Walks from Downley
Walks from Downley Route 5
Downley Woods and Fields to Hughenden
Quite a different walking route to the Hughenden Estate exploring beautiful woods and crossing cropped fields to arrive on the far edge of the estate. The walk is just over 5 miles and should take around 2 hours.
- Start on Commonside to the left of the decorated friendship tree and take the wide path off the back of the common opposite the bench. The path bears left and slopes gently down the slope with a ditch on the right hand side.
- At the bottom of the path cross the track and take the left path up the other side. Where the path forks take the right fork and continue until you reach the kissing gate at the edge of Downley common houses and football field (California fields?). Don’t go through the gate but follow the path around to the right outside the horse field and football field taking the immediate main left fork. When the path forks again take the wider path right (although the left path ends up in same place it’s slightly trickier with roots etc)
- When you reach the main path leading down from Naphill/ Hunts Hill field, cross it and just before the field gate take the unclear path on the RHS next to a broken post straight up running roughly parallel to the edge of the field (goes through a natural arch of trees and over lots of tree roots). Or you can take the clear path just to its right (not the far right one) and then after about 100m by a post take sharp left turn back upwards towards the field.
- At the top where two trees are marked with 2 yellow dots, keep on the left fork. Turn left at a sort of T junction (a large dip/hole just ahead of you) and follow the path to the metal gate into a cropped field. Turn right and walk down to another metal gate and into the next field. The first part of the field is scrubby meadow but beyond the dip it is cropped field. Walk straight across the field (there is a permitted path across the centre to hedge at other side between the two taller trees). Through the gate, cross the track (which goes between Naphill Farm/light industrial units to Hughenden Manor car park) and through another metal gate into another cropped field to the woodland at the other side.
- Through the wooden kissing gate and go downhill straight ahead to great views of the Hughenden Valley.
- If you would like a shorter walk you can turn right at the marker post half way down the path and follow it until you reach the car park area and entrance booth to the Manor when you have several well known route options back. Alternatively follow this shorter route path on the right until you reach another marker post where you can turn left onto a steep narrow path taking you down past the cottage at the entrance to Hughenden Manor.
- For the longer walk continue down and go through the metal gate. Walk straight down the grazing meadow to the bottom, turn right at the farm and along through another field (often with sheep or cows so dogs must be on leads) until you reach the edge of Hughenden Manor (the entrance road). Continue across the road and downwards to follow the edge of the chalk stream. Worth checking out the information board near the Weirs.
- Walk across Hughenden Park until you go through the second fences and gates past the manor and gardens. If it has rained the gates are invariably muddy! Walk uphill close to the fence and past Middle Lodge.
- Continue down the lane leading away from Middle Lodge until you reach Coates Lane. Walk left for few yards (taking care on the road), cross over, and take the footpath between the fields, (Disraeli Monument above on your left) through the gate to the woods and all the way up to Littleworth Road.
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