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Stone and the River Thame

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Stone and the River Thame
Author: NickC, Published: 25 Apr 2013 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Stone and the River Thame - Waling Guidestar1 Stone and the River Thame - Waling Guidestar1 Stone and the River Thame - Waling Guidestar1 Stone and the River Thame - Waling Guidestar1 Stone and the River Thame - Waling Guide
Buckinghamshire, Alesbury
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Stone and the River Thame
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot Stone and the River Thame - Waling Guide boot Stone and the River Thame - Waling Guide
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0006_mist Stone and the River Thame - Waling GuideToday's weather
12 °C, Mist, Wind: 9 mph S
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This circular walk falls into three parts, all roughly the same length. The first part is characterised by fieldside footpath walking and includes a moment passing through a farmyard, whilst the third part involves a climb uphill along made up driveway, but still through countryside. It is the middle part that is the star of the show though, as you walk alongside different branches of the sleepy River Thame, ending up at the entrance to Eythorpe Park. This section positively cries out for a rug and a picnic, or maybe a book, to while away a sunny afternoon doing nothing in particular.

The walk covers around four miles and takes about eighty minutes of walking. Unless it has been exceptionally dry, walking boots are recommended.

Stone sits on the A418 between Aylesbury and Thame, both of which are served by the Chiltern Line. Park either in the layby on the A418 outside Stone Village Hall (HP17 8PB) or in Eythorpe Road opposite the starting point.

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Walk Sections

Start to Waddon Hill Farm
Start to Waddon Hill Farm

Start point: 51.8042 lat, -0.8648 long
End point: 51.8131 lat, -0.8571 long

Start at the park bench by the village pond where the A418 meets the main road into Stone. Cross the road as soon as is practicable, head right, past the layby, and on reaching a footpath to the left after the village hall, pass through a metal kissing gate into a field. Aim for another metal kissing gate to the left of some farm buildings ahead of you.

Cross over the next field and pass through another kissing gate in the far right hand corner. Pass through this, staying with the right hand edge of a field, following the hedge boundary as it bends to the right. As the hedge bends to the left stay with it, ignoring the footpath through the hedge to your right. Although not well signposted, this is part of the North Bucks Way and heads slightly uphill. At an S-bend where the hedge runs out for a while, take the stile to the right just before the hedge resumes.

Head down towards the farm in front of you, with the hedge now on your left, and enter the farmyard. This is Waddon Hill Farm.

Waddon Hill Farm to River Thame
Waddon Hill Farm to River Thame

Start point: 51.8131 lat, -0.8571 long
End point: 51.8172 lat, -0.8669 long

On entering the farmyard bear left by the cattle sheds. Stay with the track as it bends slightly to the right and then downhill, at the bottom of which a line of willows marks the course of the River Thame. Keep going straight ahead, over a small brook, after which the path cuts the corner of the subsequent field before going along its top left hand edge.

Pass through an unusual gate that looks vaguely like the doors of a Western Saloon, the sides of which have to be lifted and pushed to one side. Keep to the left hand edge of the next field and downhill to the river, which appears rather unexpectedly.

River Thame to Weir Lodge
River Thame to Weir Lodge

Start point: 51.8172 lat, -0.8669 long
End point: 51.8147 lat, -0.8759 long

On reaching the river, bear left and follow the bank as the river meanders along. Although it looks significant, this is in fact only part of the river, which is split at this point. This is a placid and tranquil spot, perhaps calling out for a break, and thankfully a fallen tree provides a convenient seat.

Ahead the mound of Burn Hill can be seen, a natural feature that was also used as an Iron Age or Saxon burial mound. Stay with the river as it passes over a small stream and by a cattle drinking point. Cross over a wooden footbridge spanning a small weir which brings you onto an island on the other side, where there is an information board telling you about recent habitat improvements. You soon come to another bridge and weir and, on the opposite bank, the attractive looking Weir Lodge.

Weir Lodge to Humped Bridge
Weir Lodge to Humped Bridge

Start point: 51.8147 lat, -0.8759 long
End point: 51.8148 lat, -0.8878 long

On crossing a small bridge and emerging from the trees the path comes out onto a concrete road, diverging from the river for a while, or this arm of it anyway, slightly to the left. Stay with the long, straight, concrete road and look out to your right where, through gaps in the willows on the far right, you can catch a glimpse of Eythorpe Hall, the last of many homes in the area once owned by the Rothschilds to remain in that famiiy's hands.

After about a quarter of a mile the road enters a line of trees running along the side of the course of the river previously to your left. The road, which in the meantime has become metalled, comes out onto a T-junction. Here you should take a detour to the humped bridge to your right over the main course of the river, where there are some excellent views of both the waterway and Eythorpe Park.

Humped Bridge to End
Humped Bridge to End

Start point: 51.8148 lat, -0.8878 long
End point: 51.8043 lat, -0.8647 long

After taking your fill of the views, retrace your steps and pass through the gate to the right of the rather imposing electronic gates and follow the drive. Pass over another bridge over the branch of the river that was so recently your companion and stay with the path ignoring options to your right.

Stay with the road as it bends to the right through a small copse. The road follows a persistent, but gentle climb uphill which makes you appreciate the fall you went through in the first third of the walk, becoming particularly steep as it passes through the trees.

As the road flattens out you may want to breath a sigh of relief, but there is in fact another short hill to negotiate before houses begin to appear on the right, including a particularly fine example of a thatched cottage where even the roof of the well in the garden has been thatched. As more houses appear, so does a pavement on the right. Stay with this, eventually passing a Methodist Chapel on the left and you come to the main road road, with your starting point opposite.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2013 by the author NickC and may not be reproduced without permission.


2 responses to "Stone and the River Thame"

Superb walk - stunning views, the most beautiful hidden sculpture too. Highly recommended.

By Fairylightli on 2014-06-12 12:33:51

Lovely walk! Nice views! Highly recommended

By jrosier on 2015-04-12 19:58:42

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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