Pete's Walks - Hambleden, Stonor, Fawley (page 1 of 7)

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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 13.9 miles on Friday, 5th August, 2016. It was a new route for me, though the majority of it was on paths I'd walked before. There was a new section near the start of the walk between Colstrope and Great Wood, Hambleden, and then several new paths in and around Fawley late on in the walk. In fact, the whole aim of this route was to explore the area in and around Fawley, as I'd never really been there before (apart from just touching the northern edge of the village at Roundhouse Farm on two or three occasions).

I parked in the village car park at Hambleden (Grid Reference SU 785866) and started walking about 10.10am. I turned left from the car park entrance, and went past the pub and butchers to the centre of the village. Passing the church on my right, I went straight on down another street, which quickly turned right and soon passed another side of the churchyard. A little further on I took a footpath on the right, which followed a curving path through a large empty pasture to reach a metal gate. The path continued across a smaller pasture (there were cattle grouped together over to my left, trying to benefit from some shade as it was already very warm) and then followed the left edge of a paddock with four horses in it. I braved a man-eating hedge as I reached the hamlet of Pheasant's Hill (see the photo below if you don't believe me!) and continued ahead down an alley that divided a number of gardens in two. After crossing a drive, the path left the hamlet behind as it crossed through two meadows. After going through a gate in the corner of the second meadow, I followed a hedge on my left until I reached a stile or gate in the hedge.

 

Hambleden church

 

The footpath from Hambleden to Pheasant's Hill

 

The man-eating hedge at Pheasant's Hill - I figured it was safe to go by, as it hadn't quite finished its last meal

 

Meadow north of Pheasant's Hill

I was now starting a section that I'd not walked before. The new path crossed a large and empty pasture at an angle, aiming just to the left of a corner - there was a very faint line through the grass where the path went. As I approached the far side of the field I spotted a moth, which turned out to be a Silver-Y (clouds of these appeared at the Champions League final this year, one landing on Cristiano Ronaldo's face!). To get into the next field I had to go up and down some wooden steps over a metal fence, and then through a wooden gate - curious! This field was a recently mown meadow, where I went a few yards to my right to a gate, through which I joined the lane coming from the hamlet of Colstrope, to my right. I turned left along the lane, crossing a bridge over the Hambleden Brook and then soon reaching the end of the lane where it met the road that runs north-south through the Hambleden Valley.

The start of the first section that I'd not walked before - the footpath goes diagonally across this pasture ...

 

... to this odd arrangement of steps over a metal fence and then a gate...

 

... beyond which I went a short way to the right through this mown meadow, to reach the lane to Colstrope

 

The lane from Colstrope, approaching the minor road that runs through the Hambleden Valley

 

Somewhere in this vegetation is the Hambleden Brook

 

Across the road I went through a brightly-coloured gate (a fetching bluey-green) and took a path going half-left across a meadow towards Bacres Farm (initially I could just see the roof of the farm). The footpath continued along the drive in front of the farm, then stayed on the drive, which soon turned right and headed uphill with trees on either side. Soon it entered Barn Wood, as it continued uphill. I passed a junction where another drive went right (to Built Farm) and then as I reached the top of the slope I came to a T-junction of drives. I went straight on here along a footpath, which soon passed close to a field on my right. Soon after the path ended when it met a track, where I turned right, back on a path I'd walked a couple or so times before. The track almost immediately went through a sunny glade, where there were several butterflies on some Hemp-Agrimony and Marjoram - I spotted a Red Admiral and a Silver-washed Fritillary here.

 

The footpath to Bacres Farm

 

The path continuing past Bacres Farm

 

The path continuing along the drive, heading to Barn Wood

 

Continuing through Barn Wood (at the junction with a private track going right, to Built Farm)

 

Barn Wood, approaching another track junction

 

The path that continues straight on from the track junction

 

The track after I went right at a path junction

 

There were lots of butterflies here, including this Silver-washed Fritillary

 

Part 2 of this walk

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