Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Plastow Green and Cheam School

This walk starts at a lay-by on the busy A339 near Headley. You head east along a farm track and quickly discover a lovely pond on the right. We just loved the scarecrow sitting in his chair with a fish leaping out of the water. There was also a family of Canada Geese.

In fact we so much enjoyed these preliminary sightings that we headed off on the wrong track  and perhaps foolishly decided to keep going across fields rather than return to the lake. Once we reached Union Lane however it was possible to work out that we were on the right road, but a qurter of a mile to the south.

We headed along the narrow lane, leaping nimby onto the road side as a dust cart came by and resumed the correct route near to Summershurst Farm, which turned out to have a lovely modern farm house.

A track brought us to Plastow Green, a scattered community of rather nice houses. I remembered walking this way once before and seeing a Little Owl in a tree and I was delighted to find a statue of one on a gatepost.

We walked west along the road and then across a large field where a herd of cows were resting. The one in the middle looked bigger than the others and seemed to have a rather proprietorial air - was he in fact a bull, we wondered? Happily we never found out.

 One the far side was what seemed to be an anti-obesity bridge, a most unusual design. 

We followed a minor road and a narrow track to reach the A339 and cross over into the grounds of Cheam School (Prince Philip and Prince Charles were pupils). We walked across the playing fields and through a bit of woodland to follow a track to Hyde Farm. A further track led through two small fields and then into two vast ones.

We found the continuation path on the left with difficulty (it was very overgrown and lacking a sign post) and were surprised to soon emerge over a stile into someone's back garden. After some hesitation, we found an unmarked route around the back of their swimming pool and past a seemingly defunct garden centre back to the main road and thence to the car.

Conditions: grey but not unpleasant.

Distance: 5 miles.

From: Rambling for Pleasure: Kennet Valley and Watership Down.

Rating: two stars. It was a very fiddly and rather artificial walk. Two crossings on the busy A339 didn't help.

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