Distance: 2.5 miles
Time: 1 hour
Time: 1 hour
Rating: Easy Walk
Free from flu and with the sun suddenly shining, we decided to celebrate our recovery with a wander around the reservoirs.
Parking in the reservoirs car park (£1.50 for 3 hours at time of writing) in the implausibly romantic-sounding Startops End, Marsworth, we started with a cup of tea & a piece of cake at the Bluebell tearooms (nearly £10 for two coffees and two pieces of cake! Is that the price of things these days? I nearly fell over. It's a good thing I've gone back to work if that's the price of cake these days). The Chap refused all offers of cake, but at least consented to eat one of those little caramelised biscuits that come with coffee. It's a pleasant little cafe, and we were quite excited by the bookcase of kilner jars with tea on them - always a good excuse to come back and investigate!
The water is still looking really low in the reservoir, which corresponds to current reports that we have a drought going on. The anglers were still out here and there, however, these reservoirs apparently being famous for producing monster bream and other fishy fiends.
|Startops Reservoir with Pitstone Hill in the far distance.|
trout. This reservoir is a lot less obviously elevated and exposed, because shortly after joining the path you go into the line of trees that surrounds it. Bear left, and ignore the path that leads off to the right in a short time, instead heading straight on.
If bird watching is your thing, there are also a number of hides, and there had been a fair few waistcoated, bearded men with large and expensive cameras around Startops, but they hadn't got as far as Tringford. There were some pretty views from the hides, but no actual birds that we could see.
|Tringford Reservoir from the bird hide|
I have learnt an interesting thing this week. I went round for lunch with a friend, and from my point of view watched her son throw food down his neck like all children who aren't my child seem to do. He ate rice cakes, all his own blueberries, then all of the Chap's blueberries, and then a yoghurt. "How marvellous to have a child that eats!" I thought. My own dear offspring consented only to eat marmite rice cakes and yoghurt while turning his nose up at the offer of fruit, cheese or chicken, before performing his usual trick of starting to whinge and flap to be taken out of his chair.
In some ways I'm glad it's not just me he does this to.
People say that having a baby will find any cracks you have in your relationship and turn them into potholes. Certainly, starting to wean a child will identify all the issues you have around food and crack them wide open. Truly, I feel I am the last person who should have responsibility for feeding this child, because my own anxieties are completely clouding any rational judgement I have around food. True, since slightly before Christmas and the infamous Mugging His Mother Of A Mince Pie Incident, his eating does seem to be slowly, slowly picking up, but there are still days when all he's had are three rice cakes and 20 oz of formula. Whatever happens, though, already in my head he is The Baby Who Will Not Eat. He could eat a whole packet of sausages, a loaf of bread and a bushel of apples every day for a week, but if on the next day he complained he might just have a bit of rice cake because he was feeling a bit full, and I would be there like a shot. "See! See! I told you! Only a rice cake for The Baby Who Doesn't Eat!"
|New Mill, Tring|
The concrete path we took along the side of the field looking over towards the mill ended in a white metal fence and a padlocked gate. A path lead off to the left, but we weren't sure if that would get us onto the road, and we knew that we wanted to get onto the road to head back towards Marsworth reservoir. ChapDad asserted that of course he could clamber over the fence while his small, sleeping infant son was strapped to him. I, of course, did what every sympathetic wife would do. I stood back and took pictures.
Once on the road, cross over a turn left along the pavement. In a hundred metres or so, you will see the path you could have taken before you climbed over the gate pop out onto the road. In two places. Feel a bit foolish. Carry on until a path leads off bearing gently right. This was the same path I had taken when I had walked here from the Grand Junction Arms at the end of last year, and we carried on along this path, past some ducks in the reeds and between Marsworth and Startops reservoirs.
When you get to the end of this path, we then headed straight on and bore left along the edge of the Grand Union canal, and then back to the Startops car park.
Things I Learnt
- I am not the only person who gets wound up by their child's eating. Or lack of it.
- My son does not need to worry about his cholesterol as yet. He's one.
- All you need is one sunny morning and suddenly the whole of the 3 counties area seems to decamp to these reservoirs!
Ordnance Survey Map: 181 (Chiltern Hills North)