Circular walk from The Henley College car park via Greys
This walk is one of our local favourites with a great possibility of seeing red kites and some wonderful views.
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Walk Length: 3-4 Miles (Approx.)
Progress through the kissing gates with the hilly field to your left and the playing fields to your right.
These playing fields were formally part of the Henley Grammar School; a cricket pavilion used to perch on the edge, making an lovely scene in years gone by.
Progress along the path and you will come to a "crossroads" where you need to carry straight on. Standing in the centre of the path and facing the direction you are going you will put Pack and Prime Lane running to your left and right.
Pack and Prime Lane is an ancient way and was used as a drive to cut off the river bend around Reading in the days when there were no locks. It carried on to Goring or Wallingford. The name is said to come from the days when the London to Oxford coach would stop up by Gravel Hill and "pack and prime" the guns. Apparently, in those days highway robbery was rife in the area.
Once you cross the path you approach the Hernes Farm between two sets of fencing. We also know this as Happy Valley and in our childhood days as 44 Acres, where we spent many a happy day.
This is a great place for kite spotting. To the left you will see a fir tree in the middle of the field where they often perch. On good convection days they'll glide gracefully over your heads in a wonderful setting. Also, look out for all our common birds and depending on the time of day; owls, badgers and foxes.
Approach the stile with the farm house to your right. If you have a dog this a good time to put him/her on a lead. There are some signs here warning about poison bate. Also, beware that sometimes there is cattle in this paddock.
On leaving the paddock go over the stile and carry straight on (still keeping dogs on a lead).
You then come to an opening where the lane bears to the right and left with quite abrupt "Private: Keep Out" signs.
Carry straight on through the valley until you come to an avenue of trees with a Horse Chestnut on your left. Bear slightly right at this point over a low style.
Once again, carry straight on and approach a gate in the distance. To your left on the brow of the hill there a fir spinney where the kites gather. Also, look out for skylarks and in the spring a fantastic display of cowslip. It is quite common to see deer.
Once you reach the gate the footpath splits into two. One path goes off to the right and the other goes straight on.
Carry straight on for 55 yards and you will see a stile in the hedge. This is the one to take, even though the path does carry straight on (that's for another day).
When over the stile turn right and with the fence to your left carry on up the hill.
Once at the top take time to look back over some lovely views and while you do this you will see Greys Court.
When you decide to carry on, walk through the field with the trees on your left. You will see the church come into view with a pub to the right.
Once you go through the gate bear left on to the road for about 300 yards. Take care as this can be quite busy. You pass a row of trust houses on your right and Church Avenue on the left.
Pass the national speed limit signs and walk on for another 150 yards until the road bends to the left.
With the footpath signs in front go through the hedge. You will also see a lane to the right called Dog Lane.
As you walk into the fields you will see a farm straight ahead. You will also cross another path to your left and right. This is the one that leads from Pack and Prime Lane.
When you reach the farm, the path splits into two again. Ignore the right hand sign and carry on with the farm to your right following the track.
Keeping to the left hand side you will pass a new plantation. At the end of this you should keep to the left and follow the track.
This track soon does a sharp left then right. You will see a new orchard plantation on your left.
You will eventually come to the road (Greys Road). Turn right and walk along the grass embankment for a few hundred yards.
On reaching Highlands Lane, cross the road.
Pick up footpath signs which take you diagonally across the field.
This takes you into an alley at the end of which is a housing estate (Hunters Ride). At this point cross the road then bear left down Nicolas Road.
When you come to a T-junction, cross straight over and walk 15-20 yards. Turn left into Valley Road and proceed down the hill with the bungalows on your left and Hobbs houses on the right. This used to be the site of the A.E. Hobbs public house.
When you reach the last bungalow, you come to Tilebarn Lane. Walk down here and this will bring you back to the car park.