Aylesbury Vale in the Mist

Tree in hedge and mistSome of the new estates at Aylesbury can be seen on the other side of the valley. The Chilterns are just visible in the background.


The wet weather last week foiled my plans to take photos for another Secrets Of… post, so I just accepted my fate and took photos of the wet weather instead.

I knew exactly where to go to get the sort of views I wanted; the back road from Whitchurch that runs West along the top of the ridge.

Junction at Oving  BucksEven the trees on the other side of the field beyond the road sign are starting to disappear into the mist.


This hill is a watershed; streams on the North side feed into the Great Ouse and the water ends up in The Wash. To the South the streams feed the Thames; water from here will go through London.

I enjoyed taking these photos, but I’m looking forward to sunnier weather now it’s Summer.

Aylesbury across the valeAylesbury town centre is still visible through the mist, even though it’s five miles away. The solid block of the council offices is easy to recognise.


Side road  Oving  BucksThis narrow, twisty road lead to Pitchcott and Quainton. Part of this road (beyond the bend) runs along a Roman road.


11kv lines  Aylesbury ValeThese 11,000 volt cables on wooden poles are common in Aylesbury Vale, taking power to farms and other rural locations.


Aylesbury Vale in the mistYou might be able to make out a farm near the top of the picture in the hill top gap between the woods. That farm is near Waddesdon.

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Where Did the River Go?

Ducks feeding at Willen lake Feeding the water birds at South Willen lake is very popular, and the birds know this. They are always on the lookout for likely bird feeders and will come quite close. If you want come to the lake to feed them, access is off the V10 Brickhill Street.


Willen lake in Milton Keynes is a popular spot to visit, but  before they built it, Milton Keynes Development Corporation had to move a river.

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Gin O’clock at Little Horwood

Social Distancing Project 84Gin in the garden at Little Horwood.

The Distance Project 10

It’s 5 pm, and the sun is shining. Chrissie Beckett, who doesn’t like to be photographed, (see last week) has put out chairs; it’s Saturday afternoon and it’s gin o’clock.

Women from the village walk into Chrissie’s front garden and sit down. They’ve brought their own drinks, but sometimes they can be tempted to try a different gin. Chrissie is out of shot to the right, in the first two photos.

Later on that day at the Shoulder of Mutton pub, the landlord Lewis Huntington is delivering meals that customers ordered earlier.

He’s been doing this for some weeks, and delivers beer too. The beer deliveries started when he was caught with lots of beer in the pub, at the start of lockdown.

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Rain, Rain, Go Away…

Road closed due to floodingEasy to change-over warning signs on the road to Oxlane bridge.

You might have noticed that it’s been raining a bit. While we don’t seem to have it as bad as some areas, the ground has been saturated and Padbury Brook has burst its banks.

At the Medieval bridge at Thornborough, the water on Monday had risen four feet above the level I’d seen in December.

Flooding at Thornborough bridgeThornborough bridge on Monday.

Six arches of Thornborough BridgeThornborough bridge at the beginning of December last year.

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Warmer Days are Ahead

The days are drawing out, and the warmer days are coming. We still have a couple of months to go, but here’s just a few photos to remind us of what to look forward to.

Cublington church  BucksCublington church was built in around 1400 A.D. and has been little altered or expanded since. The village, once further down the hill, had been abandoned for nearly sixty years after the climate changed. The original site had become too wet and muddy to be practical.

The new village grew around the church, which had been partly built with materials from the old one.

Soulbury  BucksBefore the new road was built, going to Aylesbury from Bletchley meant I cut through Soulbury to avoid Leighton Buzzard. At the bottom of the village I would take the right turn that took me into the back of Wing. I took this photo from the field next to the turn, one August.

Soulbury is well known for its stone, a piece of the Peak District left there 450,000 years ago by a retreating glacier.

Shipton Brook bridge  BucksShipton Brook bridge was built just South of Winslow for the new Aylesbury to Buckingham turnpike that opened in 1722. In 1937 a new bridge was built upstream and the bridge was bypassed. I used to come here to play in the 1960s.

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The Rest of Christmas

Snowing  and treeIn the Ouzel Valley Park, Milton Keynes

The North Bucks Wanderer (that’s me, folks) will be taking some time off, so there will be no post next week. But I will back to regular posting on Wednesday 8th of January, two weeks from today. (I’m posting this on Christmas Eve)

I will be selecting some of my favourite photos for an end of year revue on that first post of the New Year. Many will be ones already published in this year’s posts.

But a few will be photos that couldn’t be used although I liked them, usually because the post was already too long. There might even be a few photos from my archives, just because I want to show you them,like the first three photos here.

If you look closely, you’ll see that the first two are of the same tree. These two and the next one were taken in the Ouzel Valley Park, in Milton Keynes. The last one was taken just last week, at the tiny village of Grove, right on the edge of the county. It’s the lock keeper’s cottage.

Happy Christmas and all that. There will be some of you out there who find this time of year to be rather a struggle. To you especially, my best wishes.

Tree  snowIt's that tree again.

Winter trees  Ouzel valleyThough this seems to be out in the country, these trees are also in the Ouzel Valley Park, in the middle of Milton Keynes.

Xmas tree  at Grove  in BucksThe lock keeper's cottage, Grove.

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