Pete's Walks - The North Bucks Way, Day 4

Google map of the walk

Day 4 21/9/05 Addington to Whaddon (6.2 miles each way, approximately)

Parked in Great Horwood.

As there was no obvious place to park in Addington, I parked in the car park in Great Horwood (marked on the North Bucks Way leaflet) and started the walk by walking back to Addington before turning round.

Almost immediately after I turned round at the lane junction in Addington that I reached on the previous walk, I turned left at another lane junction. If Iíd gone straight on, I would have met with four lady walkers coming the other way (I was close enough to exchange greetings with one of them). Having gone a few hundred yards further on, when I next looked at my map, I realised that the ladies were on the route of the Cross Bucks Way, which shares the route of the North Bucks Way for a short distance through Addington. I wished then that Iíd stopped and asked them Ė it would have been interesting to meet other people walking these long-distance paths, and I would have liked to hear their thoughts on the Cross Bucks Way as itís a walk I may well do in the future (Iíve already got the leaflet for it from Bucks County Council).

The lane from Addington led past an equestrian centre, before ending at a junction with a main road (the A413) where I turned right. There was a wide verge on either side of the road, so it was quite safe to walk the few hundred yards to where the footpath back to Great Horwood turned off. The path led diagonally across a field of stubble and then around two sides of another such field, before crossing a third stubble field. A small footbridge led across to a further sequence of flat stubble fields, before two grassy fields took me to another small footbridge. The next field contained sheep, and then I crossed a large grassy field containing both sheep and bullocks to reach the road at the edge of Great Horwood.

Having walked through the village, I then managed to miss seeing the sign indicating the footpath that I wanted, and so walked up and down the road for a couple of hundred yards further than I should Ė there was a proper signpost with two or three finger signs on it, so I was a bit embarrassed at missing it, but when I came back in the afternoon I realised it was partly hidden by trees and bushes, so it wasnít that clear from the direction Iíd originally been walking. Anyway, the footpath led through a sequence of three grassy fields to reach another road (the A421). Across this, the North Bucks Way went down the drive of a house and on through its paddocks, before crossing some more grassy fields.

Field near Nash - you can tell that this was not the most scenically interesting day!

Just before Nash, the way went across an overgrown grassy field, and then through a small paddock with several ponies and horses (and some small show-jumping fences) to reach a farmyard. Here, three dogs (a Spaniel and a couple of Jack Russells) came running and snapping around my feet. The next field contained a horse, a donkey and a dozen or so sheep. I managed to go wrong again here, by missing a turning to the right but soon realised my mistake and rectified it. I passed a small duck pond here in Nash (complete with ducks) as I started along the bridleway that would take me to Whaddon. The North Bucks Way leaflet says that this area was part of Whaddon Chase, originally an area used for deer hunting although there didnít seem anything left now to indicate this, as far as I could tell. The bridleway was quite pleasant, following hedgerows for the couple of miles to Whaddon. Here, I couldnít quite get my bearings and match the map to the ground and so started off in the wrong direction again before quickly realising my mistake. I had to walk through the graveyard of Whaddon church, where people were cutting the grass and generally tidying it up. Sadly, there was also a grave digger at work.

Having walked through the village to the point where the North Bucks Way left it, I turned round and made my way back to Great Horwood.

The day had started out a little misty with a heavy dew on the ground, but the sun had come out about 11 Oíclock and it was quite a warm (21C) and bright afternoon. Somehow I wasnít too impressed with the walk, although Iím not sure why. It was OK, but nothing special Ė it was very flat with only a couple of minor undulations and nothing of much historical or other interest on the route.

Total Distance: 27.7 miles each way