Walk 1: Bluebell woods and a folly
We recommend this approximately six-mile walk for the beginning of May when the bluebells should be at their best.
- Starting from the finger post in the centre of the Square, turn left onto East Street and continue along Foxbury Lane until you reach Cemetery Lane on the right. At the end of Cemetery Lane, turn left on South Lane. At the junction at the end of South Lane, turn right and carry on until you reach the Woodmancote pub, always a good place for some kind of refreshment!
- Cross from the pub to the small triangular green and up the track opposite. Pass cottages and a riding school before continuing along a signposted bridle path with wooden fencing on either side, which soon gives way to hedgerows and horse fields. This path - as is the case with several others - can be quite muddy during wetter times of the year, so be mindful.
- When the bridle path reaches Common Road, cross over and re-join the path on the other side. After a few steps you come to three paths. You can either continue along the main bridle path on the left which skirts the edge of the copse with views of fields, or choose the smaller middle path which winds through the trees. This is where, in spring, you will find the bluebells.
- At the end of this path you will reach a gate into a small field, often filled with sheep. Continue straight ahead to another gate on the far side. As you cross this field, there is a good view of Racton Monument, or folly, on the hill to your left.
- Continue along the track, crossing through the yard of Racton Park Farm and then heading down the paved track on the far left hand side that winds down hill towards the road.
- Once you reach the road turn left, then, at the T junction, left again, crossing branches of the River Ems as you do so. Shortly after that, turn right off the road next to a noticeboard and a post box and continue along the bridle path up the hill towards Racton Monument. As you proceed up this path, on your left there are fabulous views of the Ems valley, including the fields you just walked through opposite and also St Peter’s Church.
- The path continues on downhill after Racton Monument, eventually reaching a crossroads. Continue straight ahead. At this point the path borders Stansted Estate to your right.
- The path reaches a turning at Pheasant Court. Take the left hand path continuing steadily downhill towards Sindles Farm. Head right once you reach the farmyard, picking up the paved track to the right which leads back towards Emsworth Common Road. Before you reach the road, take a stile on the left and cross a field diagonally to emerge at the kissing gate on the road virtually opposite the Dower House and Flintstones. Cross the road and head a short distance up the drive until you reach another kissing gate that leads into a horse field.
- Proceed along the path at the right hand side of the field until you reach a gate at the far end. Head through that and continue straight on until you reach the other side of the field, where a path heads down to a stile. Cross the stile onto Aldsworth Common Road and turn left.
- Follow the road until you reach a fork, turning left on to River Street. Continue onwards passing the school and continuing on until you reach North Street, then continue straight ahead until you return to the Square.