Day 2 of the GMS and another fine sunny day, more sun tan lotion and I’m ready to go. This time I parked in the village of Skirmett and once again beside a red phone box!
It was a short walk past some cottages along a quite lane for the first couple of caches before heading up a steep hill, I knew there would be a climb somewhere on the series as has been the case with the first two rings.
At the top of the hill I was surprised to pass a vineyard, it was open for free tasting sessions, I was tempted but didn’t really have the time, so reluctantly I carried on past. I then had a nice walk along the road through Gusset’s Wood, it was very cool along here and surprisingly there were several cars driving through. After the coolness of the wood the trail led me out into an open field and the scorching sunshine, I then joined the Shakespeare’s way path which lead into the Great Wood and back into the shade.
There were plenty of twists and turns through the wood with several other paths that spurred off in different directions, but all the way through trees were painted with white arrows that marked the route and kept me on the right track. Despite the hot weather, the paths were quite boggy in parts where the sun was unable to penetrate to the woodland floor and dry it out.
The terrain changed half way around the ring, from woodland trails into open fields. Without the shade of the trees the sun felt very hot, I wasn’t complaining as I had seen precious little sunshine this summer, but I did find myself slowing down in the heat.
The Chiltern’s way footpath lead me through Colstrope and Flint Hall all the way back to the Skirmett. Along this section was lucky enough to see several Red Kite, they called out as they circled above. By the time I reached Flint Hall, the windmill came back into view and signaled that I was approaching the end of this ring. Another great walk, one of two halves, the first mainly woodland trial the second open countryside.
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