“A wonderful, must do series in the heart of Vicar of Dibley country”
“The Geolympix Marathon Series” is set out in 5 rings, covering a total distance of 26 Miles. It’s located in the beautiful Chiltern Hills, around the picturesque villages of Turville, Skirmett and Fingest. The route is mostly on footpaths and bridleways. The terrain is mixed, with several hills but the views are fantastic”.
I took 2 1/2 days to complete all 5 rings in August which was also during the middle of the London 2o12 Olympic games. It was most definitely up there with some of the most memorable caching walks that I’ve ever done. The weather was fabulously hot and sunny throughout, a real rarity for the summer of 2012! The heat did make some sections tough going, but there was a sufficient amount of forest cover to keep me cool.
If you didn’t know it, this is where the Vicar of Dibley was filmed, after you’ve visited, look back at the videos on YouTube and you will be able to identify with places in the show, most notably the church and the cottages at the centre of the village and the village green with it’s seat carved out of wood.
The trails all start from Turville, where there is room for parking and a pub for refreshment at the end, or indeed in the middle of the walk as you will return to it several times. The central feature of this series is Cobstone Mill on the top of Turville Hill. You will wave it goodbye at the start of the walk and wave it hello as you return, when you see it come back into view you will know you are almost at the end of the ring. Cobstone Mill is a privately owned and so it isn’t possible to go inside, unfortunately. the mill is also famous in it’s own right and has featured on many TV programs and films including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Jonathan Creek.
You can do the series in any order you like, I choose to start with ring C and D on day 1, A and E on day 2 and finishing with B on day 3, this seemed to give me the best route between the rings. Be warned, each ring starts with a nice steep hill climb with several others along the route.
Ring C was the first series for me, arriving at Turville around 10.30 there were several places to park beside the village green, near to the church. Unusually warm, I slapped on some sun protection and got ready for the morning’s walk. Ring C is left Turville heading in a north westerly direction up the steep Turville Hill, through Park Wood to Ibstone and then through Parsonage Wood where I spotted several deer. It was easy to stay on course through all the woods on the series by following the many white arrows painted on the trunks of the large trees. Towards the end of this section was an uphill climb that had me puffing by the time I reached the top.
The trail then changed direction and headed south west to Turville Heath passing through more woodland and open countryside. There was an even steeper hill, a real killer, that lead to the 12th cache at Turville Heath. From here we passed the very grand Turville Grange before a brief walk across open countryside and into Ibstone Wood where parts of the path follow a very wide chalk track that looked like it had recently been flattened, I also spotted another deer hiding amongst the trees and then another as I emerged from the wood.
The path back to the village took me along the edge of Churchfield Wood and some fields full of golden wheat. There was a seat with a nice view of Turville Hill near the end, so I rested here for a bite to eat whilst watching people climbing the steep hill to towards the Windmill at the top.
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