Swan’s Way – Day 6

Very nice day today, weather-wise. Sunny with puffy white clouds and a pleasant temperature of 19-20C. The walk took me from near the small village of Kimble Wick to Bledlow, at the foot of the Chilterns. I actually did the walk ‘backwards’, parking in Bledlow and walking back to Kimble Wick, because I wasn’t sure if I could park in Kimble Wick.

From the end of the last walk, I continued on a good hard-surfaced track that soon became a lane as it passed the few scattered residences of Kimble Wick – I’d walked this bit before on both the North Bucks Way and the Aylesbury Ring. I turned right at a crossroads and followed a lane for almost a mile to a junction, where I turned right. I soon went left at the next junction, and shortly after took a bridleway going left – I was now on the aptly named ‘Green Lane’, a decent path running between hedges, with occasional glimpses to the Chilterns to my left.

At the end of the path I crossed a main road and followed a lane to the village of Ilmer – just a few scattered large residences on a dead-end lane. I took a short detour to photograph the church, which had an unusual shingle spire that was restored in 1979. I then followed a bridleway heading south-east towards the long escarpment of the Chilterns. I soon reached a couple of ploughed fields – well, the second much larger field was in the process of being ploughed. Here I saw about 14 Red Kites and one Buzzard. Several Kites were flying low over the field, looking for worms and so on exposed by the plough, the rest of the birds seemed to be drifting higher on a thermal.

I turned right at path junction – the bridlway now ran between hedges or fences, and had a broken asphalt surface. I passed what must have been a  Watermill (remains of a large waterwheel in the garden!) as the path became a lane. I turned left at a junction and followed the lane through Pitch Green – I saw a WWII bomber and two fighters fly overhead here.

I then crossed the main road that runs along just north of the Chiltern escarpment, and continud along a road opposite to reach Bledlow, where I turned right into Church End. Before reaching my car, parked outside the church, I spent a few minutes exploring The Lyde Gardens on the right – The Lyde is a small gorge where springs form a small stream, now turned into an attractive garden with paths and a boardwalk.

A slightly shorter walk than usual – very flat and the vast majority on hard surfaces. But I enjoyed it nevertheless, the highlight being the sight of all those wonderful Red Kites!

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