It is the final day of this brief stay at Cholsey Grange CL, fortunately we do not need to leave until later this afternoon so there is plenty of time for me to go for a walk before getting the awning down and packing up.
Very few of the walks I do have a set plan, I obviously have a rough idea where I am going but if something interesting catches my eye I am always ready for a detour, this invariably adds extra miles. Today, with my lunch packed in the rucksack and Crosby eager to stretch his legs, I set off from the caravan site by walking down the farm track to skirt a field and then turn right to join a footpath that enters Penley Wood where I turn left.
It is a cracking spring day and very warm as I follow the path through the woods.
I keep on the main track through the valley ignoring footpaths leading off to left and then right until I reach a stile at the edge of the woods. Crossing the stile I continue on the path as it follows a farm track around the edge of a field and onto reach a stile by a gate close to the M40.
Almost immediately I go through a gate on the left to follow a path between paddocks, I have now joined the Chiltern Way.
The footpath skirts Coopers Court Farm and then follows a route along field edges to descend to a copse. It then rises to go through a gate and continue along the edge of an arable field. Here the Chiltern Way forks off to the left, I continue on a footpath that follows a track by the edge of a field to reach a gate. Crossing the farm lane I enter the field opposite and cross to enter Commonhill Wood.
There are a network of tracks and paths in these woods, however the route I am following is clearly marked with white painted arrows on the trees and it follows a relatively straight line in a south westerly direction to reach the Ibstone Road.
At the road I turn right and then quickly take a left to follow a bridleway along a track into Bowley’s Wood. The route soon descends through the trees towards Wellground Farm.
On reaching a tarmac driveway I turn left and continue to follow the way-markers, the tarmac drive gives way to a stony track and then at a fork in the path I take the right fork to follow a footpath along the bottom the valley.
This footpath leads to a track between fields which I follow until I reach a crossing of paths. Here I turn right through a kissing gate to join the Chiltern Way to cross a field of pasture, I walked this section of the route yesterday. Through another kissing gate I cross an estate road and enter another field where the path heads diagonally downhill to go through a gate to join the estate road where I turn right for a few hundred yards before following the Chiltern Way markers to join a path on the left.
At a fork in the footpath I take the left option, staying on the Chiltern Way, to head through Blackmoor Wood, the path soon starts a short sharp ascent which is always a good test for the legs and the lungs.
At a minor road I cross keeping with the Chiltern Way to head towards houses. On reaching a gravel track I turn left, leaving the Chiltern Way and following the track through the edge of a common to reach the village of Northend. At the village green I turn left and walk along the road to reach a T-junction. Here I go straight across on a track following footpath signs to reach a gate on the edge of the Wormsley Estate.
The footpath continues along the track and from this elevated position there are fine views.
The path then descends steeply to reach the bottom of the valley. At a footpath sign on the right I go through a gate to enter a field and then pass through Hale Wood.
The pathway through the trees is clear and emerges at a field which I cross to enter Great Wood and take the steep ascent through the trees to reach a field.
On reaching a minor road at Hellcorner Farm I turn left and follow the tarmac lane back to Ibstone Common from where I return to Cholsey Grange.
My walk has covered just over seven and a half miles, there have been a couple of steep ascents and the weather has been stunning. Now it is time for me to make the final preparations to head back home.
To follow my walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 171 – Chiltern Hills West
24th March 2019
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2019)