DISTANCE – 1.6 miles/2.6km –
TIME – allow 1 hour
A short but fairly challenging cross-field walk Stiles – 5 (some fairly difficult) Climbs – undulating with some short climbs – most notably climbing the steps to the church on the return route. Terrain/surface – terrain uneven, cross-field paths, quiet roads and mere-side paths. You may encounter cattle, horses and geese on this route. Keep a respectful distance.
Start from the Cross Street car park
1. Turn right onto Cross Street, go across the small car park at the end of the road next to the roundabout. Cross the main road to Swanhill.
2. Follow Swan Hill for a short distance to turn left up a cycle path with a wooden fence.
3. At road go left then immediately right down another path that dips then climbs between houses.
4. Go left at the road then left at the bend to the footpath.
5. Follow the loose gravel path up the old railway embankment and follow the path to reach a stile on the left.
6. Go over the stile bearing right to an awkward stile in the hedge.
7. Cross the stile and go straight ahead across the field to another stile. Cross the next field to another stile.
8. Bear slightly right to another stile next to a gap in the hedge.
9. Go right following the hedge to the road.
10. Follow the road for 450 metres to a T junction (look out for brown hares in the fields).
11. Turn right, then turn left down the track just past the cemetery that leads to the Mere. (If you want to avoid the climb at the end of this walk, follow Swan Hill to the roundabout and back to the start along Cross Street.)
12. Turn right at the Mere and follow the path to take the footpath on the right in Cremorne Gardens.
13. Exit onto Church Road and cross carefully to the church.
14. Go into the churchyard, climbing up to the church and going right to the side gate.
15. Cross the cobbled courtyard and go left to reach St Johns Hill.
16. Turn right and descend to the town, going right onto Watergate Street, then left into the car park to return to the start.