Walking

Walking trail

The long Wind in the Willows walk

Walking trail

Follow this moderate 5 mile circular walk exploring the rural community of Cookham Dean before venturing into the Woodland Trust's 'Wild Wood' at Quarry and Fultness Woods. The walk passes through farmland, woodland and along quiet village lanes that inspired Kenneth Grahame, author of the classic children’s tale ‘Wind in the Willows’.

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

Map

Map of the longer Wind in the Willows walk

Elevation

Elevation map for the longer Wind in the Willows walk

Start:

Cookham Dean Common car park

1

From the National Trust car park head out across Cookham Dean Common, following the path that skirts around the left hand edge of the common. Continue following the path to the left of the large house and grounds at the northern edge of Cookham Dean Common, turning left by a yellow grit salt bunker. Take the lane to the right after passing the finger post to Combe End that points back from the direction you just came.

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Cookham Dean Common

2

After 2 minutes (120 meters) cross over the triangle of grass and lone silver birch tree and briefly continue along the Chiltern Way Berkshire Loop, turning right before the kissing gate. Follow the woodland path up a gentle hill for 8 minutes until you reach Bigfrith Common meadow and the red telephone box on the corner.

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Bigfrith Common telephone box community library

3

Continue past the restored red telephone box on the corner of Bigfrith Common taking the next right before taking the sharp left turn onto Church Road.

4

Continue along Church Road for 3 minutes (150 meters) past the blue plaque commemorating Sir Henry Walford Davies on your right, until you reach the Jolly Farmer free house on your left, then St John the Baptist Church on your right. From here continue ahead along Church Road until you reach the Cookham Dean Village war memorial.

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St John the Baptist, Bigfrith Common

5

From here take the right fork past the village war memorial on your left and Cookham Dean Village Hall on your right. Follow Hills Lane past Popes Lane on your left before following the public footpath across Harding Green. At the other end of Harding Green turn right onto a track and left after the houses on your left, following a footpath sign. Walk a short distance down the footpath to a gate where you will come to a good view towards Cookham and Cliveden House on the top of the distant ridge.

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Cliveden and Cookham from the Hardings Green footpath

6

Retrace your steps to the small parcel of common land that makes up Harding Green, this time turning right and crossing Hills Land to take Warners’ Hill past the sign for Uncle Tom’s Cabin to the right. Continue down Warners’ Hill taking a right at the bottom where it meets Dean Lane. After 50 meters you will reach a triangle of land at the centre of a group of 15th Century timber framed cottages.

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The 16th century cottages at the junction between Dean Lane, Alleyns Lane and Warners' Hill

7

Cross Dean Lane when it safe to do so and take the road on the left hand side of the triangle and continue along Alleyns Lane. Climb the hill along Alleyns Lane for 550 meters and take the footpath on the left before Alleyns Lane meets Bradcutts Lane. Follow the footpath between fence lines and horse fields for a further 550 meters until you reach a kissing gate and road just beyond.

8

Continue straight past the drive way on your left until you come to a track on the right. Take this track downhill for 70 meters until you meet a crossing of tracks. Cross straight over and continue for 3 minutes (160 meters) until the track joins Spade Oak Reach.

9

Straight ahead you will see a metal fingerpost with brown bridleway markers. Cross Stonehouse Lane and follow the right hand bridleway marker down Gibralter Lane for 50 meters, taking a left at the silver Winter Hill National Trust omega sign. Continue along this track through the National trust woodlands at Winter Hill for 6 minutes (550 meters) until you re-join the end of Gibraltar Lane.

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Winter Hill

10

Follow the left fork joining up with the Cookham Bridleway Circuit and then pass by Quarry Wood End on the path to its left. After 5 minutes (250 meters) continue past the entrance to Quarry Clyffe House, and then Quarry Wood Hall after that. For the next 9 minutes (550 meters) you will be able to enjoy views of the River Thames before joining the junction with Quarry Wood Road. Here you will want to take the footpath immediately on your left, climbing up hill for 8 minutes (350 meters) until the path re-joins Quarry Wood Road.

11

Cross the road when it is safe to do so and continue up the wooded footpath. Cross over Quarry Wood Road for the second time following the footpath for a further 2 minutes (140 meters) before taking the footpath on your right that squeezes between residential properties to its left and right. At the end of this footpath you will again reach Quarry Wood Road, cross over for a third and final time and enter Quarry Wood at the Woodland Trust car park on Grubwood Lane.

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Quarry Woods

12

Take the footpath straight ahead from the Woodland Trust car park following the blue topped posts, make sure to avoid following the track on your left by the bench after 5 minutes (250 meters) and continue to follow the track and the blue topped posts for a further 7 minutes (360 meters). Here you will find another bench, opposite from which is a fine view of the Thames Valley towards Marlow.

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Marlow from Quarry Woods

13

From the seat and view point continue along the path, keeping the steep slope on your right. After 4 minutes (280 meters) take the right fork past another blue topped post downhill for a further 3 minutes (180 meters) where you join up with a bridleway. Following the way marker for the bridleway downhill for a further 2 minutes (170 meters) will lead you to a five-way crossroad.

14

At the five-way crossroad take the track to the left by the way marker post. You are now leaving Quarry Wood and entering Fultness Wood. After 4 minutes (200 meters) leave the bridle way, climbing the earthen bank to follow the footpath way marker attached to a tree on the right. Continue up the steep slope until it levels out, before crossing another footpath and passing through the kissing gate. Follow the hedge line on your left, making sure to then cross over into the arable field on the left. With hedge line now on your right, continue for 7 minutes (360 meters) before taking the stile and small ramp through the trees on the left. Straight ahead at the end of the trees is Winter Hill Road, and beyond the National Trust car park at Cookham Dean Common where you started.

End:

Cookham Dean Common car park

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The long Wind in the Willows walk

Terrain

Much of the walk is on undulating ground on soft footpaths, tracks and verges, however in places the route follows quiet country lanes; these are not entirely free from traffic. There are two moderately steep descents and two climbs of about 70 metres each. There is one low stile to cross. Dogs are welcome, but must be kept under strict control.  Some paths can be very muddy and slippery after prolonged or heavy rain.  Stout, waterproof walking shoes or walking boots are strongly recommended. A walking pole is not essential, but may be useful when the paths are slippery.

The long Wind in the Willows walk

Contact us

The long Wind in the Willows walk

How to get here

Address
Cookham Dean Common, Winter Hill Road, Cookham, Maidenhead, SL6 6PJ, UK
By train

The nearest railway station is Cookham Station. From the station, turn left into Lower Road, which becomes Dean Lane. You joint the walk at Point 8 at the junction of Dean Lane with Alleyns Lane.

By road

Cookham Dean can be reached through Cookham or from Reading, Marlow or Maidenhead, via Pinkney’s Green.

By foot

Cookham Dean is on the Chiltern Way, Berkshire Loop. Please see OS map 172.

By bus

The main bus route is the 238/239 Maidenhead - Knowl Hill / Henley / Cookham Dean run by Courtney Buses.  Buses stop by the Jolly Farmer and the Chequers Public House.

By bicycle

Cookham Dean is easily accessible by bicycle from Maidenhead, Slough, Marlow, Bourne End and High Wycombe. Please note that no cycling is allowed on the parts of the trail that are footpaths.

The long Wind in the Willows walk

Facilities and access

  • Free parking is available at Cookham Dean Common
  • Several benches can be found along the route
  • Nearest public toilets are in Cookham Village near the Stanley Spencer Gallery
  • There are several public houses in Cookham Dean including Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Jolly Farmer which are on the route.