The Fat Fox Inn - Route 3

A long walk, involving a steep climb up the Chilterns Escarpment.

Technical sheet
No. 4981757
A Watlington walk posted on 10/02/21 by The Brakspear Pub Trails. Update : 10/02/21
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h20[?]
Distance Distance : 10.29km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 150m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 150m
Highest point Highest point : 260m
Lowest point Lowest point : 110m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Chiltern Hills
Location Location : Watlington
Starting point Starting point : N 51.645556° / W 1.003503°
Download : -

Description

(D/A) Leave the pub car park and turn left on to Shirburn Road (B4009) walk for about 700 metres to a road junction; turn right onto Station Road heading towards Pyrton Field Farm. Shortly after the large house on your left is the site of the old Watlington Railway Station. Continue straight ahead for 1100 metres until you reach the junction with the Ridgeway long distance trail.

(1) Turn left. Follow the Ridgeway trail for about 2.5km. The track runs between hedgerows and for much of the way is beneath trees, offering glimpses towards the Chiltern escarpment. After about 2km you emerge from the trees onto a broad grassy track, and you will see the motorway up ahead where it cuts through the Chilterns. As the grassy track starts to head downhill slightly look out for a gate on the right hand side, slightly hidden in the hedge.

(2) Go through the gate into a field and head towards the next gate which leads into a small woodland. The path winds through scrub before opening out among beech trees. When you reach a kissing gate, go through the gate then turn left and walk straight along edge of the grassy field, ignoring the wooden gate on the left. This path leads up into a valley and to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve. The path climbs gently along the side of the valley, beneath power lines, and then the path turns to the right before reaching a large gate on the left. Go through the gate and walk up the very steep hill under trees. At the top of the hill go through the metal gate and walk along the right hand side of the field until you reach another gate which leads on to a road, with a large water tower ahead.

(3) Turn right on to the road. After a short distance there is a stile on the right hand side; this leads into a grassy field. The path goes slightly to the left across the field; head towards the point where the coniferous trees meet the broadleaved trees. You will reach a stile which leads over a track and down the hill beneath trees and then emerges on to chalk grassland pockmarked with ant hills and full of wild flowers in spring and summer. Great views as well. Bear left at the bottom of the hill towards a gate.

(4) Go through the gate and follow the path round to the right. This path meanders along the base of the Chiltern escarpment with woodland to the left and a fence and fields to the right. The path continues to a gate in some woodland; continue through the gate and the path becomes a track through an area of grassland and scrub. After a short while the track bears to the right, but the path goes straight on down a little hill.

(5) This leads to a gate where you turn right on to Station Road. Follow Station Road back the B4009 and turn left and return to the Fat Fox Inn.(D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 110m - The Fat Fox Inn
1 : km 1.82 - alt. 133m - The Ridgeway
2 : km 4.32 - alt. 148m - Gate
3 : km 5.66 - alt. 256m - Christmas Common Road
4 : km 6.69 - alt. 174m - Gate
5 : km 8.02 - alt. 151m - Station Road
D/A : km 10.29 - alt. 110m - The Fat Fox Inn

Useful Information

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

Watlington Station – Opened in 1872, this was the terminus of the single track Watlington and Princes Risborough Railway. There had been plans to extend the line to Wallingford, but this never happened and the line was closed to passengers in 1957 and to goods in 1961.

The Ridgeway Long Distance Trail – An 87 mile route from Ivinghoe Beacon in Hertfordshire to West Kennet Barrow in Wiltshire. Following a route used since prehistoric times, the trail passes through open downland, secluded valleys, woodland and hedgerows.

Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve – Perched high on the Chilterns escarpment, the reserve contains flower-rich chalk grassland, woodland and juniper scrub. There are extensive views over the Oxford plain and it’s a great place to watch red kites soaring overhead.

Chalk Grassland – The Chiltern Hills offer many remnants of the once extensive chalk grassland, rich in summer wildflowers including pungent thyme and marjoram and delicate orchids. Look out for the large ant hills and for the beautiful marbled white butterflies.

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