Friday, 2 May 2014

Old Amersham and Chalfont St Giles

The Market Hall

I met my friend Chris for a Buckinghamshire walk at a sort of midway point between where we each live. We started at the imposing Market Hall in Old Amersham. It was built in 1682 and renovated in 1911. We noticed a sign inside the covered area "Commit no nuisance" and this was apparently over the entrance to the town lock-up. It put me in mind of Google's "Do no evil".

We headed southeast and followed a gently climbing path across fields, with a nice view back towards Old Amersham.

The path continues through woods and across fields to reach the splendidly named Upper Bottom House Farm, where we were charmed by the very young calves.

We climbed a small hill and came down the other side into the charming village of Chalfont St Giles, complete with Norman church, duck pond, village green and old houses.

We decided we must see its most famous building, Milton's Cottage and walked up the High St past this lovely former farmhouse ...

... to reach the 16th century Milton's Cottage, where the great poet wrote Paradise Lost.

As we were taking photos, a woman who was passing by very kindly suggested that we would get a better view by standing on her nearby doorstep. The result, above, is to my mind much better that the picture on the official Milton's Cottage website, which, as my picture would have been, is dominated by the large chimney flue. Thank you again!

We returned to the centre and followed the South Bucks Way along the Misbourne Valley back to Old Amersham. This was a pleasant stroll, but the river, presumably very small, was entirely invisible.

Conditions: cloudy and cool.

Distance: 6.5 miles.

From: Pathfinder Guide 25, Chilterns and Thames Valley.

Map: Explorer 172 (Chiltern Hills East).

Rating: three and a half stars.

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