Friday, 13 October 2017

On The Road To Duckpuddle Bush

Believe it or not there's a place a little further along this road called Duckpuddle Bush. It's nowhere near as quaint and picturesque as the name suggests but it sticks in my mind. Be that as it may, this by-road makes a good place to start a circular walk on the chalk hills south of Royston, just a few miles from home. I had my brother Les for company on this walk.

Our route commenced through woodland but emerged from time to time onto the Royston Golf Course where the Ladies' Autumn Meeting was taking place. It's a very undulating course and they probably did more strenuous walking than we did - and pulling a golf trolley as well. As you can see they have some grand views too out across the flat fields of Cambridgeshire, even though these are not particularly high hills.

Little glimpses of bright red beckoned through the trees and tempted the keen photographer away from the footpath to trespass along the field edge.

We then turned sharply south along the track to Therfield, leading through rolling arable fields. In spring these wide acres are home to dozens of hares, chasing and boxing as a prelude to breeding. They're probably here now but they're lying low and you'd be lucky to see them.

Les striding purposefully along the track. He looks like he's keen to get somewhere....

Ah, the Fox and Duck pub at Therfield. I can't treat you to a drink but you can see a photo of me enjoying one, a pint of Greene King IPA, and very pleasant it was too. Cheers, brother!

Walking Tips from John, Number 1 : When having a break in the walk, particularly one involving the consumption of alcohol, make sure that the next section is gently downhill.

So here we are descending gently along a sunken lane leading from Therfield down to an area known as The Thrift.

These wide chalky fields make simple sweeping patterns. You can soon have too much of this country but on this walk there's just enough to maintain interest. Last time I saw a herd of Fallow Deer up here and the time before that I had a close encounter with a Stoat a little earlier in the walk.

Today though the deer were kept away by a rather noisy tractor working the fields. You wouldn't expect to see much wildlife.....hang on, what's that?

Suddenly the sky was full of Red Kites. These impressive, agile flyers were almost extinct in this country till a few years ago but now I see them almost every time I go out for a walk in Hertfordshire. A few miles away, where I live, they are only seen occasionally.

There are lots of rose hips on the hedgerows at the moment, though the winter thrushes, Fieldfares and Redwings, will be here soon and will make short work of them.

A rather tedious mile or so along a racehorse gallop leads to a short, sharp climb up into a beechwood nature reserve known as Fox Covert where a short stroll among the trees completed our circular walk.

Take care.


  1. Such a lovely walk, your photos are wonderful. It's good to have somewhere pleasant to stop for refreshment along the way:)

  2. What a beautiful walk John, showing the countryside at its Autumn best. I enjoyed every inch of it from the comfort of my armchair.

  3. That first photo has a natural fram which I love. Great post, John.

  4. That was such a wonderful walk. So much of the view remind me of places here in California. Beautiful in every way. I have to say, though, that the picture that surprised me the most was the one of you. You look so much like my twin brother!

  5. Is there a story behind the sunken lane???

  6. Those red flowers! Incredibly beautiful.

    Love the pub photo. You look like a Great Author or Artist.

  7. Great photos John - including the one of you. There's so much wonderful sky in those flat lands, so different from our hills and dales.

  8. Hi John - oh dear I could do with stopping for a beer! Wonderful name ... and your photos are glorious for us to see - England at its best ... rolling beautiful countryside ... and that sunken lane looks delightful on a dry day ... thanks for the rolling circle walk via the pub - cheers Hilary

  9. And very nice it was John! How lovely to spend time like this with your brother. The weekend walks were one of the things I enjoyed the most when we stayed in England for a year before we came to Perth, that and the pub stops 😀

  10. Beautiful countryside. I especially love the rolling hills and the perspective it gives us as we walk. I am interested in the sunken path. Is it ancient and worn that way, or part of drainage or ditch? The red flowers and berries are surely eyecatching.
    Thanks for including photos of your brother and self--it's nice knowing our companions on the journey.

    Ahah yes! The birds-- kites---we have Mississippi and swallow tailed kites--they have left us weeks ago for South America.

    1. Sunken lanes tend to be where paths go downhill. After heavy rains the water runs down the path and slowly the soil is carried downslope. Over centuries the level of the path falls below the surrounding land. Here a ditch has been dug down one side of the lane to try to prevent too much erosion.

  11. Such beauty in the countryside. I love the views you shared, they are gorgeous. Glad you enjoyed having a pint in that nice looking pub. It must be wonderful for you to take the walk with your brother.

  12. Are those poppies? They're wonderful! I enjoyed seeing a current photo of you enjoying a pint and a walk. I'm going to try not to get so behind on your posts and stop playing catch-up now.

  13. I really enjoyed tagging along on this walk, a very nice set of photos too!

  14. Another lovely walk. And taking the wraps off the mysterious John!

  15. What a beautiful walk, and gorgeous photos, good one of you, nice to meet you. I've seen Red Kites on some of my walks with the Ramblers here in Essex.

  16. Nice photos...beautiful place to walk. And those Red Kites would have made my day that much more special.


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