Maidenhead Commons trail

Walking trail

Follow this moderate 6.9 mile circular walk south from Pinkneys Drive through to Pinkneys Green and Winter Hill Road Woods before stopping at the Brick and Tile Works and the beautiful mixed woodland of Maidenhead Thicket, which was once one of the most dangerous places in England for travellers as it was a hot-bed for highwaymen.

Please keep dogs on a short lead or under close control around livestock.

Map

Maidenhead Commons Walking Trail Map

Elevation

Maidenhead commons trail elevation map

Start:

Pinkneys Drive car park

1

From the car park, head towards the entrance, turning left onto a wide track just before you reach the road. Follow the track through the woodland for 300m ignoring all crossing paths. As you emerge from the woodland onto a meadow, continue straight ahead towards the left end of a line of birch trees that run along the edge of a lane. Cross the lane following the path ahead of you towards a gap in the left corner of the small area of common. Continue, straight ahead on a wide path between the trees until you reach Lee Lane, with Sweeps Cottage to your left. Cross the lane onto Pinkneys Green and walk for 750m towards the far left-hand corner of the Green.

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Pinkneys Green

2

2. Pass through a gap by a footpath sign onto a drive. Follow the drive to the main road (A308 Furze Platt Road). You will see the Arbour Public House to your right and the Golden Ball Public House to your left. Cross the busy road when it is safe to do so and head half left towards the red telephone box near the entrance to Golden Ball Lane.

3

Here turn right, following the Chiltern Way Berkshire loop signpost. This will take you along a gravel drive that passes to the left of a large white house named Fairwinds. Where the gravel drive enters a property, keep straight ahead, passing between some wooden rails. Here fork left, entering the western half of Winter Hill Road Woods and following the woodland path north.

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4

Cross Winter Hill road when it is safe to do so and head half right into the eastern half of Winter Hill Road Woods. Carry on heading south through coppice and old plantation woodland taking a left through the first kissing gate and a right turn after the second. Walk along the field margin until you reach Malders Lane, then take a right keeping an eye out for the National Trust sign indicating the entrance to the old Brick and Tile Works Nature Reserve. Exploring the Nature Reserve is highly recommended, following the clearly marked paths will add about ½ mile (800 meters) to your walk.

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Brick & Tile Works pond

5

On returning to the Nature Reserve’s entrance gate, turn right down Malders Lane. On reaching Hindhays Farm, turn right to cross the concrete yard and walk through the wooden gate ahead to the grassy path ahead. Despite the limited height of the land here, on a clear day, you will see Cliveden House, Taplow Court, Winsor Castle and the spire of Maidenhead Church on the distant panoramic horizon. Continue in the same direction until you reach another gate in the corner of the field by some farm buildings. Go through the gate following a path that soon meets a gravel drive. Follow the drive straight ahead and to the left around a right-angle bend. Continue along the drive until you reach the main road once more. Cross the busy road with care, and then turn right, following the footpath that cuts the corner into Pinkneys Drive. Where the path meets the road again, cross Pinkneys Drive. You are now on Pinkneys Green once more. Turn half left, following a path to the right of a large tree and towards the corner of a thicket to reach the edge of a cricket field.

6

Keeping the cricket field and the pavilion on your left, go straight ahead to the next thicket. Skirt around the thicket towards your left, then head straight across an area of grass towards a hedge. Keeping the hedge on your left and another small thicket on your right, continue until you reach Lee Lane at the corner of the common. Cross the road and turn left on Lee Lane, past the Pinkney Arms until the road curves right. Here, cross the road to join an obvious footpath that diagonally crosses a triangle of grass meadow. Continue along the path, through a small area of woodland for 2 minutes (100 metres) until you meet Camley Park Drive. Cross this lane to the footpath opposite. Take the left-hand path, following the left-hand edge of Pinkneys Common, ignoring all other paths. Follow the edge of the common for 17 Minutes (850 metres). Where the Common tapers to a point, go through a gap in the hedge to meet the A4, Bath Road.

7

Taking great care, cross the busy main road to the left of the mini roundabout, using the traffic island, and continue along the pavement ahead. After about 2 minutes (90 metres), branch left along a path through a wooded area that runs parallel to the road. On reaching Atwood Road, cross the road opposite a shop and post box, and turn right along the pavement, following it to the left beneath the A404 underpass. On the other side of the underpass, and just past the mini-roundabout, turn right to cross over the road, following the signs to Claire’s Court School along the lane opposite.

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8

Just before you reach a car park, turn left and take the middle of the three footpaths ahead of you, heading into the wooded area of Maidenhead Thicket. Follow the path through the woodland for just over 16 minutes (800 metres). When you reach Cherry Garden Lane, turn right, then immediately left, keeping a large white house on your left. Follow this lane a short distance to reach the A4 Bath Road. The Shire Horse Public House will be on your left.

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Maidenhead Thicket highwayman

9

Taking great care, cross Bath Road again and follow the path straight ahead into the woodland. Continue straight ahead, look out for two joining paths on the right. The first is signposted, the second is not. At the second path, do not turn left but take a less obvious path opposite (to your right) between two closely spaced trees. After 30 metres you will reach the site of a Bronze Age bowl barrow.

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Maidenhead Thicket bowl barrow

10

Having visited the site of the Bowl Barrow, retrace your steps to the main path and turn right. After about 100 metres you will see a clear Y-junction in the path ahead. Take the right hand fork, taking another right across a small ditch and furrow, keeping an eye out for tagged elm trees that have been planted by Butterfly Conservation as part of their Disease Resistant Elm Tree project. Follow the path for almost 4 minutes (250 metres) until you reach a wide open woodland glade.

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11

From here you will have reached a cross roads where you will need to take the left fork; following straight or taking the right fork will lead you to the site of the old larch plantation, which is in the process of being converted to Native Woodland and managed glades. After exploring the old larch plantation retrace your step back to the cross roads and continue north past the bench following the track and managed ride, taking the next left fork into a grassy clearing which is Robin Hood’s Arbour.

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Robin Hoods Arbour, Maidenhead Thicket

12

Cross Robin Hood’s Arbour diagonally until you reach a clear track with an avenue of trees, and turn left along the wide track towards a small house at the end of the avenue. This is the Lodge, a gatehouse for Stubbing’s House. About 150m before you reach the Lodge, turn right into a footpath. Follow the path until you reach a four-way signpost and take the path opposite and to the left indicated as the Maidenhead Boundary Walk. The path descends to a lane. Walk beneath the A404 under the bridge and ascend the path on the other side. Continue along the path to reach a road. Cross the road and continue along the broad grassy ride ahead. After just over 2 minutes (100 metres) turn right on a path. At the next junction, fork left to return to the car park where you started the walk.

End:

Pinkneys Drive car park

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Maidenhead Commons trail

Terrain

The walk is mainly on level ground on soft footpaths with some short stretches on quiet country lanes. You will need to cross two busy roads (A4 and A308) on two occasions each. There are no long climbs, but some short slopes. There are a number of gates, but no stiles. Dogs are welcome, but must be kept under strict control. The ground can be uneven and some paths can be muddy and slippery after prolonged or heavy rain, so stout, waterproof walking shoes or walking boots are highly recommended.

Maidenhead Commons trail

Contact us

Maidenhead Commons trail

How to get here

Address
Pinkneys Drive National Trust car park, Berkshire
By train

The nearest Railway station is Maidenhead

By road

From the Burchetts Green Roundabout, take follow the sign for the A404 to Maidenhead. Take the next left into the Henley Road, signposted Pinkneys Green and Stubbings. After 0.6 mile, turn left onto Pinkneys Drive. The National Trust car park is a short distance (240 metres) on the left. 

By foot

Pinkneys Green is on the Chiltern Way, Berkshire Loop and on the Maidenhead Boundary Walk. Please see OS map 172.

By bus

The main bus route to Maidenhead Thicket is the 239, between Maidenhead and Henley-on-Thames run by Courtney Buses. There is no service on Sundays or Bank Holidays. There are bus stops near points 6 or 8.

By bicycle

Pinkneys Green is easily accessible by bicycle from Maidenhead, Slough, Reading, Wokingham Marlow, and Bourne End. Please see OS map 172.

Maidenhead Commons trail

Facilities and access

  • There are no public toilets on the route
  • Several picnic benches can be found along the route, particularly in Maidenhead Thicket.
  • Free parking at Pinkneys Green. There are also free car parks at Point 6 and Point 8.
  • There are no less than four public houses on the route: the Arbour, the Golden Ball and the Pinkney Arms in Pinkneys Green, and the Shire Horse on the A4 at Littlewick Green adjacent to Maidenhead Thicket. Please check their websites for opening times.