The bluebells didn’t disappoint and mixed with dog violets, wood anemones and other spring flowers the woods looked wonderful. In spite of a poor forecast the day turned out to be warm and mostly bright with just one brief spell of hail that brought cheer rather than dismay.
15 walkers met at the Cricketers PH, Danbury where there was not only another walking group meeting, but also a survey team – therefore booking lunch in advance was essential for us as well as for the landlord. Shortly after 10.00 we were on our way and climbed to the heights of Danbury passing through the churchyard on to the road and descended into the woods where our first sight was of the wood anemones and also a muntjac deer retreating into the woods.
Danbury is undulating and so having descended we had another climb this time reaching Lingwood Common. One of the things about walking in Danbury is that quite often the footpaths run alongside the gardens of large houses and it is interesting to see the different gardens and styles of houses.
The first swathe of bluebells was in Ling Wood, which lies just to the south of our path and whetted our appetite for the best, yet to come. Old Riffhams House, a very interesting building, was the next point of interest and we strained our necks over the garden wall to get a look at the grounds.
Branching off into the woods once more, we trod our way along the muddy paths – fortunately no major incidents the only mishap being when someone dropped their rucksack in a muddy puddle. The paths climbed and dipped and then we arrived at Blakes Wood where the bluebells were stunning, and glowed as a thick carpet of deep blue. A short way on we took a narrower path that meandered amongst the bluebells and we wound our way through them.
The next display of bluebells was in The White House where the grounds were thick with them; and that was the last we saw of them as we climbed once more on to Lingwood Common. From there we could see the spire of the church we were heading for, but we had to descend on a bridleway and climb again, cross a road and find our way through the allotments and graveyards before we reached it. One group member was delighted to come across the grave of Cecil Armstrong Gibbs because on May 7th the Burnham Music Group is singing some of his work at St Mary’s Church.
We all enjoyed our lunch and the warmth and comfort of the pub, especially as outside a heavy shower of hail was now falling.
Next Week – Tuesday 24th May meet 10.00am White Elm Garden Centre & Tea Room, Bicknacre 8kms/5miles (approx)