Country views and valleys

Shrubland Hall Estate

Shrubland Hall Estate

Cyril Francis follows an undulating route through picturesque countryside

Route of the country life and valleys walk

Route of the country life and valleys walk - Credit: Archant

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.

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.