Hughenden's ghostly secrets walk
High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire HP14 4LARoute details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Will you have a spooky encounter with Hughenden Manor’s very own resident ghost, the former Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, whose friendly spectre has been spotted in the house and grounds by many visitors? Our spooky ghost stories are taken from 'Ghosts: Mysterious tales from the National Trust' by Siân Evans.
- Bus stop
Start: Hughenden Manor ticket office, grid ref: SU866955
Make your way to the notice board in the woodland car park, facing away from the house. Follow the wooden woodland walks sign that points up an earth track (the Coffin Path) and follow the blue arrows from there. Continue down the Coffin Path (a track running alongside the woodland car park) away from the Manor. This ancient road was used to transport the dead from Naphill to Hughenden Church in the Medieval ages. If you look closely you may see where the flint surface has been ground by iron wheels. It almost certainly marks the edge of a Saxon field boundary.
Hughendon Manor was the home and final resting place of Benjamin Disraeli. The house has been rebuilt many times, each time leaving its unique mark. One of the staircases contains a window dating from the Middle Ages and the lowest parts of the building incorporates the remains of a Medieval house. While working on his book, Disraelis biographer, Robert Blake, reported several sightings of a man in archaic clothing walking straight through the basement.
Walk up the Coffin Path until you come to the overflow car park on your left. Turn right along a narrow, uneven path which follows the edge of the wood on your right.
The most common sightings occur on the main staircase where visitors have reported seeing a dandyish figure standing and smiling at them. Most assume that it is a member of staff in historical costume. One member of staff caught a momentary sight of a well-dressed figure in black standing next to the filing cabinet in his office. Upon telling his staff members months later, he learnt that the room had a particular reputation for being haunted.
Continue straight, going downhill slightly, into the wood. After a short time you will reach an obvious path crossing yours. Turn left and continue along this. The path widens and flattens out.
On your right as you turn left; imagine the ghostly shape of a tennis court which was sited here when Disraeli owned Hughenden.
Continue along this path. You’ll go down a steep hill, straight across a crossroads and up a hill on the other side. Keep going until you reach the far end of the wood which opens out onto a field.
Keep an eye out for the secretive Muntjac deer that frequent these woods.
Go through the gate at the edge of the wood and walk diagonally left across the corner of the field to the gate on the far side.
Take a moment as here you can enjoy views of the valley below.
Go through the gate on the other side of the field and follow the fence line on your right hand side.
In his time at Hughenden, Disraeli regularly enjoyed a stroll through the woods that occupy the grounds. There have been sightings in these woods of an old gentleman in Victorian clothing tipping his hat at passers by... could this be the same spectre who reportedly haunts the Manor and bears a striking resemblance to the former Prime Minister?
You will come out onto the Coffin Path on the other side of this field. Turn left and continue back down the path until you reach the car park and your starting point.
The chapel of St Michael's and all Angels on the left as you drive into the parkland is the final resting place for Disraeli, his wife and other family members. Queen Victoria ordered that a porcelain primrose be buried with him as he started up the Primrose League.
End: Hughenden Manor ticket office, 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.
- How to get here:
By foot: 1.5 miles (2.4km) north of High Wycombe towards Kingshill. Footpaths to estate from surrounding villages. Hughenden Manor is 0.5 mile (0.8km) uphill from the main road (A4128)
By bus: Arriva 300, High Wycombe and Aylesbury. Bus stop at entrance to drive
By train: High Wycombe, 2 miles (3.2km)
By car: 1.5 miles (2.4km) north of High Wycombe towards Kingshill. Exit 4 from M40, then A404 towards High Wycombe, follow signs to Eden Shopping Centre then A4128 to Great Missenden. Sat Nav HP14 4LA
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