Sunday, March 6th. Berkhamsted circular.

Just myself and Sandra accompanied Jackie on this lovely varied walk, the weather being bright but cold. Berkhamsted’s popular half marathon had just set off and it was some time before we could cross the road from the station. Jackie and Sandra set off at a cracking pace, with me struggling behind which was to be the pattern for the rest of the day. Steady climbing through woodland and grazing, took us to Berkhamsted Common, 150 years to the day from the  battle of that name. The landowner, Lord Brownlow, had put up a metal fence with a view to incorporating the common into his private estate. Locals reinforced by a gang of navvies brought in by  train, dismantled it and dumped it in view of his mansion. Passing the Bridgewater monument, we had lunch in the extremely busy but well organised National Trust cafe, where we were pleased to be joined by Geoffrey. Dropping down near Aldbury we followed the canal back to Berkhamsted, enjoying the distinctive canal architecture. Here we warmed ourselves in the wonderful canal-side Rising Sun pub. There were no big screens showing sport, just people of all ages sitting and chatting and enjoying locally produced beers. Just how a pub should be.

Many thanks Jackie for a great day out.  Mike Coyle

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