Spring Walks-2

Binfield Heath

If you love a bluebell walk as I do, then late April is most likely to be the best time for this walk. This is an easy 4-mile circular walk across farmland and through woodland. We tried it in mid-April and saw plenty of bluebells but they were not yet at their best.

bluebells
Hybrid Bluebells

We actually saw the first bluebells at the edge of the car park near the recreation ground in Binfield Heath. http://www.binfieldheath.org.uk/ Although these were the hybrid type, more upright and unperfumed. Not our native bluebells which tend to droop to one side with their familiar and lovely perfume.

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/trees-woods-and-wildlife/plants-and-fungi/woodland-wildflowers/identify-native-bluebell/

Car park at the end of Kings Common Close, Binfield Heath.
Car park at the end of Kings Common Close, Binfield Heath.

After crossing the recreation ground we turned right and just before the post office stores ( here we bought a nice cup of coffee while waiting for our friends to arrive), and then turned right along Heathfield Avenue. We turned left down a narrow hedged path and crossed the road at the end, continuing straight to enter a field with fine views over the rolling countryside.

path across agricultural field
Path across agricultural field

High Wood

We followed the well-trodden track and into the next field where there was a gap in the hedge leading into a woodland. This is the steepest part of the walk but its only a short section. At the top, we emerged from the wood to go across another field into High Wood. This is where we found plenty of English bluebells in early bloom and now we really started to enjoy this bluebell walk, even though we were a little early for the best display.

We passed an archaeological site on our left where apparently a Roman building is believed to have been sited.
https://www.henleystandard.co.uk/news/community/98834/could-roman-temple-be-buried-in-woods.html

At the far end of the path through High Wood, we continued down a drive and then along the roadway, turning left across a track opposite a house called Little Spinneys to reach another beautiful woodland path through Shiplake Woods.
https://getoutside.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/local/shiplake-woods-south-oxfordshire

Then along a broad grassy track, eventually turning right at the end up a lane towards a large property situated behind a field of oilseed rape. After passing the house on the right-hand side, we made a sharp left turn to walk along the edge of a field, turning right at the end and walking along the roadside (there is a path up some steps for part of the way). Along these tracks and paths, I saw plenty of common wildflowers including Borage, Forget-me-nots and Speedwell as well as those shown here.

Wildflowers

We turned right just before Teapot cottage, through two fields, going between the houses at the end to reach the gravel roadway which returned us to the recreation field car park. For refreshments, we enjoyed the Bottle and Glass Inn which we found very dog-friendly. The food is excellent but it is probably best to book a table.

bottle and glass inn
Bottle and Glass Inn

Conclusion

This is a lovely part of the local area. So many different paths can be explored. The best map to find other paths is probably the OS Explorer 159 Reading, Wokingham and Pangbourne.
https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/shop/explorer-map-reading.html

It is a lovely part of the world to explore at any time of year but if you manage to go in late April or early May then I hope you enjoy your bluebell walk.

Happy Wildflower hunting in April.

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Kim Mackenzy Andrews is a children’s book author, nature writer, photographer, and artist.

Find her Nature books for children on Amazon.

Wildlife articles for nature lovers: – patch reporting for the BBC Wildlife magazine.

Kim Mackenzy Andrews - Childrens Author

Kim Mackenzy Andrews  Children’s Author
https//: www.facebook.com/KimMackenzyAndrewsChildrensAuthor
Twitter:@Kim_M_Andrews

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