Alternative Routes

For a longer walk round McIlroy Park you can continue to bear to the right down Romany Lane instead of immediately going up to top meadow. The path follows the edge of the park until you come to steps at the lower edge. Go up the steps. Here you can walk along the bottom edge of the park until you reach the wooded area on the other side. The woods are possibly at their best in spring - there are carpets of bluebells and pockets of gorse and broom.

At one point you can make a further detour at an exit to the park which crosses Thirlemere Avenue. Here there is the railway house (!) and also you can reach the Saxon mound by continuing down the hill. However keeping to the alternative route, if you follow the path all the way round through the wood you should meet the main path again. If you go this way you will have missed the view, so you may want to continue across the top of the hill to take advantage of it. In many ways the view is more splendid when it is approached from this direction.

This alternative route then takes you down Gipsy Lane. This is found on the right down steps about three quarters of the way across the meadow, or if you have walked right across the top of the meadow, is where you forked to go down Romany Lane. Gipse Lane follows the south edge of the park. To leave the park there is a small gateway. You then should follow straight across the open space by the houses. This part of of Gipsy Lane can be a little difficult to follow, since the path is usually overgrown by the pretty hawthorn, however it is possible to walk on the road for some 50 metres until you can easily enter the lane. The new houses on the left are built where there used to be the old brick kiln. The lane runs along the back of Rodway Road.

At the end of the lane, you need to cross Kentwood Hill and go downhill for about 50 metres. But you may want to take a short time out to look at the house known as Kentwood Farm which dates back to 1723. It is opposite to the entrance into Arthur Newbery Park. The farm houses still exist but the grounds became the Rodway Road area.

The path into Arthur Newbery Park is on the corner of Kentwood Hill and Armour Hill. This used to be a difficult entrance to find, but is now graced with a park sign. At the entrance is an old letter box. The seat alongside has been engulfed by trees, but the letter box has its own path. Continue up into the park until you come to the top. If you continue in more or less a straight line, you will cross the top of the park, past the play area. The exit is on the very far side of the park where we now join the main route.