The Leathern Bottle - Route 1

A moderate walk with some steep hills around The Leathern Bottle.

Technical sheet
No. 4663235
A Lewknor walk posted on 21/01/21 by The Brakspear Pub Trails. Update : 25/01/21
Calculated time Calculated time: 2h40[?]
Distance Distance : 4.52mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 686ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 669ft
Highest point Highest point : 856ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 400ft
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Chiltern Hills
Location Location : Lewknor
Starting point Starting point : N 51.67188° / W 0.968312°
Download : -

Description

(D/A) On leaving the pub car park, go straight across the road and walk up the lane ahead. The lane narrows and becomes a path following steps up through a small area of woodland to reach the B4009. Turn left on to the pavement and then cross over the busy road at the crossing point.

(1) Turn immediately right on to a lane leading to Hill Farm. Walk up the lane for just over half a mile, about 1km, crossing the Ridgeway long distance trail and continuing towards the Chiltern Escarpment.

(2) When you reach Hill Farm on your left, bear left through a gate into Aston Rowant Nature Reserve. There is an interpretation board with information about the reserve. The path starts to climb up the escarpment, following a hedge on the edge of a chalk grassland field. Go through another wooden gate and keep climbing up the hill; note the numerous ant hills in the chalk grassland. At the next metal gate, note the evergreen juniper shrubs in a small fenced off area to your left, once common in the Chilterns. There is a conveniently placed bench near here, perhaps a chance to take a rest and enjoy the view from the escarpment. The path continues straight ahead, crossing a field to a metal five bar gate with a wooden pedestrian gate beside it. Go through this gate and turn right onto an old tarmac lane, and then turn immediately left up a narrow path. This path goes between shrubs and then opens out with a field on your left, before reaching a wooden gate which leads on to a road.

(3) Cross the road and bear slightly left and then right onto a tarmac drive. You are now entering the Wormsley estate; go through the metal gate and follow the tarmac drive past Upper Vicar’s Farm and down through beech woods and into a quiet valley with pastures on each side. Follow this drive for about 3/4 mile/1.2km until you reach Lower Vicar’s Farm.

(4) Follow the drive round to the right, past a pond on your left. Walk slightly up hill, going past a wooden gate with a path going to the left, and then take the next footpath on the right; this path is slightly hidden; you need to go through an archway in the hedge to reach the wooden kissing gate, so keep an eye out for it. Walk straight up the hill across a pasture, then through the next wooden gate and again walk straight on up the hill towards the trees on the skyline. You will reach another wooden gate at the top of the hill on the edge of woodland. You are now leaving the Wormsley estate and entering Cowleaze wood which is managed by the Forestry Commission. Shortly after entering the wood the path forks; follow the white arrow straight ahead ignoring the path on the right. After about 300m just past where the path bends to the right and just before a fallen conifer on the right hand side of the path, there is a small path off to the right and 50m away at the end of this path is the stone RAF memorial. Carry on along the main path in same direction, ignoring a footpath off to the left, until you reach the entrance to the car park.

(5) Turn right here and walk to the end of the car park where you will find a small path on the left leading the short distance to the road. Cross the road (take care here, the visibility to the right is a little limited) and then head straight on down the rutted track ahead. Follow this track right down to the bottom of the escarpment; after about 3/4 mile/1.2km it will bring you back to Hill Farm.

(2) Retrace your steps down Hill Lane and back to the village of Lewknor.(D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 400ft - The Leathern Bottle
1 : mi 0.18 - alt. 440ft - Oakley Road
2 : mi 0.72 - alt. 505ft - Hill Farm
3 : mi 1.3 - alt. 810ft - Road
4 : mi 2.03 - alt. 561ft - Lower Vicar’s Farm
5 : mi 3 - alt. 833ft - Christmas Common Road
D/A : mi 4.52 - alt. 400ft - The Leathern Bottle

Useful Information

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve – Perched high on the Chiltern escarpment, the 159 hectare (392 acre) reserve contains flower-rich chalk grassland, woodland and juniper scrub. There are extensive views over the Oxford plain and it’s a great place to watch red kites soaring overhead. One of over 200 NNRs in the UK.

Juniper – This slow-growing evergreen shrub produces a small fragrant berry used in flavouring gin. Many counties in southern England have lost more than 60% of their juniper populations. Conservation efforts are concentrating on improving regeneration and fencing off areas to allow young juniper plants to grow.

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