Pete's Walks - Watlington Hill, Russell's Water, Swyncombe (page 1 of 6)

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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 circular walk of about 14.8 miles on Sunday, 17th April, 2016. It was a repeat of a walk I did in March 2010, but in the opposite direction (clockwise). On that walk there were several paths that I'd never used before and three or four of them I'd not walked since, so I would be walking them in this direction for the first time. I also decided on a slight variation right at the end of the walk,  when I used a longer but much more attractive path when I returned to Watlington Hill.

I parked in the car park at Watlington Hill (Grid Reference SU 709936) and started walking about 11.25am. From the entrance to the car park I turned right and followed the road for about a quarter of a mile to a T-junction. I turned right to enter Christmas Common, but very quickly took a road forking left. About a hundred yards down it I forked right into Hollandridge Lane.

The road from the Watlington Hill car park to Christmas Common

 

The road into Christmas Common

 

Near the start of Hollandridge Lane

 

I followed the lane past a few cottages and then out of the hamlet, where the lane became a track. There was a nice section with woodland either side, then the track continued between tall hedges. The track followed the top of a typical Chiltern Ridge, with the bridleway through Fire Wood that I have walked many times down in the valley on my left. I used to walk this part of Hollandridge Lane quite often, but it seemed a long time since I'd done so. I seemed to get to the path junction near Hollandridge Farm quicker than I'd expected, but then when I've walked this part of the lane I've usually done it in the opposite, slightly uphill direction, and at the end of a long walk when I've been very tired.

 

Hollandridge Lane, as it leaves Christmas Common

 

Hollandridge Lane

 

Hollandridge Lane - the puddles are a clue as to how wet things were

 

Hollandridge Lane

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Hollandridge Lane, just before Hollandridge Farm

 

I went straight on when I reached the path junction (I crossed the lane here just four weeks ago, coming from College Wood on my right and going to Fire Wood and then Northend to my left) and soon passed Hollandridge Farm on my left (the track became surfaced at this point, more or less a lane). I had only walked this part of Hollandridge Lane once before, when I did this route in the opposite direction six years ago. There was a view over a field on my right for a while, then further on I had views over the field on my left when the hedge on that side ended. I saw some Lesser Celandine growing beside some Bluebells along here, and a little further along I saw some Primroses. Soon there were hedges either side again, and then the lane dropped quite steeply downhill with banks on either side (I couldn't remember this slope from when I walked the route the other way round).

 

Hollandridge Lane, where it passes Hollandridge Farm (on the left)

 

Hollandridge Lane

 

Hollandridge Lane

 

Lesser Celandine and Bluebells along Hollandridge Lane

 

Hollandridge Lane

 

Hollandridge Lane

 

Just after the slope eased off I reached another crossing path, where I turned right. The path dropped downhill between a hedge and a fence on my right, then continued past a garden on my left to reach a track, where I turned left for a few yards to reach the road through Pishill.

 

The start of the path going right from Hollandridge Lane

 

The path going right from Hollandridge Lane

 

The path going right from Hollandridge Lane

 

Part 2 of this walk

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