Stonor Village (RG9 6HE) to Henley Bridge (RG9 1BH)
Scenic off-road route. 4.6 miles approx. 2 hours 15 mins
As you enter Stonor village look out for some barns (M J Hunt Farm) on the right-hand side and a large open area opposite it where you can park 10 or more cars. Park here.
(Alternative parking is in a small layby at the far end of the village opposite the entrance to Stonor Park, but this would involve a 10-minute walk back along the road to the start of the walk, however it would mean that the walk started from Stonor Park itself.)
Cross the road B480 and look for stile and footpath sign to the right of the barns. Beware the stile top step was broken at time of walking this (July).
Climb over the stile and walk up the hill with farm buildings on the left to enter woods via another stile. The path climbs very steeply through these woods so take it slowly! Walking poles would be useful.
Emerge from woods to join a track and turn left along this to top of hill and look for a tree on the left with an arrow that points half right, and view of the farm buildings of Coxleaze Farm beyond.
Take the track ahead and look for the tree with a white arrow that will point your way. Walk up beside a wicker fence, and then a hedge and view of Coxleaze Farm house to the right.
Walk past an open barn on the left with lots of mud and cow slurry outside it, take care to avoid the big puddles!
Pass through a metal kissing gate onto concrete driveway and cross straight over, with farm house entrance to the right, to pass through another metal kissing gate beside a metal farm gate, onto the track of Assendon Ridge.
Continue along this track enjoying far reaching views to hills across the valley to your right, for about 15 minutes.
At end of track as it opens out to fields, walk downhill beside a hedge on the right, to reach a gate in memory of Rose Esteve, at entrance to Paradise woods.
The woodland path is very narrow and a bit overgrown in parts and descends gently to join a large field at the end of the wood.
Walk half-right across the field to reach the B480. Once through the gate, cross over B480 to walk towards Middle Assendon village. Remember to walk on right hand facing oncoming traffic.
Just past the Rainbow Inn, cross back again to a side road signposted to Fawley.
To the left of a cream house ahead, take the footpath sign posted the Oxfordshire Way.
This track is very steep and could be muddy in winter, so again walking poles would be helpful.
Walk up the hill to reach a gate with deer fencing around it.
Pass through to a beautiful footpath surrounded by newly planted trees and wonderful wildflowers, continue along this to a second gate with deer protection.
Continue through gate on a path beside fields with horses to reach another gate onto a road – Dobson’s Lane. (Be careful when crossing this lane).
Cross straight over this to follow the Oxfordshire Way along a track beside Pond Cottage.
Continue up this past some very large houses on the left, the last of which is Henley Park. Just past this , turn right through a gate, marked with the Culdenfaw estate sign, into the park land of Henley Park and walk along the wide grass footpath admiring the wonderful views ahead and across to the left to the Thames valley. Look out for Fallow deer.
At end of deer park pass through another gate to a path through dense woodland, with many Box trees on the right. The track descends quite steeply so it could be slippery if wet, so take care or use poles.
At the end of the wood the footpath continues down towards the Fairmile in Henley, with views of 3 huge yellow brick houses which are beside the Fair mile. Emerge from footpath beside Rupert house sports field and turn left toward Henley town.
Cross the Marlow road and continue on until you reach the Teddy Bear shop. Turn left here and walk on to reach the river. Turn right at the river and continue along to reach Henley bridge.
Walking instructions and route map for day 2.