number of animals - horses, goats etc - keeping an eye on us, we even being outnumbered by young pheasants at one point.
With a nice mix of woods & fields I thought this was a good route.
Another 7 attended the pub, which meant we rather overflowed the big table which had been reserved. My fault as I has told them we would be about 10.
Food not fast in arriving but good quality when it did.
Several beers, of which the only one I remember was Seafarers'. This was £3.10 / pint but if you had a meal costing £8.50 or more, you got a pint of beer free. This I did, which meant that my ham, eggs, chips at £8.50 kind of cost £5.40. Very good it was too.
The 2 bar-ladies were most attentive & helpful so I would definitely give this pub 4 stars. (I would give it 4+ but don't want to be subjected to a blizzard of abusive e-mails.)

pub, walk, pics

Coy Carp, West Hyde

* * * *-

31/5/12
11 of us walked. Perfect weather for walking - dry, about 19 degrees C, no wind and no sun. The very large car park was handy. Very mixed walking including lots of water (canals, rivers and lakes), picturesque views, ancient woodlands, an interesting scrap yard, a massive sewerage works and some hooded horses. Slight hill at first but not serious and the rest was mostly flat. Some road walking (including some tricky narrow bridges to cross - tricky because of the traffic) but no one got run-over. There was a mistake on the route that meant we missed a turning (no way through) but no real problem. All in all a very good walk - made better by the weather. I made it 5.2 miles in just over 2 hours.
5 more joined us at the pub. This place turned out better than I expected. It was very large but we had a table reserved, service was fairly prompt (although I heard there was some delay in getting served at the bar), beer was good - I has the Jubilee something -a Leeds brewery - which was to my liking (£3.40), food was good with a good choice - I had a bacon and brie open baguette thing with chips (£4.95) and they got the orders right. The lemon meringue pie ordered by Mike was a surprise!!. Not as much atmosphere as the best but I give it 4-stars - I'd have no problem in using this place again.

pub, walk, pics

Crooked Billet, Sheepridge

* * * *

20/9/12
9 of us walked. Really good day for walking being dry, sunny and not too warm. A good, if hilly walk. I found it fairly interesting with fields, woods, excellent views, part of the old railway track, a foot tunnel under the M40, a grouse(?) shoot and a lovely bubbling brook with a ford through a very desirable residential area - not to mention the farm that took some finding!. Not all of us saw everything as we split 3 ways due to carelessness and exhaustion. The correct route was 5.14 miles in 2h 10min.
The pub was a delight. The garden was a picture with an abundance of flowers (we sat in the garden). The beer was excellent (but only 2 beers) - I had a lovely Brakespear at £3.30 - and the food was varied,cheap and good - I had a pork sandwich made with good thick pork and proper crusty white bread at £3.90. Must deserve 4 stars. Could be a problem on a rainy day as its a bit small inside.

pub, walk, pics

Crown, Burnham Beeches

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Crown Inn, Little Missenden

www.the-crown-little-missenden.co.uk

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Crown Inn, Penn

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Dashwood Arms, Piddington

* * * *+

28/4/11
Very pleasant, dry, warm day. Good car-park and very good country walk. Some hills but not a problem. I think eight of us walked and another three turned up at the pub. A slightly shorter walk at 4.2 ish miles.
The pub was good. Decent range of beers - I was drinking shandy so can't comment. £3.10 per pint. I had a prawn baguette - no chips but came with some salad - pretty good. £4.95. We sat outside as the day was so nice. I think 3 stars (out of 4)

pub, walk, pics

26/7/12
9 of us walked. The recent very hot weather had got me a bit worried but in fact the day started a bit cloudy and the temperatures were a little lower. After examining the old BT exchange building in the car park we set off for what turned out to be a very good walk. Still a bit hot for me but the hills weren't significant and a fair bit of the walk was in woods. Nice open countryside, few roads, little single file walking and good views added to the pleasure. Still surprisingly muddy in places but not a problem. Just over 5 miles in 1hour 50 minutes - we are getting quicker.
1 left and 3 more joined at the pub. Again the pub experience was excellent. As the weather was so good we sat in the garden which was very relaxed. My ham salad baguette (£4.75 I think) was good and my beer was XT (a Thame micro brewer - £3.40 I think) was very tasty. I think it was XT 3 - I am sure I could taste the CaraRed Malts and I noticed a hint of Celeia hops- what do you think Tim? All in all an excellent day. 4+ stars for the pub.

pub, walk, pics

Derehams Inn, Loudwater

* * * *-

15/3/12
6 of us walked. A low turn-out - but quality - on a damp misty morning. Slightly chilly at first but did warm up a bit towards the end as the sun came out. An initial steep climb and some ups and downs were taken in our stride. Part of the walk was through Wycombe Heights golf course where the golfers tried to lead us astray - but luckily the GPSs came to our aid and we found our footpath. Surprisingly peaceful walk with just the faint drone of the M40 in the distance. Very little mud underfoot and mixed terrain making it a good walk. I made it 5.2 miles (in just over 2 hours).
4 more joined us at the pub. Although I had booked us in previously they didn't seem to have any knowledge of it - but it didn't matter as they were very quiet. We have been here before and its fine. I wasn't drinking beer but there were no complaints and the food was good and reasonably priced (I had a ham, cheese and pineapple toastie for £3.50 - rather too much pineapple for my liking but OK). I quite like this pub so I'll give it 4- stars.

pub, walk, pics

29/11/12
11 of us met at the pub on a chilly but fine day. As always there the walk started up a fairly steep hill but after that was reasonably flat until the descent back down. Another good walk but a bit muddy for the second half. The first half was up the hill then across part of Wycombe Heights Golf course which had some good views and pleasant walking. About 5.2 miles in just over 2 hours.
Three more joined us at the pub and 1 left. Pub was very quiet apart from us but was very good. Some good beers on (I had a Loddon Hoppit £3.30) and a very good selection of reasonably cheap food. I had the lamb casserole with tiger bread special at £5.00 and enjoyed it. I like this pub so I will give it 4 stars (lacking the + because the garden wouldn't be very good if we needed to sit out).

pub, walk, pics

Partners Xmas meeting

13/12/12
{walk - TR} 5 and a half walked, following approximately the line of the R. Wye as far as Wooburn Green. Sub-zero temperature I think but crisp & fresh. Something of a change from our usual woods & fields as some of the walk was on tarmac & the off-road stuff was firm & dry - quite restful after the recent mud & frozen ruts. Some of the quiet back-lanes were surprisingly attractive, in striking contrast to the industrial estate we also traversed. We saw a good deal of the Wye which was flowing well - see the pics - and we passed very close to the site where Loudwater station on the old Bourne End to Wycombe railway used to be. A walk to investigate what remains of the track bed might make an interesting future walk. 4.3 miles in 1 & 3/4 hours.
{pub - PN} I didn't walk but turned up at the pub at 1230 to find most people there. It was a good turn-out - just short of 30 I think. We mainly used the room at the back but as more people arrived we did spread a bit. Car parking just about worked out I think - but it is a bit small for our large group - fine when its just the walkers. I thought they looked after us pretty well. I didn't notice any mix-ups with the food and this pub does do a large selection of lighter bites as well as proper meals. I had the Cajun chicken baguette (with a little salad) - masses of chicken - and the Cajun was just a little hot for me - but very nice (£5.50). A decent selection of beers - my Black Sheep was very good. All in all a successful Ladies Day I think.

pub, walk, pics

Dumb Bell, Horn Hill

http://www.dumb-bell.co.uk/

* * *

16/6/11
Eight of us (I think) met at the pub. Some of us had to make a diversion to get to the pub due to overturned(?) lorry blocking a road. It was raining - and continued raining until 100 metres to the finish when it stopped and looked quite bright. The walk was 4.95 miles long and we got back just about 1230 - good going I think. Walk was good - again rather a lot of single file walking with restricted views but generally mixed terrain with some interest - particularly the Chiltern Open Air Museum. Crossed a few roads but not much road walking.
Four more turned up at the pub making it another good turn out. Slightly mixed feelings about the pub. The pub had a large car park, the land-lady was very friendly and helpful, the food was good (and cheap) and a very good selection. Limited choice of beers - but my Pride was good. Now the downside - the beer was £3.50 - the most I have ever paid, we were sort of ushered into the dining room - which was fine but I personally prefer the bar area - we could have moved but it wasn't a big issue and perhaps was better as we sat at one long table - and on the website it said there was 20% discount for oldies - this was not mentioned to us at the time and although she might have thought I was under 60 that couldn't be said for some of the others. And to cap it all I discovered later (when I was looking at the website) that I had been overcharged by 25p. Its really a four star pub - but I am going to mark it down to three stars - a bit harsh you may say - but there you are.

pub, walk, pics

Falcon, Denham

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Falcon, Wooburn Moor

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Firecrest, Wendover

www.vintageinn.co.uk/thefirecrestwendover/

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Full Moon, Cholesbury

* * * *

22/12/11

9 of us met in the car park. Not so cold as recently and dry with short spells of sunshine. Underfoot was very wet. Lots of bridle paths, some on hills, made for some very muddy walking - luckily no one fell over. Reasonably flat walk even though this part of the world is all valleys and ridges. A deer was spotted at one point and we walked through a Fairy Wood - with lots of little fairies dotted around (see pictures). Towards the end of the walk we came across a pre-historic fort - very impressive ditch but not much else. About 4.7 miles in about 1h 35m - we did cut a couple of corners as the heavy walking slowed us down.
2 more joined at the pub. This is a good pub - good beer (My Brakespear was excellent - £3.10) good food, maybe a little pricy - I had a duck sandwich with crisps and salad for £5.50, good service - our order was correct and all came together very promptly, some character to the pub and free wi-fi. This is a nice quiet area (although the pub was busy - maybe something to do with Christmas) and I can't really fault the pub. I am sure we will be back again sometime. 4 Stars.

pub, walk, pics


14/6/12

9 of us walked from the Half Moon (only to find they had completed it into the Full Moon). A pleasant morning and no rain forecast. Much of walk was new to us and quite nice. Rather a lot of muddy paths and also more tarmac than I thought (not muddy though and very little traffic). Not a lot of interest to mention although we did walk round the iron age fort again. Only gentle hills and coolish so we managed 5.3 miles in about the two hours.
4 more joined at the pub. Another decent pub with good beers and food. I had the duck sandwich (no chips) at £5.50 - I enjoyed it - and Doombar at £3.40 - again enjoyed. Some of us pre-ordered (not me) but none of us waited long. We had a table set for us in a corner which was very suitable. Again 4 stars I think.

pub, walk, pics

Full Moon, Little Kingshill

http://www.thefullmoon.info/pub.html

* * * * *

2/6/11

Fine weather had 11 1/2 of us walking - a very good turn out. A good walk with plenty of countryside and little roads. About 5.3 miles I think.
Another 1 1/2 joined us at the pub. Very good pub with good beer (about £3.25 pint) and excellent sandwiches - I've forgotten the prices but very reasonable. Although we had a table nicely set out for us in the pub we sat in the garden (free of traffic noise) and it was a very enjoyable day. It would be difficult to better this pub so I give it top rating of 4 stars.

pub, walk, pics


8/12/11

12 of us met in the (now much larger I think) car park. A dull, chilly, windy day that deteriorated into drizzle and light rain towards the end of the walk. A decent walk I thought, fairly flat and not too muddy underfoot. Not much of interest to report, no apples to eat and no derelict buildings to prowl around - but we could have bought a Christmas tree. 5.2 miles in about 2 hours - getting faster.
5 more joined us at the pub. I have reported on this pub before and gave it top marks. I had 2 excellent pints of Pride at £3.20 per pint (other beers were available) and ham, egg and chips at £5.00. Sandwiches at £3.25. All the food was excellent value. We had a convenient table laid for us and we were well attended to by pretty girls. Food came promptly and everyone got what they ordered - and I also managed to brush up on my Slovakian - couldn't ask for more. 5 stars.

pub, walk, pics


5/4/12

9 of us walked. A very chilly morning with a cold wind and overcast but at least it was dry. A decent walk - the first half being flat and the second half rather hilly. Mixed walking - dry underfoot due to the current drought - and taken at a (slightly) more leisurely pace. Nothing remarkable to report on. I made it 4.9 miles in 1h 55min.
4 more joined at the pub. I have nothing to add to previous reports on this pub. We were very well attended to, a good selection of fine beers and food. I had the Adnams something at £3.20 and a prawn jacket potato with side salad at £4.00 - both excellent. Top marks as before.

pub, walk, pics


15/11/12

I didn't do the walk this time but I did make the pub. Just to say that it was a good turnout again - and of course the pub was excellent.

pub, walk, pics

Gate, Bryant's Bottom

* * * *-

23/2/12

Another nice day, mild, dry and plenty of sunshine. 10 of us walked. A very good walk, if a bit hilly in places. Varied countryside with good views in places and mostly good underfoot conditions. A bit under 5 miles in about 2 hours - the group did split a bit at times so distances would have varied slightly. A very steep decent to the pub which would have been testing in the reverse direction.
Two more joined at the pub. We sat in the public bar (as opposed to the lounge bar) this time and it was more to my liking - more like a real pub with a warm coal fire burning. We also had it almost to ourselves. The beer was good but unfortunately only Green King IPA and Abbot on - and the IPA ran out. Still I enjoyed my pint and the food was tasty and reasonably priced (my ham baguette (no chips) was under £5). This pub ticks most of the boxes but I fear that the lack of beer choice means 4- stars.

pub, walk, pics

General Havelock, Wycombe Marsh

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George, Gt. Missenden

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5/1/12

A dull, windy day but again mild for the time of year. The initial climb at the start of the walk didn't prove too onerous and the rest of the walk was flattish with a descent at the end. The wind was a feature of this walk - particularly at one point where we were in open fields and walking into it with some horizontal rain lashing us - as was the underfoot conditions - it really was wet and muddy. I slipped over at one point - never done that before - and ended up rather muddy. It would be a good walk in better conditions but I found it a bit of a trial on the day. Others appreciated the challenge. About 5 miles in 2 hours. Note to self - Remember to take clothes brush next time.
4 more joined us at the pub. It wasn't the best of experiences mainly due to the fact that they were moving all the furniture around to create a pool room. I think that they had actually closed the pub until 1500 but had allowed us in. I wasn't drinking beer so can't really comment on it but there were a couple of beers on and no one complained - £3.10 per pint. The food was limited and as they had an offer of 2-4-£8 (sorry Tim) on meals most of us took advantage of it. I had sausage, chips and baked beans for £4 - It was OK. Strangely we all had unofficial parking notices stuck on our cars even though we were customers - even one of the bar staff had a notice put on her car. Clearly there is a parking problem in Great Missenden (makes Beaconsfield look good). I rate it 3- stars. On another day it might get a bit better rating but I fear we are not likely to return given the number of better pubs in the area.

pub, walk, pics

Golden Cross, Saunderton

www.goldencrosspub.co.uk

Not yet Bashed.


Green Man, Denham

* * * *

4/8/11

7 of us (plus dog) met in the rain in Denham Village at 1030 for our walk. It rained for the whole of the walk - just easing a bit towards the end. Apart from the rain it was a good walk. Mostly flat, varied countryside and canal towpaths. It included some of Denham Country Park, a bit of the golf course, a pedestrian controlled motorised gate, various bridges over water and big roads, gravel pits and walking in a (temporary) stream. We saw sheep, goats, horses, foals, cows, calves, pigs and donkeys (and a bit of wildlife). Some interesting canal stuff (a barge used as a floating dry dock for a canal boat, a canal boat with a paddle wheel drive on the back). We walked through a field of Barry high thistles (well actually we walked round the field as we didn't want to lose anyone). The walk was 6miles long and we got back late (1240).
We joined 5 others in the pub - that made 11 of us (you may wonder where the 12th member went - well that was Nigel who went into the wrong pub and got seduced by the serving wench). I like this pub - good selection of beers (I had the Rebellion Smuggler at £3.30 - very good) and good selection of reasonably priced food (I had a ham baguette - which came with a few chips - for £4.95 - again very good). The biscuit with the coffee was particularly good. Due to the lack of a car park and the very restricted rear garden (and the fact that it usually rains when we are here) I will mark it down to 3 stars (out of 4 stars).

pub, walk, pics


3/5/12

9 of us met - parking in the street but no problem at this time of day. The pub had asked us to pre-book our food - so this we duly did - and then set off. A dull and slightly chilly day with some slight drizzle at times but I thought it reasonable for walking. We first paid our respects to John Mills at his grave (we ignored the axemans grave) and then off through the golf course - an expensive one by the look of its lovely condition. Lots of water on this walk - both the scenic sort (canal, river and lakes) and underfoot in places. Lots of interesting things - a 'horse turning' bridge on the canal, a very deep lock (Denham deep lock), an aqueduct where the canal crosses the river, an old steel barge used as a dry dock, a very large marina with loads of narrowboats, the Chiltern railway with real trains and a station, an old hulk of a wooden barge with mature trees growing through it and some interesting carvings. I enjoyed it. Just under 5 miles in about 2 hours as usual - no hills!!!.
4 more joined us at the pub. The were very busy, as warned, but we were well attended to. A table was reserved for us and as we had pre-ordered the food came promptly (perhaps too promptly as some of us hadn't even got our beer and sat down) with no mix-ups. Even the non-walkers did not have much of a wait. I had a prawn baguette. It came with chips and salad at £5.25 - very reasonable. I drank the IPA at £3.40. Slightly expensive perhaps but nothing unusual nowadays. Decent atmosphere in the pub. I enjoyed the pub as well - I think it deserves 4 stars (no + due to lack of car park). All in all a good meeting.

pub, walk, pics

Greyhound, Eton Wick

0 stars

29/9/11
See entry for Three Horseshoes, Eton Wick

Hampden Arms, Hampden Row

* * *

Small so needs prior warning of a Bash

Harefield

?

10/2/11

The walk was fairly flat except for the walk down to the canal from Harefield and the climb back at the end. It was very interesting as it walked canals, rivers and lakes and saw some interesting old yards and buildings. Underfoot was good - even though it drizzled all the time.
The pub was very good except perhaps for the parking - we parked in the road opposite which was OK. The pub was my sort of place being fairly basic (ie no frills) supplying good beer (I had the Rebellion IPA) and good, reasonably priced food. The chips were the best I have had for a very long while (especially as they were Mike's). (and not forgetting the attractive barmaid of course)

Harrow, Hughenden Valley

* * *

110825

5 of us met on a very wet morning. The forecast was for improving weather and as it happened the heavy rain stopped just before we started (and enabled us to get ready in the relative dry). There was only a little rain during the walk so we considered ourselves lucky. Nothing very special about the walk. More than usual road walking but still some nice countryside and some good views. A reasonable climb to the top of Cryers hill and the same down but otherwise flatish. Some very low branches at one point which we had to keep ducking under - except that I missed seeing one and ended up with a nasty graze on my head!!!.
Back to the pub on time to meet 4 others. Pub was good. Beer at £3.30. Sandwiches just under a fiver - genuine doorsteps with very nice granary bread - but maybe a little too much bread as I found mine a little dry. Again not quite as good as the best (not a great range of beers and food could have been a bit better) so I give it 3 stars (out of 4).

pub, walk, pics

Harte & Magpies, Coleshill nr. Amersham

www.magpiespub.com/

* * *

24/2/11

We met up on a nice bright morning. The car park was excellent and eight of us walked. The walk was rather muddy in places and a bit up and down but nothing too strenuous. Generally a good walk I thought - mostly away from roads. Three more turned up at the pub which was pretty good but a bit expensive. (Its a sister pub to the Royal Standard of England and has a similar menue - but not the atmosphere). I had a sausage baguette for £6.00 - not very good value - and drank Brakespear at £3.00 - many other beers available but all dearer. On my rating of 1 to 4 stars I would give it 3.

pub, walk, pics

Hen & Chickens, Botley

* * * * (toilets only * )

11/8/11

Eight of us gathered in the car park (very large) on an indifferent day. Checked with the pub - everything OK but told it would have been better to book as they had a party of 12 coming. Needless to say we had no problem when we did go in. It wasn't raining when we started but was a bit wet underfoot. It did start drizzling after about one hour - not too bad but did make it even wetter underfoot. Not cold and not hot so that was a bonus. We walked 5.13 miles in just over 2 hours. A good walk generally. Not a lot of interest on the way. Some very nice houses, again mixed countryside and part of a golf course (the footpath was poorly marked here so we ended up walking along the road instead). One bit of a hill to climb but fairly gentle. We passed a couple of pubs at Ley Hill, The Swan and the Crown (well when I say passed that was just some of us - four of us peeled of to sample The Swan and followed on later).
Three more joined at the pub. I liked this pub. A fair selection of beer - I had the Youngs at £3.00 which was very good. Fair selection of food - some had lunch meals like pie and chips, omelettes and chips and sausage egg and chips but I had a ham sandwich (1 1/2 rounds) at £5.00 (You could have one round for £3.50). mine was good and others agreed. There were tables out the front (but on the road) and also a reasonable side/rear garden a bit away from the road. Nothing really wrong with this pub so perhaps it deserves four stars - even so I am leaving four stars for the very best so I give it three stars. Last week I did say I would include a rating of the toilets (mens) for those that care (last week at The Green Man the toilet was excellent - 4 stars). I must say that the toilet here only rated 1 star.

pub, walk, pics

2/8/12

Guest Ponder from TK.
As Pete is off visiting Mike at the IBC, Stratford and Tony is circumnavigating the country on a bicycle, it has fallen to me to write a brief report on this weeks walk. Six of us showed up for the walk which was a route we took about a year ago. Quite a bit of it was single file and in a couple of places very overgrown. Clearly not used much. Damp underfoot but generally good going with only one patch on the home stretch I recall having to tread either side of the path to avoid sinking to the ankles in mud. Naturally, a narrow bit with a wall to the left and brambles and holly to the right. Most difficult part was wading across a field of rape. The path had clearly not been used since the rape had grown up. Got away with being bitten only once.
The pub was a pleasant ex Ind Coope / Benskins establishment now owned by Pubmaster. Five more joined us here. Three beers on offer - Adnams Bitter, Fullers London Pride and Youngs ordinary. I started with the Youngs which was good but a little bland and then went on to the Adnams. This was more bitter with a stronger character. Can't comment on prices other than saying the beer was about average (£3/p) and my gammon, egg and chips was £8.50. Sarnies and baguettes probably around £5-£6. Pleasant, helpful lady behind the bar, large portions of food. I found it a very friendly, welcoming pub and would rate it 4 stars on Pete's scale.

pub, walk, pics

Hit or Miss, Penn St.

www.ourpubs.co.uk/HITWeb/HITindex.htm

* * * *

17/11/11

10 of us walked. A dull start with a little rain but soon got better and eventually we got some sunshine. Still mild (perhaps a little colder) so a very pleasant walk. Some hills and some road walking but not too bad. Quite a lot of walking through beech woods which I found very satisfying. Still some leaves on the trees, which were still falling giving a very pleasant visual effect. There was a shooting party out in the woods, which we could hear in the distance but didn't see. On my way home I passed a parked van with rows of pheasants on its side - the results of the shoot I guess. Just over 5 miles in just under 2 hours.
Another 4 turned up for the pub. Very accommodating, efficient, friendly staff. Pub was very busy - perhaps unusually so that day - but they still managed to get all our orders right and in a reasonable time. This is clearly a popular pub - very attractive both inside and out - good quality food - reasonable range of beers. There was a large car park (although late-comers would have found it full) and I think a decent garden. This pub ticks all the boxes the one downside being it was a bit pricey. My pint was £3.50 and my prawn jacket was £5.95. some things were definitely better value than others. Overall I liked it - and I would rate it 4- stars.

pub, walk, pics

1/3/12

9 1/2 of us walked. Probably the best weather yet this year. A very pleasant walk. The first half was a loop through farmland and the second half was in Penn Wood. Some slight hills on first half but pretty flat through the woods. Generally dry-ish underfoot but some of the tracks in the woods were puddly - much to Ben's delight. I enjoyed the woods as it gave us a chance to use our GPSs. We did quite well following the planned route - difficult in trees as some of the paths have 'slipped' and also the GPSs lose their accuracy. A pond full of frogs and frog-spawn brought the cameras out but the monument (or what remained of it) went un-noticed. Just over 5 miles (for those of us that did the full route) in 2 hours.
1 1/2 more joined at The Hit or Miss (making 11). I enjoyed my beer and coffee (thanks again Tony) and my prawn/crayfish tails french stick. Slightly expensive at £5.95 but well worth it. We had a table set for us and the service was first class (perhaps helped by the fact that they had extra staff for a large party which arrived later). Together with a good car-park and location this pub gets top rating at 4 stars.

pub, walk, pics

13/9/12

8 of us walked. A fine dry day - some sunshine but a bit chilly at first - warmer later. We have walked this walk before in the opposite direction so this time we started off in the woods and finished across the fields. No real points of interest but a good walk generally - only one fairly minor unforced diversion. Again fairly muddy in places. About 5.2 miles in 2 hours.
5 more joined us at the pub. We were well looked after but I wouldn't like to get on the wrong side of the owners. The pub was a bit quiet for a change - we had a big round table in an otherwise empty room. I had a pint of Badger Fursty Ferret - very good - and the food is always good here - I enjoyed a prawn and crayfish sandwich. A bit expensive maybe. Definitely a 4 star pub.

pub, walk, pics

Jolly Cricketers, Seer Green

* * *

22/9/11

11 (yes 11) of us met for the walk. It was a fine day weather-wise and the walk a good one. Fairly flat with few roads - and they had good footpaths so no problem. Quite a lot of interest. We walked through Jordans, the Quaker village where the Mayflower was conceived and manned. There was a greyhound dogs kennels (with a racing track). We walked round and past the entrance to the Chalfonts satellite farm (was SSVC), Through a well kept golf course which was being well used. There was some single track walking but that is difficult to avoid. Total length 4.93 miles in just under 2 hours.
3 more joined us at the pub (a total of 14 - one of the largest for some time) and we ended up with two groups - one inside and one outside. The beer was very good with a choice of four but a bit expensive at £3.40. This is a bit of a gastro pub - and that showed in our food. The sandwiches were very good quality - and reasonable size - but expensive - my bacon and brie was £5.75 and others were dearer. I must say I enjoyed this pub - I liked the feel of it but with the prices a bit high I can only give it 3 stars (out of 4).

pub, walk, pics

2/2/12

11 of us walked. A cold morning (0 degrees on my car thermometer) but sunny. Very little wind, few hills and frozen ground made it easy walking such that we got back slightly early. A decent walk - mostly over old ground. Some interest - the greyhound track that we saw before has gone - as have most of the kennels. Jordans was peaceful as always but on the downside there was a lot of single file walking. 5.2 miles in just under 2 hours.
9 more joined us at the pub making a total of 20 - one of the largest turn outs for a long while (apart from Christmas). We managed to grab one side of the pub but we were on three tables. The pub was quite busy, surprising really as it was quite pricey. It's interesting how a lot of the good, cheaper pubs that we have been to seem to be struggling whereas some of the dearer places are doing well - a lesson there perhaps. I only had 1/2 pint of IPA which was very nice but I understand that one of the first beers was passed its best. Still they had a few decent beers on but I don't know their prices - but they weren't cheap. The food was very good but very expensive. My bacon,brie and red current sandwich was one of the cheapest at £5.75. Nicely presented on a wooden platter with a nice side salad - but a bit small for the price. Beefburgers and chips were again well presented and good but too dear at £12.00 ish. A decent pub but expensive. Last time I gave it 3 stars - and I won't change that. I don't think we will be back there again in a hurry.

pub, walk, pics

Jolly Farmer, Cookham Dean

* * * *-

21/7/11

Nine of us walked. Weather was decent - perhaps a little on the cool side but soon warmed up as we walked. No sun but no rain either. Cookham Dean is on a hill so we started by going down hill but then generally flat until a gentle climb back up to the pub. Nice countryside, some quiet roads and some woods. I enjoyed it. Total distance just over 5 miles in 1hour 50 minutes.
The pub was excellent. We had a bit of a worry as another group or walkers (15) arrived at the same time as us and there was quite a few other diners so the pub was pushed with the food orders. Mine was the most delayed (and mixed up) but it didn't seem to matter and I did enjoy it when it arrived. I ordered a bacon, brie and avocado baguette but got a bacon, chicken and avocado sandwich (which they did change for a baguette). It was very tasty and reasonably priced at £6 (£5 for sandwich). I drank Brakespear at £3.00. Again very good. Three more of us turned up at the pub so a good turn out. I will forgive them the food mix up (I am sure it would be OK another time) and give it my top rating 4stars.

pub, walk, pics

10/11/11

10 of us walked. A dull start but still not cold. A little rain fell towards the end of our walk but only a light drizzle. We walked down from the pub, past a small, well maintained graveyard with a chapel near - I looked on the internet but could find no information on this - passed an old quarry and on to our highlight of the walk - the turkey farm. Lots of pictures taken, lots of discussion about their feeding etc. and a few interesting conversations with the turkeys. The rest of the walk was a bit mundane after that. Pleasant enough with mixed, fairly flat walking with a slow climb back up the hill to the pub. Rather a lot of road walking, mainly towards the end - but it did avoid some steep hills. We did try and not scare the horses. Just under 5 miles in about 1h 50m.
6 more joined at the pub (another good turn out). I had phoned the pub to ask if it was OK for about 10 of us - and they took it upon themselves to reserve a room for us. It turned out OK as they were a bit busy - and we were 16 and a bit noisy - and it was almost part of the bar - but this is the problem with warning the pub - I would rather sort ourselves out. This is a pretty good pub. Four beers on hand pump, Breakspear a £3.00. Reasonable selection of food - slightly expensive - my ham sandwich was £4.50 with £1.00 extra for baguettes - but good quality (no chips). I rate it 4-stars (the minus really only because it wasn't quite as good as the best). Interestingly as we were leaving a post mistress was setting up a post office in our room with all the usual paraphernalia ready for 1500 opening (twice a week). She had done the same thing in the barn at Hurley in the morning.

pub, walk, pics

8/11/12

9 of us walked. A lovely day - sunny (even warm at times), dry and very little wind. We decided to do the walk in reverse after representations from Ben. Cookham Dean is at the top of a hill so initially we walked down to see the turkeys - and splendid they were. We dallied a bit with the turkeys and then continued through the woods. This was the only muddy bit of the whole walk and even then wasn't too bad. In the woods we saw a special fairy ring - with very large mushrooms. Then back to the turkeys at feeding time (except that the generator that powers the feeders wasn't working - lots of unhappy turkeys). On the last leg some cut off a loop and so got back a bit early. The rest of us continued and after a long steady climb got back a few minutes late. 5+ miles in 2+ hours.
1 left and 5 (total 13) more joined at the pub. This pub is owned by the locals and is doing well. They have built a good children's playground since we were last here. Good beers and a reasonable choice of food. I think £1 extra for baguettes is a bit steep - but not unusual - I'll go for sandwiches next time. As I left I saw that the Post Office still use the other bar for their mobile P.O. An excellent day out - we will be back next year.

pub, walk, pics

Jolly Woodman, Littleworth Common

* * *

Good large car-park
14/7/11

A perfect day for walking - just warm enough, dry underfoot and nature looking its best. Ten of us walked (plus dog). A nice flatish walk through countryside and woods (Burnham Beeches). I was hoping to do a bit of orienteering in the woods but was outvoted (by everyone) so we stuck to the paths. Lots of interesting ant hills on route. We also passed a large area that was being flattened by lots of heavy earth moving equipment. We asked our resident local authority (Bill) what it was but he had no idea but promised to find out - you should have seen his explanation sent last week. We also passed the Blackwood Arms - which has re-opened and looked promising - a recce is called for. Total distance 5.35miles (in a fraction over 2 hours)
Four more joined us at the pub. We sat outside (in the rear beer garden) which was very pleasant and away from any traffic. There was a good selection of beers but I just had the Rebellion IPA - which was very good. A bit expensive at £3.45 - but we have paid more. A very good selection of food - I had a bacon and brie baguette which came with chips and salad - very good but again expensive at £6.95 (just as well Dave L. not with us this time!!). This is a good pub - ticks all the boxes - but is rather expensive so doesn't get my top rating - only 3 stars.

pub, walk, pics

King's Head, Little Marlow

* * * *+

Not the Queen's Head
7/4/11

Seven of us met in the various car parks and set off in lovely warm dry weather. I think we all enjoyed the walk - partly due to the fine weather but also because it was varied scenery with some good views and a pleasant riverside stretch. A gentle climb involved and a bit of road walking - and unfortunately another pub on the way (The Spade Oak) which netted a couple of our walkers.
Five more turned up at the pub. We sat outside in their pleasant garden. The place was well populated with lunch time clientèle - a good sign. The beer was a bit expensive at £3.40 for the IPA. Food was average price but I enjoyed my prawn baguette with salad garnish at £4.50. I quite like this pub but I think 3 stars is probably enough.

pub, walk, pics

p26/1/12

12 of us walked. After a wet night the weather for us was dry. A little cloudy to start but the sun came out and it was a very pleasant morning. A decent walk I thought, a bit wet underfoot in places, very flat and quite interesting. We walked down to and along the Thames into Marlow, had a look at Marlow lock and the bridge and wandered through some of the back-streets before crossing the bypass road via the footbridge and eventually back to the pub (on time of-course). 5.1 miles.
3 more joined us at the pub. It was a bit busy so we ended up on separate tables. This is another of the pubs that I like. Beer a bit expensive at £3.40 but a selection available. Good selection of food. I had a chicken and bacon baguette (bit surprised it was cold) which had a little salad with it - very nice - £4.50. I wished I had chose the chicken and bacon and melted cheese jacket that looked very tasty. Service was good and they have a good car-park and a very good garden area. It deserves 4 stars.

pub, walk, pics

9/8/12

9 of us walked. Weather is warming up again - maybe about 24C. Sunny as well so walk a bit warm. We have done this very walk before and it's good with some good views and some interest like the Thames, the railway, a 10inch model railway layout in someone's garden, a boat in a field (well alright, not very interesting). I cut off a large corner and only walked about 4.4 miles - the others walked about 4.8 miles - in under 2 hours - plenty enough on a hot day. I was a bit surprised by the long stretch of road walking - I didn't remember that from before but it was OK.
Another 5 joined at the pub. As it was a nice day we sat in the garden which was very pleasant. The fine weather had brought the people out and the pub was very busy but not a problem (except perhaps those unruly children). Decent choice of beers and decent choice of food - the food reasonably priced at around £5 for most things. I still like this pub - ticks all the boxes and gets 4+ stars.

pub, walk, pics

King's Head, Prestwood

* * *

24/3/11

Nice warm, dry day saw 9 of us walking. Good walk, fairly flat and some interest. We walked about 5 miles of mixed terrain with some road walking.
The pub was good - I give it 3 out of 4 stars. I drank the Green King IPA at £2.90. The food was generally good - and Thursday was pensioners day - all main meals for £5.00. I had a tuna sandwich with chips and a bit of salad for £4.50ish - very good. There was a comment that the ham was tinned ham - but still not bad.

pub, walk, pics

Le De Spencers' Arms, Downley Common

www.ledespencersarms.co.uk

* * * *

21/6/12

9 1/3 of us walked. We had a weather 'window of opportunity' which we took with both feet for a rain-free walk. Heavy rain overnight meant lots of water and mud around, One narrow path was so flooded that we turned back and took another way round. The first part of the walk was through Naphill woods and then down to the river Wye - no longer a river, just a weed infested trench - through Hughenden park (nice change to walk through parkland) and a long climb back to Downley Common and the pub. Very humid atmosphere made the long climb back rather tiring for me - and others - but a decent walk nevertheless. 5.05 miles in 2 hours.
3 2/3 others joined us at the pub. This is an excellent pub - amazing that it is over 2 years since we were last here. We had a corner reserved for us and we were well looked after. Food was good - all sandwiches and baguettes at £4.50 - beer a bit limited choice I thought but the Seafarer was fine - usual sort of price. 4 stars - maybe deserves 4+ but I think the choice of beers needs to be better for the +.

pub, walk, pics

25/10/12

8 of us walked. A dull day with a hint of rain in the air but mild. A lot of rain lately so we mostly togged up with waterproof gear. Another good walk. Not very hilly, mostly through woods with some nice autumn colours but very muddy in places underfoot. Another chance to test our orienteering skills. We did quite well but missed a fork and had to rearrange slightly. We also cut off quite a large loop as we were running short of time - the muddy paths really slowed us down. Only 4.2 miles in the 2 hours.
4 more joined at the pub. Another very good pub. We had an area reserved for us. A better choice of beers than previously (4 hand pumps) but we still chose the Seafarer (at £3.10). Good range of food with all the baguettes, sandwiches etc at £4.95. I had a toasted cheese and ham with crisps and salad - and very good it was. Good to see it was fairly busy (apart from us) - lets hope it stays popular and survives. All the pubs we go to now are top notch and are getting top marks - so I won't bother to rate in future (unless new) but just mark down if things have deteriorated.

pub, walk, pics

20/12/12

{walk- TR} Appropriate clothing was the order of the day because, as correctly predicted by the Met Office, this walk took place in steady rain. Plenty of mud of course but luckily no stiles to slip on. Good though to see plenty of water in the Hughenden stream for a change. Nice mix of woods & open ground. A few inclines but a good walk to repeat in dryer conditions. Last time we traversed Hughenden Manor we noted a hut round the back labelled 'Air Ministry Photographic Unit' but it was locked up. This time it was open & revealed itself to be a tableau of how it looked during WW2 - complete with ringing vintage telephone! See the pics below to get an idea. The slow going meant we had to cut a few corners off the planned route to avoid an over-run so we only managed a bit over 4 miles in 2 hrs.
{pub- PN} Walkers arrived dripping wet - the rest of us turned up in dribs and drabs, but dry, to make an eventual total of 12. The Le De Spencers Arms was pretty full with our group, another similar group and smaller groups but we were well looked after as usual. We had our usual table reserved for us and it was all very pleasant. I drank the Seafarer as usual and had a toasted cheese and ham as usual - both very good. We like this pub and it stays as one of the top rated in our list - and it was the only one of the 4 contacted that could fit us in this near to Christmas.

pub, walk, pics

Lions of Bledlow

* *

Mayflower, Hazlemere

?

Merlin's Cave, Chalfont St. Giles

* * *

17/3/11

Plenty of parking in the pub's large car-park. The weather was dry and pleasant with very little wind and a bit of sunshine. Eleven of us walked. The walk was fairly flat, some interest and not too much road. Generally a good walk - my only complaint was that there was rather a lot of single file walking.
I Liked the pub. Not one of the picturesque country pubs but plenty of room for us (15 in total) to be put together in a 'wing'. The staff were friendly, the food good and reasonably priced (I had a tuna sandwich on good brown bread with chips and a salad garnish for £4.45). I had a pint of London Pride at £2.90 but there was Bass at £2.35. I give it 3 stars (out of 4 stars).

pub, walk, pics

Oak & Saw, Taplow

?

26/5/11
Couldn't accommodate us so we moved to The Pineapple, Dorney. See entry for Pineapple below

Oaks, Maple Cross

* * *+

8/3/12

13 of us walked. Lucky with the weather as yesterday was very wet but It was fine for us - if a little chilly at first. Quite a bit of sunshine and dry for the walk. Despite the rain yesterday the going underfoot was mainly firm. A bit up and down in places but none of the hills were serious. A pleasant walk - marred slightly by the M25 and the amount of rubbish in places - but maybe they added interest!. We got a bit of a move on - 5 miles in 1hour 50.
4 more joined us at the pub - making 16 - a large turnout - and outnumbering the other customers 8 to 1. I liked the pub. It ticked most of the boxes - a good car park, well positioned, decent well priced food (my chicken and crispy bacon baguette with salad and chips was £4.75), well kept beer (but only one hand pump - Flowers at £2.80), plenty of room for us to put a number of tables together and friendly staff. I wouldn't hesitate to go there again but because of the lack of beer choice and the lack of atmosphere I mark it 3+ stars. I haven't mentioned the coffee - proper coffee with more than enough for two cups each for £1.50 each - saved Dave J. a fortune.

pub, walk, pics

(Ye) Olde Greene Manne (sic), Batchworth Heath

* * * *-

30/8/12

7 of us walked. A rainy morning but luckily the rain stopped as we started walking. The first part was along a very muddy footpath through a wood but after that walking conditions got better (for those that carried on that is). We walked down to the Grand Union Canal in Rickmansworth - canal area very interesting - and then back across Moor Park golf course. Very well kept golf course but very poorly marked footpath that caused us some confusion. A steady climb all the way through the golf course but no real steep hills to worry us. About 5 miles in just over 2 hours.
4 more joined at the pub. This is a Vintage Inns chain pub (the same as The Coy Carp we visited in the same area before) and my report will be very similar. Good well priced beers. Very good range of foods ranging from bacon and brie melt on ciabatta (with a large bowl of chips) at £4.95 (that's what I had and very good too) to steaks and more. We were booked into a smallish room which was OK - but of course away from the bar area - and well served by a nice waitress. She insisted that we paid a single bill and divided up ourselves - could have caused problems but in fact worked out OK. Not sure how to rate it. Everything was fine - but it is a chain pub. I'll give it 4- stars.

pub, walk, pics

Old Queen's Head, Tyler's Green

?

Old Swan, Swan Bottom

www.theoldswanpub.co.uk

* * * *

No vodafone signal
5/5/2011

No Pete this week so this is a guest Ponder from TR.
Walk specially designed to re-pass the pub halfway through to collect those unable to make the 1030 start. Nice idea but not planned sufficiently accurately. 4.8 mile walk not completed till 1245.
A very pleasant walk, mixed fields & woods, a few short stretches of quiet road, rather too many stiles. Mostly sunny. 5 started, 2 joined at the midpoint, 1 more waiting at the pub. The Stig arrived later.
Sat in the sunshine in the pub garden, few other customers. Brakspear's £2.95, Chiltern £2.90. Both excellent. Everyone satisfied with the food (someone had a pint of prawns). Someone unnamed had issues with the basin tap in the Gents - too-modern technology.
Pete has already graded this pub 4 stars so if I were asked, I'd rate today a 4 star meeting.

pub, walk, pics

27/10/2011

An overcast day (after overnight rain) with a poor forecast but infact only slight drizzle on the walk. Still not cold and temperatures fine for walking. Most of us wore light jackets/waterproofs. Good walking country round here. Very little road walking and no real hills. Not too much interest but we did come across an old piano and I did spot an interesting wooden painted figure near our route which I photographed and Tim put on his web site. A bit wet underfoot but OK. No missed turnings or deviations so we managed just over 5 miles in just under 2 hours.
Four more joined us at the pub. We have been here a few times and its good. Fine Chiltern beer at £3.00 and good selection of food. A bit expensive at £5.50 for my cheese and pickle baguette with crisps, salad and coleslaw but it was very tasty with a good quality baguette. 3+ stars I think.

pub, walk, pics

28/6/2012

9 of us walked on a hot, humid day. 5 of us cut a corner and only walked 4 miles whereas the other 4 walked 5 miles (so same really). The shorter walk took us 1 hour 50 minutes, the longer 2 hours 15 minutes. Mixed walking with rather a lot of bridle paths which were narrow and muddy. The muddy ground seemed to have encouraged the insect life and the horse flies were a particular problem. We walked through an interesting farm-yard with goats, geese, budgerigars and others things. Another had rows of some odd looking wooden 'units' - use unknown - and three old combine harvesters in a barn.
3 more joined at the pub. This is a good pub, nicely situated with a large car-park and large garden. Good beer - most of us had The Hooky (£3.05 I think). Nice-ish food. I had a crayfish tails baguette (with a few crisps and salad) but a bit expensive at £6.75 - and at that price should have been fuller (and fresher). The other baguettes were slightly cheaper but all over £6. Ribs were cheaper but not available. The coffee was rather weak I think. Summing up - very good pub, well situated and we were well looked after - but I was a bit disappointed with the food. I'll give it 4- stars this time.

pub, walk, pics

6/12/12

6 of us walked. A very cold morning (-2C) but calm and bright (a little watery sun at times). The walk would have been very muddy in places but in fact was mostly frozen so OK - if a little hard on the feet. A good walk over varying terrain. We did the walk in the reverse direction to that planned and did cut a few corners as we were running late. Not sure why we were so slow (no Rhys I expect) so we ended up about 4.3 miles in just under 2 hours.
6 more joined us at the pub. This is one of our favourite pubs with Chiltern Brewery beer and a cosy fire. I suppose if I was being picky I could say that there was not a big choice of beers (2 I think) and the food a bit pricey (most sandwiches and baguettes were £6.50 - no chips) and they close at 1500 - but it still rates 4 stars.

pub, walk, pics

Old Swan Uppers, Cookham Pound

* * * *

14/4/11

Six and a half of us walked. A lovely day and a good walk. Nice along the river and all very flat. 4.83 miles in total.
The pub (CAMRA pub of Slough and Windsor) was to my liking. A good range of beers - I had the Caladonian (?) £3.30 I think and it was very good. Food was good but pricing a bit variable. My baguette was £5.95 but jacket potatoes were £4.50 ish. Pub not very busy - and wasn't when I did my recce - I guess its position is against it. Another five and a half of us turned up at the pub. As I felt a bit sorry for them so I give it 4 stars.

pub, walk, pics

Peacock, Henton

www.peacock.uk.com

* * * *-

6/10/11

9 of us walked on a pleasant, dry day. Slight chill in the air but good for walking. The walk was flat and quite good. Poor stiles in Oxfordshire but luckily Ben has got the hang of it and managed most of them on his own. Some interest. A very skittish horse worried some of us (and bit Tony's elbow. We needed Richard to give it a kiss - the horse, not Tony's elbow), we walked through a field of reeds that we think were for thatching and some fields of sweetcorn that towered over all of us (I pinched a cob but it turned out to be very hard and inedible). As usual we passed some very desirable property. Walk length 4.9 miles.
3 more joined us at the pub. We were treated very well - we were seated at a large round table set out with cutlery and water. Tring beer was good and cheap at £2.70 (but ran out and after various attempts to get some more on failed we were left with only the London Pride - £2.90 I think). Food was good - £4.25 for good ham sandwich with chips - but proper meals looked a bit expensive. Pub a bit quiet but still had a bit of character. I liked it and would give it top marks but the lack of beer choice was a negative so I give it (4-) stars.

pub, walk, pics

Pineapple, Dorney

* * *

26/5/11

Eight of us met at The Oak and Saw, Taplow. I had a word with the East European cleaner who said it was 'OK' to park. As we were putting our boots on the Publican came out to say that the pub was booked out and he couldn't serve us. A quick decision was made to re-convene at The Pineapple at Dorney. Messages were left and some people contacted on their mobiles and off we went.
We all found our way to The Pineapple OK. Richard saw the Landlady and booked a table for later and off we went walking about 15 mins late. The walk was much of the planned walk and as such was pretty good. Flat and lots of water (including the mostly continuous drizzle). Birds, boats and Brunel Bridges were in evidence. The walk turned out to be a bit longer than normal (about 5.8 miles) and we got back at about 1245.
Three more joined us at the pub, which I thought turned out to be very good. It was very busy and we were fortunate that we had a table booked. The food was unusual in that they only served sandwiches at £7.25 each but there was a choice of about 40 - and you had a choice of bread - and you had a choice of salad, chips or soup - and the sandwiches were enormous. They were actually too big - they were a real struggle to finish. The two Daves there had the right idea and shared one. I chose a BBC (bacon,brie and cranberry) and enjoyed it. A choice of real ales but pricey at £3.45 per pint.
All in All a very good meeting. I give the pub 3 stars (out of 4) - only downgraded because of the price. I feel we might visit this place again.

pub, walk, pics

Pink & Lily, Parslow's Hillock

www.pinkandlily.co.uk

* * * *

7/7/11

(TR in lieu of PN) Seven of us had, in spite of early, ominous indications to the contrary, a totally rain-free walk today.
Largely through woods apart from a prairie-sized field & a short piece of road. Some soggy patches but generally a very pleasant outing.
Only 4.3 miles as we couldn't find the turn-off for one of the timing loops. This meant we arrived back at the pub slightly early.
Three more joined us at the pub. Nice place, out in the country, serving Rebellion IPA, Greene King Abbot, Sharp's Doombar, Timothy Taylor's Landlord.
Too chilly for the garden but we all sat round one large table inside which was nice. Food good but not cheap - burger £10, fish & chips £11 though sandwiches cheaper. Still worthy of its 4 stars I think.

pub, walk, pics

Plough, Belsize

* * * *-

19/4/12

11 of us walked. A damp start with rain threatened but not too cold. Some of us pre-ordered lunch as requested but I didn't and it wasn't really necessary. A good walk through varying terrain. This is a nice part of the world - with some expensive properties. Some hills but not excessive. We did get a bit wet - both from the rain and underfoot but generally I enjoyed it. About 5 miles again in about 2 hours.
2 more joined us the pub. Again we made up the majority of the custom. Decent beer (I had the Green King IPA - not sure of the price) and decent food (I had prawn baguette with a bit of salad for £5.45 - sandwiches were cheaper). Pub lacked a bit of atmosphere - it had been done up in a slightly clinical style I thought but deserves 4- stars.

pub, walk, pics

Plough, Hyde Heath

HP6 5RW 01494 783163

* *

10/3/11

Parked on the common next to the 'No Parking' sign. Eleven of us walked. The weather was dry, a little sunshine I think and very pleasant walking weather. Mostly dry underfoot except towards the end where it got a bit muddy. Fairly flat walk of just under 5 miles. Some road walking - a good walk.
The Plough was a nice pub but some downsides on the day. We were given tables in the restaurant area - very nice but the bar generally suites better. I had a ham sandwich with garnish. A bit disappointing as the garnish was just a few crisps and the bread was sliced supermarket type - OK - but not what you expect in a pub for £4.50. Other meals were variable - and the 'Fish and Chips' Special looked very good and the best option. Beer was fine. Another four turned up at the pub making a total of 15 - a good turn out. I give the pub two star out of four - possibly a bit harsh and another day it could easily be better.

pub, walk, pics

Plough Inn, Wexham Street

* * *

3/3/11

A chilly, cloudy day but no rain. Parking was a bit awkward being in a lay-by alongside a busy road. I thought the walk was OK - Fairly interesting, flat and the roads were not a problem. Muddy in places (particularly where the cows had been).
Six of us walked and five more turned up at the pub. The pub was OK. I give it 3 stars out of 4. I had a pint of London Pride at £3.00 and a 'steakwich' baguette at £2.95 plus a huge bowl of chips at £2.00. - very nice.

Red Lion, Coleshill

* * * *+

23/6/11

Seven of us walked on a pleasant dry day (well it did rain a little on the walk and more after). The walk was varied and not very hilly - so suited me. As usual we had difficulty in the woods but just managed OK. Walk was a bit long at 5.1miles but we did get back on time.
Four more turned up at the pub. The pub was good. Only two beers but OK. I think my pint was £3.30. Food very good and reasonably priced (My bacon and brie baguette with some salad was £5.45). Good car park, reasonable tables outside and fairly peaceful. Inside was traditional and not large. All in all a very good pub. I don't think I can rate it at 4 stars - and as I don't do halves it will have to be 3 stars.

pub, walk, pics

4/10/12

10 of us walked. Another excellent day for walking. Sunny, mild, dry and no wind. Mostly new ground for the walk being a mixture or fields and woods. Some mud in places but nothing like as bad as we have had. Rather hilly but we all survived. Really quite a good walk I thought but not a lot of interest. 5.1 miles in 2 hours.
3 more joined us at the pub. Only a couple of beers on hand pumps. I had a pint of Windsor and Eton Knight of The Garter - good - and a stilton ploughmans - very good. All the food looked to be good and large servings - at reasonable prices (my Ploughmans was £6.15). We sat inside at one end of the bar. There wasn't too much room in the bar but there weren't many other customers so it wasn't crowded. We were well served and everyone was very pleasant. What more could you ask of a pub. 4+stars.

pub, walk, pics

Red Lion, Great Kingshill

* *

Red Lion, Little Missenden

www.redlionlm.co.uk

* * * *

29/3/12

13 of us met in the street outside the pub. Another beautiful day - as it has been of late. Perfect walking as it wasn't too warm, it was sunny and dry underfoot. A very good walk, a bit hilly in places for me - and the pace was a bit fast for me. My natural pace has slowed somewhat in latter years and I seemed to be hurrying to keep up. We got a bit strung out towards the end. I know that doesn't really matter - and I know that for faster walkers it is difficult to walk slower (I have that trouble when walking with my wife) but it would be a shame if we end up walking in separate groups. Not too much of interest to report - some nice property again of course - and did you spot the horse-trainer contraption? - 5.3 miles in 2 hours.
4 more joined at the pub. Some confusion over our table booking and they were understaffed for the number of customers - but that is becoming more common. Also some confusion over closing time - but all in all this is a decent place especially if the weather is fine for sitting in the garden. Food was reasonably priced (I had a Stilton Ploughman's at £6.50) and very enjoyable. The Tring Sidepocket was excellent but a bit pricey at £3.40. I think, due to the shortcomings on the day, I will give this Pub 3+ stars - but having said all that I did enjoy the day.

pub, walk, pics

22/11/12
11 of us walked. Bit of a gloomy day but the forecast was OK - which in fact turned out to be correct - even a little sunshine at times. The planned route actually started at The Crown, just down the road, so we walked along the road to there and then turned right up the hill. The rest of the walk (apart from the initial climb) was fairly flat and mixed countryside. It wasn't too muddy - which was fortunate as there has been loads of rain lately - and meant that we got a bit of a move on (some idiot was almost galloping up the hill at the start) such that we were back a bit early after just under 5 miles.
2 more joined at the pub. We had to pre-order - which worked out OK - we had a table reserved and we were well attended to. Good beers on hand pumps - I had a nice Black Sheep (bought for me - Happy Birthday Bill) and the Sidepocket sounded good as well. I had two sausages and a basket of chips for £4.50 - enjoyable (and better value than the same thing with baked beans all on a plate at £6.50). Food generally good and prices reasonable (especially for those that didn't pay!!!). I have rated this pub before (at 3+stars) but I think we had a few problems then. This time it went very smooth so I'll up it to 4stars.

pub, walk, pics

Red Lion, Marsworth

?

Red Lion, Penn

* * * *-

9/2/12

Guest Ponderers today as Pete wasn't there.
Walk-(TR) Our first sub-zero walk this year. Nearly all the walk was on snow or ice.
Due to topographical constraints and the adjacent urbanisation, the route was dominated by woodland but this was no bad thing as some of the more open tracks were extremely slippery. However, no incidents and a good invigorating outing with enough moderate slopes to make the exercise meaningful.
Lots of animal tracks in the snow- clearly a busy place when no-one is watching.
Following the planned route (which was based on paths shown in the Common Wood pamphlet ) was a little tricky as the paths are not shown on our GPS-enabled OS devices. Nevertheless the result was surprisingly close.
As the going was harder than usual the walk was a touch shorter than normal at 4.6 miles (exactly 2hrs).
9 walked, 2 then left before the pub session. 7 more arrived at the pub.
Pub-(BB) The pub was warm and cosy with a nice wood burner blazing away and, at first, no other punters. A table was neatly laid for us. Service was excellent with Rebellion IPA, Pride, and Directors all at £3 a pint. Food was prompt and good value, I had a brie and cranberry sandwich which came with chips and a salad for £5.50, baguettes were £6.50. A very friendly and well run, pub I give it 4 stars.

pub, walk, pics

17/5/12
9 of us walked. Fine weather, dry and mild. A good walk with mixed terrain. Lots of fields of broad beans I seem to remember - but I can't remember much else - I really should write these reports on the day - but it was a very pleasant walk. As usual about 5 miles in 2 hours.
1 left and 4 more joined us at the pub - making 12. A large table was booked for us - which was good - but it was in rather a small room making it a bit tight - perhaps we should have moved into the main pub - which was mainly empty. Beer was good - not sure of the price - as was the food. I had a toasted cheese and ham sandwich with chips at £5. A good pub and we were well looked after. Nice atmosphere if a bit quiet but the lack of a car park marks it down a bit. 4-stars.

pub, walk, pics

Red Lion, Wendover

* * *+

26/4/12

7 of us met at 1030. Although we were prepared for the paying car park, in fact the meter was out of action so it was no issue. A heavy downpour preceded our walk but although threatening and wet underfoot most of our walk was dry and partly sunny - with some light rain towards the end. Not very warm but as most of us were togged up for the rain it seemed much warmer. A good walk. Some hills at the start but flat for the second half along the canal. Quite interesting with various bits of RAF Halton visible and walked through - and later along the canal various wildlife was spotted - including the much sought-after ducklings. The Church at Halton was interesting, being (I think) a war cemetery for the RAF. We were accompanied on most of the walk by the sound of gunfire from the rifle butts on the camp. I made it 5.3 miles in 1h 57min - a good pace.
4 more joined at the pub (and 1 left) ie 10 of us in the pub. Pub was fine. Food a bit expensive at over £6 for sandwiches (I had a tuna jacket potato at £5.75 - better value. The Ham Egg and Chips at £6 was definitely the best value meal (if spotted)). Beer was good and reasonably priced (Seafarer at £3.20 I think). We were sat at a (reserved) long table in the dining room. Good that it was a single table but I always think it better in the bar area. (That might have been a problem as the pub was very busy). All in All a decent pub (and the best in the town) but the food price, the slightly odd car parking arrangement and the lack of pub atmosphere in the dining room I think means 3+ stars. NB. Dave L. special in the market - A net of Horse carrots for £2.75

pub, walk, pics

Rose & Crown, Hawridge

* * * *-

16/2/12

11 of us walked. A decent day, about 9 degrees C, dry, slight breeze and some sunshine. We modified the route slightly to miss some muddy bridle paths and so most of the walk was pretty good underfoot. Very good walk with good views, few roads, some hills (with some very steep) and fairly interesting. We saw ostriches, rare breed pigs, a working brick works (passing close to some hot kilns) and the usual desirable properties.
The Pub was well situated with two large car parks and views over the valley. 3 more joined us there. We had a couple of tables laid out for us and most of the walkers had pre-booked their food (I didn't). Excellent Tring beers at £3.20. Good food reasonably priced (Baguettes £5.25 - £6.00, sandwiches 50p less). Some mix-up in the food - and particularly mine seemed to have been missed. As is more and more common they were understaffed with only a barmaid and a cook but they did manage pretty well. I thought my actual baguette was not particularly good quality and the coffee I thought poor. Not really 4 stars so I give it 4- stars.

pub, walk, pics

Royal Standard, Wooburn Common

* * * *+

Not to be confused with the one in Forty Green
12/5/11

Six of us walked - a better walk than I thought it might be. The weather was perfect, the walk flattish (a bit of a climb out of the valley at the end). A slight amendment to avoid some of the road walking took us along the old railway line instead - much better. Much of the walk was new.
The pub was as good as ever. Very good choice of well kept beers (at about £3.20 per pint). Baguettes came with chips and cheapish at £4.25 for my tuna one. Another 4 or 5 joined us at the pub. This pub is almost worth 4 stars (out of 4) except perhaps its lack of a garden - so it has to be 3 stars.

pub, walk, pics

30/6/11
Seven of us walked on a very pleasant day - dry and not too hot. Most of the walk we have done before but I still found it interesting. A fair bit of road walking - but very quiet roads so no problem. Generally flat (we did come down one very steep hill but I didn't notice and real up hill - must have been gentle). The roads and lack of hills contributed to us doing 4.68 miles in 1 3/4 hours - we are getting faster - but it did mean we were back early - I'll have to make it longer in future!!!
Three more joined us at the pub - which was its usual excellent self. Ten real ales on and baguettes and chips at less than £5 - what more could you ask. I think I might have given this pub 3 stars in the past (due to its lack of garden and being on a fairly busy road) but I think it deserves 4 stars as it has the best range of beers of any of the pubs and the food is just right.

pub, walk, pics

3/11/11
Overnight rain had left it a bit soft underfoot and it was overcast but luckily did not rain during the walk. Mild again and little wind made it comfortable walking (except for those who were over-pessimistic and wore several layers). A decent walk I thought - a bit much road walking really but mainly quiet roads. Very flat and good, varied, terrain. We saw the results of the extensive earthworks that we walked passed last time -now a very large flat area recently grassed - a lot of work for a few houses (sorry I meant horses). The colours weren't anything special but we didn't get very far into the Beeches to be fair. I made it 4.8 miles in 1 hour 52 minutes.
7 more joined us at the pub, making a total of 16 - one of our largest turn-outs. This is an excellent pub - good large car park, a massive range of beers, excellent food and very friendly with a good atmosphere. Beer at £3.30 and baguettes with chips at £4.25/£4.95. This is a 4 star pub - but because of the lack of a beer garden (could be important in the summer) I will rate it 4- stars.

pub, walk, pics

7/6/12
9 of us walked. A stormy day but we were almost lucky - it only raining for the last 20 minutes or so of the walk. Not too much of interest - we did examine the Wooburn transmitter - with its BBC marker. We also called in on one of our original members (who doesn't join us much any more). A bit hilly with a descent into Wooburn Green and a climb out. We crossed a field of clover and grasses that was very wet and managed to get into my boots - not what I expect in the summer. The gravel pits meant we had to follow a diversionary footpath - we did know this would happen but I couldn't remember its route - but it worked out OK. We did miss the last bit through the mobile home park and Odds farm due to the rain - we took the more direct road route. 5.1 miles.
5 more joined at the pub. We split onto two tables. This is a good pub - excellent beers (at least 10 real ales), good variety of food (baguette with chips and a little salad about £5) and proper pub atmosphere. The only drawback would be the lack of a beer garden. 4 Stars.

pub, walk, pics

18/10/12
Continued from the walk report from the Blackwood Arms entry-
6 more joined us at the Royal Standard. They had reserved a bit of the eating area for us so that worked well. This pub is pretty well known to most of us. The range of beers is legendary (at least 10 beers on hand pumps plus others) and the quality is always excellent. Not sure of the prices as they vary depending on the strength. The range of baguettes (with chips) is also good and very reasonably priced. Other meals are also available. One of our best pubs - only marked down in the past as it doesn't have a garden. 4+ stars.

pics

Royal Standard of England, Forty Green

www.rsoe.co.uk/

* * * *+

17/2/11

We met in the (good, large) car park. Nine of us walked and an extra seven turned up at the pub later. The walk was generally good - not too much road and good varied terrain. It was rather muddy in places and there were a few ups and downs but nothing too strenuous. It was chilly but did not rain. Some slight diversions due to getting lost but that's normal.
Pub I thought good. Lots of character, we were well attended to, plenty of room inside and out, excellent choice of beer, good food - if a little pricey and not such a choice of lighter bites. The ham and cheese toastie with chips looked the best value at £5.50. I drank Brakespear at £3.00 a pint.

21/4/11
Eight walked and three more turned up at the pub. Lovely day, dry underfoot, a bit warm and a good walk. We walked 4.8 miles (and we cut off a corner due to lack of time) and were back by 1230.
The pub is a good one. The car park is very large so no problem. The pub is old and very interesting - particularly inside - but we sat outside on a large table. The outside seating is extensive and the pub is off the beaten track so very pleasant. Good selection of real ales - I had Breakspear at £3.10 (10p more than last time) but other beers were more. I had a toasted ham and cheese sandwich with chips for £5.50 - very good value. The proper meals are rather expensive for a lunch snack (ie fish and chips at £12.50). Generally a very good meeting - partially because of the really fine weather.

pub, walk, pics

24/11/11
8 1/2 of us walked. Another fine dry day. Sunny to start and sunny to finish but a bit cloudy in between (and a little chilly I thought). We met in the extensive car park - another small walking group was also getting ready as we were. Good walking country if a bit hilly. Lots of nice expensive houses in Penn - and some interesting old shops. The Red Lion in Penn looked promising for a future meet (the Landlady came out to speak to us - not sure why). Slight detour to see Pistle's Pond - disappointing - and some slight changes to the route - mainly to avoid hills. The 1/2 was Grant who joined us half way after visiting The Royal Standard at Woburn Common. Total distance 4.6 miles.
4 more joined at the pub. I am warming to this place. It has the previously mentioned large car park, lots of character, plenty of room inside, good range of beers starting at £3.10 and good food - if a little expensive. Good efficient service, lots of outside seating and a quiet location. I rate it 4- stars (the only downside being the slightly high prices)

pub, walk, pics

12/7/12
6 of us met in the car park on a very pleasant morning. Dry with quite a lot of sunshine and temperature just right. The walk was over well trodden (by us) ground with only a small amount of new stuff - but very good walk never-the-less. Still a lot of mud around making going a bit difficult (and slow). Mixed walking with woods, fields and a very small amount of road. Nothing of real interest but I am sure we will be walking the same paths again soon. Just under 5 miles in about 2 hours 10 minutes.
9 more joined us as the pub and as the sun was still shining we sat on our usual large table in the garden. As said before this is a very good pub with lots of character, very large car-park, excellent range of good beers (I had Brakspear at £3.30 per pint), decent food - if a little limited in choice for our lighter meals (I had a toasted ham and cheese sandwich with chips for £5.50), quiet location, large pleasant beer garden and we were well attended to. 4+ stars I think. When we left we noticed that our cars were now in a coned off area due to the imminent arrival of an Aston Martin gathering.

pub, walk, pics

1/11/12
10 of us walked. A good day after a very wet night. First loop of the walk was new territory and very pleasant. The second loop has been well walked by us before and again was good but much muddier. We did change the route at one point to avoid a known muddy stretch (but had to put up with a busy road instead). At another point the footpath had turned into a stream - which was actually quite good for walking in as it had washed the mud away. About 4.7 miles.
4 more joined us at the pub making 14. A long table in the long room had been set aside for us and was quite acceptable. Lots of choice of beer. I had the Brittania Gold - brewed on the premises - at £2.90 - which I thought very good. Lots of choice of food as well but limited in the cheaper range. I had the toasted cheese and ham with chips at £5.50. Pub is very large and very busy - I think its here to stay. They have local sister pubs - The Red Lion at Penn and The Magpies near Amersham. Good pub with lots of quirks and character.

pub, walk, pics

Russell Arms, Butler's Cross

www.therussellarms.com

*

HP17 0TS
Tel: 01296 622618
18/8/11

Nine of us met in a car park near Coombe Hill. Another indifferent day. There was plenty of rain around and although it wasn't raining when we started at 1030 it soon started and the last half was in steady rain. Temperatures on the cool side again so that was OK. I wasn't feeling at my best on this day so I found the walk a bit hilly and we seemed to walk a bit fast - but that was probably just me. A decent walk on a good day. Some good views and we did stop to look at The Rising Sun pub (which we have visited in the past) which is now a private house. We walked just under 5 miles (some discrepancy in our GPS track lengths probably due to poor signals in woods and cloud) and got back to the car park at 1225 from where we all drove to the pub.
Three more joined us at the pub. The pub was a bit of a problem and my report will be as I found it with the proviso that on another day it might be OK. We had trouble getting in - only the garden door was unlocked - to find that the only staff was Christine - the kitchen worker. She did a sterling job in that she sorted out our drinks and our food but it wasn't ideal. She didn't fill the pint glasses to the top - insisting that they had pint lines on them - but they didn't. One of our food orders was wrong - but of course we have had that before and is not a big problem. My Chicken, bacon and mayo sandwich with chips was pricey at £6.95. The bread was white thin sliced bread and the twice cooked chips were thrice cooked (or seemed to be). Barry's brown bread looked a bit better (thicker) but had some mould on it! Ham egg and chips looked OK though. I wasn't drinking beer but it seemed OK and reasonable at £3.20. We had to keep our own tab and present it to the barman (yes he did finally turn up after we had eaten). Our whip round generated a bit more than the bill so we donated the surplus to Christine as a tip as we felt sorry for her. The pub itself was fine with a decent car park and a nice garden. I can only give it 1 star now - another visit would be needed to see how it shapes up normally but I think the sandwiches would have to improve (considering their high price) to bring it up to 3 stars.
I did say I would rate the pub toilets as well but I now think it might lower the tone of my otherwise excellent reviews so I will only mention them when they are notable. (Here they were just about presentable - 2 stars)

pub, walk, pics

Saracen's Head, Amersham

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Shepherd's Hut, Eton Wick

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10/5/12
7 of us walked. A dry morning (after a fair bit of rain recently) and mild - good for walking. Fun and games with cameras meant we didn't get a proper group photo - bring back the professionals!!. I enjoyed the walk - a bit town y for some I know but I found it interesting. Lots of interesting things to see but the highlight was the Royal Screws - they caused much head scratching and debate. They still aren't turning - but perhaps nearing completion. The Lock keeper said the were still doing the wiring - which we had guessed - but didn't know when completion was expected. So much time taken looking at the screws that we were running late and had to rush to get back only 5 minutes late. The fact that it was over 5 miles didn't help - but it was flat.
4 more joined us at the pub. A Fullers pub so I had London Pride - which tasted very good I must say (£3.25). A fair selection of simple food all at very reasonable prices. I had a tuna jacket (no salad) at £3.90. This is not a pretentious pub. What you see is what you get. I liked it. We were well attended to (they had warned us that they had a funeral party in at 1400 but we were mainly finished by then), beer and food was good and the car park was OK. A bit spartan inside perhaps - and no proper garden for summer days - so 4- stars I think.

pub, walk

Squirrel, Penn St.

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19/5/11
3 and 2/3 of us walked on another fine dry day. Another good walk - about 5 miles - very little road walking and otherwise mixed countryside.
The pub was good- beer at about £3.30 and baguettes from £5.25 (but no chips). We sat in an annex - a bit bleak - the main pub would have been better but no room. Another 6 and 1/3 turned up at the pub. Again not sure about the star rating but a little expensive compared with some - and the bleak room makes me downgrade it a bit to 3 Star (out of 4 star).

pub, walk, pics

Stag, Burnham Beeches

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Swan, Beaconsfield

Google Street View shows it called 'The Old White Swan' (Dec 2011)

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15/12/11

Partners Xmas meeting

This was our Christmas Meeting. I didn't walk (nor did most of us) so no report. I drove to the Swan as I was with Valerie and suffered the parking with the others. Still we all managed to find somewhere and the pub was pretty good. There were about 27 of us (I had some difficulty in counting) and we were well accommodated. Decent beers and good food. I thought it ideal for this sort of meeting but the lack of close parking would make it awkward for a standard meeting. 3+ stars.

pub, walk, pics

Swan, Ley Hill

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20/10/11
11 of us walked. Decent, dry day ideal for walking. Good walking country round Ley Hill being fairly flat (if you choose the right paths) and quiet roads if you have to walk on them. Mixed countyside as usual with some interest (a brick works). Some of us took a bit of a short-cut near the end but the full route was just over 5 miles (in just over 2 hours). We did modify the original route on the way to avoid some road but then were forced to detour due to brick clay quarry.
Another two joined at the pub (and 1 dropped out) so 12 of us. My review of the pub is a bit 'coloured' by the fact that it was undergoing refurbishment which meant a smell of paint, men working inside, restricted toilets and only one room available. To be fair our hosts were very friendly and helpful and did reserve a large table for us which mitigated some of the previous. Good point were friendly publicans, good food, good beer, good atmosphere. Minus points were expensive food (£5.50 for cheese sandwich with crisps and salad - main meals not too bad ), expensive beer (£3.50 pint), only two beers on (might be due to fact that they were closing following week), closing at 1430 (chucked out at 1500), no car park (although ample parking around). Will need another visit when refurbished - but it won't get any cheaper - but for now I give it 3-stars (out of 4)(sorry Pete). Some of our group fell into the pub next door after we were chucked out - we await their views on that.

pub, walk, pics

Swan, West Wycombe

Not yet Bashed.

Beer cheap, shuts 1430. Small, not really Bash suitable.

Three Horseshoes, Burroughs Grove

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Three Horseshoes, Eton Wick

* * *-

29/9/11
13 of us meet at The Greyhound, Eton Wick. A really nice day with clear blue sky and temperatures getting into the high 20s (bit hot really). The walk had lots of interest, was very flat, had very little road walking and also very little single file paths - just my sort of walk. We walked through part of Eton and over the bridge into Windsor. We stopped to look at the buildings and boats at Windsor lock and meet a Canadian (guess from his name) who was installing the Archimedes screws that will produce electricity for the Castle. Further on we came across the site where they were preparing the turbines etc. apparently to be installed by 15th November - optimistic I think. We also saw trains going over the bridge, a very quiet golf course, some of The Jubilee river control sluices, a nice lady on a bicycle, and some interesting Eton College buildings. Total distance about 5.3 miles.
We got back to the pub at just after 1230 only to find it closed. I suggested we all go to The Shepherds Hut, a short distance away but unfortunately the rabble got no further than The Three Horseshoes, leaving Phil and Val on there own in The Shepherds Hut. The Three Horseshoes was OK. Food not really to my taste being a bit Mexicanish but others liked it. Good prices with special offer of 2 meals for £10. Only two ales on but my Courage was good and reasonable at £3.00. Décor was a bit sparse, no real car park but a bit of a garden out the back.
The Shepherds Hut looked better to me. Had a car park and some tables outside. Fullers pub. Didn't buy and beer there but food prices very good with sandwiches £3 something and mains from about £4. Quite nice inside.
3 more joined at the pub and one left making a total of 15 (split 2/13 between the two pubs)
I rate The Three Horseshoes at 3- stars (yes I have started to add + and - to discriminate a bit)
The Shepherds Hut 3 stars
The Greyhound 0 stars ( This is the second time we have had problems here - so two strikes and out I am afraid)

pub, walk, pics

Three Horseshoes, Flackwell Heath

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Uncle Tom's Cabin, Cookham Dean

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12/4/12
5 of us met on a pleasant morning. Rain showers were threatened but we only had a few spots towards the end of the walk - otherwise it was mainly sunny and not cold. I thought it a very good walk. We did have a few hills but they weren't too bad to cause any problems and the benefit was that we had some good views - particularly over the Thames. Very mixed walking - including country, golf course, quiet country lanes and urban streets. A few interesting sites - we saw a lovely shire horse pulling a trap, an original VW camper van and some historic buildings. There were also a lot of very desirable properties on the route - again benefiting from the good views. 5.2 miles in 1hr 55min.
Thankfully 5 more joined us at the pub. I was getting anxious as I had told the pub there would be 12 of us. A total of 10 was fine and the pub was pretty good. Three beers on hand pumps - I had the Brakespear and it was good - not sure of the price. Reasonable selection of food. I had the sausage and onion baguette with a bit of salad for £5.45. We had the end of the room reserved for us but really there weren't too many other customers. We were well served and the place had some atmosphere so I think it deserves 4 stars. (Also a decent car park - but the gravel defeated some of the smaller cars).

pub, walk, pics

Wheel, Naphill

thewheelnaphill.com

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CAMRA local pub of the year 2011

31/3/11
Walkers (7 of us) gathered in the ample pub car park and started walking at 1030 in the rain. We were all togged up for the rain (and a bit chilly) but that was a mistake for as soon as we started it stopped raining and got quite warm. A good walk. Apart from the initial bit of road it was all off-road. Mixed terrain and quite interesting. There were a few hills (both up and down) but we all seemed to cope OK. We did have to cut off a bit of the walk to arrive back at 1230.
The pub was very good. I give it the top 4 stars. It had excellent beer and a good selection of food. I have forgotten what I drank but it was £3.00 per pint. I also had a tuna jacket with salad garnish for £5.50. Other food look good as well. Another three more of us turned up at the pub.
Later-
I have an addition to my review. I forgot to mention the smelly dog. The pub dog was a nice golden Labrador - very friendly and would have been OK except that it had a very strong doggy smell. This could put you off - so perhaps I should downgrade the pub to 3 stars.

pub, walk, pics

28/7/11
Seven of us walked. Weather was again excellent being dry, sunny and not too hot. We walked 4.94 miles taking in Naphill Woods and Downley Common. A very good walk, some hilly bits but very varied terrain. A few split off towards the end to take a short-cut and missed some wonderous sights.
Four more joined us at the pub. We sat outside in their grassed front garden (the back was gravel) - very nice in the sun and not much noise from the road. Not a big selection of beers - I can't remember what I had but it was good and £3 per pint. Good selection of food with baguettes at just over £5 (no chips though). Smelly dogs not a problem as we were outside. I gave this pub 3 stars last time. I still don't think it is as good as the best so I will stick to my 3 star rating.

pub, walk, pics

Whip Inn, Loosley Row

www.whipinn.co.uk

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16/8/12
11 (I think) of us walked. Dry day and fairly warm. Parking a bit of a problem here but we all managed to get along the road. Due to my incompetence I had to go back to my car as the others started off so didn't see which way the went. I took the short leg of the first loop and waited for the others to arrive - they were much delayed by the very muddy stretch along Grim's Ditch. It was a bit warm and half of us took a short cut half way round. All of us seem to have had trouble navigating through Monkton woods as usual - the witch's house just seems to draw us in and we have to use the magic GPS to break the spell. The long walkers walked about 5.4 miles - the others about 4.8 miles.
3 more joined at the pub - and another walked in and walked out. Not too busy - and we had a table reserved for us (which we overflowed). Large range of beers - I had a summer something which was delicious. Food very good and reasonably priced - my ham baguette with chips was £5.50. A very good pub. 4stars - would be 4+ but for the parking.

pub, walk, pics

White Horse, Chorleywood

* *+

5/7/12
12 of us walked. Smallish car-park but OK for us. Decent weather for a change being dry, bit sunny but not too warm (about 22 degrees C). A nice walk partly along The Chess with its water cress beds. Some discussion about which was the water cress - and I am still not convinced - perhaps someone will send a link that proves it one way or another. Not too much to comment on but it was a good walk made better by the weather. I and another cut off a part of the route to avoid a steepish hill but we did arrive back on time having walked 5 miles whereas the others were late after 5.3 miles.
3 more joined at the pub. Only one beer on (Green King IPA at £3.70 !!) and I think that ran out at the end. Not a great choice of food. I had a chicken and bacon baguette (at £7.95 !!!). It came with a good portion of chips, some salad with water cress and a large filled baguette. I was expecting pieces of chicken with fried bacon but it came as a mixed up sandwich filling type. In fact it was rather too much for me - half that at half the price would have been OK. Not really a bad pub but the lack of beer and expensive food and drink means it doesn't compare with our best. 2+ stars I think.

pub, walk, pics

White Horse, Hedgerley

* * * *+

15/9/11
5 of us walked on a very nice day indeed. The walk was very pleasant, much of it walked before. The usual varied countryside (not much woods) and the roads we did have to use were very quiet. One they had even closed for us and we shared it with a flock of pheasants. Saw a deer on the way and some interesting abandoned buildings (see Tim's photos) and some very desirable property. About 4.7 miles.
Four more joined at the pub. We sat in the back garden and it was again very pleasant. As always the beer was excellent and just over £3.00 a pint. I had the last two baguette rolls and at £2.00 each were very good value. The others sandwiches and things looked good but a bit more expensive. 4 Stars

pub, walk, pics

27/9/12
12 of us walked. Another perfect day for walking - we have been lucky as our Thursday walks have often slotted in between some much worse weather (ie rain). A decent walk - some new ground - with very little road walking. Rather a lot of single file walking but not too bad. Underfoot conditions good and no real hills - so I was happy. We managed to follow the planned route pretty well. 5.35 miles in exactly 2 hours so we got a move on.
6 more joined us at the pub - a good turn-out. We managed to take over the public bar so it was very convenient. This is just about the best pub in the area for good beer. They make a real effort to keep their beer in excellent condition and have a good range. Not sure what I had - it was one of those 'never seen it before - never see it again' sort of beers - very nice. I managed to get the last of the turkey rolls (about £2) and others had sandwiches etc. from the salad bar - all very good. Really a very good pub so I give it 4+stars.

pub, walk, pics

White Lion, Buckland Common

* * *+

23/8/12
11 of us walked. Ideal day - ie not too hot and dry. A good walk - and no shortcuts!. It's nice counrtyside out here - especially if you can find a fairly flat bit - which we did. Lots of (mainly cut) corn fields and some wooded areas. About 4.6 miles in 1hr 50 min.
4 more joined at the pub. Some problem meant that the hand-pumps weren't working but the beer (choice of 2) from the pins on the bar was fine. Food good - but I think a bit expensive. My prawn jacket was £6.95. It was tasty but a bit small. I noticed that the ham was pre-sliced - and looked a bit lost in the sandwiches - but other fillings looked better. OK pub but not one of the best, I think I'll be mean and give it 3+ stars.

pub, walk, pics

White Lion, Cryers Hill

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