Pete's Walks - Maidensgrove Common and Henley (page 1 of 5)

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If you are considering walking this route yourself, please see my disclaimer. You may also like to see these notes about the maps.

Google map of the walk

I did this 13 mile circular walk on Saturday, 5th March 2011. About two thirds of this route was new to me, almost all the rest I'd just walked a couple of times before. This was my first walk in three weeks, a combination of wet weather and tiredness having stopped me from going out the previous two weekends.

It took me longer than I'd anticipated to drive to Maidensgrove Common, about an hour and a quarter in fact, so it was a rather late start at about 10.15 when I started walking. I'd parked beside the lane that crosses the enormous common here (grid reference SU 717886), and I took a path from a bend in the lane, following the edge of the common on my right into the settlement that shares the same name. I followed a lane rightwards to its end near Lodge Farm, where I turned left between the farm and a cottage, then went half-right across an incredibly flinty field to reach Park Wood.

The path along the edge of Maidensgrove Common

 

View south from near Lodge Farm, Maidensgrove Common

 

Approaching Park Wood

 

The path continued pleasantly through the wood, descending gently. Beyond the wood the path continued to descend gradually, now in a very large empty pasture. There were a couple of small copses here, and Red Kites flying nearby. There were good views here, left and right along the Stonor valley, and ahead to the village of Stonor and Stonor House in its deer park beyond. The path steepened slightly, then I crossed through a smaller, flatter pasture to reach the road through Stonor.

 

The path continuing through Park Wood

 

Looking towards Stonor House in its Deer Park, from just east of Park Wood

 

Looking south along the Stonor Valley - I would shortly be following the top of the hillside on the left

 

Looking north along the Stonor Valley

 

Approaching Stonor

 

So far I'd been on familiar territory as I'd been following a section of the Chiltern Way, but now I ventured into unfamiliar surroundings as I turned right and followed the road to the edge of the village. I then turned left over a stile, following the left edge of a large pasture sloping uphill to a wood - a cow eyed me curiously as it wandered over to a drinking trough close to the path. A stile in the field corner took me into Almshill Wood and I slowly plodded uphill through the trees - fortunately this path didn't seem quite as steep or long as a parallel one I came up a few weeks ago (see my Hambleden, Frieth, Stonor walk in January). Near the top of the hill I passed a pond on my right as I approached the buildings of Coxlease Farm. I had to make my way through a very muddy (at least I hope it was mud!) farmyard, and then went through a gate on the right and turned sharply right onto a broad farm track that soon  turned left and headed southwards.

 

The road through Stonor

 

Approaching Almshill Wood

 

The steep path up through Almshill Wood - yet again the photo makes it look almost flat!

 

Approaching Coxlease Farm

 

Near the start of the track going south from Coxlease Farm

 

It soon became apparent that this track was going to be a delight to walk, as it continued along the top of the hillside with arable fields sloping down into the Stonor valley on my right. There seemed to be woods along most of the top of the far side of the valley, with more woods in one or two side valleys branching off - I knew I'd be returning through some of those woods later on.

 

The track going south from Coxlease Farm

 

The track going south from Coxlease Farm, with the Stonor Valley to the right

Part 2 of this walk

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