Tag Archives: Farley Hill

New Year Walk

After the pretty dreadful weather yesterday, and given the equally dreadful forecast for tomorrow, the weather today was definitely something to take advantage of. Whilst it was a bit chilly (about 6°C) in our part of the UK we have clear blue skies and bright sunshine.

The route I took was one of my usual walks out from the Garrison and then around between Farley Hill and Arborfield – it’s quite a well known circuit although most people tend to start and finish in Arborfield village itself so I have on occasion got strange looks when I pass people twice on the circuit and on one occasion last month a rambler actually asked why I was doing the walk twice when I passed them on both sides of the loop.

The loop is also a good one for any geocachers around as directly alongside the circuit there are currently seven caches, with two or three more a short diversion away. I’ve scored all of the caches bar one, which involves climbing a tree! Although it’s not on this circuit there is a particularly good multi-cache based around the footpaths beneath Farley Castle which is worth doing whilst you’re here.

It’s also a good opportunity to enjoy the countryside around here as if the large scale housing development comes to the Garrison site one of the proposals to ease traffic is to build a bypass around Arborfield on this side of the village. There have been a number of routes proposed, the shortest and cheapest option, which it seems is still too expensive for the Defence Estates led consortium who have this ludicrous idea that tweaking the design of the roundabout will alleviate the potential problems, is to build tight around the village – the footpath follows almost exactly the route that bypass would take down the back of Chamberlain Gardens and Melrose Gardens, and on down the side of the football pitch. The route that would probably be more acceptable to most of the villagers in Arborfield although probably not acceptable for those over towards Farley Hill comes off the existing A327 a lot further away from Arborfield Cross and goes across open farmland pretty well splitting this circuit in two. To be honest neither would be really popular, but in terms of scale the proposed Arborfield Garrison SDL would replace the Garrison buildings you can see along Biggs Lane and adjacent to Langley Common Road with houses, and also totally fill the fields to the right of the A327 in the lower part of this picture, plus go beyond what you can see. That perhaps gives some idea of the scale of what is proposed.

Anyway, the circuit is just over 10km from here, although obviously there is some extra walking getting there and back, so it’s a bit less if you park up in Arborfield or Farley Hill to give it a try.

Bulldozed

A few years ago a Victorian cottage a couple of miles away came onto the market for auction. It was a few miles away in Farley Hill on a quiet back lane, a short walk from the river. The site included a meadow and a small area of bluebell wood nearby. The cottage had a lovely typical cottage garden and a couple of outbuildings. Needless to say the predicted price was way out of our budget at £800,000 and from what I can gather from someone else who liked it and went to the auction it went for a lot more. You can see the house on Google Streetview at the corner of Sandpit Lane and Ford Lane, but since that will eventually update, I’ve grabbed a screenshot.

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Out for a walk today I walked down to Bramshill Ford and thought I’d come back up past the cottage and see what the new owners had done with it – sadly it was this…

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You can just about see the remains of the garden beyond the big hole and the digger. The outbuildings are gone too, replaced by new buildings built of breeze blocks. The meadow also has large piles of spoil in it and a large flat area that looks worryingly like it’s been levelled for another building.

Sad really, it wasn’t a listed building or anything, but it was a really pretty cottage that had stood on the site for decades now gone.