It’s Sunday so it must be time for another day out. Today I walked along the Beeches Way, a path from Cookham in Berkshire to Yiewsley in West London, slicing through the southern part of Buckinghamshire. It’s a very pleasant place to go walking with lots of woodland and few built-up areas until you get within the M25. At just under 16 miles it’s also a perfect length for a single day, especially as it starts and finishes near two railway stations.
This is right at the start going towards Cliveden House on the Bucks. side of the Thames. This bit is very flat, but mostly the route is pleasantly hilly. Later on I came to Burnham Beeches, which you might remember I have visited before.
Factoid of the day: this tree has been pollarded – a once common pruning technique where the upper parts of the tree a periodically removed for firewood encouraging it to grow in this strange shape. It also has the benefit of growing a low canopy to shelter livestock.
An hour or so later and I’m on Stoke Common. This is apparently a very well preserved example of the heathland that once covered this part of the country. Very peaceful here.
Around mid-afternoon and I’m in the somewhat clumsily named Black Park Country Park. This is the large lake in the middle that seems very popular with families and model boat enthusiasts. After here the scenery starts to deteriorate plodding through Iver and finally over the M25:
At this point it started to rain; one of those strange downpours where the sun is still shining. This was quite good timing as it help to liven up a dull walk past a sewage works and some run-down industrial buildings. After that the path runs briefly along the Grand Union Canal and then into Yiewsley where it terminates. It didn’t strike me as a particularly exciting place to visit: West Drayton station is conveniently nearby.
Mostly for my own benefit I’ve started mapping the places where I’ve been on adventures to track my progress through the great unexplored wilderness. It may however be useful for others who wish to follow the same route, so I reproduce it below:
View Beeches Way, October 2010 in a larger map