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Longhill and Lily Hill Parks Loop

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Longhill and Lily Hill Parks Loop
Author: Claire, Published: 27 Oct 2017 Walk Rating:star1 Longhill and Lily Hill Parks Loop Walking Guide star1 Longhill and Lily Hill Parks Loop Walking Guide star1 Longhill and Lily Hill Parks Loop Walking Guide star1 Longhill and Lily Hill Parks Loop Walking Guide star0 Longhill and Lily Hill Parks Loop Walking Guide
Berkshire, Bracknell
Walk Type: Garden or park
Longhill and Lily Hill Parks Loop
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot Longhill and Lily Hill Parks Loop Walking Guide boot Longhill and Lily Hill Parks Loop Walking Guide
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19 °C, Patchy rain nearby, Wind: 22 mph SSW
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A 2.5 mile circular walk within the suburbs of Bracknell in Berkshire, taking in several of the beautiful parks that once formed part of historic estates. There are long stretches of beautiful woodland with stunning trees as well as open grassland, playgrounds, formal gardens and ponds to enjoy along the way. This is a lovely walking route at any time of year.

The walk follows a mixture of surfaced parkland paths plus a few unmade stretches that can be muddy in winter. There are several climbs and descents throughout, but nothing too steep. There are no stiles or kissing gates on route, but you will need to negotiate one simple gate plus several flights of steps. There are a couple of road crossings and stretches through residential roads, but the majority of the route is within parks away from the road. There are multiple paths in the woodlands and parks, so the iFootpath App’s live GPS map will be the best navigation aid. There is no livestock on the route. Dogs are welcome in the two parks, indeed these are popular dog walking spots, and bins are provided for you to clear up any waste. Allow 1 to 1.5 hours.

Lily Hill Park is located on the outskirts of Bracknell, close to the A329. The walk starts and finishes from the rear car park of Lily Hill Park, accessed via Lily Hill Road, close to its junction with Bullbrook Drive. There is a brown tourism sign marking the car park entrance. The car park is free and has no height restriction barriers. The majority of the car park is locked from 7pm. (There is another car park alongside the pub and roundabout on Lily Hill Drive, so make sure you do not park there by mistake). Approximate post code RG12 2RX.

Walk Sections

Start to Bullbrook Drive
Start to Bullbrook Drive

Start point: 51.4168 lat, -0.7251 long
End point: 51.4186 lat, -0.7255 long

Leave the car park via the vehicle entrance, cross over to the far pavement of Lily Hill Road and turn left along this. Cross over the side road, Waldron Hill, but do NOT continue along the pavement here. Instead fork right, passing just to the right of the large sweet chestnut tree and crossing the grass verge to join the wooden steps heading into the woodland. This woodland is known as Clinton’s Hill. At the top of the rise, you will reach a staggered crossroads of paths and a bench.

Bear left, following the path which is level to begin with and then starts to descend. Ignore the fenced side path on your left, and follow the main path as it swings right then leads you down a few steps to reach another path junction. Turn right following a fairly straight path, level for its first stretch and then beginning to descend. You will emerge to the edge of a residential road, with three beautiful oak trees in a line ahead. Turn right along the pavement, passing a row of houses on your right to reach the crossing point for Bullbrook Drive.

Bullbrook Drive to Harvest Ride
Bullbrook Drive to Harvest Ride

Start point: 51.4186 lat, -0.7255 long
End point: 51.4196 lat, -0.7212 long

Cross over Bullbrook Drive and take the path almost straight ahead, a shared footpath and cycleway passing the playground on your right. At the end of the playground you will come to a fork, take the right-hand branch and you will emerge to the end of a residential road, Roman Way. Just a few metres along, turn right to join the next stretch of tarmac footpath and cycleway, emerging into another road, Norman Keep.

Keep ahead through this road, joining the continuation of the tarmac footpath at the far side. You will emerge to the next residential road, Saxon Drive (are you spotting a theme here?). Walk ahead through this street and you will emerge to the pavement of the main road, Harvest Ride.

Harvest Ride to Skate Park
Harvest Ride to Skate Park

Start point: 51.4196 lat, -0.7212 long
End point: 51.4157 lat, -0.7166 long

Turn right along the pavement for about 40 paces, then turn right again to join the tarmac path leading you through the wooden gate into Longhill Park. Keep ahead along the tarmac path, ignoring any smaller unmade side-paths. This park was once part of the Warfield Park Estate, owned by John Walsh in the 1700s. He made his fortune in India before returning home and creating a house and grounds including grottos, lakes and terraces. In the 1930s the park was divided into plots and sold. One plot was bought by the district council and used as a landfill site up to the 1960s, when it was capped with clay and converted to the parkland we see today.

As you approach the house with a circular window ahead, you will come to a crossroads. Turn left here, passing the Long Hill Park noticeboard on your left and following a flight of steps up into the main park area. At the top you will come to a T-junction in the path. On your left you will see one of the gas vents that allow the release of methane gas which is created by the decomposing rubbish below.

Turn left to join the stone path, with a woodland belt on your left and open grassland on your right. Stay on the main stone path which soon winds through the tree belt. In the far corner of the park, by a litter bin, turn right and follow the stone path passing the playground on your left. You will emerge into the Longhill Park car park. Ahead you will see the skate park, the largest BMX skate park in the borough.

Skate Park to Lily Hill Road
Skate Park to Lily Hill Road

Start point: 51.4157 lat, -0.7166 long
End point: 51.4161 lat, -0.7209 long

Standing in the car park facing the skate park, turn right onto the stone path signed to Lily Hill Park. At the first fork in the stone path, take the right-hand branch, continuing with the open grassland on your right. The path bears steadily left to reach a crossroads (with a section of boardwalk on your right).

Do NOT take the boardwalk, instead go straight ahead down the steps to reach another path junction. Turn right and immediately left to join the path signed to Lily Hill Park. The stone path climbs steadily through this section of woodland, emerging to the pavement of Lily Hill Road.

Lily Hill Road to History Tree
Lily Hill Road to History Tree

Start point: 51.4161 lat, -0.7209 long
End point: 51.4146 lat, -0.7223 long

Turn right along the pavement. Cross over the first side road, Milman Close, and continue to reach the second side road, Badgers Way. At this point, turn left over Lily Hill Road and go through the staggered barrier to enter Lily Hill Park. Follow the path climbing steadily through the trees to reach a T-junction.

Turn left and follow the path as it swings right up some steps, before descending to reach a T-junction with a tarmac path. Turn left along this and, as you emerge from the dense woodland, you will see a tall tree stump on your right, known as the History Tree. Surrounding this stump are several slices of tree trunk with intricate carvings, depicting a range of subjects including Bracknell’s development and key people in history since 1850.

History Tree to Summer House
History Tree to Summer House

Start point: 51.4146 lat, -0.7223 long
End point: 51.4138 lat, -0.7238 long

Stay on the tarmac path and, a short distance after the trunk sculpture, you will reach a crossroads. Turn left and follow the surfaced path which climbs and then swings sharp right. The path now winds through the trees and rhododendron bushes. Further along, a set of steps leads you down to a path fork. Take the left-hand branch, continuing down the steps and passing a large wooden shelter on your left. This Summer House is a good spot to pause and understand your surroundings…

This land was once part of Windsor Forest, a royal hunting forest. The site was purchased by Henry Dormer Vincent Esquire, the second son of the MP for Surrey, in 1807 and the original Lily Hill House was built by 1817. Upon his death in 1833, the Lily Hill estate passed to his eldest son, Henry William Vincent, who was at that time 37 years old and working for the Exchequer in a judicial post called the ‘King’s and Queen’s Remembrancer’. It was Henry William Vincent who designed much of the current house and gardens. Lily Hill Park is home to both native and introduced trees, ranging from the veteran English Oaks that stood as part of the Windsor Forest over 500 years ago, to the fashionable trees that Henry William Vincent introduced as an enthusiastic plant collector when developing his estate in the mid-1800s. Today the park is managed by Bracknell Forest Council and Lily Hill House is let as office space. The park is also home to Bracknell Rugby Club and Bracknell Lawn Tennis Club.

Summer House to Stream Crossing
Summer House to Stream Crossing

Start point: 51.4138 lat, -0.7238 long
End point: 51.4142 lat, -0.7294 long

Continue on the surfaced path, winding ahead with an open grass clearing on your left. Within this clearing you will see a square community orchard surrounded by hedgerows, added in 2005. Each apple tree is of a different species that was available in Victorian times, including unusual varieties such as Bess Pool, Forge and Tom Putt.

At the end of the path you will reach a T-junction with the main access drive for Lily Hill House. Turn right along this for about 40 paces and then turn left onto a surfaced side path. Keep ahead on this path which leads you between the park’s rugby pitches. If you look across to your right at this stage, you will have your first glimpse of Lily Hill House.

Keep ahead on the path which enters woodland, with a ditch and stream running on your right. You may notice the bright orange colour of the water here, indicating the high natural iron content of the soil. From personal experience, I recommend you make sure your dog doesn’t take a paddle here…our dog’s orange tinge faded eventually, but I never did get the orange splash stains out of my car’s roof lining! Further along, the path turns right to cross the ditch and reaches a T-junction.

Stream Crossing to End
Stream Crossing to End

Start point: 51.4142 lat, -0.7294 long
End point: 51.4169 lat, -0.7251 long

Turn right and then keep straight ahead at the next path crossroads. You will pass a wooden fish sculpture on your right before crossing a bridge over another ditch. At the next junction, bear right and cross the ornate wooden footbridge to reach the crazy paving path within the main Edwardian water gardens. Our route will continue ahead shortly, but first we take a small detour right along the boardwalk to visit the bench and viewing area for the wildlife pond. Look out for dragonflies, damselflies and newts in the summer months.

When you have finished, return to the crazy paving crossroads and turn right (the equivalent of going straight ahead from our original route). The path leads you directly ahead through the centre of the western meadow, with views of the house on your left. Go straight ahead at the first crossroads and, soon afterwards, you will come to a crossroads with the wider driveway. Turn left along this and it will lead you directly back to the car park where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2017 by iFootpath and the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


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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3 gallery images for "Longhill and Lily Hill Parks Loop"

9324_2Richard1509116106 Longhill and Lily Hill Parks Loop Walking Guide Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 27 Oct 2017
You will see some wonderful trees along the route.
9324_0Richard1509116090 Longhill and Lily Hill Parks Loop Walking Guide Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 27 Oct 2017

9324_1Richard1509116105 Longhill and Lily Hill Parks Loop Walking Guide Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 27 Oct 2017
Woodland creature....

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