Pete's Walks - Cowleaze Wood and Turville Heath (part 2)

At a path crossroads, I turned left and headed steeply uphill, following tractor tracks between a ploughed field on my left and a field of young grass on my right. As I neared the top of the hill, I saw about 20 Red Kites in the skies ahead of me. There was a bench sited near the top, and no wonder - there was an excellent view to my right over the Stonor valley, and more views behind me, towards Maidensgrove and back along the valley Id been following.

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The path near Stonor, rising uphill away from the long bridleway

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The Stonor valley

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From the same point, looking back across the valley towards Maidensgrove

I continued along a farm track, then branched left (at a metal kissing gate) onto a path across a corner of a sheep pasture. The path continued through another pasture where there were some Jacobs sheep, including a ram and the first lambs Ive seen this year. The path then approached the gardens of a house, where I had to brave a black Labrador that sat barking next to the path (I knew from previous experience that it barked but didnt bite). The path kept near the edge of some long grass next to the lawns of the house, before going through a small gate.

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The path continuing toward Turville Heath

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Looking back over the valley where I'd followed the bridleway

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The path junction where I went left across the pastures to reach Turville Heath

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Jacobs sheep and lambs near Turville Heath

I crossed a lane in the hamlet of Turville Heath and followed another lane opposite for about a hundred yards, before turning left and crossing the common that gives the hamlet its name. I passed some more residences in the hamlet and took a bridleway heading steeply downhill into an attractive Beech wood. The bridleway curved right as it neared the valley bottom, then left the wood and ran slightly uphill between hedges  to reach a lane.

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Turville Heath (the name of this common and the adjacent hamlet)

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The path from Turville Heath, descending into a Beech wood

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The path from Turville Heath through the Beech Wood

Walk 16 of my Chiltern Chain Walk goes right here, but I went straight ahead. The path descended across a large pasture - along the hedge some distance to my left were some Longhorn cattle.  I was now crossing the Wormsley estate, and Id seen the cattle before on another part of the estate that is crossed by the Chiltern Way. There were again some marvellous views, along the Wormsley valley to my left and ahead to the steep slopes on the other side of the valley.

I crossed over a drive and started uphill across an empty pasture. Here I met a lady walker, with whom I chatted for a few minutes (she was the only other walker I saw all day, which was surprising considering the fine weather). Id just spotted a few Red Kites, and as we talked there were about 20 Kites flying above us!

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The path to Ibstone, about to cross the Wormsley valley

Longhorn cattle on the Wormsley estate

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Looking along the Wormsley valley

Beyond the end of the steep pasture I continued uphill through an area of long grass and bushes, then I came to a junction where I turned half-left on a path that continued uphill through a thin belt of Holly and Beech trees. Eventually the path  joined a lane running through part of the village of Ibstone.

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The bridleway to Ibstone