Henley Bridge (RG9 1BH) to St. Edmund Campion Church (SL6 4PY)
Scenic off-road route. 7.8 miles approx. 3 hours 40 mins
Cross over Henley Bridge, note the plaque at the end of the bridge for engine drivers!
Just beyond the end of the bridge turn left down a tarmac road and follow railings of car park round to the right to reach the road (Remenham Lane) through a gap in the hedge. At the moment this first road has a barrier across it as the car park is closed, so we had to walk a little further on and turn left up Remenham Lane to access this point, but I am sure it will be open on September.
From gap in hedge cross over the road and pass through swing gate and walk straight ahead on cinder track to cross stile on other side of field to the right of a low bank.
Then walk across slightly raised path diagonally left across this field which used to be a small golf course, to reach raised ground at the corner to the left of a large beautiful house. Note here a memorial stone sunk into the ground to Minty, a faithful dog. Cross a stile just beyond this and keeping slightly left, continue through a small copse and emerge into bottom of field near corner of fence on the left.
Bear right up the slope of the meadow and over a stile into Remenham Wood and follow ahead along a well-defined stony path.
At end of woodland, go half right up slope through middle of large field and as the path rises, aim for road, Church Lane, just to the left of a solitary oak tree.
Turn left along Church Lane for a short distance and just before you see woodland ahead, turn right over a stile next to a gate to join a gravel farm track between large fields. Eventually where the track turns left, keep straight on through a swing gate.
Walk down the left side of two small fields to reach the road (Aston Road) beside a beautiful house and garden, Highway Cottage.
Turn left down Aston Lane and very soon turn right, just before car park of the Flowerpot pub, signposted Thames Path, up a tarmac track and bear left as you reach right hand fork in road leading to Culham House. Follow along here passing a barn and large house and garden to reach a gate into the estate of Culham House. The Culdenfaw estate consists of Culham House, Hambleden village and Fawley Court, hence the name.
Continue along footpath through flower meadow with Culham House on the right. Note the huge artworks in the grounds to the right and beautiful views of the Thames and the hills beyond to the left.
Pass through swing gate just after the lawn from house to the river, and keep on the grass path following Thames path signs. Look to land rising to the right and you will probably see a herd of white fallow deer. Further on you pass by the walled garden on your left and a wonderful view of a beautiful, recently built, Catholic chapel at the top of the hill on the right. Mass is celebrated here at 5.30pm on the last Sunday of the month.
Join a tarmac road and walk alongside a black metal fence until reaching a gate which you pass through following Thames path sign.
Walk slightly to the right across the field with row of trees on your right until you reach the river, turn right and follow along beside the river, crossing several small wooden bridges between fields. At sign showing alternative routes of Thames path, you can stay on the riverbank or turn to the right across the field which is slightly shorter as cuts off a meander in the river. Soon this rejoins the riverside path coming in from the left and continue along this to Frogmill Farm, passing a lovely set of residential barn conversions.
Just past the enclosed private land of these barn conversions, look to the right for a footpath sign on the right between some houses, the footpath is very narrow and easy to miss, but there is a white house to the right of it. Walk up the footpath which turns left to run behind gardens of the houses, and then it turns right to go along the right-hand margins of two fields of Frogmore Farm, crossing stiles between them.
Emerge on A4130 Henley Road with Black Boys pub on your right. Cross over carefully opposite the pub to footpath Hodgedale Lane, which is narrow at first but widens out as it climbs gently.
At top of slope continue on level ground to path junction and take left fork with stone waymark inscribed Public Footpath to Honey Lane.
Between the two paths is a nature reserve and chalkpit cared for by BBOWT.
Follow path through trees and emerge through wooden gate and continue on grassy track with lovely views of the paddocks of Juddemonte Stud Farm on the right.
After metal gate continue on a concrete track for 150 yds to path junction and turn left here onto fenced grassy path with high hedge on the left. There is a path on the right which leads to the Dewdrop Inn.
Keep straight on to see the buildings of what was Top Farm, now converted to housing. The path turns left here and then shortly right to continue up to Honey Lane with houses on your right.
Cross the lane to concrete track passing sign board of Berkshire College land with permitted footpaths marked. When you reach a metal gate across the concrete track, turn left onto a wide grass track towards High Wood.
Half way towards the wood there is a crossing track, turn right up this permitted path, with view towards paddocks of sheep and goats.
Continue down grass track to join a road. At sign ahead saying no public access, turn left and walk up track to a statue of Diana on a tall plinth.
Turn right here and follow concrete road past college buildings on right and equestrian centre on left, until reach Hall Place on your right.
At Hall Place, turn left up the main tree lined drive until reach main entrance to equestrian centre on your left.
Cross over the drive here to footpath through a field.
At end of field go along grass path to a footpath beside a house on the left. Continue up footpath beside perimeter hedge of house to emerge at top of Hall Place Lane.
Walk up this past some pretty cottages to reach Burchetts Green Road opposite The Crown pub.
Cross over to Burchetts Green Lane and walk a short distance to a farm track on left next to some barns of Stubbings Farm.
Turn left up the farm track and continue along this between fields to reach the tarmac road leading to Stubbings Garden Centre, passing a new school buildings on your left.
At this point you have the option of turning left up the road, to avoid walking through the Thicket which can be muddy in parts after a lot of rain. Pass under the A404 bridge and continue until you reach the Henley Road. Then turn right and follow along to the Stubbings roundabout, where you cross over the A4 to Canon Lane.
If you wish to walk through the Thicket then cross straight over the road leading to Stubbings garden centre and enter the National Trust land of Maidenhead Thicket, with wrought iron gates to Stubbings house on your right. Bear slightly left up the main tree-lined driveway, passing Robin Hood’s Arbour on your right and continue on until reach the footbridge across the A404.
Continue on as the driveway turns right. The path can be a bit muddy along here and after 200 yards, keep left until you reach the footbridge across the A404.
Cross footbridge and follow footpath turning immediately right, then left, to emerge onto A4130 Henley Road. Cross over and enter Thicket field through narrow strip of woodland. Turn right and follow round edge of grass to right hand end of field and exit to A4.
Cross carefully over to Cannon Lane and walk down this to Altwood Road, which is the second left turning. There is an off road path through woodland on the left of Cannon Lane which comes out onto Altwood Road opposite Tittle Row Stores.
Turn left up Altwood Road for 500 yards until you reach St Edmund Campion church on your left (immediately after first sleeping policeman.)
Walking instructions and route map for day 3.