Pete's Walks - Circular walk from Ewelme (page 1 of 5)

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 15 mile circular walk on Saturday, 7th January 2012. It was a repeat of a walk I did last April, but in the opposite (clockwise) direction and with a very slight variation - I have marked this variation as Alternative 2 on the map, and have also marked another possible shortcut as Alternative 1 (I've not actually walked that shortcut myself yet, but have seen other people do it and it is a simple walk alongside a fence).

I parked in the small car park by the playing fields (by the lane junction in the southeast of the village, grid reference SU 648912) - it was almost full, a largish group of walkers was gathering. I started walking at about 9.55am, going up the lane to the church (Parsons Lane) and taking a path on the right opposite the churchyard. This path began on a driveway then went up a bank on the right, continuing for a little way between fences. It then ran through a field of pigs, with short (presumably electrified) fences either side. On the far side of this field I turned right onto a pubic byway. I soon saw my first Red Kites of the day, flying low over the field on my right.

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Ewelme church, with the almshouses beyond

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Near the start of the path going northeast from Ewelme

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The path from Ewelme, crossing the pig field

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The public byway, heading east towards Swyncombe Downs

After the first field on the right, the byway became a farm track and it was noticeable that the soil here was quite sandy. The track led on between arable fields to a property called Huntingland, then continued on to reach the foot of the wooded western slopes of Swyncombe Downs. Here I went right for a few yards to reach a lane, where I again turned 'right' (straight on really). Just a short way down the lane I turned left, onto a bridleway heading south - the large group of walkers from the car park were now ahead of me and so were a group of horse riders, but they must all have turned off at the next junction as I didn't see them beyond that. The bridleway was now a broad muddy track, with no fences or hedges separating it from the large arable fields either side.

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The public byway, heading east towards Swyncombe Downs

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Approaching Huntingland, with the wooded slopes of Swyncombe Downs beyond

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Looking northeast from near Huntingland

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The byway approaching the foot of Swyncombe Downs

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The bridleway south from the western tip of Swyncombe Downs

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Looking back along the bridleway south from the western tip of Swyncombe Downs

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The bridleway south from the western tip of Swyncombe Downs

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The bridleway south from the western tip of Swyncombe Downs

When the bridleway reached the bottom of a small valley, I turned left at a bridleway crossroads. Unsurprisingly this new bridleway was also fairly muddy, but it was pleasant following the valley bottom with Red Kites and a Buzzard in the skies over the field on my left. After a while the bridleway started to climb steadily uphill towards Ewelme Park - I had walked up here once before in similarly muddy conditions and remembered it as a bit of a slog, but the gradient was easier than I recalled and it wasn't too bad at all. There were nice views looking back, out to the Oxfordshire Plain.

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The bridleway south from the western tip of Swyncombe Downs - I turned left where the hedgerow begins

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Start of the bridleway going southeast to Ewelme Park

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The bridleway going southeast to Ewelme Park