Swan’s Way – Day 7

Today I continued along Swan’s Way, walking from Bledlow to Watlington.

It was generally a grey and overcast day, though it brightened briefly just as I started walking and also again very briefly around 1.30pm. But by the time I got back to my car about 2.35pm it was very dark and I was glad I’d avoided any heavy showers.

I followed a bridleway out of Bledlow, turning right at a junction onto another bridleway. After about half a mile this brought me to a complicated junction of bridleways where I joined the Ridgeway, a long-distance path that follows the route of an ancient track along the edge of the Chilterns. I would follow the Ridgeway for the rest of today’s walk, and will follow it off and on to the end of Swan’s Way at Goring.

I followed a broad chalky track, passing close to Chinnor. Across a road, the track passed between large chalk quarries on either side, close to an old cement works. The chalky track continued on for several miles, with the steep tree-covered escarpment of the Chilterns a short distance to my left. Eventually I crossed the A40, and a short distance further went under the M40. I crossed a lane and finally reached a road on the edge of Watlington. It had taken two hours and 20 minutes to walk about 7.5 miles, which was quite quick by my standards – probably because the route was so straightforward I didn’t spend any time navigating.

I must have seen at least 20 Red Kites, including one over Bledlow as I set off. Several butterflies too, including a Red Admiral and a Speckled Wood.

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