Ginette & Alan’s Henley Walk – 30th April

Contributed by Marie-Louise Karttunen

Map of route (reproduced from OS Maps. © Crown copyright. 2017)

Maybe it was because it was a Bank Holiday Sunday, maybe because the weather was perfect stuff for walking – dazzling and breezy – or maybe because Ginette and Alan had generously promised chili at theirs after we finished, but a record 36 IOGers rolled up to the Henley Community Hall where we met for the start of the hike at around 10.15 (a further two walkers joined us en route).

According to OS data the route was 14.23 km (8.9 miles), although it felt shorter. This was Suffolk countryside at its loveliest, high-skied best; the going was as dry as a drum and the company varied and full of interest. Luckily there weren’t too many stiles – it took some time to negotiate us all, plus dogs, through each one – while the sandwich stop presented quite an spectacle (see pics).

To tell the truth, I’m not the best person to write up a good walk – I take in the general ambiance, but details don’t linger. We had our first break at St Mary’s at Witnesham – a pretty church with some accommodating  gravestones – but, beyond that, I’m left with impressions of mustard in flower, vivid green fields despite what seems to be a bit of a drought … and lots of chat.

The walk culminated at Ginette and Alan’s Henley house with its beautiful garden where bowls of chili, rice and salad were hugely appreciated by a very large gang of hungry folk – along with more good tales. Thanks to both for a well-organised walk through a lovely part of the world and for the hospitality they offered everyone afterwards.