Phil Clark’s Walk

map

This map contains Ordinance Survey Data and Crown Copyright and Database Right 2015
Map shows 1 kilometre marker points

Relatively easy 5-mile (7 km) walk taking just under two hours.

This is a one or two pub circular walk that I do frequently. It begins and ends at the Unicorn pub and involves marked footpaths or bridleways and some lanes. As a five mile (or 7 km) walk, I consider this to be relatively easy. However, if there has been recent rain it might be a good idea to have a stick with you.

With the Unicorn behind you head down Wyfold Lane. Just before the end of the 30 mph limit, go through an open-stile on the right. Bear left where the path forks, pass a wooden bench on the right and turn right at the next fork. When you come to another open-stile, turn left onto the paved lane. Just before a farm gate, turn right into an unmarked, but well-worn and often muddy, path. Upon reaching the paved road, turn left.

Walk along the road for around 800 metres, then turn right into the bridleway alongside the tennis courts and continue straight ahead. Even at 1 o’clock, we saw a deer running across in front of us.

Go past Neal’s Farm and continue straight along the track to reach a canopy of trees. For the next 15 minutes a map may be useful – my directions might not be enough! 100 metres or so further along the track is normally pretty muddy (but there is a well-worn diversion around a large bush). Now look for, and follow, a directional yellow arrow to your left and a sign saying ‘No Horses’. The path is marked by white arrows on tree trunks – as you approach the first one it veers right at about 2 o’clock. At a footpath junction marked by yellow markers, turn left, looking out for the arrows on the trees, and continue until you come to a paved lane ahead of you.

Turn right along the lane and and very shortly, at the crossroads, turn right. For the next 10 minutes or so, you will be on the main road going through Stoke Row where you quickly come to the Cherry Tree pub (refreshment stop recommended) and then the Maharajah’s Well.

At the crossroads, turn left and, for 350 metres, head towards the Crooked Billet. As the road bends to the left at the bottom of the hill, there are two bridleways going into the woods – take the right hand one. You are now on paths for the remainder of the walk. Keeping the sports ground, and then a farm field, to your right, there are white dots on several trees – keep going straight ahead ignoring other paths and any left arrows.

This steep path is where a stick becomes useful if it is muddy. Take care crossing the road and climb up the hill on the path immediately opposite. There are few tree markings but the path remains quite clear through wear and tear and is fairly straight. At the top, keep the fencing to your right, until you come across a group of trees that all have directional markings!

Now for a dog-leg: one tree has bi-directional arrows, turn right and after 5 metres, there is a yellow footpath sign – walk through two fence posts and turn left. Continue downhill until you arrive at a large junction of paths and lanes. Go through the metal gate and turn right on to the unpaved and potholed Colmore Lane.

Carry on until you are finally back at the Unicorn. If you kept up a steady pace and didn’t make any real stops then you will have been walking for about 100 minutes and will have seen very few other walkers. Also, if you are as heavy as I am, you will have burned around 600 calories!

Phil Clark