Hughenden Woodcock Wood walk
High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, HP14 4LARoute details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Walk the historic Coffin Path before turning to take in the view across Hughenden valley, finishing with a stroll through open beech woods.
- Bus stop
Start: Woodland car park, grid ref: SU866955
Start near the notice board in the woodland car park at Hughenden Manor, facing away from the house. Follow the wooden sign for woodland walks that points up an earth track (the Coffin Path). This ancient road was used for transporting the dead from Naphill to Hughenden Church. If you look closely you may see where the flint base has been ground by iron wheels. It almost certainly marks the edge of a Saxon field boundary. From here take the path signposted with the blue arrows. Continue down the Coffin Path (a track running alongside the woodland car park) away from the manor.
Hughenden Manor, once home to Disraeli, is a beautiful manor house surrounded by the Chiltern countryside. Disraeli, the Victorian Prime Minister and founder of the Buckinghamshire police, lived here from 1848 until his death in 1881 and used to regularly walk in the woods of the estate.
After 100yds (91m) the path divides; follow the path that goes straight on and slightly to the right. Follow the flint track with hedges on both sides.
Continue about one third of a mile until you reach a track crossing the path with metal pedestrian gates on both sides and a large open entrance to the field on the right, where you should turn right.
Red kites can be seen searching for food over open spaces. They are expert gliders and hardly need flap once at altitude. These magnificent birds where persecuted almost to extinction in England during the 19th century but have since been reintroduced to the Chilterns from Spain. They have flourished and are now a common sight gliding on the thermals of these hills. You can recognise them by their large wingspan, up to 5 ft 7in (1.7m), and deeply forked tail.
Continue along the field edge keeping the hedge to your left.
Go through the metal gate in the corner of the field and head towards the woods. You can catch your breath here whilst admiring the view of Hughenden Valley.
Turn right and through the gate into Woodcock Wood.
The 'Bodgers' were highly-skilled itinerant wood-turners who worked in the beech woods on the chalk hills of the Chilterns. They cut timber and converted it into chair legs. Chair-making was once a major industry in Wycombe, and used much of the woodland in this area (including Woodcock Wood). The beech woods are now kept for the important habitat they provide for wildlife.
Follow the track through the wood, continue down a slope and straight over the crossroads.
As you pass straight over the second crossroads and past the bluebells you will enter the woodland car park and the end of the walk.
End: Woodland car park, grid ref: SU866955
- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Easy
- Distance: 2 miles (3.2km)
- Time: 40 minutes
- OS Map: Landranger 165; Explorer 172
Generally flat grass and woodland paths with some short moderate slopes. Can be muddy after wet weather. No stiles, fairly flat route. Dogs welcome under close control in park and woodland.
- How to get here:
By foot: 1.5 miles (2.4km) north of High Wycombe in the direction of Kingshill. Footpaths head into the estate from surrounding villages. Hughenden Manor is 0.5 mile (0.8km) uphill from the main road (A4128)
By bus: Bus stop at the entrance to the drive. Arriva 300, regular bus service between High Wycombe and Aylesbury
By train: High Wycombe 2 miles (3.2km)
By car: 1.5 miles (2.4km) north of High Wycombe in the direction of Kingshill. Exit 4 from M40, then A404 towards High Wycombe, then follow signs to Eden Shopping Centre, then A4128 to Great Missenden. Sat Nav - HP14 4LA
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