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

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 Saturday, 13th October 2018. It was a repeat of a walk I did in March 2010. When I originally planned this route, I deliberately included five or six sections of path that I'd never walked before. The path I used to go down Watlington Hill turned out to be very dull (I didn't get any of the wonderful views you get elsewhere on the hill) so when I repeated the walk in the opposite (clockwise) direction in April 2016 I used a totally different path back up Watlington Hill. It was this slightly amended route that I walked anti-clockwise today

Setting off about 10.15am, I took the path out of the car park on Watlington Hill, by a notice board, which led through part of a wood, then crossed a drive and continued along a grass strip with bushes or small trees either side to reach a gate. I continued along the grassy top of the hill, admiring the far-reaching views although they weren't at their best as it was currently very grey and overcast (I was lucky that the weather forecast had proved accurate and the rain I'd had for most of my hour-long drive had stopped just before I reached Watlington Hill). When the hill started to slope down, I took a path going half-left - I aimed just right of a silver-birch tree and bench, the path then continuing down in the same direction. On reaching a junction with a level path I turned left, soon having trees near by on my left. After a while the path entered a wood, where I soon passed through an area of Yew trees.

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Near the start of the path from the car park on Watlington Hill

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Watlington Hill

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Watlington Hill

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View right from Watlington Hill

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Watlington Hill

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Watlington Hill

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Watlington Hill

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Watlington Hill

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Yew trees on Watlington Hill

At the end of the path I turned right, immediately going through a gate and following a path between tall hedges for several hundred yards, to reach a drive. Here I went right and soon reached Howe Road where again I turned right. It was only a short distance to where the Ridgeway national trail crossed the road, where I turned left, initially taking the permissive path that runs to the left of the farm track that the Ridgeway follows. At the end of a large field I rejoined the Ridgeway (where a track goes left to Dame Alice Farm), following it between tall hedges for several hundred yards. I stopped to take of my raincoat here, as the grey clouds had largely disappeared and it was now bright and sunny, as it would be for the rest of the walk. When the tall hedges were replaced by shorter ones, I got more of a view of the fields and hills around me. The Ridgeway bent slightly right and came to a lane.

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The path from Watlington Hill to Howe Road

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The path from Watlington Hill to Howe Road

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Howe Road

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The permissive path next to the Ridgeway

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The Ridgeway

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The Ridgeway

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The Ridgeway

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The Ridgeway approaching the lane crossing