Section 43 Return
Whitchurch to Tidmarsh
|OS Explorer 171 Chiltern Hills West
|6 miles/ 3 Hours
|The Sun Inn in Hill Bottom, Whitchurch Hill, on street parking is possible.
|A pleasant stroll down to Whitchurch through open countryside and some woodland. Large herds of alpacas add interest. Over Whitchurch bridge there is a popular section of the River Thames Path. The final section is along a secluded section of the River Pang. Small amounts of quiet road walking.
With The Sun pub on your left, walk on down the road out of the village. At a road junction bear left and continue round the bend and down to a byway off right between hedges. Go up then downhill on the track. Look for a wooden kissing gate in the hedge on your left.
Enter a sloping pasture and walk forward with a hedge on your left. At the far end of the field go through a second kissing gate and continue down to a road. Turn left on the road for 50 metres. At a sharp left bend go right on a rough roadway and follow it round (ignore a footpath off left) and on for 150 metres.
Just before a farm, turn right on a track going down the side of the farm buildings. In a short distance this passes a flint building on your left called The Baulk. Here the path divides in two. Bear right on the path going straight and steeply down through woods. At the bottom meet a road.
Cross and enter a field. Go straight up with a hedge on your left. At the top corner go through a gap and turn sharp left downhill to a road.
Turn right on the road for ½ mile, there is a grass verge. Pass the entrance to Bozedown Farm (there are large flocks of alpacas here). Soon reach a seat and join an enclosed an enclosed path, parallel but above the road. Cross a drive and keep on to the end.
Eventually the path drops down to the road where a pavement begins on the other side. Do not join the pavement but turn left off the road past a wooden fieldgate and down a gravel track.
Follow this all the way down to a road and turn right (or, halfway down, turn right on a path through the hedge into a cricket pitch. Bear diagonally left across the pitch to a gate in the far opposite corner and exit onto a road, turn right). Continue on to a T-junction with a main road.
Turn left down the road, passing The Ferryboat Inn and a toll booth. Cross Whitchurch Bridge. At the far side, turn left, past an activity centre, to a kissing gate and join the Thames Path. Walk along with the river on your left over Pangbourne Meadow. After ¼ mile, cross a footbridge. Immediately turn right up by a hedge on your right to a corner.
Turn left along the top of the meadow with concrete fence posts on your right. At the end cross a bridge and bear right up by a stream on your right. At a corner go through a wide gap and keep on up with the stream and pumping station on your right and a pylon ahead. At the top corner exit through a kissing gate and go under a railway.
Follow the track round right and soon turn left through a metal kissing gate onto a footpath down by a stream (dry) on your right. At the bottom reach a road. Cross over to the road opposite and walk down it.
After some way pass Home Farm and at a left bend turn right off the road over a stile into a field. Bear diagonally right across the field to a gate and footbridge at the far side. Over this bear right across the field ahead to another footbridge. Over this bear left to go straight up the field, under power lines, to a kissing gate at the top.
Do not go through the gate but turn left and walk along the top edge of the field with a hedge and fence on your right. Where the hedge ends turn right through a wooden kissing gate. Bear diagonally left across the field ahead to a wooden gate and footbridge over a river.
At the far side turn left and follow the river on your left for some way. The path gradually moves away from the river across pastures (ignore a footpath off right) and reaches the end of a gravel drive. Turn left on this (ignore a stile on right) and in 50 metres reach a junction of ways. Turn right on an enclosed footpath under a chestnut tree. This weaves around past a piggery then a pasture with highland cattle. Cross a drive and continue on an enclosed path which eventually emerges on a main road by some splendid gothick houses.
Turn left along the road to shortly reach The Greyhound in Tidworth and the start of the section.