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Sussex walk around Verdley Wood near Henley

PUBLISHED: 11:46 13 November 2018

Birch and coniferous woodland close to Henley village (Photo by Hazel Sillver)

Birch and coniferous woodland close to Henley village (Photo by Hazel Sillver)

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Enjoy the tranquility of Verdley Wood on this circular pub walk

Verdley Wood

The woodland at Henley is part of a 1,678-hectare area classified as a Biodiversity Opportunity Area (BOA) because it provides an important habitat for butterflies and birds, including raptors. It is said that the last bear living in England was killed here; and there was once a 14th century hunting tower called Verdley Castle in the woods.


Where to refuel

The Duke of Cumberland Arms is at the start and end of the walk. This charming 16th century country pub is situated on the side of the hill, providing views all the way to Leith Hill on a fine day. Soak up the warmth of the log fire and enjoy delicious seasonal dishes made with locally sourced produce; Sunday roasts must be pre-ordered. Dogs are welcome in some parts of the pub.


Information

• Location: Henley, near Midhurst, West Sussex

• Distance: Two miles (3.2km) – one hour to walk

• Terrain: Forest tracks, which can be muddy; some up and down

• Where to park: In the Duke of Cumberland Arms car park, if you intend to eat there afterwards


The walk

1 – From the pub car park, head across the lane and along the track that leads past the phone box and letterbox. At Yew Tree Cottage, head left along the signed narrow path that leads between hedging into woodland. Stay on the forest path, which soon widens.

2 - At an open area with young birch trees, where the main path curves down left, ignore the first path that leads straight on and take the second path on the right. This narrow path leads uphill.

3 – At the post with a yellow arrow and a junction, maintain direction straight ahead on the Serpent Trail. Then, upon meeting a track, bear right uphill following the yellow arrow and maintain direction for another quarter mile.

4 – Where the way divides, at the post, bear left. Maintain direction on this bridleway, ignoring paths leading off it and bear left at the signpost.

5 – At the junction, head left on the bridleway, which eventually leads past forestry work areas. Ignore paths leading off the main track.

6 – At the junction, head right. Then maintain direction, ignoring the path that soon leads right.

7 – The path bends sharp left and immediately there is grassy path on the left, which is easy to miss. Take this path, following the signpost.

8 – At the junction, close to the village, head left at the junction and then continue upon the drive past houses until you reach the road. Head left back to the car.


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