Walk Duration: 1 hour (depends how many photos you take)!
OS Map: OS Explorer 159 Reading;
Suitable for: babies in backpacks, all-terrain buggies (there & back again route only); all the family;
Walk features: beautiful bluebells in late April & May; beautiful chiltern countryside, family friendly pub with great garden; playground and village shop.
Update 17/04/14 – walkers should be aware that the Bottle & Glass pub is currently closed.
Other walks from the Bottle & Glass pub:
Binfield Wildlife & Woodland Walk
This walk is one of several pleasant strolls starting from the Bottle & Glass pub in the pretty village of Binfield Heath, near Henley-on-Thames. It’s a great walk for late spring time when the bluebells are absolutely spectacular and is the perfect length to combine with a hearty pub lunch before or after. The circular walk does involve a few stiles and field walking but those walking with sturdy pushchairs can follow the walk through the bluebell woods on good tracks before heading back to the Bottle & Glass pub the same way they set out. Both the circular walk and the there-and-back-again walks are 3km long.
Start the walk from the Bottle & Glass car park. Turn left out of the car park, away from the Binfield Heath village and walk down the lane. It’s a fairly quiet road but do keep an eye with little walkers for cars coming quickly round the corner. The road bends round to the right then up a small incline before you come to a footpath sign on the right hand side.
Follow the footpath into the woods on your right and if you are walking here in late spring, be ready to be blown away by the beautiful bluebell displays to be found within. The best bluebells in this stretch of the walk line the left hand side of th path as far as you can see.
Continue walking until you reach the far end of the woods and a fork in the path. Turn back on yourself towards the right and walk back into the woods on a new path for yet more spectacular displays of bluebells. This is my favourite spot of the woods, with the zesty spring green of the new leaves on the trees stretching above the deep blue of the nodding flowers beneath, bird song pricking the air and the occasional glow of sunshine highlighting the glade in a magical warmth.
The carpets of bluebells extend to the far side of the woods where the path meets a stile before heading into open fields. If you are walking with a pushchair you will need to stop here and retrace your steps. Those continuing on the circular walk should climb over the stile and head straight across the field opposite, enjoying the lovely rural views.
Pass into the small copse on the far side of the hill and down the short slope through the trees. Follow the path out into the field and walk striaght on, keeping the hedge to your left hand side. The path leads into another field and steadily up a hill to a stile at some houses by the edge of the village.
Go over the stile and follow the path past the houses. For the quickest route back to the pub, turn right here down Kiln Lane. If the kids fancy a run around at the excellent village playground or it’s ice-cream weather, then follow the small footpath that continues directly opposite the path you are on.
For those heading to the playground and village shop, at the far end of the footpath, you emerge onto Heathfield Avenue. Turn right and follow the road to the junction with Arch Hill main road beyond. The playground is now directly opposite you and the village shop is just behind the playground to your left hand side. Ping pong bats for the table in the park can be hired from the village shop for a small deposit.
To continue the walk, turn right down Arch Hill and then at the fork in the road, turn right again onto Common Lane. Those taking the most direct route from the village will rejoin the walk here from Kiln Lane.
Continue walking down Common Lane. It is a wide and quiet road with little traffic and plenty of room on the grassy verges but again, do keep an eye out for the occasional vehicle or tractor. The road takes you back to the crossroads next to the Bottle & Glass pub where the walk began. The pub is super-friendly to walkers (they are happy to cater for as little as a cup of tea to a full blown lunch) and has a lovely enclosed beer garden for children – perfect for post-walk refreshments!
Map of Route:
Parking for pub patrons is available next to the Bottle & Glass pub in Binfield Heath. Alternatively there is on-road parking on nearby streets. The 800 bus service runs hourly between Reading and High Wycombe, calling at Henley-on-Thames but stops at the village centre, not the pub. Those taking the bus may prefer to start the walk from the village shop instead.
View Binfield Bluebells Walk in a larger map
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