This month’s local walk is fairly easy but mostly well away from the roads and starts from the car park at the shops in Pilgrims Close, Valley Park. (Click here for Google Map of start)
Walk to the traffic lights at the junction of Knightwood Rd and Pilgrims Close so that the shops and pub are behind you, and cross over into Skys Wood Rd with the leisure centre on your right. Take the first left into Hemlock Way and go straight up the slight hill. At the end of the houses take the short path towards some woods and then turn left down a path.
When you pass by the five bar gate you will be on the cycle path that runs along Castle Lane. Turn right and after a few hundred yards you will see a gap in the hedge on your left. If you look across the road you’ll see a route through the trees (click here to see how this looks). Castle Lane isn’t easy to cross so do take care.
Follow the woodland route and past the fields until you can see a footpath sign and a small shed in the woods (5 to 10 minutes) at which turn left to walk between the field and the woods. You will eventually reach Velmore Farm but just keep going straight (east) and up the hill.
At the end you will come out by Elliots Builders’ Merchant on the main road with Asda on the other side.
Turn left, cross over the Asda roundabout so that you are on the Bournemouth Rd. As the path ends, turn left with the electricity works on the right. Keep following this cycle path until you arrive back at the Pilgrim Rd shops.
Walk grade is easy although there is a short steep hill as you come out of Velmore Farm. The route takes 50 minutes at a very brisk pace, or about 1 hour, 15 minutes at a more leisurely pace.