Outwood Common winter walk
Blow away the cobwebs with an exhilarating walk through statuesque woodland and across open farmland. See what the farmers are growing in their fields and discover an enchanting hidden pond.
Outwood Common car park, grid ref: TQ326456
Starting at the Outwood Common car park, walk through the pedestrian gate at the end of the parking area, past the cricket pitch on your right.
Outwood Cricket Club
The Outwood Cricket Club was formed in 1889 on land donated by Alfred Lloyd, who was president until his death in 1919. In the summer of 1940 games were played while Battle of Britain dogfights carried on overhead. On one occasion two soldiers on the ground were killed by machine gun fire during the lunch interval.
You'll pass an ivy-covered tree on your right with a weather vane on top. Avoid the first turning on the left; instead continue around the edge of the pitch and take the path into the wood. As you reach the three-pronged fork in the path, keep to the middle. Continue in a straight line between the large oak trees and smaller (previously coppiced hornbeams). The path may be muddy at this point.
Head down towards lowest point, where there is a small crossing over a tiny stream. Continue to the top of the hill, bearing left at the fork.
The path will immediately start to dip down again (surrounded by bramble and holly). There's a ghyll to your left, down a slope. Keep along the top, until you see a path with steps, heading down to a footbridge. Cross the bridge and then carry on up the slope on the other side.
Turn right at the top of the hill and follow the path. Keep to the left hand main paths when you come across any forks in the route. You will pass some ash trees. At the end of the path (there's a field in front of you) turn left. Carry on around 200m, to the end of the path, then turn right.
After 30m, you'll see three cottages on your right. Head onto vehicle track (turn left). At the crossroads a few metres ahead, turn left. Just before main road, you'll see a church on the right. Take the small path, on the right, along the edge of the church. Carry on passing areas of laurel, hawthorn, holly and larger oaks, with bracken further along. You'll soon see some large veteran oak trees on your right. Carry straight on along path.
Veteran oak trees
Many of our ancient oaks are over 200 years old. See their majestic crowns and thick spreading branches. In a good year, a single oak can produce 90,000 acorns.
At end of path you’ll reach a public bridleway. Turn right, don't miss the secluded pond on your right. Carry on along bridleway, until you reach a track. Turn left, and walk along until you reach a small fork, with a gate into a field.
Outwood Common pond
Why not take a break and rest on the seat by our pond? See the beautiful yellow lilies in the summer and look out for wildlife - ducks, dragonflies and toads...
Go through the gate and follow the public footpath along the edge of field, to the right. You'll walk around the field and then come to a gap through a narrow strip of trees, over a bridge across the ghyll. Head up the hill, out of the trees and then into a field.
Go straight ahead, following the edge of the field and you'll come to a cross-roads with a fingerpost. Turn right onto a path between two large oaks in the boundary hedge. Carry on, with a hedge line to your left. At the end of the field you'll meet a path coming up on your right. Carry straight on along a short line of oak trees to reach a stile on the far side of the field, taking you back into woodland.
Harewoods is largely agricultural land, let to tenant farmers. Stop to see what the farmers are growing in their fields, and look carefully at the field edges which are left untidy to encourage wildlife.
Go over a stile, heading a short distance, until the path turns into a vehicle track, past cottages and the National Trust estate office on your right. Just past the yard, take the path right into woods (between two large conifers).
Turn left after around 50m, when you reach a swathe of brambles in front of you. Once you reach an area where the ground starts dipping, walk down to a small footbridge over a small stream.
Head straight up the other side and continue until you reach the back of the cricket pavilion. Turn right and follow the edge of the pitch until you reach the path back to the car park.
Outwood Common car park, grid ref: TQ326456
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