This week…

I’ve had to head up to our offices near Gerrards Cross twice this week, which is a 150 mile round trip taking around two hours each way, thus around 300 miles in all.

The SatNav on my mobile phone was set to avoid motorways, so it was A and B roads all the way. The SatNav was set to recalculate the route to avoid traffic, which meant a slightly different route each time, but seemed to favour the A31 on the way back on both days.

I usually go via the M3 then M25, etc, but taking the scenic route was pleasantly refreshing, and Murphy had no problem with this.

Ascot, Windsor, Henley-on-Thames, Wooburn and Burnham Beeches in particular provide beautiful Autumn scenery, (see photo), so even though it’s a bit of a trek, it was all good.

Most surprising was on the A33 between Basingstoke and Reading, where I drove past a giant column with a statue of the Duke of Wellington on top. Not the kind of thing I expected to see, but upon further investigation is a place called Stratfield Saye House – a large stately home which has been the home of the Dukes of Wellington since 1817.

Reading online, I found that The Duke of Wellington Commemorative Column was erected in 1863, and stands at the entrance to Stratfield Saye on the eastern Heckfield side, and is topped by a bronze statue by Baron Carlo Marochetti.

Steven Spielberg’s film War Horse began with cavalry scenes that were filmed at Stratfield Saye House, where Wellington’s war horse “Copenhagen” is buried.

Now doesn’t that beat the motorway route!

The roads through Burnham Beeches were full of Autumn colour.

Autumn colours in Burnham Beeches

The Duke of Wellington column on the A33 between Basingstoke & Reading.

The Duke of Wellington column on the A33 between Basingstoke & Reading.