If you are lucky enough to be coming to the Travelling Folk's Song and Ale weekend at
Upper Dicker, you can join us in our Saturday morning walk round nearby Camberlot Wood.
After gathering at about ten o'clock, we will amble gently round Camberlot Wood, returning in time to join the lunch-time sing.
This is a circular walk from Upper Dicker village hall along footpaths through farms to the north-west of Upper Dicker. There is some road walking, some without pavements, especially the last leg. The first half of the walk offers plenty of shade in the morning, and if the weather is hot and sunny, we can optionally turn back at the half-way stage rather than walk in the blazing sun. This option reduces the road walking considerably.
We an expect to find woodland birds, a buzzard and a heron, brambles, cattle, electrified fences, farms, fields, honeysuckle, horses, martins, mud, pheasants, puddles, rabbits, sheep, trees, about a dozen stiles and plenty of stinging nettles.
1. We start by walking south down Coldharbour Lane to the recreation ground. Turn right and cross the north side with the field to our left. We may see a cricket match going on. Continue to the right of the children's play area, beautifully refurbished in June 2011, and go through the gate at the far end.
2. Walk along the path through the copse to a stile. Use the stile and then after just a few feet find a second stile to cross, which may be a bit brambly.
3. Continue in the same direction to cross the field diagonally to where the next stile is hidden where the hedge meets the fence.
4. Keep to the right-hand edge of the next open space; the path takes you behind Clover Cottage's red shed and continues to the far corner where we can reach Camberlot Road by a fourth stile.
Turn right (north-west) and walk along Camberlot Road to a gate made of scaffold poles leading to a concrete farm track to Cotswold Place. Climb through the poles to the track.
The official footpath is through Clover Farm to our right but the farm owner, Bunny Hicks, wants us to use this alternative route for which we are grateful.
6. Go the short distance past Clover Farm cottage as far as an old, gnarled oak tree and go right, through the stinging nettles, to cross the hedge and ditch - carefully - by a narrow bridge of railway sleepers.
7. Pass the farm buildings and follow the hedge to pass a magnificent oak tree, as seen in the picture here on the right.
We must be careful when crossing an electrified fence here.
8. Cross a stile and continue going in the same direction towards another stile but be careful here of stinging nettles!
9. Cross another field; there is a small ditch across our path but use the a small bridge across it. Look for a gap just left of the middle of the treed field boundary, where a stile hides.
10. After going over this stile, continue north-east and through the wide entrance to the next field.
11. On our right is Camberlot Wood. Follow the blue click link to read about the wood.
12. Keeping Camberlot Wood close on our right, go through another wide gate, then through a gap in the line of trees to continue across another field and a gate with honeysuckle growing beside it.
13. Continue to the end of this field to the farm gate on the right.
After this point there is very little shade, and on a hot sunny day we will turn back here to retrace our steps and stay in the shade.
14. If we choose to continue the circular walk round Camberlot Wood, here is where we turn north-north-west...
<-- Choose the gate or opening on the right, as illustrated in the photograph, left.
15. Trying to avoid any cattle that are in this field, do NOT take the diagonal farm track but follow the left-hand edge of the field until you reach some more troughs.
16. Enter the next field then turn right and we do cross it diagonally to the opposite corner. You may see a wide gate but that is NOT the way.
17. You find yourself in Green Lane (see picture, right). Turn right and follow Green Lane.
18. After 200 yards we reach a plank bridge over a ditch on the right with a type of gap stile.
19a. If the brambles and nettles are not too high, we can venture over the plank bridge and through the gap stile, over a second stile and then bear right to walk past a white cottage.
19b. If the nettles and brambles are are too high, we can continue to follow Green Lane all the way to the Camberlot Road, turning right when we get there (see step 23 below).
20. Just beyond the cottage, in the hedge on the right, go through a battered wide gate and turn left along a concreted path covered in mud. This path can be very slippery!
Continue along this path being careful of another electrified fence that is tricky to see, and continue past this and any rope barrier even after the concrete stops.
Cross a gateway into a field.
21. The footpath route continues through the wood on our left. Cross a stile and step carefully down into a very brambly wood.
22. Follow the footpath leading diagonally right through the brambles (we had to bash these out of the way a week before the 2012 walk). You will find yourself slowly approaching Camberlot Road.
23. On reaching Camberlot Road, turn right towards Upper Dicker.
Look out for wild roses and other hedgerow plants as well as seed-heads of jack go-to-bed-at-noon and other colourful roadside wildflowers.
24. When we see Clover Farm on our right, just before where we turned off the road earlier, we will see on our left two filed gates either side of a hedge. The footpath sign may be obscured by this hedge but can be revealed (!) and indicates the way is through the right-hand gate. Go through the right-hand gate to walk along the left-hand edge of this field.
25. On reaching the far hedge, look for a gap with a metal grating and possibly a barbed wire. This is the way to go, down and through the few feet of hedge
26. Continue in the same direction and go through a gap in the far hedge, a few yards right of the corner.
27. Continue in the same direction across the third field, keeping to the left edge, until you find a pond on the left. Continue past the pond towards the road and across a stile just left of a gate. Although the path to the road may be obscured by trees, brambles and nettles we may be able to uncover the Footpath sign at the end.
28. Arriving at Coldharbour Road opposite Plenties Farm, turn right (south) to the Village Hall.
If you continue beyond the Village hall, towards the school and crossroads, you will reach the Upper Dicker Village Shop (on your left) where you can buy some ice cream or some lunch.