Walks from Downley
Walks from Downley Route 6
Tinkers Woods to Hughenden Park
Little Tinkers Wood (accessed from Littleworth Road) is a popular route from Downley across to the Monument but fewer of us seem to explore Great Tinkers Woods and Tinkers Shaw. These too are beautiful woodlands and make a different route down to Hughenden Park. This route is less than 3 miles and should take about an hour and a quarter. There are a couple of patches of tricky terrain so I wouldn’t do this path when wet.
- Walk along Hithercroft Road and just past Downs Park on your RHS turn left to enter the woods alongside number x via a metal gate. Take the path which forks right and walk down through a coppice until you reach some right turn options. Take the one which keeps you on a similar level through the woods. You’re trying to keep above the monument and parallel to Hithercroft Road. If you see the field and monument ahead of you then take a right turn and continue in the woods at this level.
- Just below and past the monument you will see the backs of gardens ahead of you and you need to bear left and slightly downhill. When the path forks again keep right and follow the path along behind the park and houses. You will be able to see houses/gardens above and below you. ( If you take the left fork it will take you back down to the main path from the monument, turn right and it will bring you out on Wyndham Ave – turn right and left into Disraeli Crescent when Hughenden Park will be ahead of you)
- The path narrows and here there is a slightly treacherous few yards where the slope falls steeply away to your left – take care here as you go straight on (it looks like there is a path below but it doesn’t go anywhere forwards – only back) until you reach the end of Tinkers Shaw and turn left onto Tancred Road. (The beautiful vista ahead is probably another longer walk route for me to explore!) Walk down and cross over Coates Lane to enter Hughenden Park.
- Walk around the right of the playpark and uphill through the park to the right of the middle hedge in an avenue of beautiful mature trees to the slightly less attractive dog poo bin at the metal gate! You will be to the left of Middle Lodge and the large pasture field below Hughenden Manor.
- Cross the drive, keep left of the large metal gate to the field and turn left. You have one path which continues at similar level alongside to the field (this path is easier and goes through a sort of natural tree tunnel and passes animal graves on RHS) and other smaller and quieter paths which slope downwards before continuing in the woodland parallel with a field and the above path. Both higher and lower paths pass below Hughenden Manor gardens and house on your right. The lower path is possibly prettier and is flatter passing closer to the bottom of the valley but has lots of exposed roots (very slippery when wet) and a few trip hazards so avoid if your group is accident prone or weather is poor.
- If you’re on the higher path you’ll need to bear left at the junction to get back to Downley, if youre on the lower path your path will bear left anyway and both will bring you out on the track between the grazing/agricultural fields known as Echo Valley. ( If you make a loud sound near the gate into the right hand field you’ll find out why it is so-named).
- As I’m sure most of you will know, on entering the Downley woods the path immediately to your left will take you steeply up to the path by the Scout hut at the top of Coates Lane, continuing straight on will take you to Moor Lane, but if after a while on this path you turn left where the tracks make a crossroads there’s a nice more gentle woodland slope which takes you up to the rear of the common near the friendship decorated tree.