Saturday, 2 November 2013

Burnham Beeches and Littleworth Common

I always try to have a walk in Burnham Beeches at this time of year and in fact I did this circular walk to Littleworth Common last year too. For this reason I'll describe it briefly. You start from the car park and once you enter the wood take Halse Drive. I was very struck by the age of some of the trees, notably the pair above.

Soon you turn left into the quieter and very lovely Victoria Drive.

After a while, a right turn takes you to the edge of the wood by Park Lane. You cross and do a loop through fields to the village of Littleworth Common, where we enjoyed a refreshing drink at the Blackwood Arms. The return route crosses paddocks and goes through Dorney wood to re-enter Burnham Beeches at the end of Halse Drive. Here the path is wider and the trees more spread out.

You simply follow this back to the entrance, although you could of course, as I have done before, detour into Egypt Woods to the left.

Close to the end of the walk I took this close up picture of some leaves which were hanging down at a very convenient height. I confess I was very pleased with it.

I will end with a few, probably rather banal, reflections. Autumn is generally accepted to be bit late this year and the display of autumn colours is less dramatic than in some previous years. Apparently this is because it has not been cold enough.

I realised though that as well as interesting colours in the leaves, you really also need sunshine to bring an autumn picture to life: compare the Hulse Drive and Victoria Drive pictures above.

I also realised that part of the attraction of beech woods at this time of year is the range of leaf colours: the various shades of green play as important a part as the browns and yellows. And finally it struck me that the the delicate slightly curving shape of the younger trees is itself an important part of the charm.

Conditions: sun, cloud and then rain.

From: 50 walks in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire (AA).

Distance: said to be 4.5 miles but seemed less.

Mao: Explorere 172 (Chiltern Hills East).

Rating: three and a half stars.

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