Walk 338 - Knowl Hill and Waltham St Lawrence
This walk had previously been planned to take in Knowle Hill and would have been about nine miles, but we chose to shorten it in view of the predicted temperatures of 30°C.
I was pleasantly surprised that all together there were ten ramblers up for the walk today. We assembled in the centre of Waltham St Lawrence, parking in the main area by the church as well as on roads leading from the centre.
We left the village heading west initially walking on the road past church farm, leaving the road onto a footpath (which thankfully was quite shady) on the left heading toward Gunnersbrook. Reaching the B3024 we headed right and took the footpath on the left through West End Farm. When this was pre walked the fields were purple, see photo.
We turned onto Bailey's road, then followed a footpath to a T-junction where we took the left path over the field, which in the heat, was very exposed. Heading straight into another field we continued until we reached the Hungerford Road, where we joined a footpath that was fairly shaded.
Turning left on the B3018 we continued until we came across a footpath on the left. This took un on a shady path, past an interesting building that looked like an old school. There were also many rhododendron bushes along this path, and would be good for a walk earlier in the year e.g. May/June.
At the crossroads, again on the Hungerford Road, we turned right, taking a footpath with Whitfield’s farm on the right of the path. We crossed two fields with several horses who were very curious but quite friendly.
Following the footpath until we reached the road, we turned right onto the Knowle Hill Bridleway. Following a footpath that led us into Shottesbrooke Park, we stopped by the lake and had lunch. When pre-walking this in May, there were sheep roaming freely in the park. We caught sight of them, but they were much further away in another park of the park.
This is where the walk changed. In shortening it, we took the path on the left of the church, taking us through a very curious and interesting brick arch/tunnel.
We followed the footpath with Burringham woods on the left, then taking a narrow path to the left (mainly to avoid the sun) bringing you out on the same road which leads back into Waltham St Lawrence where the walk started.
A few walkers went straight home but the majority of us had a drink in The Bell Inn.
Thank you to Ann and Kathy for leading this walk, for writing it up and providing the photos.