Pete's Walks - Southwest from Stoke Row (page 1 of 4)

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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 walk of about 13 miles on Saturday, 23rd July, 2011. This was basically an extended version of Walk 19 of my Chiltern Chain Walk (but done in the opposite clockwise direction), including a short stretch of the southern extension of the Chiltern Way  plus two short bits that were new to me.

This was my first walk in this area for over three years, largely because I'm put off by the travelling time from Kensworth. In fact it only took an hour and ten minutes, and I started walking at about 9.45am. I walked east along the road through Stoke Row, until just past the Cherry Tree pub (on my left) I turned left into Nottwood Lane. I followed the lane as it turned right and then left, then when it turned left again (it turns again and goes back into the village) I entered Bush Wood and took a bridleway going right. After a few hundred yards I crossed a road (the one I started out on in the village) and continued along the bridleway, now in Bear Wood. After a while, the path appeared to divide either side of a fence - I stayed on the clearer path left of the fence, but when a wide gap appeared in the fence I had to step through it to continue on in the same direction (south east).

Bridleway going southeast through Bush Wod

 

Across a minor road the bridleway continues through Bear Wood (intriguing name!)

 

The bridleway continuing through Bear Wood

 

At the end of this path I turned left, immediately crossing the end of a lane at the point where it deteriorated to a track, and continued on into Greyhone Plantation. At first I was on a track, but when this curved left I went straight on along a narrower footpath (I remembered hearing a Raven here once). The path descended into a wooded valley, ending at a path junction where I turned right. After a few hundred yards I came to a path crossroads where I again turned right - I was now joining a bridleway that I'd be following southwest for the next couple of miles or more. It started uphill slightly as it passed through Coldmoor Wood. I re-crossed the lane I'd seen a little earlier, and continued on through Kingswood Common (mainly another wood). There was an unmarked fork almost immediately, but I correctly remembered to take the right fork. There was one small open area here, but this was mostly an attractive wood of mainly young oak and silver birch. Unlike Beech woods, where the canopies are so dense they block sunlight and prevent any undergrowth from growing, this wood was densely floored with brambles and bracken.

 

Bridleway in Greyhone Plantation

 

The start of the very long bridleway section heading southwest, in Coldmoor Wood

 

Kingwood Common

 

Kingwood Common

 

The bridleway continued across a private drive and a lane in quick succession, continuing through yet another wood, Hazel Grove. I crossed the drive to Wyfold Court, a huge Victorian building that I'd soon see over to my right, and finally left the woods as the bridleway continued between fences and hedges. On my left were fields, of oil-seed rape then corn, while to my right were the extensive grounds of Wyfold Court. These were initially of grass dotted with ornamental trees, but further on comprised of large meadows.

 

Hazel Grove, approaching the drive to Wyfold Court

 

The bridleway near Wyfold Court

 

The bridleway near Wyfold Court

 

Wyfold Court

 

The bridleway just past Wyfold Court

 

The bridleway approaching a lane (Wyfold Lane?)

 

Eventually the bridleway reached a lane (possibly Wyfold Lane, it's not really clear from the map). A few yards to the right, I took a bridleway starting on the other side of the lane, which ran through another wood for a couple of hundred yards. Across another lane, the bridleway ran along the edge of a larger wood, Nippers Grove, with more cornfields on my left.

 

The bridleway between the two lane crossings

 

The bridleway beside Nippers Grove

 

The bridleway beside Nippers Grove

Part 2 of this walk

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