A stony, steamy stroll

St Peter and St Thomas at Stambourne

St Peter and St Thomas at Stambourne

Lotte Sherman takes a gentle amble around Stambourne

Route of the stony, steam stroll

Route of the stony, steam stroll - Credit: Archant

This small village is rather straggly, spread out between Chapel End, Wesley End and Dyer’s End. Its population is less than 500 (as recorded on Google). Stambourne was recorded in the Domesday Book as Stanburna, meaning a stony stream. You will cross this early on in your journey: a gentle stroll, presenting no great challenges.

Commence your journey by exiting the car park and walking left along the road, looking out for the footpath leading off by a gate and over a cattle grid. This short path ends by another gate; pass through and cross the meadow to the stile in the right-hand corner. Surmount the stile and follow the path to the right of the hedge, ignoring the left path.

Almost immediately the path changes through a gap to the opposite side and by the next wide gap back again, turning right with the ditch to the left and slightly uphill to emerge on a bridle path. Turn left and walk to the exit on the minor road in Wesley End. Again, walk to the left and, ignoring the turn-offs on the left of the road, look out for the next footpath leading off on the right. It crosses a couple of narrow footbridges and runs along field edges.

This time you ignore the paths leading off from the right and proceed to a T-junction; follow the left path and the way-markers guiding you along the hedges until you emerge on the village road in Chapel End. Turn left and shortly cross over to Autumn Cottage, where a fingerpost directs walkers into a narrow path leading south.

Soon you come to a path junction and a footbridge in a hedge; go through and turn left, through another hedge, and continue on the path – with a field on your right – to the next corner. Here you change direction by crossing the small bridge on the right and following the path running south along and through hedges. The path does a few turns – left, right and left again – to the junction with a wide lane. Cross this and, slightly left, go through a metal gate and continue in a green lane, exiting by the farm.

You see a kissing gate ahead, where the lane becomes a track passing Stambourne Grange. The track emerges on Stambourne Road and you can see the playing field on the opposite side. Cross over safely to the car park and your starting point.