- Village Life
After leaving the Cross, pass the Old School, turn left up Wood Street and then pass the present school building. Take the steps on the right hand side by the lamppost, almost opposite Castle Gardens, these are known as Nancy Moore’s Steps. Climb over the stile by the finger post, cross the field to the Way Marked stile and almost immediately through a gate. Now keep the hedge on your right hand side up to the top of the field.
Then cross the line of the old elm tree avenues, devastated by Dutch Elm disease, in a diagonal line past the white post. The path crosses diagonally over the next field, know as Eighteen Acre, then to a Way Marked stile and into Hope Field. Here the path heads for the water tower at the bottom of the hill. There is a delightful pond which often has blue damselflies hovering over it in summer.
The line of the path is across the field to a point some 10 yards to the left of a large oak tree. However, it is a much easier walk around the hardcore track; notice the area of crazy paving. This track meets the path and follows a lovely blackthorn hedge absolutely full of sloes in the autumn. At the Parish boundary, where the track turns right, climb over a stile and cross Lane Field. The path is straight on about 50 yards to the left of the hedge; just head for the water tower. You must pass close by the water tank and into the next field, known as Little Hamps, keeping 50 yards to the left of the hedge. You now cross over a good wooden bridge and head for the direction of two solitary trees. At the next hedgerow, you will see a Way Marker hanging from a small tree.
You now head diagonally across a field halfway between the two pylons, with four trees close together on the horizon to your right. You are heading for the left hand side end of a solid hedgerow which defines the end of the field (just below a metal gate). You will find a Way Marked stile. Again head diagonally across the field. You can see a line of large trees on the horizon at the left hand edge of the field; head just to the right of the last one. You in fact follow the hedge on your right hand side until it bends right after a few yards. You will find a Way Marked stile and go over this into a grass pasture field. Now walk down the field to the willows at the bottom corner.
The route is easier to follow from now on. Climb over yet another Way Marked stile and follow the hedge on your left. You can see Park Farm on your left. There is a Way Marked path to Park Farm, ignore this. Walk by the small copse following the fence and hedge until you come to two stiles with a fine wooden bridge which even has a handrail. Cross over this, and keeping the hedge on your left, pass under another line of electric cables. There is a Way Marked stile with an equestrian jump alongside. Here, head straight on following the line where the grain meets the set-aside.
The next stile has a warning ‘Beware of the Bull’, but only horses have been seen of late in this grass field. Head for the mobile home. At the end of this field you climb over another stile, having turned sharp left in a very muddy patch. The path crosses a rough grass field over a Way Marked stile past the end of an allotment, over another stile and along a narrow, overgrown path to the road.
Turn right pass the Herb Farm and head for a well earned drink in The Three Cocks. The return is via the same route, but keep walking past the arrow finger posted path we took earlier, along Park Walk which becomes Dusthill Road and then Clay Dick. This delightful track leads you all the way back to Wood Street.