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Details

  • Start: North side of footbridge over A4 (Bath Road) opposite St Peter’s Church, Knowl Hill; grid ref SU824796; layby parking near Seven Stars pub and next to church
  • End: North side of footbridge over A4 (Bath Road) opposite St Peter’s Church, Knowl Hill; grid ref SU824796; layby parking near Seven Stars pub and next to church
  • Country: England
  • County: Berkshire
  • Type: Country
  • Nearest pub: Knowl Hill – Royal Oak (01628 822010), Seven Stars (01628 822967 on the A4), Littlewick Green – The Novello (01628 825753 on the A4), The Cricketers (01628 822888), Waltham St Lawrence – The Bell (0118 934 1788)
  • Ordnance Survey: OS Explorer 160 and 172
  • Difficulty: Medium

Description

Steve Davison leads the way on this six mile circular walk (with shorter option) to the west of Maidenhead, passing some picturesque villages, churches and pubs along the way...

Steve Davison leads the way on this six mile circular walk (with shorter option) to the west of Maidenhead, passing some picturesque villages, churches and pubs along the way...


Walk Summary:


Start/finish: north side of footbridge over A4 (Bath Road) opposite St Peters Church, Knowl Hill; grid ref SU824796; layby parking near Seven Stars pub and next to church
Map: OS Explorer 160 and 172
Distance: 6 miles (9.5km) or 3 miles (4.7km)
Terrain: stiles/gates, fairly level, field/woodland paths and country lanes
Time: 2 to 3 hours without stops
Refreshments:
Knowl Hill Royal Oak (01628 822010), Seven Stars (01628 822967 on the A4)
Littlewick Green The Novello
(01628 825753 on the A4);
The Cricketers (01628 822888)
Waltham St Lawrence The Bell
(0118 934 1788)

1 (SU824796) From the north side of the A4 footbridge head towards Maidenhead, cross Warren Row Road and continue over the grassy field and through the scrub for 300m. At the wooden pylon turn right up some steps and carefully cross the A4, turn left and shortly right to follow the path through the car park of The Novello. Go through the gate behind the pub and head across the field in an easterly direction passing some farm buildings and crossing a metalled track. Keep ahead following the field boundary on your left side and then walk along an enclosed path to reach Littlewick Green.
Littlewick Green is a picturesque village with cottages and a pub The Cricketers, clustered around the cricket green; a setting that is often used as a backdrop for TV dramas such as Midsomer Murders. Long term resident and prolific playwright Ivor Novello (1893-1951) lived for many years at what is now the Redroofs Theatre School; the blue plaque on wall says composer, dramatist, actor and man of theatre lived here. Look for the quote on the village hall sundial overlooking the cricket pitch: tis mine the passing hours to tell,tis thine to use them ill or well; the cricket club is 200 years old this year.

2 (SU837801) Turn right passing The Cricketers and at the junction, next to the Redroofs Theatre School, turn right along School Lane. Continue through the trees to join a metalled track, here you have a choice: short or long walk.
Short Walk: Keep ahead along the metalled track as it bears right and after passing Orchard Farm turn right along the lane for 100m. Turn left along the waymarked track later bearing right along the lane and right at the junction to reach St Peters Church and the A4 footbridge. Detour onto Knowl Hill Common to admire the view from the seat.
Long Walk: Keep ahead along the metalled track and just before the right-hand bend bear left at the footpath sign following a path over the fields, to reach the far right field corner. Turn left following the lane over the railway built by the great Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the busy railway connects London to West Berkshire and beyond. Continue with care for just under half a mile and straight after the house on the right, turn right along the tree-lined track. Later keep ahead to join a metalled drive passing Shottesbrooke Park to reach the Church St John the Baptist (church key is available locally see sign on door).
Sir William Trussell, a former lord of the manor, which was known as Scotesbroc in the Domesday Book, was responsible for the building of the beautiful Church of St John the Baptist in 1337. The church, with its central slender spire said to be based on the one at Salisbury Cathedral, must surely be one of the most idyllic in the county and it has been said that it is the perfect English church. The present brick manor house of Shottesbrooke Park is Tudor and dates from the 16 century.

3 (SU841771) Head west through the churchyard and continue between brick walls, later passing under a low bridge. Go through the trees and follow the field boundary on your right side to cross a stile, keep ahead now following the field boundary on the left to a stile next to a house. Cross the lane and through a kissing gate before bearing half-left over the field, go through a gate and trees to reach another gate. Follow the field boundary and turn right at the gate, later passing some allotments. Go right along road in Waltham St Lawrence to reach The Bell; through the lychgate and past the magnificent yew tree is St Lawrences Church.
The peaceful village of Waltham St Lawrence has a picturesque setting with the church, village hall, pub and cottages clustered round the old cattle pound. St Lawrences Church has Norman origins, however, most of what you can see is 14th and 15th century. The timber-framed 14th century pub The Bell Inn, is a great example of a Wealden hall-house and was given to the village in 1608 by Ralph Newbery, Lord of the Manor and one-time Master of the Royal Printing House of Queen Elizabeth I.

4 (SU829769) Stand looking towards the church and cross the stile next to the gate on the left following the waymarked track between the buildings of Church Farm. Continue straight on along the track for three quarters of a mile, crossing the railway at Weycock Bridge along the way. Go through the kissing gate by the copse, ignoring the byway to the right. Keep heading northwards, crossing the gravel track and following the enclosed byway ahead, with the Castle Royle golf course on either side. After several crossing paths (private), continue up between the houses, cross the lane and up the steps opposite. Turn right along the drive and take the narrow path between the houses (footpath sign) before crossing a track. Continue over Knowl Hill Common you can detour up to the left and admire the view from the seat before turning left along the lane past the Royal Oak and St Peters Church; cross the A4 via the footbridge back to the start.


To learn more about Steve visit: www.steve-davison.co.uk
For more challenging walks in the Thames Valley see Walking in the Thames Valley by Steve Davison (Cicerone 12).

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