It is our final day at Cholsey Grange, we will be heading home tomorrow. But before we depart there is still time for one more walk in this stunning countryside.
It is another cracking day, there are clouds in the sky, but no fear of any rain. I study the map and identify a “jam about” that for the major part will cover footpaths we have not previously walked. This is my favourite kind of walking.
We leave Cholsey Grange by the farm track that skirts a couple of fields before joining the footpath from Ibstone that leads into Penley Wood.
We turn left and walk through the trees looking for the footpath that heads up hill to Penley Farm. We miss it, not sure if this is because we are busy talking or because it is poorly marked. We soon realise we have gone too far, so retrace our steps and then spot the uphill route.
It is warm as we ascend, the path soon becomes clearer and eventually reaches a metal kissing gate.
We then cross a field diagonally before the path turns and heads to the Marlow Road. On reaching the road we turn left and soon cross the busy M40, about fifty yards later we take a right turn initially following a track and then a footpath sign that leads us into East Wood. This is a well-marked route with the familiar painted arrows on trees.
Our progress is delayed by the abundance of blackberries, neither Dexter nor Crosby can resist a ripe blackberry, they would happily spend the afternoon in the sun munching away. This is lovely mixed woodland and there is the constant sound of birdsong.
At a junction of paths we take the right option to lead us to Horsley Green. On reaching the road we turn right and after a couple of hundred yards turn left to follow a footpath along the driveway to the Wycliffe Centre.
This was originally a World War II school for disabled evacuees from London. After the war it was converted into a boys school before being acquired in 1971 by Wycliffe Bible Translators and expanded to become a residential Christian Conference Centre. The centre was closed in 2013.
Our route is a footpath that turns to the left by the main gate, our progress is being monitored by the site security. After a quarter of a mile we arrive at a crossroads of paths and turn right to follow a path that runs through Thirds Woods almost parallel to the A40.
At a junction of paths we turn right towards Fillington Wood and at a fork in the path take the left option to continue descending through the woods towards Fillingdon Farm.
As we leave the trees we ignore a footpath on our right but at a meeting of three paths we take the far right option and walk through trees to Barn Wood and then onto Leygrove’s Wood. At Pound Wood we have another option of paths, our route is straight on until we meet a broad track where we turn right to follow the track as it goes underneath the M40 after which we turn right to walk past a school to reach the Marlow Road.
We are beside the road for a short distance before turning left to follow the lane into Cadmore End passing the attractive flint church of St Mary-Le-Moor.
We leave the village by the footpath along a broad track and follow this as it swings to the left to enter Hanger Wood. At a fork in the path we leave the track and follow the footpath on the right. A couple of hundred yards later we again fork right descending to emerge from the woods where we have a fine view down the valley over Fingest. There is a swing attached to a tree and Lynnie cannot resist having a go.
Continuing our walk we head downhill to Chequers Lane and turn right to walk up the lane for a hundred yards or so before turning left at Gravesend to follow the now familiar path along the bottom of the valley to Twigside Bottom and then back up to Cholsey Grange.
Yet another stunning walk in this beautiful bit of countryside, we have covered ten miles and only seen two other walkers. I find it amazing that the footpaths in this area are so quiet. Back at Cholsey Grange it is time to hand over to Ted and Jackie on their return from holiday.
I am looking forward to getting home to see how the garden is getting on, but will miss the walking around here and look forward to returning again next year.
21st August 2015
[To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 171 – Chiltern Hills West]
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2015)