A Hazy Shade Of Winter

We walked on frosted fields . . .

So, as I was saying last week, this time of year can be great for walking, and the experience really couldn’t have been more perfect first thing this morning. Continuing my early training for the LETJOG C2C walk in April is an unnecessary excuse for getting out and about when the day dawns bright and crisp, as today, with the pale sunlight burning through some early mist over the Chilterns.

My walk this morning took me just over 6 miles from the Hospice of St Francis in Northchurch, where Rachel dropped me off before her working day, out southwards past Marlin Chapel to Ashley Green, and then home over the rolling hills and valleys south of Berkhamsted. I have some views to share:

The remains of Marlin Chapel are accessible now only via a farm track and by footpaths, and the flint-built walls are overgrown with ivy and brambles. The original Chapel of St Mary Magdalene on this site dates from the 13th century, where it stood within the grounds of a large estate.
Over farmland towards Hog Lane, and thence into Ashley Green
A tad cold for an open-air bath!
Ashley Green Church
The early mist still lingering mid-morning in the sheltered valley below Whelpley Hill (with Lower Farm seen here in the distance)
And just to complete a wonderful morning, on my arrival home I had some irregular garden visitors – a nuthatch (alas too quick for me) and a green woodpecker seeking out ants on the lawn!

Aside from the ‘training’, this week I have been doing some route planning, and also re-assessing the kit that I will need on the Coast to Coast walk. Rob and I start off on 2 April, and we are being spoilt – not only do our walking company, Macs Adventure Holidays, reserve all of the overnight accommodation for us, but they also arrange carriage of our bags between the hostelries and B&B’s where we are staying. So my LETJOG pack of 7.5 kilos seems very light now against our 20-kilo weight allowance, perhaps presenting an opportunity for some evening-wear? Most important though are my trusty Scarpa walking boots, worn down last summer, I fear, to within a fraction of their useful life. So yesterday my new pair turned up, and were introduced promptly to their elderly relatives:

Another step towards LETJOG C2C!

I have some more walks booked in the next few days with my nordic walking group and I will report back next week. Meanwhile let’s all enjoy the winter sunshine while it lasts!

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