The Turning of the Year
In the Mode at Hanslope

The view from the Greensand Ridge

Old Red Lion gardenThe view that greets you as you walk down the garden.

A few days ago on a quiet mid week afternoon I found a village pub with a glorious view. I had gone to a job in Leighton Buzzard but the bypass was shut, so instead I had an enjoyable drive there and back via country roads, and through Great Brickhill village.

It was one of those hot sunny days we often get at the end of September.

When I told my client about my journey, she recommended the glorious view from the garden of the Old Red Lion in Great Brickhill. I stopped at the pub.

I bought a coffee and drank it in the garden, and the well wooded view was so good that I dashed home to fetch my camera.

Great Brickhill is on the steep Greensand Ridge, which reaches there to over 480 feet above sea level. The pub’s Garden faces roughly West, and the view was lit by the afternoon sun. The ground slopes steeply away from the end of the garden.

North Bucks viewPeople come for the view. Stoke Hammond can just be seen to the left.

I talked to other customers while we admired the view, trying to work out what we could see. One tiny girl’s interest was seeing the horses, but they weren’t there that day.

I pointed out the sheep to her mum; they were round to the right. The kid seemed to like them.

Sheep on the Greensand RidgeThe sheep seem well used to the steep slope.

To my left I could see Stoke Hammond. It’s  a mile away and just the other side of the canal, a little way up the far slope. But the canal is out of sight at the bottom of the Ouzel River valley, 250 feet lower than where I was standing. On the other side of the valley I could see the West Coast Main Line with its frequent trains, too far away to hear.

Ouzel ValleyDown the slope is this most inviting track. I wonder where it goes?

Ouzel Valley and Virgin trainA Virgin train hurtles past on the main line, a mile away. You might just be able to see the phone mast on the horizon, directly above the nose of the train.

Beyond was the new estate of Newton Leys, but Newton Longville was out of sight, on the far side of the hill. I could see beyond it, though. Near the horizon in that direction is some woodland.

I think it’s Thrift Wood by the Bottledump roundabout, on the A421 that runs from South Milton Keynes to Buckingham. That’s six miles away; quite a distance.

On the horizon near there is a mast. It’s probably for mobile phones but I can’t work out exactly where it is; can anybody tell me?

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