Yesterday we set out in the morning intending to join our local bird group for a walk. Watching the rain batter against the windscreen, rivulets falling from the sky, we changed our minds, wary of getting wet and then cold sitting in a bird hide and decided to head out for a walk instead.
Our route for this walk took in a long stretch of the Phoenix Trail, a walk along the route of an old railway line which runs from Princes Risborough to Thame.
We started our walk from a car park just outside Princes Risborough, which took us straight onto the trail.
We were directed by this lovely sign, one of several similar along the trail. We followed the straight, wide track in the direction of Thame. Along the trail there are a series of sculptures and shelters. They added quirky interest to the walk.
Some are clearly inspired by the path’s heritage as a railway line. There are a series of similar wooden sculptures, the circles all in slightly different places, the wood weathered and blending in with the still wintry vegetation along the sides of the trail. Every 500 metres there is a bench or shelter where users of the path can rest. They are all different, both Sculpture and shelter. These were designed and built by artist Angus Ross with students from a local furniture college. Further along the trail, three quirky creatures made by artist Lucy Casson perch atop telegraph poles. They are intriguing beings, two friendly looking part cockerel part aquatic moomin creatures and their pet cat, as I imagine them. Despite the persistent rain, we enjoyed the sculptures and it was easy walking along the straight, well made trail. After passing another of the metal cast signposts, we left the trail behind. We took farm tracks and footpaths through fields, squelching and slipping through thick gloopy mud.
Even on a wet day, nature always provides something of interest. These delicate jelly ear fungus grew in a damp mossy hedge. This was an interesting crossing, the plank bridge slick as ice, our boots covered in clay mud providing no grip, it was a delicate creep across to ensure we didn’t end up in the stream! We passed through the village of Bledlow with its pretty church. There was also an interesting sunken garden below the road. It looked intriguing, but we left a visit for a drier day! We walked through Henton and Horsenden, the weather gradually drying up, spotting bright flowers beginning to bloom in the hedgerows. The Vaude hat that the lovely folk at Country walking magazine sent me for taking part in their spring clean kept me warm and my head dry, and it was a good opportunity to show off my #walk1000miles badge! This was an easy 8 mile walk, which we enjoyed despite the rain, as they say there’s no such thing as bad weather, just inadequate clothing!
Did you get outside this weekend? Hope you had better weather than we did.
I’d be interested to hear of any other railway walks- do you have any recommendations?