Offlist Walk: Ilmington & Campden Hill

27 05 2011
27th May 2011
Mrs NLW
5.2 miles
Explorer 205 (Stratford-upon-Avon & Evesham)
Cloudy

Foxcote

I love a walk that doesn’t involve a drive. Leaving our cottage in Ilmington we cross Back Street and onto an overgrown path beside the local primary school and then across a series of pastures containing cows and calves. We ascended gradually onto the top of a low ridge where the whole of Warwickshire opened up before us. Descending the ridge to the east towards a fishing pond, and then up alongside arable fields just below Lower Lark Stoke before reaching a lane where we stopped for a picnic lunch.

Foxcote House

After lunch we followed the lane uphill to the south-east, steeply at first, then very steeply, and then finally, thankfully easing off as we approach the radio transmission station at the top of the hill: the highest point in Warwickshire.Down the hillside to the east is the National Trust’s Hidcote Garden, which we had visited, and thoroughly enjoyed earlier in the week.

Over the crest of the hill we continued very gently down hill until the lane met the road between Ilmington and Chipping Campden, we follow this around a dog-leg turn and soon after turn south onto a farm track. The sun comes out and all of a sudden the nice day transforms into a beautiful, sunny spring day. The path passes through a wood and we are lucky to realise that what looks like a right angle turn to the left is actually a T-junction, and we follow it to the right where the woods open up to a splendid view over the hamlet of Foxcote.

We descend through fields and through Foxcote and then alongside a tall hedge towards a long straight driveway, it is only then that we come to the gate in the hedge and see the elegant Foxcote House. We turn and follow the driveway out of the grounds alongside Windmill Hill, turning off the drive at the edge of the property to climb a field up onto the ridge at Nebsworth. Here we pause to take in the view and then descend through fields onto the outskirts of Ilmington. At the end of the fields we find a narrow path which weave in between back gardens, over a stream, and then along an alley to appear back on the Chipping Campden road near Back Street. We stroll back to the cottage past St.Mary’s church, and then the school where we witness the children performing a traditional maypole dance.

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