Fantastic nature walk from Great Kimble

Sunday, 1 June 2014

We enjoyed a fantastic walk today with Baby A. It's a really varied walk both in terms of terrain and the diversity of animals, insects and flora we saw.

We found the walk on the Chilterns website. It's described as a Box Wood Walk as you pass through the largest native box woodland in the country. However, the walk is so much more than just Box Wood!

Interestingly, we've just watched Countryfile on BBC1 who were in the Chilterns and they've just done a feature on the Box tree. Very good timing for us to learn more about what we've seen on our walk!

The walk starts from Great Kimble so we parked in a layby where the instructions for the walk begin. There's a bit of an uphill climb first off - certainly got the legs going! Within just a few minutes we stopped in our tracks as a muntjac deer crossed our path. A lovely sight.

We passed through Chequers Knap grassland and met another animal - this time a cow came towards us!

The next part of the walk took us along the edge of the valley with some amazing views.

After descending 58 steps (they were really quite muddy and slippy so we had to take care), we were at the base of Beacon Hill. We decided against the climb to the top as it was a hot day and there was no shade. We'll save it for another time!

As we continued along, our next encounter with animals was with some sheep. The route took us past a lovely old church and then through more fields. There were lots of wildflowers which were attracting several different varieties of butterflies.

Something that we enjoyed on the walk was the large number of kissing gates - and of course, you have to kiss. Baby A smiled every time though she had no idea why she was getting so many kisses!

After a short walk along the side of the road, the route went up a track and through a private garden. Feels a bit odd walking through this, but it's a public footpath. They really have an amazing garden and keep it well maintained.

The next section of the walk is through some more fields. We paused for our picnic lunch in some shade along this part, before picking up the path again which took us back to Great Kimble.

So along with the muntjac deer, cows, sheep and butterflies, we also saw a Red Kite, Longtail tits, other birds, squirrels, rabbits and 2 donkeys. Not bad on one walk.

We followed the instructions on the Box Wood Walks leaflet printed from the Chilterns website. They were really easy to follow. We chose the Northern circular walk which took about 3 hours in total with our stop for lunch. We'll definitely be using the leaflet again to do the Southern walk soon.

Just a note - you need walking boots and long trousers for this walk as there's some narrow bits with nettles and some pretty muddy parts.

So smiles all round on this walk. It was thoroughly enjoyed by all three of us!

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