Pete's Walks - Watlington Hill, Maidensgrove and Southend (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 walk of about 14.5 miles on Saturday, 10th March, 2012. It was a repeat of a walk I did in June last year, but this time I did it in the opposite (anti-clockwise) direction. I have marked three 'alternatives' on the map - if I did the walk again I'd use the first and third alternatives shown, but not the second (I've just shown that for anyone who wants to visit Turville, an attractive village irrespective of its modern claim to fame as the setting of 'The Vicar of Dibley'). Having now done the walk in both directions, I have to say the clockwise direction is slightly preferable, as the views ahead are generally better in that direction.

It was quite misty as I set off from the car park on Watlington Hill (grid reference SU 709936)at about 10.05am. I turned right from the entrance to the car park and followed the straight and level road eastwards towards Christmas Common for three or four hundred yards, then took a path on the right. This crossed a few yards of a large pasture to a kissing gate, continuing steadily downhill through bushes and then beside a wire fence with a wood to my left. On occasions there should have been good views ahead to the Oxfordshire Plain, but it was lost somewhere in the mist. This was a pleasant section of path, but not as fine as the path straight down Watlington Hill from the car park - I would definitely recommend using that path instead, I only followed this path for novelty's sake, as I'd not walked it in this direction before (see Alternative 3 on the map).

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Start of the path to Lower Dean from the road to Christmas Common

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The path to Lower Dean from the road to Christmas Common. Normally this would be a nice view towards the Oxfordshire Plain, but it's obscured by the mist

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The path to Lower Dean from the road to Christmas Common

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The path to Lower Dean from the road to Christmas Common

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The path to Lower Dean from the road to Christmas Common - Watlington Hill is to the right

At the foot of the slope the path joined a track past the few residences of Lower Dean. When this track ended at a junction with another track, I turned right and followed the track until it ended at the Watlington to Nettlebed road (the direct path from Watlington Hill joins the track just before it reaches the road). I turned left along the road, using the very wide verge where I spotted a few Lesser Celandines (at last, Spring has sprung!). After a few hundred yards, I took a path on the left, following a neatly trimmed hedgerow with a large ploughed field on my left.

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The path from the road to Christmas Common, at Lower Dean

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The track to the Watlington-Nettlebed road

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The Watlington-Nettlebed road

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Start of the path from the Watlington-Nettlebed road to Greenfield

From the far corner of this field the path continued through a narrow tree belt, joining a bridleway just before it entered Greenfield Copse. Just a few yards into the wood I took a a footpath that orked left, rising steadily uphill through the trees. The path levelled out and continued through the wood to a gate in a brick boundary walk, giving access to the road through the small settlement of Greenfield.

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The path from the Watlington-Nettlebed road to Greenfield

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The path from the Watlington-Nettlebed road to Greenfield, approaching Greenfield Copse

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The path through Greenfield Copse

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The path through Greenfield Copse

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The path through Greenfield Copse

Across the road, a footpath followed a concrete drive between farm buildings and cottages, continuing on between hedgerows to reach Greenfield Wood.

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Track from Greenfield to Greenfield Wood

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The track continuing into Greenfield Wood