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Jay Walking

South Bucks Way: Denham Lock to Chalfont St Peters

Getting to Uxbridge was an easy bus ride for me, a journey I had taken before whilst doing the London Loop the summer after the first COVID lockdown. I arrived quite early around 9 am and made my way to the Grand Union Canal and followed the towpath Northwards for a little while until I got to Denham Lock. It was already quite warm and there were a fair few people walking or running along the towpath or taking their dogs for a walk.

The start of the walk was not obvious but was a little short of the actual lock and headed off in a North Westerly direction, crossing a small river and heading on through a field of young brown bullocks who were all on or around the path. I made my way through them and was soon passing a small cafe and car park, before heading through the well maintained grounds of Buckingham Golf Club. There were a number of people walking their dogs and I got pleasantly hassled by a friendly French Bulldog. There was a lack of golfers about but it looked like a very expensive golf course, and having checked their website it costs a whooping £170 for a visitor to play a round, so probably it was too expensive for most people. Not that I would ever consider paying golf, if I want to spend some time walking round carrying a heavy bag, there are much better options available to me.

Path to a small wooden bridge at the start of the South Bucks Way
South Bucks Way sign, a yellow arrow with a Swan inside it

After the golf course the route passes though the lovely village of Denham, heading along the high street. At the Church of St Mary people were gathering for a wedding, and I surprised to see that there were 3 pubs in close proximity along the short high street, though there were very few shops, maybe just one Italian restaurant. The village was obviously old and looked fairly wealthy, judging by the nice house, however after taking a footpath too and below the town’s train station, it became clear that Denham was a town of two halves. North of the station is New Denham, which was a little different from the area round the church, the houses were newer and there was a lot more rubbish on the street, it certainly wasn’t as nice as Denham, and I didn’t even see a single pub

odd looking sculpture carved from a tree trunk
A brick tunnel under the railway station at Denham

I gradually made my way out of Denham on walking on some roads, heading uphill until I reach Denham Aerodrome where a number of small planes and a couple of helicopters could be seen. Heading North on Tilehouse Lane, a quiet road that nicely tree lined. There were a few nice houses on either side of the road and I was passed by a man on a mobility scooter, who was being followed by a man on a bike. There were signs saying the road ahead was closed, it seems like there was a lot of work being done around here for the infamous HS2 railway. Reaching the closed road the South Bucks Way heading along on a footpath, skirting an enormous area that was being dug up and worked to install the train lines. It was a bit disappointing from a walking point of view as there was very little to see apart from the works.

Dry field due to prolonged heat outside  Chalfont St Giles

The route eventually went under the M25 and heading on through some woodlands until it reach a road. I decided to head home as I did not want to tax my foot too much, but after starting to walk through another posh golf course I decided to keep on the route for a little further and headed back to the road. Once back at the road I headed North along it looking for a footpath on the other side of the road, luckily a runner came out of it showing me where it was. I headed on through some pleasant woodlands, on a permissive path, on either side there were a lot of tents and quite a few people around, and as I went on I saw more and more people dressed up as a variety of mythical creatures such as elves or just dressed up as warriors both male and people, carrying an assortment of weapons ranging from bows to swords. I’m guessing that these were Larpers or live actions role players, they seemed to be enjoying themselves as there was a lot of laughing going on. It seemed like the camp ground that they were on was a large scout camp that the Larpers had presumably hired for their activities.

I continued on though a small wood until I reached a private housing estate, which I mistakenly walked though, not taking note of the route on my phone. Realising my mistake I headed back past some very large detached houses, heading downhill to Chalfont St Peter. After crossing a large road, I started to make my way to the train station at Gerrards Cross, having done enough walking for the day. This was the first walking I had done since I’d given up on my LEJOG walk, I didn’t want to over do it as my foot had been quite painful immediately after I’d come back. It seemed to be fine at the moment, but the day was getting hot and it was another 9 km or so to Amersham which would be the next place where there was a train station. Once I’d got to the station I’d had walked around 14.3 km in total, though only about 9.6 km of them on the actual route. Still it had been a pleasant gentle day and a good test of my how my foot had healed.