Thursday walk

winter trees

Originally uploaded by Mr_Chips

It was raining and there were dark clouds swirling outside but time for a walk. I set off up the hill and surprised a sparrowhawk on the ground. It flew off and perched on a post for a while. I could see its yellow claws. There were many red kites around working the fields and one them had landed on something. This was unusual because red kites usually just take their food on the wing even if it is a dead rabbit on the ground they can swoop by without stopping, such is their agility.
The trees were stark against the moody sky. There was hardly a leaf on them. I walked on to Fingest through a thick carpet of fallen leaves. On the trees there were buds coming out although it would be a while before they would emerge of course. In the hedgerows, wild clematis or old man’s beard wafted in the breeze. Groups of long tailed tits made their way noisily through the tree tops. A buzzard took off ahead of me and flew away. It was definitely a buzzard as the tail was all wrong for a red kite. They fly differently as well.
At Fingest the jackdaws were busy squabbling in the trees and they were flying out on small missions to a nearby apple tree which still had some fruit clinging on. As I climbed up hanger wood, the sun came out and lit up the sides of the beech tree trunks. Their shadows stretched out for a long way across the fields, so low was the sun.
By now it was getting dark, there was a thin horizontal line of sun on the horizon under a growing bed of dark clouds. I sudden disturbance ahead of me made me freeze and I searched the woods ahead of me. There were two roe deer standing there looking at me. For a few moments we met eye to eye and then they ran


Walk to Fingest and-The Chequers

I have been walking to this pub over many years but it is even better now. There is terrific food and a new extension giving more room. Yet the old character is still there with two old bars full of hunting memorabilia as one should expect in a traditional old English country pub. I had a good walk there on one of the rare sunny days this summer and we arrived early in time to make a leisurely choice from the blackboard. My friends went for the locally produced sausages and mash whilst I went for the traditional ploughman’s. There was a good selection to fit all palettes and wallets. £4.95 for filled baguettes and more like £10 -£12 for the larger dishes. We sat down in the cosy lounge and watched the mixture of locals. tradesmen and walkers who came in for refreshments. Over the road at the Fingest church there was a party of artists sitting around painting the church and I was sure that they would soon be in here to join us for a drink and something to eat. What a perfect painting location.

The Walk from Lane End

Start from Lane End where there is good free parking and shops to stock up on nibbles. Walk down the pleasant Church Road for about 3/4 mile. As the road bends sharp right take the little track to the right -that’s sharp right along the gravel road for about 100 metres. Turn right through the gate/stile up a hill and after only 50 m we come out on a crest of a hill with a good view and maybe some kites flying overhead. Follow round to the left and go down hill again through a couple of stiles and walk along the edge of some fields. Keep the hedge to your right but look out for birds in the hedge and possible a sparrow hawk.
Cross the two fields and you will reach some woodland at the far side. Follow the edge of the wood to left and it enters the wood via a stile. Go through this lovely beech wood to a stile by a large Oak and we come out on open farmland again. Go forward and follow the edge of the wood round to your right. Keep going and we gradually descend down towards a road with the Fingest valley ahead of you.
Turn right on the road and after 50m it bends sharp right but we need to find the little hidden path to the left and over a stile. Go forward and bend round to the left. This path actually goes parallel to the road and along the valley. Just go straight and we go through fields. There are usually some interesting sheep and horses to talk to. After about 1K the path narrows down to a thin path between houses and you emerge at the lovely village of Fingest. Turn left to reach the main road.
Lunch at the pub and when finished, turn right out of the pub and walk just a few metres along the road and turn right up a footpath. Go up the hill and it bends left. There a bench with a great view over the valley and we can just see the windmill in the trees on the opposite hill. Go river the stile and up through the woods. Emerge into the field and go half left to reach a wide track. Go along the track until it turns right but we go left through a kissing gate. This little track winds its way round the side of the hill and descends to the edge of the wood. Go along the edge of the wood and it emerges onto a road. Walk about 30m and turn first left past The Albert Inn. Left and right up the small bridle way that goes into the wood again. Walk up through Moor End Common and we reach the Lane End road where we turned off earlier in the walk. Continue up to Lane End.