1 October 2008


Four pages of Ridgeway Day 4 photos can be found here, and the map is at the bottom of this entry.

We were happy to leave the inn of crapness at the start of day 4 (they didn’t even make any attempt to find something for Es to eat), and we got the bus back to Wendover past a bus stop called “World’s End”. Wendover was still very pretty, and the path took us through a wee bit of the town, past the common and a stream (millstream?) and the big church. We were overtaken at the church by our NEMESISISES, who stopped for a few words then sped off (they were moving house the next day – that’s some commitment to both walking and moving).

After the town, we climbed into the woods, passing a property guarded by two noisy (and slightly unthreatening but irritating) dogs. Again, my pack seemed far heavier than before, and it took me athe better part of an hour to get into the walk. Luckily the scenery was very pretty! We descended that hill, and began to climb the next slope, walking along a hollow path rather like Grim’s Ditch on the first day. It was also the most like “Get off the road!” of all the places we exclaimed “Get off the road!” and kept a lookout for Black Riders.

We stopped for tea in the woods, and vlogged, then walked on into the amusingly named Borough of Dacorum, where due to some hilarious storytelling on SJ’s part, we learned that she had been born there in 1900. Or possibly 1899. At any rate, she is looking good for her age. I’m not sure where we saw the flower, but it is too good not to put in this post! There were no more annoying little hills for the rest of the walk – only big ones! Thankfully, the views were always good enough to feel like an adequate payoff for the hike.

Tring Park was a lovely bit of the walk – it is full of well established trees, long straight bridleways, semi-landscaped woods, and views over Tring. We also caught a glimpse of the little summerhouse and random obelisk down two paths in the park. After that, we did a bit of a detour into Wigginton for lunch, around the outskirts of the town. It was nice to do a bit of off-Ridgeway walking over the four days – the Ridgeway is so well waymarked that sometimes I feel like there’s no sense of adventure, exploration, discovery . . . Anyway, after that, we set off down hill, over the motorway (at which point I had to give the camera to D and not look down!) and had a chat to some horses, who enjoyed the apples we gave them but were also very into eating the fence.

From there it was a gentle walk over the Grand Union Canal, the railway line at Tring Station, and into Aldbury – again taking a detour. I love Aldbury – even if it does sometimes have a slight Wicker Man feel about it (unfortunately no Christopher Lee, though). We popped our bags in our rooms (which were LOVELY rooms in a LOVELY inn) and had a cup of tea with the LOVELY Essie before heading off, packless, to do the last leg of the walk.

It was pretty strange to be walking without the big bags. We made such good time along the road to meet up again with the Ridgeway Path. Our destination was in sight, and although it looked like a decent hike (the last hill to the left of the third picture here), we found the uphill going a lot easier!

We climbed up and up, avoiding unidentified military style objects (we didn't see any), and were treated to excellent views out over the valley and hillsides. The God Rays were also pretty spectacular. As were the orange bottomed bumblebees!

When we finally reached the end, we stayed for a while to enjoy the views, and to look back across the ridges we’d hiked around and over during the last couple days – we were pretty sure we could see all the way back to Bledlow Ridge from the start of day 3 (on the far right on the horizon in the last 'view' photo - it's pale blue), and we could definitely see the hills above Wendover. It gives me such a sense of satisfaction to be able to see how far we’d come – and it was a pretty decent distance, too! We snapped our ‘after’ picture, and then scrambled down to the road where Es picked us up in a Mercedes minicab. Awesome!

We headed back to the Greyhound Inn and drank a celebratory pint of cider. If that was (half) the Ridgeway, then we’d walked it! Once again, there were parts of this last day that would make really lovely shorter walks – from the road up to the Beacon, or around Tring Park. We all agreed we’d had an amazing time, and would do it again in a second (well, after a day or two off, maybe!). We had a yummy dinner in the Greyhound Inn’s restaurant, and talked about our next bits of travel – D and J to Norfolk with D’s family, SJ and E to Stratford to see David Tennant (in Hamlet), and then to Bath.

Here’s the map of our fourth day of walking:


  1. photos - awesome
    walker - far
    england - strange yet familiar
    my head - exploded with tired.

    your heads? lovely?

  2. have been thinking about your play - hope it's going well!

  3. ...please where can I buy a unicorn?