Section 45 Return
Woodcote to Gallowstree Common
|OS Explorer 171 Chiltern Hills West
|7 miles/3.5 hours
|The Red Lion in Woodcote; parking opportunities nearby
|a splendid walk mostly in woodland.
With The Red Lion pub on your left, walk up the main road, with a playing field on your right. Soon reach a crossroads and keep on straight across. Take care as there is now no pavement. In a short distance turn right up Tidmore Lane.
In 100 metres turn left up a lane between two sets of wooden fieldgates. Stay on the lane past two houses (the path seems to actually go through the garden of the first house but it is not immediately clear). The lane then becomes a narrow path enclosed between fence and hedge. At the end, cross a stile, to the side of a busy road.
Cross with care to a stile at the far side and enter a paddock. Go straight across to a stile by wooden gates. Over this meet a tarmac drive and turn right along it. At a gateway bear left onto a rough track. Follow this for ½ mile. At a T-junction of tracks by trees, turn right. In 100 metres, by the entrance to Hammond’s Farm, the track goes on as a public road. Continue along to a T-junction.
Turn left for a short distance, then right onto a broad grassy bridleway by a garden hedge. Walk uphill into trees. Continue for some way.
Halfway up, ignore a cross path and continue uphill between trees and bushes to emerge onto a road. Turn right.
Immediately past the second house on your left, turn left off the road onto a footpath going up a tarmac drive. Continue along this for some way through trees.
Just before a Y-fork, with a glimpse of a house ahead, turn right off the drive down into the wood (there is a yellow arrow on a tree). Soon reach a bridleway. Turn left a few paces, then right on a footpath back into the wood.
At a Y-fork by holly bushes, bear left. Continue along the path for ½ mile; it’s easy to follow, over a footbridge and on through a pine forest. The path winds but there are arrows on trees. At the bottom of the wood, bear slightly right to pass by an open area of new planting on your left. Continue downhill into tall trees. At the bottom, exit onto a road by a metal barrier. Turn left a few paces, then right, down by a wooden fence with a house beyond. Follow a narrow path steeply uphill. At a fence, go through a metal kissing gate. Ignore a footpath off immediately right, and go straight ahead into the wood.
At the top reach a junction of tracks with stables beyond. Turn right along a drive for a few paces, then left back into woods. At a junction of paths, bear left, past rhododendron bushes. Follow the path for some way, soon leaving the wood and continuing along its edge.
Eventually meet a bridleway with a house beyond. Turn sharp right on this bridleway down into the wood. The track emerges from the wood and continues as a drive past exclusive housing. Go down to a T-junction. Turn left down an avenue of trees.
Where the drive enters woods, turn left, through posts, off the roadway, onto a bridleway. Follow this for ¼ mile to emerge onto a road. Turn right with care.
Pass a side turning on your left with a heritage bus stop sign and a red post box. Ignore a path off right opposite and continue along the road for a short distance to turn right off the road on a footpath going diagonally left by a power pole.
Bear left along under power lines on a grassy path for a short distance then bear right again downhill into the wood. Follow an easy path to emerge onto a private road.
Turn right then immediately left on a footpath down by a garden fence. Soon enter woods. At the far side exit through a metal kissing gate into the corner of a large field. Go forward by a fence and hedge on your right.
At the far end, go through a second metal fieldgate onto a rough drive down to a road. Turn left for ¼ mile.
Where the road begins to drop steeply downhill, go right, on a footpath, into a field corner by logs. Continue down the side of the field with a treeline on your left.
At the corner ahead go straight on into woods. Soon drop down a flight of steps. In a short distance reach a junction of paths. Turn left, over to a metal kissing gate, and leave the wood into a field.
Bear slightly right down the field following the hedge on your left. Look carefully for a stile in the hedge in about 50metres. Do not cross. With this stile on your left look ahead to see a metal kissing gate and a metal fieldgate close by. Ignore these. Turn half right towards another metal kissing gate in the fence halfway up the field. Head over to this kissing gate.
Through it continue in the same direction across the field ahead to another metal kissing gate by the far corner of a wood. Emerge onto a track. Turn right for a few paces, then left into the wood. Follow the path along the edge of the wood for ¼ mile.
At a junction by Woodside Cottages, continue on in the same direction, still along the edge of the wood. Eventually reach the far corner of the wood at a junction of ways. Bear left through a gap onto a road. Turn left down the road, past the old village well, to a T-junction.
Turn right along the main road a short distance to the site of the former ‘The Reformation’ pub, now closed, in Gallowstree Common and the start of the section.