The Fox and Hounds - Route 1

A short walk with lovely views but with some quite steep slopes.

Technical sheet

A Watlington walk posted on 22/01/21 by The Brakspear Pub Trails. Last update : 25/01/21
  • Walking
    Activity: Walking
  • ↔
    Distance: 4.43 km
  • ◔
    Calculated time: 1h35 
  • ▲
    Difficulty: Easy

  • ∞
    Return to departure point: Yes
  • ↗
    Vertical gain: + 114 m
  • ↘
    Vertical drop: - 114 m

  • ▲
    Highest point: 247 m
  • ▼
    Lowest point: 128 m


(S/E) Turn right out of the pub car park and walk along the road until you almost reach the end of the hamlet of Christmas Common.

(1) Turn right and go through the entrance to the drive of ‘The Tower’. Walk down the drive and after 150 yards bear right into the woods where indicated by a white arrow on a tree. Follow this path (following the white arrows) through mixed woodland, including some large old oak trees. This area and the beech woodland you walk through next are carpeted in bluebells in May. The path goes down the slope through an even aged stand of beech, then bears to the left following the contour.

(2) You will come to an open grassy area; the large house Watlington Park is on your left, with a vista over the Oxfordshire plain below you. The path continues straight on over the grassland, then reenters the woodland just before turning right. Go through the wooden gate into a steep grassy field; there is a conveniently placed log bench here, a good spot to enjoy the views. Walk straight down the steep hill, to a wooden gate. Go through the gate and carry straight on down the track for almost half a mile/0.8km. Walk past a brick lodge.

(3) Take a path on the right by a brick pillar about 50 yards before a road that goes off at an acute angle. This narrow path between hedgerows goes through 2 gates and starts climbing up a hill. At the next gate, continue straight on; this is the back of Watlington Hill which is owned and managed by the National Trust. Go through a metal kissing gate. Keep following the same path as it continues to climb up the hill going through open chalk grassland, scrub and woodland. Almost at the top of the hill, go through a wooden gate and walk straight on, past the car park on your left, to a road.

(4) At the road turn right, and walk to the junction; turn right again. At the Y junction take the right fork (towards Nettlebed and Henley) and you will soon return to the Fox and Hounds.(S/E)


  1. S/E : km 0 - alt. 242 m - The Fox and Hounds
  2. 1 : km 0.19 - alt. 244 m - The Tower
  3. 2 : km 1.1 - alt. 226 m - Watlington Park
  4. 3 : km 2.24 - alt. 128 m - Path
  5. 4 : km 3.78 - alt. 237 m - Road
  6. S/E : km 4.43 - alt. 242 m - The Fox and Hounds

Useful Information

Always stay careful and alert while following a route. Visorando and the author of this walk cannot be held responsible in the event of an accident during this route.

During the walk or to do/see around

Bluebells – Best in late April or early May depending on how mild the weather has been. They tend to grow on the clay soils on the top of the Chilterns rather than on the chalk soils of the steeper hillsides. The delicate, scented bright blue native British bluebell is facing competition in some areas from the coarser, paler more upright Spanish Bluebell.

Watlington Hill – This site of scientific interest is owned and managed by the National Trust. Look out for flower rich chalk grassland, scrub areas that are good for birds and areas of dense yew woodland.

Watlington Park – A brick house of Palladian design built in 1755, replacing an older house built by the Stonor family.

View – A fine Chiltern escarpment view with Watlington Hill to the north, and looking south-west towards Britwell Hill.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.