Henley Circular 18th September 2021

Thirteen Poly Ramblers took an early train from Paddington to reach Henley on Thames. The earlier time meant that we avoided a thronging high street whilst crossing busy roads to reach the start of our walk on the Oxfordshire way. We enjoyed stunning views in sunshine as we walked through Henley Park part of the Culdon Faw Estate. After walking up a narrow lane we entered a large field with a narrow path leading eventually to an access road. Sadly, we did not spy the very tame White Peacock that I came across during  my walk over. On reaching Dobson’s Lane we wended our way around several bends before stopping for our elevenses at the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Fawley. We continued our meander along the small country lane passing the village green where there was a well which Andrew initially thought was the Maharajas well, alas this was not to be! We continued our walk along a narrow bridle path before we entered the Great Wood following a bridleway track gently downhill as it meandered through the woods through bends and some sharp turns. We descended Reservoir Hill and went through further woodland with new plantations before finally reaching the picturesque village of Hambleden. We had a picnic lunch in the churchyard and some of us also had very tasty home-made cake at the local post office before making our way to the Stag and Huntsman joining a number of people having a barbeque. We were about to set off on the afternoon walk when Chris announced that he had lost his Freedom Pass, after re- tracing his steps it was handed to him at the pub where he had dropped it, a big thank you to the pub staff for their vigilance. We continued our walk across the meadows heading towards Hambleden locks where we saw the electrically operated locks opened to allow some very expensive boats through. We enjoyed a very pleasant further meander in lovely sunshine back to Henley passing the Henley festival with some very expensive Champagne on route. We were disappointed not to have time for the Chocolate Cafe to complete our walk however several of us did manage an ice cream on the walk back to the station.