From The Lee to the White Lion at
Buckland Common (8.5 miles)
By Chris Syer
This walk takes in some of the local bluebell woods. These are
usually at their best early in May, so the May Day Bank holiday is a good
time to go.
- Starting from
the Cock & Rabbit in The Lee, take the unmade road opposite towards
Field End which heads east/south-east to the left of some garages. On reaching
the woods on the left, take the footpath which forks left and follow this
straight on to the road at Ballinger Bottom.
- Cross the road,
turn right on the ‘Chiltern Link’ path, and at the last cottage turn left
through the kissing gate and follow this path around two sides of a field.
Shorts are not recommended here in summer as the path gets very overgrown.
Enter the wood and go straight along its left-hand side. Where the field
on your left ends take the bridleway up the left-hand side of another wood,
and follow this straight on to a road.
- Cross this road
and go straight on along the left-hand side of Grove Wood with its mixture
of beech and holly, and then on leaving the wood head for the nearby road.
Here turn left towards Lee Clump, and at Chapel Farm on the right enter
the farmyard. At its end you should see a large gate and a stile just to
its right. Take this path across a field and into a wood, emerging at Kiln
Cottage on the road from The Lee to Swan Bottom. A path skirts the garden
then follows the hedge on the right-hand side of the field.
- Enter the wood,
then immediately turn right to a white house on the road. Here turn left,
then right, up the side of its garden. At an unmade road turn left and
enter Lordling Wood. Here you will see various tracks, but take the one
furthest right. When the path forks take the left-hand fork, not the one
on the right into a private garden. This path crosses the field and comes
out on the road, and then continues straight on across fields, with Brun
Grange on the left, eventually emerging at Old Brun’s Farm on Erriwig Lane.
- Cross the road,
pass a barn on your left, and then go downhill to the nearest corner of
Stonehill Wood ahead. Take the right-hand fork into the wood and ascend
through plantings of birch and oak. Look for arrows on the trees and the
path eventually joins a broad bridleway where you turn right. Shortly afterwards
the track forks, and the right fork up the right-hand side of the wood is
the one to take.
- The route then
passes Dundridge Manor, and when the drive forks bear left onto the road.
Here turn left, and left again at the junction. Ahead is the White Lion,
which does decent meals and always has a good selection of real ales. You
will now have walked almost six miles, and taken about two and a half hours.
- To return, retrace
your steps past Dundridge Manor and where the track turns right go straight
ahead on a smaller path by a small clump of larches. This goes uphill into
a wood, down towards a field, and then up again to a copse ahead which
encircles a small pond. At Erriwig Lane turn right, left in about 50 yards,
and follow the path downhill. Where two paths can be seen take the left-hand
one which appears to go through the middle of the next field. Enter the
wood then come out into fields, with Kingswood House on the right, and cross
the road at Swan Bottom, continuing straight on past Kingsvale Farm through
fields with horses.
- At the woods turn
left, then right in about 100 yards, back into field and emerge on the road
by a pond and Home Farm in The Lee. The green can now be seen on your right.
This return leg will take a little over an hour and is about two and a
half miles, making a walk of nearly eight-and-a-half miles.