Walk #11 – East Hagbourne Rambers
Sunday 10th June, a dry but slightly cloudy day, 15 people (and 1 dog) looking for a good walk.
We headed off along Church Close and through the Churchyard, following the path towards West Hagbourne, turning left at the railway bridge and followed the disused railway line to Upton. We then turned left and followed the path bringing us out into Fieldside, then turned right to Station Road, then left into Prospect Road, coming out onto the A417.
We crossed the road and took the footpath just to the left of the George and Dragon, which follows the route of the old railway cutting. We used the bridge to cross over the cutting, and followed the path into Chilton via Lime Tree farm, turning right into Dene Hollow.
At the end of Dene Hollow we turned left along Townsend, then crossed the road and took the footpath that goes past the Church and Village Hall. This brought us out onto Lower Road, where we turned left, then right and took the footbridge over the A34, bringing us out just behind Chilton Garden Centre. From here we went onto the Harwell International Business Centre grounds and followed the hedge line north keeping to the west (left) of the hedge. After a few hundred yards we came across the “Harwell Stone”
This is a granite plinth which marks the end of the former RAF station runway from which aircraft of 38 Group took off on the night of June 5th, 1944, with troops of the 6th Airborne Division, who were among the first allied troops to land in Normandy on D-Day.
The stone is also close to the Diamond light source building – this was my best attempt at trying to include something for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in the walk!! After spending a few minutes here to reflect, we went along the path which comes out onto the A4185 by the phone box!
We turned right and followed the A4185 back to Chilton village. We turned right into Townsend, then back along Dene Hollow, following it all the way to the end where it joins the Lynch Way. Here we turned left and took the Lynch Way all the back into Upton, coming out on the A417 again.
Crossing the A417, we took the path directly opposite, which comes out into Stream Road. We turned left into Church Street and then right just before the Church, following this path back towards East Hagbourne. We crossed Moor Lane (the only muddy bit of the walk!) and continued, turning right at Shovel Spring, back along the West Hagbourne path, through the Churchyard and back to Upper Cross.
About 7 ¼ miles in 3 hours.