Walk Distance: 5.5km
Walk Duration: 1 hour 20 mins
Suitable for: baby carriers(although the first half of the walk is manageable with a good off-roading buggy)
Walk features: leafy tracks, woodland and farm land, a pub serving food at the start/finish.
Nestling at the edge of the Chiltern Hills, walks like this are the perfect route for a very hot summer’s day, when you want to be outside but need to keep kiddies out of strong direct sun. Weaving its way through leafy lanes and woodland tracks, this walk is a pleasant trail taking in part of the Chiltern Way and a variety of beautiful Oxfordshire countryside.
The walk starts next to the entrance to Greys Green Golf Course and Ruchetta, the Italian Restaurant, which can be clearly seen from the main road. You can park in the lay-by here just outside the restaurant.
The route begins between the golf club entrance and the restaurant and is clearly marked with a footpath sign. You will pass Rose Cottage on your right, where the writer Elizabeth Goudge lived in her later years.
Following the trail down Dog’s Lane, you eventually come to a small access lane ahead of you, where you join the Chiltern Way. Take the lane towards your right and follow until you get to Crosslanes Farm, where the lane turns into a dirt track following along the edge of the woodland.
Keep on this track until you get to Kings Farm. Carry on a short distance down the access road until you see the footpath marked on the right hand side, passing close next to the side of a house. (n.b. from this point forward, if you are using this walk as a basis for an off-road buggy route then you will need to find an alternative way back as the path from here on is too narrow and has some kissing gates and a stile). Follow this narrow path, passing farmland on either side and the chance for baby to spot some horses! There is a small section of fairly steep downhill but in dry conditions the ground is firm enough not to present any undue problems – just be sure you are wearing shoes with a good grip.
At the bottom of the hill and just before the woodland opens out into fields, there is a path marked on your right hand side leading back into the forest. Take this trail and follow to the other side of the wood. Pass through both sets of kissing gates and turn to follow the path to your left along the edge of the field. A short distance on you will see a path marked to your left through a gap in the hedge. Don’t take this but instead follow straight on up the hill, from where you can enjoy the view back across the surrounding countryside.
Following this trail you will come to the edge of Rotherfield Peppard and join Church Lane. Take the lane up through the village, passing All Saint’s Church on your right hand side. When you reach the end of the land, turn to your right walking along the side of the common. This will take you back to the start of the walk.
Post walk, if you feel in need of a well-earned rest and something cool to drink or a bite to eat after your efforts, cross the road to the Red Lion pub.
Map of Route:
From Reading: take the B481 through Sonning Common and on to Rotherfield Peppard. The parking area is on your right hand side just after the common.
From Henley on Thames: take Greys Lane through Rotherfield Greys, turning left onto the B481 through Rotherfield Peppard.
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