After so many days resting my foot I feel in need of a good walk. Unless I get at least three hours walking a day I start getting twitchy. Crosby is equally keen, but as Dexter gets older he quite likes restful days, especially if it means he can spend more time lying in the back of the open car observing the world.
It’s not that Dexter is too lazy or unfit to walk, when we get going he trots along happily. It’s just that (a bit like Lynnie) he does not feel the need to spend a major chunk of the day wandering about. If I could provide him with a menu of delicacies to be enjoyed along the way then I am sure he would be keener. Today I anticipate some blackberries, cobnuts and sheep dung all of which fall well into Dexter’s delicacy category.
Lynnie is not tempted to join me today; her preferred delicacies are more palatable with ice cream and cheese high on the list! I start my walk along the drive of Cholsey Grange and then head diagonally across the Common to join the Chiltern Way. Here I turn left through the gate onto the Wormsley Estate and continue downhill on the chalk path. After a couple of hundred yards the Chiltern Way forks off to the left and I follow it steeply downhill entering a field through a gate.
I turn right along the fence line and head downhill through another gate. After crossing a track I go through a kissing gate to cross another field, at a minor estate lane I cross and go through a further kissing gate before heading diagonally left to join a tarmac track.
After fifty yards I turn left, still on the Chiltern Way, and when I reach the clearing with the large urn I leave the Chiltern Way and take the footpath through the bottom of Blackmoor Woods. On reaching a junction of paths I turn right and then soon turn left to walk through the trees to join a track leading to a road besides the radio mast.
I turn right along this road and after a couple of hundred yards turn left along a footpath. This is the path where I beat back nettles the other day, so the stick comes out as a precaution. Once safely through the narrow section I am able to admire the view.
The path now clearly heads downhill to pass the cattery and sawmill at Pyrton Hill House and I then continue along the tarmac driveway; my progress is delayed slightly trying to capture a picture of a butterfly flitting about in the hedgerow.
On reaching the junction with the Ridgeway / Swan’s Way path I turn left along this broad track, there are plenty of things buzzing around to slow me down.
This is an easy route to follow; I soon cross a minor road leading to Watlington and carry on past a caravan site before crossing another minor road. The main path carries on along the driveway towards Lys Farm House, but I take the permitted path running parallel along the field edge, rejoining the track at the end of the field.
I leave the Ridgeway / Swan’s Way path here, turning left up a lane passing Dame Alice Farm and then continuing on the now track uphill to a minor road.
I cross the road to take the Coates Farm track soon passing some fine old barns.
This is easy going and quite soon I am at the water tower close to Cookley Green.
I continue along the track to the village green. My route is on the footpath to the left, however, I take a small detour to look at the village War Memorial. I have looked at so many of these but I am always staggered and saddened by the number of young men who lost their lives in World War I and the profound impact it must have had on local communities.
I retrace my steps to the edge of the Green and take the footpath now on my right. Cookley Green is obviously a desirable place to live. The village properties are not all large, but the cars in the driveways suggest this is a location for those with some cash.
Walking across the Green I cross a road to take the broad track opposite and follow this to a junction of paths where I turn left towards Russell’s Water. The route emerges onto a minor road; I turn left to pass the village pond before turning right up a lane.
I follow the footpath signs; emerging onto common land I turn right to follow a path on the edge of the Common and then join a track leading through a gate into a farmyard. After walking through the farmyard I pick up a way-marked track, initially this is rather overgrown but the walking pole soon clears the nettles. I am compensated by a wonderful bit of fungi growing on a tree.
This path soon reaches Long Wood and continues towards Pishill. This section is easy going along the edge of Long Wood.
On reaching Pishill I turn left along the lane towards the village church.
The interior of the church is interesting and has an elaborately decorated organ. The other thing, which I have not previously come across, is a kettle with tea and coffee in the porch way, visitors are invited to take refreshments (whilst making a donation). I am not in need of refreshment, but the dogs are pleased to see a water bowl under the tap by the gate.
Reaching a road I turn right and very soon left up a lane. Then once again turn right taking a footpath through a gate then alongside the garden of a house. Once again the walking pole is needed to beat back nettles as the path heads uphill. I walk along the edge of a field to cross a track and continue along the edge of another arable field. There are cracking views to my right as I cross the valley.
On meeting another track I continue straight on uphill and then follow the path between fields of pasture. I leave the track to go through a cracking old kissing gate on the left.
The way is now across a couple of fields to reach the outskirts of Turville Heath. Here I turn right along the road for a short section before turning left continuing across the heath and then taking the downhill path along the old track. The light is fading, and this old track isn’t somewhere I wish to walk in the dark!
I have walked this route a couple of times in the opposite direction, it is straightforward, just follow the footpath signs and keep heading in the general direction of Ibstone. It takes you back to Ibstone Common and then to Cholsey Grange.
This has been a good jamabout of nearly thirteen miles. It has been interesting to venture into new areas. I am amazed by the network of paths you can take from Cholsey Grange there cannot be many CL’s that are so well placed for stunning walking without having to get into the car.
To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Explorer Map 171 Chiltern Hills West
22nd August 2017
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2017)