Robust Rambles

Dymchurch to Didcot Robust Ramble

Section 45 Out

Gallowstree Common to Woodcote

Walk Details
Map OS Explorer 171 Chiltern Hills West
Distance/Time 6 miles/ 3 hrs
Start The site of the former Reformation pub, now closed, in Gallowstree Common.
Comment An enjoyable walk through gracious countryside with much woodland, some parkland and short linking sections on quiet country roads.
Walk Instructions

With the building of the former Reformation pub, now closed, on your right, go on up the main road. Take the first turning right into the village and follow the road up and around to the right. Enjoy the sparkling thatched cottages as you walk along. Where the road swings back right, turn left, by a pole, through a gap into a corner of woods.

Three paths diverge here. Ignore the first one off left and take the middle path, the highest one off behind a wooden barrier into woods. At a grassy clearing ignore a cross path and continue up through the wood. At a crossing of tracks by wooden posts, near the top of the woods, go forward towards a wooden fieldgate.

Pass the fieldgate and enter the corner of a field. Go ahead with a substantial hedge on your right (actually the path goes down the middle of the hedge if you can find a way into it). Continue to the very bottom of the field, then up a few metres to enter the corner of the field ahead.

Go straight up the side of the field towards a distant house and exit onto a road at the top. Turn left on this road for ¼ mile.

Pass farm buildings. The road drops gently downhill. As it begins to rise, look for a path off right by a corner of fencing and an oak tree. Go down a path enclosed between fence and hedge. Follow this for some way.

Where path kinks around the end of a hedge which comes in on your left, reach a stile in the fence on your left. Cross this and go up a grassy path with a hedge on your left.

Round a bend at the top, as you are heading towards an impressive house, look for a gap in the hedge on your left. Go through this into woods. As the trees begin to thin notice houses over on your right.

Near the top of the slope, look for a stile in the wire fence on your left. Cross this and go down through a pine forest. Halfway down cross a forest track and continue the other side down a narrow grassy path.

At the end of the wood cross a stile into a paddock and continue steeply down to a second stile. Over this go on to a third stile and emerge onto a road in the valley bottom.

Cross to a path going straight up into woods. Soon reach a horse ride. Turn right on this for a short way to a meeting of tracks. Ignore the first one going sharp left down between conifers. Take the next one, the highest one, continuing uphill through the wood.

This is feint but reasonably easy to follow with occasional white arrows on trees. Wind up to a T-junction at the top with a forest track. Turn left on this grassy way. After some distance the track drops down to a gate and continues as a narrow enclosed path between trees and fences. At the end emerge onto a road. Turn right.

Soon reach a road junction and keep right to follow the road down to Hook End. At a Y-fork bear left and keep on this quiet country road for ½ mile. At the end reach a T-junction in Exlade Street. Turn right and walk past The Highwayman pub and continue on past a flint cottage.

Look for a path going off left away from the road up a field to a fence at the top. Here cross a stile and go down some steep steps to a very busy road. Cross with care and climb enormous steps the far side to a stile into school grounds.

Bear slightly right up the grass to a car park. The path is not waymarked through the school. Go forward up the access road to the car park. This soon swings right between buildings and continues past the school on your left. At the far end, at a Y-fork, turn left up the side of the school and follow the drive all the way out to a public road. Cross straight over to a footpath. Go between houses, cross a road and then a stile into a path enclosed between fences. Eventually cross a stile into a recreation ground. Bear right over to a corner by a brick storage shed.

Turn left here across a cricket pitch to a main road and The Red Lion pub in Woodcote and the end of the section.