Royal Blue in the Chilterns

I am continuing my quest to walk routes from Cholsey Grange CL I have not  previously walked.  I have been on all the paths I have planned for today, but I don’t recall connecting them together in this circuit.

Heading out from the caravan I go through the metal gate at the far end of the site and turn left and walk downhill into the woods and then in the valley in the woods I turn left and follow the clear path.  Since I was here last year the Ash die back has seriously affected the Ash trees and a number have been felled.  Sadly more need to be cleared soon.

My route from here is very straightforward, I stay on the path at the bottom of the valley for just over two kilometres until I reach a stile besides a gate leading to a track besides an arable field. 

Turning right on the track I stay with this as it skirts the field and passes fields with horses in.  On reaching a stile besides a gate I cross and then almost immediately go through a gate on the left to join the Chiltern Way.  This fenced path goes uphill and then through another gate to follow the hedge line around the edge of an arable field.

The path goes down through a belt of trees and then through a gate to enter another field.  I continue besides the hedge and stop to pick a few blackberries for Crosby, he prefers it when I pick them for him, whereas my old dog Dexter would happily select the ripe ones for himself!

At a junction of paths besides a gate I continue straight on leaving the Chiltern Way.

My route now goes along a track and through a gate to cross the driveway to Studdridge Farm and then through another gate into a field.  At a stile I enter woodland and follow the clear path through the trees to reach a minor road which I cross and then follow a path into the Wormsley Estate.  This path soon starts to descend through Bowley’s Wood towards Wellground Farm.

On reaching an estate road near Wellground Farm I turn left and follow the road as it heads south and passes the entrance to Wormsley Cricket Ground.  The road now becomes a track and on reaching a clearing there is a fork in the footpath where I go to the right to walk along the valley.

After 600 metres I reach a junction of paths and turn right to rejoin the Chiltern Way via a kissing gate and cross a field.

I have walked this section of the Chiltern Way on many occasions, I keep wondering whether I should tackle the 125 mile long distance circular walk.  It looks interesting. But there are a several other long distance paths I would like to do first.

After crossing the field I go through a kissing gate and cross an estate road to another kissing gate and then descend across a field towards a gate.

Through the gate I briefly join an estate road before following the Chiltern Way markers and take a footpath on the left.  At a junction of paths I fork left to stay on the Chiltern Way as it goes through Blackmoor Wood.

The path now ascends steeply, this is one of those hills in the Chilterns that make the legs burn, but I keep a steady pace and make it to the top without stopping.  However, I am grateful when it levels out and continues to reach a minor road in Northend.

After crossing the road I follow the Chiltern Way signs which initially follow a gravel track and then go on a pathway besides a house to reach a junction of paths.  Here I turn left to stay with the Chiltern Way as it goes through arable fields.

The path leads into the stunning beech woodland of Fire Wood.  My walks at home and on our travels frequently take me through woods, my favourite by far is walking amongst beech trees.

On reaching a crossing of paths I turn left and follow a track through Longhill Hanging Wood and continue on to Turville Park Farm.  I have passed this farm before and I am always intrigued by the old coaches in the barns, but I have never seen anyone around to talk about the collection.  Today pride of place seems to be allocated to a Royal Blue coach which says it is heading to Cheltenham.

Apparently the Royal Blue coaches used to operate in South West England.  The company was formed in 1880 in Bournemouth by Thomas Elliott and was initially known as the Royal Blues and Branksome Mews.  In those days it ran horse drawn carriages but in 1913 Thomas’ two sons were leading the business and purchased its first motor charabanc.

Gradually the company acquired other local bus services and became a major operator in the south west before the Elliott brothers sold the company in 1934 to Western National and Southern National. Later Lynnie says she remembers travelling to Devon from Poole on holidays on the Royal Blue coach, but assures me it wasn’t the charabanc! 

After passing the farm I continue along the track and then go through a gate and stay with the track between arable fields.

At a junction of paths I turn left and head up the hill, this is another short steep ascent and at the top there is a conveniently placed bench where I sit and have a drink and admire the view.

Refreshed I resume walking along a fence lined track towards Balham’s Lane.

At the road I turn left and walk steadily uphill to reach Turville Heath which I cross towards the Barn cafe.

At the cafe I turn left and then after passing a cottage take a bridleway on the right which soon starts to descend steeply on a sunken track.  At the bottom of the hill the track continues through another attractive beech copse.

On reaching a minor road, Holloway Lane, I cross and turn right to follow a clear path heading downhill through the trees.

At a junction of paths on an estate road I continue straight on and then after 150 metres on reaching another junction of paths I turn left.  This path soon starts the long gradual ascent back towards Ibstone.

The path leads to a tarmac lane which I continue to follow to return into the village besides the common and cricket pitch.

From here I cross the road and follow the farm drive back into Cholsey Grange.  My wander about has covered just over eleven miles and has taken me through some cracking woodland.

You can view this 11.25 mile walk on OS Maps and download the GPX File Here

To follow my walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 171 – Chiltern Hills West

8th August 2021

© Two Dogs and an Awning (2021)

All information on this site is provided free of charge and in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of damage, loss or injury which might result from it.  To the best of my knowledge the routes are entirely on public rights of way or within areas that are open for public access.
Walking can be hazardous and is done entirely at your own risk.  It is your responsibility to check your route and navigate using a map and compass.

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