Harewoods (Hornecourt Wood) spring walk, Outwood
This walk takes you along quiet roads, across open fields and through the ancient Hornecourt woodland. Here you’ll find pretty displays of delicate spring flowers – bluebells, primroses and wood anemones.
Outwood Common car park TQ326456
Start at the National Trust car park just off Scott’s Hill / Outwood Lane car park. The entrance is at the junction of Gayhouse Lane. Walk along Gayhouse Lane with the windmill on your left. (Outwood windmill is the oldest working windmill in England, being built in 1665. It's privately owned (visit www.outwoodmill.com for opening times.)
Carry on along Gayhouse Lane (for about 50m) until you reach Wilmots Lane, take the turning on your right.
Walk about 20m along Wilmot’s Lane, until you reach a footpath sign on your left. Go through the kissing gate and follow the well worn footpath across the field. Once you reach the edge of the field, turn right and follow the hedge line, until you reach the edge of Hornecourt Wood.
You should immediately start to see our stunning displays of spring flowers, as you enter the woods.
Take the path to the left as you enter the woods. Follow this path until you reach some steps on your left. Continue along these, going down and up the gully. Once at the top, take a left turn and then immediately turn right (so that you have the field on your left).
Here the bluebells are particularly stunning. As you carry on along this path you will also see wood anemones and lesser celandine. These are all good indicators of the area being ancient woodland.
After around 100m, you'll reach a T-junction. Turn left here and follow the path up to the top of the hill.
You'll then see a path to your left and two to your right. Take the top path on the right (at about 2 o'clock heading east). You should have the field close to you on your left as you head along this path, with old coppice stools of hornbeam and beautiful woodland flora beneath. Continue along this path for around 200m.
Pass a small footbridge on your left and then a path heading at right angles on your right.
As you head down to the corner of the wood you'll see wonderful country views looking south, through the hornbeam hedge line. Keep an eye out for roe deer passing across the fields.
As you follow the path at the bottom of the wood, to the right, you'll see an open area of woodland. This area’s conifers were felled a few winters ago, to enable native broadleaf trees (oak and hornbeam) to grow in their place. This should help improve the biodiversity of the woodland.
Continue to follow the path at the bottom of the wood, passing over a couple of footbridges.
The path will start ascending, with a few smaller paths turning off to your left.
Keep on the main path until you reach a small bench made of part of the trunk of the tree. Keep this on your left, and head straight up the hill with the field on your left. After around 100m, you’ll reach the corner of the wood where you first entered (point 4). At this stage retrace your steps out into the field and cross back over to Wilmots Lane, where you can then follow Gayhouse Lane, past the windmill, back to the car park.
Outwood Common car park TQ326456
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