Pete's Walks - Barton and Deacon Hill (page 1 of 3)

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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 roughly 10 mile circular walk on Monday, 14th  July 2014. This was a new route for me, though entirely on paths I'd not used before on other walks. It was basically a shortened version of my Lilley-Barton walk, which is one of the best walks I know in the Chilterns.

I parked beside a playing field in Barton-le-Clay (Grid Reference TL083305), and followed a footpath across it which then continued along an alley to emerge opposite Barton church (I could have tried parking here in Church Road to save walking back and forth across the playing field, but there are only ever a few parking spaces here). I turned right along Church Road, then turned left along a bridleway, with paddocks on my right (a sign warned that the horses might bite!) and the steep slopes of the Barton Hills ahead of me. The bridleway turned right, and then I went through a kissing-gate on my left  - here I almost immediately spotted my first Chalkhill Blue butterfly of the year. I then started the steep but fairly short haul up to the top of the Barton Hills nature reserve (there were three flights of steps built in to the chalky slope to help). I soon spotted some Clustered Bellflower, Thyme and Common Rock-rose, and then plenty more wildflowers when the path levelled out, including Eyebright, Squinancywort, Agrimony, Weld, Wild Mignonette and Lady's Bedstraw.

The path from Church Road to the Barton Hills Nature Reserve

 

The start of the climb up Barton Hills

 

The path along the top of Barton Hills

 

The path followed the left-edge of the Barton Hills nature reserve, basically a valley cutting into a steep chalk hillside. The far side of the valley was straight and wooded,  but this side was chalk downland consisting of two or three short ridges with intervening valleys at right angles to the main valley. It was very pleasant walking along the undulating path here with good views to the right, over the reserve, and back, to Barton and the flat land beyond. As well as numerous wildflowers there were several butterflies, mainly Meadow Browns. In a corner of the reserve I followed the path as it turned right - along here I met two lady walkers coming the other way and we stopped to chat for a few minutes - like me, they were members of the Chiltern Society and they were doing one of the walks that the Chiltern Society has published. To my right I now had a full length view of the main valley of the Barton Hills

 

Looking back from Barton Hills

 

Barton Hills

 

 

The path along the top of Barton Hills

 

 

Barton Hills

 

Barton Hills - looking back over the main valley to Barton and beyond

 

In the next corner I went through some bushes and turned left at a path junction, immediately turning left again along a farm track with arable fields either side. After several hundred yards I reached a road where I went about 100 yards left, then took a bridleway on the other side. This was soon another farm track, following a hedgerow on my left. After half a mile or so I reached a track crossroads where I turned left, joining a section of the Icknield Way long-distance footpath.

 

The bridleway from Barton Hills Nature Reserve

 

The bridleway from Barton Hills Nature Reserve, with Warden Hill and Galley Hill in the background

 

The bridleway after the short road section

 

The bridleway after the short road section, approaching the track crossroads where I turned left

 

This was a pleasant section, along a green lane between hedgerows - I hadn't walked this bit for a few years. After a while the path narrowed as tall grass and flowers built up either side. On reaching a sharp corner of a road, I continued ahead - I was pleased to see a clear path had been cut all along the verge on the left-hand side, so I didn't have to walk on the road itself.

 

The start of the section along part of the Icknield Way

 

The section along the Icknield Way, just before it reaches the road

 

The Icknield Way section continuing next to the road

 

Part 2 of this walk

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