A Whiter Shade Of Pale

Aldbury Church, just before sunrise

It had been my intention this week to say something about the route planning for LETJOG C2C, the Coast to Coast walk that Rob and I are embarking upon in a little over 10 weeks’ time. I have mapped our daily walks on the OS App, in order to plan our progress over the Lake District, through the Yorkshire Dales and across the North York Moors as we journey from the Irish Sea to the North Sea.

But, this week has been so marvellous for walking – cold, dry, frosty and, at times, misty – that I feel the need to show off the wonderful countryside here on our doorstep in the Chiltern Hills of western Hertfordshire. I have been fortunate in having plenty of time this week to share with others in the outdoors on some beautiful morning walks, and I hope that these photos convey something of the attraction and beauty of January walking!

Last Friday’s walk, saw nine of us nordic walkers setting off pre-dawn from Ashridge, down the scarp into Aldbury village and out on a loop across the fields and golf course, as the sun appeared from behind the scarp
I couldn’t resist including this second image, if only for the quality of the light!
Saturday dawned rather foggy, as a group of us, up early again with the poles, emerged from the woods onto the grazing fields along the Gade valley
And in the forest, this unusual coupling of conifer and deciduous
I am told that the ‘slimline’ terracotta bricks built into the walls and columns of Great Gaddesden Church are of Roman origin, pilfered in medieval times from an earlier construction. Our return to our start point in Frithsden also referenced this ancient history of our environs, taking us past Roman Farm and along the sunken so-called Roman Road through the ridge from Nettleden.
Continuing the Roman theme, Sunday saw Rachel and I a little further from home, walking along the Roman walls of St Albans in the City’s Verulamium Park (those terracotta bricks once again)
Before heading off for a coffee at the Inn On The Park!
Tuesday, too, started cold and bright, with the waters of the Grand Union Canal through Berkhamsted frozen over
This wonderfully timeless experience was enhanced by the woodsmoke from the narrow-boats, hanging in the crisp morning air
A longer walk today, with us four former Haresfoot Brewery colleagues trekking out through the ice and mud for coffee and cake at The Alford Arms in Frithsden, and returning via the appropriately-named Alpine Meadow!

I hope that these photos do justice to the wonderful scenery of our part of the Chilterns. Suitably indulged, I promise to return to the matter of route planning for our LETJOG C2C trek in a future Blog, as our countdown to the walk continues. Have a great week as the fine weather looks set to continue!

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