Sylvia Overbury’s Walk

  This map contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2015

This is a 6.5km circular walk from Cookley Green via Ewelme Park and Swyncombe.

The walk probably rates as medium, and walking shoes or trainers with a good grip are recommended. If you find steep downhill a problem, you might want to consider doing this walk in reverse so that you can ascend rather than descend the one small steep section.

Take the B481 Watlington Road from Nettlebed to Cookley Green. Just after the sharp bend there is a bus shelter on the right-hand side opposite the common. Parking is available behind the bus shelter.

To start the walk, cross the road and follow the indistinct path across the Common to the road signposted to Swyncombe church and Ewelme (left fork). Walk for 300m, passing a metal gate on the left, and then turn left to footpath at the edge of the wood. Follow the wide path on the left that runs alongside the wood.

After 1km, with a cottage on the right, take the path/road to the left. After 300m, take a right turn onto the bridleway into Ewelme Park Estate. Walk along a lovely avenue of horse chestnut and maple trees. After 1.75km, soon after passing white cottages on the right, there is a fork in the road. Take the right fork signed Farm footpath/bridleway.

After about 200m take the footpath to the right (Ridgeway). You can see Ewelme Park House on the left. Go through the farmyard and after about 100m turn right keeping to the Ridgeway. The path goes up through the trees for a short distance before coming to open ground with lovely views to the left. Ignore the first path to the right through the woods and continue on the Ridgeway down the hill. Then follow the steep path through the woods (this path is quite steep, see note at start). Go through the turn-gate at the bottom and then cross the field to go through a further gate and turn right onto the Ridgeway.

Continue along the Ridgeway until you reach the 11th Century church of St Botolph’s at Swyncombe. This lovely little church is worth a quick visit. At least, note the blocked church doorway that faces the road and the herringbone flint pattern that is a mark of the Saxon age.

Walk past the church and then turn right into the Private Road to Swyncombe House. After 40m take the footpath to the left along the wooden fence (marked Chiltern Way).

Go through the turn-gate, into the field and walk straight ahead towards the gate into the wood. Before entering the wood, pause and turn to see the lovely view across the valley, with Swyncombe House in the distance. Follow the path straight on in the wood (ignoring the path to the right). When you reach the road, turn right and return to the car park.

This is a very satisfying walk, especially with some sunshine.

Sylvia Overbury