Tylers Common & Warley
Rolling countryside past woods old and new
Wild flowers on Tylers Common; drifts of fleabane in Tylers Wood in late summer; birds in hedges and copses.
Some paths cross arable fields that may be ploughed (section FGH); several crossings of fairly busy roads.
Liverpool St line train to Harold Wood or park at Tylers Common (point A).
Full circuit from Tylers Common (ABCDEFGHIA) 4–4½ hours; shorter version (ABCHIA) 2½–3 hours; add 40 minutes if starting from Harold Wood station (KJA at the start and IJK at the end).
Undulating terrain, mostly on well-defined unsurfaced footpaths; some short sections on (mostly quiet) roads, and a longer road walk from Harold Wood station.
Click on a marker on the map for route details
Stage AB: Tylers Common
Head up the overgrown slope from the back of the Tylers Common car park, then continue straight ahead along the top of the ridge, passing a clump of trees surrounding a pond on your left before the land falls away. Walk down the slope on the horseride towards the M25 visible beyond, until you come to a path junction at the bottom where you enter the Forestry Commission's recently planted Tylers Wood.
Stage BC: Tylers Wood & Jermains Wood
Turn left at the path junction, with a mature hedge on your left and a horse pasture beyond, then left again at the second path junction just short of the busy M25 looming above. Walk up the slope to cross the footbridge over the M25, going straight ahead through the metal kissing gate with a meadow on your left until you reach Jacksons Wood. Go straight on here for the full circuit, or turn right over the stile for a shortcut.
Stage CD: Jacksons Wood to Dark Lane
Follow the path straight on through the narrow strip of Jacksons Wood then through a meadow with a row of large oaks and into a horse pasture. Bear right around the edge and into a small patch of woodland, from where you emerge on to Dark Lane.
Stage CH: Jacksons Wood to Beredens Lane
Turn right over a stile just before Jacksons Wood, following the path down through the fringes of the wood then through grassland alongside the M25 embankment, bearing left to follow the path across a section of arable field then along a grass verge with a hedge on your left until you emerge on to Warley Road. Cross with care to a 'Permissive bridleway' fingerpost opposite. Scramble – it is steep and overgrown – up the path until you emerge on to Beredens Lane, where you turn right to walk down the lane to rejoin the circuit at point H.
Stage DE: Green Lane and Headley Common
Turn left down Dark Lane then very soon right up Green Lane. Soon you emerge on to the busy Warley Road, which cross with care and turn left to follow the footpath on to Headley Common, with the Headley PH and its duck pond on your right. Turn right to follow Warley Gap (the road) past the leisure facilities of Brentwood Park towards the Ford office block, crossing the road junction to find the entrance to Warley Gap (the woodland) on the right just beyond.
Stage EF: Warley Gap
Warley Gap is a narrow strip of steeply sloping land, dense with trees. The lefthand path is a bridleway, taking a direct route down to the bottom, but if you are in no hurry take the footpath to the right, which winds its way round moss-covered humps and hollows. The paths join near the bottom of the hill, where you emerge on to a road junction. Cross the road and head for the farm opposite, where a stile just beyond it marks the start of a footpath.
Stage FG: Footpaths to Hole Farm
Follow the footpath with a hedgerow on your right, then across an open meadow to join another hedge on your left, soon emerging on to Great Warley Street opposite the art nouveau church of St Mary the Virgin. Walk a short way down the hill and cross to a stile on the right. From here the footpath follows a concrete track then diverges left from it, following the hedgerow on the right down to Hole Farm. Turn right on to the track that passes through the farm buildings.
Stage GH: Hole Farm Lane and Coombe Wood
Follow the track, once a pilgrimage route and now known as Hole Farm Lane, for a few hundred metres before turning left on to a footpath that heads towards the corner of Coombe Wood, an overgrown ancient wood, then follows its edge down to Beredens Lane, where you turn left down the hill.
Stage HI: Folkes Lane Wood to Great Tomkyns
Follow Beredens Lane up to the footbridge across the M25, at the end of which you enter the Forestry Commission's Folkes Lane Woodland. Turn right up the slope alongside the M25, with views to the south across the Thames floodplain, then left at the top to walk down beside the hedgerow. At the bottom go straight on over the stile and through the bramble thickets. Follow the path through meadows and a small wood with a tall hedgerow on your left, until you come out on to Tomkyns Lane opposite Great Tomkyns, a moated 15th century farmhouse.
Stage IA: Back to Tylers Common
Turn right on Tomkyns Lane and follow it until it joins Warley Road. Across the road opposite a grass track enters Tylers Common: follow this track up to the top of the common and then bear left towards the car park – the electricity pylon just to the right (north) of the car park is a good landmark.
Stage IJ: Tomkyns Lane to Pages Wood
Turn right on Tomkyns Lane, then after about 50m take a footpath on the left just before the entrance to Great Tomkyns Farm. This starts as a dark tunnel between two tall hedges, then opens out just before a stile. Turn left after this stile then right after another and follow the path with a gappy hedge on your right through hay meadows to Hall Lane. The car park and entrance to Pages Wood, another Forestry Commission woodland, are across the road about 50m up to the left. Follow the leftmost track down the slope past the wood sculptures and turn left just after the plank bridge and follow the track up beside the River Ingrebourne, a modest stream at this point, right up to the north-west corner where the path crosses the river into Harold Wood park.
Stage JA: Pages Wood to Tylers Common
Turn left at the path junction opposite the bridge and follow the loose-surfaced path around and down to the far right corner of the field, turning left beyond the hedgerow and following the path straight up between patches of young trees until you come out on Shepherds Hill. Cross at the crossing and go straight on down Ivy Lodge Lane – the left fork, not the vet's access road. About 200m down a surfaced path crosses. Turn right here and right again at the next path junction, and it brings you out on Nags Head Lane, almost opposite the parking area for Tylers Common, to which you cross the road.
Stage JK: Return to Harold Wood station
Follow the surfaced path into Harold Wood Park, turning right at each of the next two junctions, then left to an exit into Brinsmead Road. At its end, turn right down Squirrels Heath Road, then first left into Archibald Road, turning left into Fitzilian Avenue/Oak Road at its end. Turn right to the station where Oak Road meets Gubbins Lane.
Stage KJ: Access from Harold Wood station
Turn left outside the station, then first left into Oak Road. Turn right into Archibald Road at the end of Oak Road/Fitzilian Avenue and, when you come out on to Squirrels Heath Road, turn right then first left into Brinsmead Road, at the end of which you come to an entrance to Harold Wood Park. Turn right on the surfaced path, then left at each of the next two junctions, and you come to a bridge over the Ingrebourne River that leads into Pages Wood.