Friday, 11 December 2015

A Walk: From Beautiful To Ugley

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?

Take care.


  1. That's a fun little treck! I often find myself on land when I'm running that I have no idea or not whether I should be on it! Chances are if you didn't have to jump a fence, and there's no sign, it's not tresspassing

  2. Super duper. Your pictures of your lovely walk are making me very homesick for my homeland.

  3. I love the name of that town! I'm sure folks have a lot of fun with it. I too like to photograph old, tumble-down "ugly" buildings. Thanks for sharing more of your walk with us.

  4. Ah, you do have a map when you go for these walkabouts. I always wondered if you just had a good sense of direction or the paths were pretty straight-forward.

  5. Beautiful area, the countryside, the buildings. I enjoyed the walk. I will return.

  6. Ha! A village called Ugley Hmmm. The cottage there is stunning! With 1,000 miles of trails I expect this to be quite a long journey with many posts as wonderful as this one.

  7. Ok, they totally misnamed that adorable village! ;-)

  8. I can't imagine calling that charming place "Ugley." Wonder why that happened. Thank you for the laugh, St. Peter's Ugley. That's very funny!

  9. Of course I will be coming with you John. Wild horses would not drag me away. Your walk is exquisite - it has been an awful day here and your walk is sunshine and beauty all the way.

  10. 1000 miles of footpaths! The white cottage is certainly well-maintained- a show piece. Lovely light in the first photo. Obviously Ugley is not ugly,so I went to the fount of most of my knowledge (wiki) and found Ugley could mean "woodland clearing of a man called Ugga". Woodland clearing - now that sounds pretty.

  11. Definitely nothing ugly about the Village of Ugley. It's really beautiful and so are your photos. Thanks John, thoroughly enjoyed your photos.

  12. I love this Village and could wander there for the whole day. There is so much to see in it. Everything is so nice in this place; even a caw looks so friendly. And I loved so much the last picture; I have a tender heart for all abandoned old buildings.

    Excellent pictures!

  13. You have really interesting and lovely walking.

  14. The village of Ugley is so attractive and pleasant, really “pretty Ugley”, definitely not “pretty ugly”.


  15. Very attractive churches...and I love that one with the thatched roof.

  16. That barn does well to stay standing!


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