FOUND: a gorgeous walk/ride/run for a Sunday morning
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Ah, take in the country air…
So there I was at 7.30am this morning, resplendant in Rapha lycra – it’s designer clobber all the way, peeps! – pedalling my way around some of the prettiest parts of Buckinghamshire, when I stopped to take this photo in Eythrope Park, just a few miles west of Aylesbury.
I’m not just writing this to brag (though it’s a useful by-product I have to admit!) but to offer it as a lovely option for walking the dog, going for a stroll or run.
If you’re staying at nearby Hartwell House (see my previous review of Hartwell here) or visiting for one of their heavenly afternoon teas, Eythrope is tantalisingly close and could be a great add on if you’re in the mood to take in more than the HH grounds.
It’s hard to find a map of Eythrope itself so I’ve attached this one from the AA below which gives a good walking route around the area (though please note, I haven’t physically tested it out myself so don’t kill me if you end up in Milton Keynes).
As you can see, this route doesn’t actually go into Eythrope itself, skirting its edges, but you can work that bit out. If you walk far enough through Eythope you’ll actually end up in Waddesdon Manor as I did this morning on my bike.
1 From the A418 turn into Bishopstone Road and keep to the left of the church. Walk along to the footpath beside Manor Farm Close and cross the pasture to a kissing gate leading out to a recreation ground. Pass ornate gate pillars on the left, recalling the men of the village who died in the world wars, and exit to the road by railings. Cross over to a footpath sign and a gate for Woodspeen and follow the drive to a timber garage and shed. Bear right to a gate and follow the path to the road. Turn right, walk up to the A418 and on the right is the Rose and Crown.
2 Swing left at the corner and follow the path alongside a stone wall. Head for the road, bear right and walk along to the entrance to Hartwell House. Veer left at the gate pillars and follow the waymarked path through the hotel grounds. Go through a kissing gate, keep the church on your right and the little graveyard on your left. Turn right at the road and pass the Egyptian-style pavilion. Avoid the North Bucks Way running off to the left, pass Lower Hartwell Farm and turn left at the footpath. Cross two fields via three stiles and turn right immediately beyond a plank bridge.
3 Skirt the field and make for a stile ahead. Keep the hedge on your left and continue on the North Bucks Way, heading towards Waddon Hill Farm. Cross a stile, walk ahead alongside timber barns and turn left at the waymark. Follow the track out across the fields to where it eventually it sweeps left. Leave it at this point and go straight on along a path to a stile. Cross a meadow and head for the River Thame. Swing left at the riverbank to a gate and join the Thame Valley Walk.
4 After about 60yds (55m) the path reaches a second gate at the point where the river begins a wide loop away to the right. Follow the stream to the next gate and rejoin the riverbank. Follow the Thame, avoiding the bridleway branching away from the river, and continue on the waymarked trail. Make for a footbridge and weir, on the opposite bank is an ornate lodge. Join a straight concrete track and follow it towards trees.
5 Once in the trees, the Thame can be seen immediately on the left. To the right is the parkland of Eythrope. Bear right at the next junction to glimpse the park. To continue the walk, keep left and follow the tarmac drive. Begin a moderate lengthy ascent before reaching the houses of Stone.
© The Automobile Association 2008. © Crown Copyright Licence number 100021153