Section 44 Out
Whitchurch Hill to Gallowstree Common
|OS Explorer 171 Chiltern Hills West
|6 miles/ 3 hours
|The Sun Inn, Hill Bottom; some on street parking
|Latest news is that the pub at Gallowstree Common is currently closed, so I'm afraid it's take a picnic. There is an attempt to make it a community asset. This is an almost idyllic walk through extensive beech woods, marred only by a stretch of road walking along the appropriately named Deadman's Lane, a hi-viz waistcoat has a noticeable effect on drivers. Take special care with clothing in this area. It is known for tick infestation which can carry Limes Disease. Wear long trousers and tuck them into socks. Check at the end of each day's walking. Carry a tick removal card.
With the Sun Inn behind you, turn right and walk back up the road through the village. Where houses on your right end, turn immediately right, up a bridleway called Gashes Lane. This soon narrows to a footpath. Keep uphill into a wood.
At a Y-fork bear right still on the bridleway. At the top of the wood, by a huge spoil tip, turn right onto a rough track up to a road. Cross straight over to join another bridleway going into a wood.
In the middle of the wood, cross a deeply rutted track and a footpath and keep on in the same direction down through trees. The track is easy to follow as it has been used by off road vehicles. Eventually reach a road.
Cross and continue once again through trees for some way. At a clearing, by wooden fencing and railway sleeper barriers, turn right, slightly downhill, on another bridleway.
Eventually the path drops steeply downhill to meet a muddy cross track by a corner of wire fencing. Do not turn sharp right, but go diagonally right, uphill, with a wire fence on your right.
Keep on for some way, ignoring side paths, to reach a small grassy clearing with a new plantation on your right. Here turn left, away from the fence into thicker woods (there is an arrow marker). Follow a clear, and muddy, track for ¼ mile to reach a road (cross a forest track halfway).
Turn left on this busy road with vehicles often at excessive speeds. If you have hi-viz gear this is the moment to wear it. Walk facing the oncoming traffic and stand off the road when vehicles approach.
Reach a T-junction with an even busier road. Cross with care and go forward on a bridle way into trees. Soon, just before a house, there is a junction of paths. Ignore the path off left and continue on with a fence on your left. Immediately before a hedge, ignore a footpath off right and go forward on a grassy path, passing the house on your right. Continue for some way on an enclosed path.
At the end reach a road. Cross straight over to another bridleway and continue on for ½ mile. The path is easy to follow out to a road.
Turn right on this road for ¼ mile. At the end of the wood pass a flint cottage and immediately turn left on a grassy path by a garden hedge leading into a wood. Follow a clear path, never very far from the edge of the wood.
At a corner with wooden fencing, turn right, still on the path and still parallel with the edge of the wood over on your right. Keep on for ¼ mile, gently downhill.
On approaching a village reach a Y-fork with a garden fence beyond. Bear left here down to a junction of ways and go right out to a road. Turn left on the road and pass the village well to reach a junction with a main road.
Turn right for a short distance to arrive at the site of the old Reformation pub, now closed, in Gallowstree Common and the end of the section.