Walk 201: Hardingstone Pocket Park…a short, accessible for all, stroll in ‘Narnia’

The ‘Needs to Know’

Distance: 1.83 miles (2.9 km)

Time to walk: Roughly an hour at a slow stroll. There’s an option to go off the hard paths & explore the woodland tracks, plus extend across the road into Brackmills Country Park

Difficulty: All on good ‘all weather’ paths. Some of the paths do have slopes so this is a good opportunity for a gentle bit of cardio exercise

Parking: Carefully & considerately throughout Hardingstone. We started our walk outside The Sun Inn

Public toilets: At The Sun Inn when open

Map of the route:

There’s already a longer walk on the website that takes in this wonderful small park, but it’s so good we thought it deserved it’s own, especially as it’s so accessibility / disability friendly

The amazing thing is how much it packs into such a relatively small space, from incredible  ‘Narnia’ fir trees, a fantastically placed bench, & a landscape that could easily have come straight out of an Alpine country

We cover the village, including the wonderful church & graveyard in Walk 4 so this walk will simply concentrate on the Pocket Park

Let’s Walk!

1. Our walk starts & ends outside The Sun Inn which we can highly recommend. It’s a lot bigger than it looks from the front & is also child & dog friendly, with a garden at the rear…

Facing the pub turn left & walk to the green containing the War Memorial…

2. Bear right & then turn left down Hermitage Farm Close…

…& follow this down past the large shed, where the path narrows

3. After 25 yards or so turn left into the Pocket Park

Shortly the path arrives at a junction where the park opens up slightly

4. Our route is left down the hill (the one ahead is our return path) following this beautiful winding path – they really did a good job of making this look so attractive

And, whilst this looks pretty good, just wait until you get round the second bend. The fir trees are incredible

5. The path passes straight between these beautiful specimens – just imagine them with snow on in the winter. There’s also a fantastic bench to sit on & contemplate life. Immediately after the firs you arrive at another junction…

Our route is right but, if you did go straight on you’d end up down in Brackmills & on a path to Delapre Park

6. So turn right up the hill it is & again, you’ll notice the use of a winding path. Halfway up the hill look to the right where you’ve come from. Doesn’t this look “alpine” & you can imagine it covered in snow with skiers coming down it

Our path bends right & follows the edge of Brackmills Industrial Estate

7. Shortly there’s another junction…

The left track heads into the industrial estate, but our one heads right into a wooded area once more

8. Pass the small pond on the left & the path now bends sharp right up the hill. If you were to carry straight on into the wood you would come to a road & cross into Brackmills Country Park (see Walk 149)

At the top of the hill there’s probably the straightest stretch of path on this walk as it passes through more trees & then approaches the junction we initially turned down the hill at

9. But before you get there just stop & look at the view down the hill towards the town – what a great view down the ‘ski slope’ you looked up earlier

If you want to round again turn right down the winding path once more, but now it’s simply a case of continuing straight ahead to exit the park, turn right past the large shed & retrace your steps to The Sun Inn & that well deserved cuppa

It’s rather a special place & I hope you love it as much as many people do. Now…just don’t tell anyone about it!

Go Walk!