Country views and valleys
Cyril Francis follows an undulating route through picturesque countryside
This week’s walk follows an undulating route, mostly by track and field-edge paths, to reach an area marked on the map as Coddenham Green. Along the way there are grand views of the Shrubland Estate to be enjoyed, plus a brief excursion through a delightful stretch of a shallow valley.
Leave the car park entrance, cross the road and take a path running between a sports field and some cottages. Cross a footbridge further ahead and afterwards turn left to join an access lane. Go past the entrance to Valley Farm and head towards a gate in front. Pass through the gate and cross some pasture to reach a gravel driveway.
Turn right here and continue along the left edge of more pasture. Cross a stile in front and walk beside a wire fence and later pass a boundary wall. The way ahead now narrows and shortly continues downhill with a stretch of scrubland on the right. Pass beside a stile; afterwards, turn right and continue along the edge of a sloping field.
At the far corner, swing left and quickly go right through a hedge gap to continue on an enclosed path that runs downhill to draw level with a bend on the B1078. There were lime kilns in the area during former times, a clue indicated by the presence of chalky soil.
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Turn right at the bottom and join a surfaced lane. Pass a property named The Hollows and further ahead, where the lane bends left, maintain direction as indicated by a bridleway signpost. Continue through a shallow valley setting with cultivated fields either side. Shortly drop down to a lower-level path and head towards the field boundary.
Go up a slope, turn left and walk towards a junction of paths in front. Turn left here and continue up a rising path dividing two fields to reach Hill Farm at the top.
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Turn right onto the road and follow it for the next half-mile or so. With the A140 away to the left, pass Dial Cottage and turn right ahead as signposted. Shortly pass beside a metal gate and continue to where the driveway bends left in the direction of Dial Farm. Bear right here and cross a stretch of pasture. Turn right as waymarked to cross a shallow ditch and afterwards continue along a broad field margin with woodland on the left.
Follow the woodland edge to the left ahead and then swing quickly right with a hedge now on the left. Curve left further ahead as waymarked and keep following the track to later turn left into a field entrance. Quickly turn right, go past a pond partially hidden by a thicket and continue downhill to reach some steps at the bottom.
Turn right onto a minor road, keep forward and walk up some steps located in a bankside. Continue along a narrow path and afterwards turn right to join School Lane. Pass Catherines Hill, carry on ahead and return to the car park in front on the left.