Stepping Out: Keep calm and go for a walk

Fishing on Marsworth reservoir
Fishing on Marsworth reservoir

“But it’s mine!” “She’s being horrid to me.” Sound familiar? If it’s all getting a bit fraught try a bit of fresh air and exercise.

Take advantage of the beautiful countryside in the Vale and go for a walk.

Startop’s End Reservoir in Marsworth was built in 1815 to help support part of the 137 miles of canal between London and Birmingham.

Luckily for us, this project of the industrial revolution has resulted in scenic walks and wildlife habitats.

An hour long circular walk goes along the canal and round the reservoir.

Take care as the route crosses a road in two places.

Watch the barges navigate the locks as you follow the yellow trail markers along the canal then cut down through the meadow by Heygates flour mill.

Built in 1875, it’s easy to imagine barges delivering grain and loading flour.

Once a lock keeper’s cottage, The Bluebell Café is situated at the end of the walk and has a comprehensive menu and ice creams.

For a shorter walk, follow the canal to The Junction pub at Bulborne which has a lovely garden and small play area.

For active children there is a 6 mile walk which covers all three Tring Reservoirs. Have a breather and refreshment at PE Mead’s lovely farm shop and tea room.

Parking at Startop’s End costs £1.50 for 3 hours.

For more information and maps, google, ‘Tring Reservoirs-Discovering Britain’.

About 15 minutes’ drive from Aylesbury is Coombe Hill.

This heathland with coconut smelling gorse is ideal for picnicking, kite flying, hide and seek and tree climbing.

A short walk takes you to the breath-taking views at the Boer War monument, one of the highest points in the Chilterns.

If you’re feeling active go down the extremely steep path in front of the monument and see how long it takes you to climb back up again!

The National Trust has also created a Natural Play Trail and a dog-free picnic area.

Parking is free and an ice cream van is usually in attendance.

For more information go to