December 9th, 2015, was a gloriously clear, sunny day; ideal for a long country walk. I started telling you about it yesterday, so shall we walk a little farther?
You can see the first part of the walk here:
We parted yesterday on a lovely path descending to the village of Quendon. Perhaps now would be a good time to tell you that we're in an area known as "The Hundred Parishes". It has no official status but is the brainchild of a society set up to promote this beautiful area. It covers 450 square miles of the best of Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Essex's ancient countryside and has over 1,000 miles of footpaths. We've been to parts of the area before, of course, around Linton, Thaxted, Much Hadham......
The main street through the village was busy with traffic so I quickly sought out the lane to the church.
Churches with little wooden bell-towers like this are found commonly in a band running through Hertfordshire and Essex, though I can't recall a single one in Cambridgeshire. It's strange how you find these little variations across the country.
Evidently people in Quendon are not such early risers as those at Rickling and the church was still locked.
The path I chose from here ran alongside a strip of woodland. A few oak trees were still valiantly hanging on to their leaves, despite it being December. One walk guide says, of a walk that coincides for a short while with the route we're taking, that this particular path has views across the M11 valley: since when did motorways start appropriating valleys from rivers?
Soon I was leaving the wood behind and crossing a field to the next village....
Oh, yes! That wasn't a typo in the title; we really are going to a village called Ugley!
The church isn't ugly though, quite attractive in fact. It's called St Peter's and I rather hoped to find a notice board that said "St Peter's Ugley", but was disappointed
The rest of the village had some quaint-looking cottages too.
From the church I found myself wandering through a farmyard, though I'm not certain I was supposed to be there. I took a couple of pictures though I thought it best not to hang about.
In a way I was rather hoping a friendly farmer might appear as there was a lot of very ancient equipment lying around just waiting to be photographed. On the other hand if I was trespassing.......
There were a few buildings too that were well past their "best before" date. I suppose you could call those "ugly" though I rather like to photograph them.
We've done about five miles so far and I thought that the rest of the walk would be less interesting, it certainly appeared so on the map. Little did I know how lovely it would be. Will you be coming with me?