Chiltern Hills Three-in-One Walk

Walking trail

This is an 8.5 mile walk taking you between the fascinating historical village of West Wycombe, the unspoilt village of Bradenham and the estate of Hughenden Manor. It is also possible to use these instructions for a shorter 5.5 mile circular walk just between West Wycombe and Bradenham.

We strongly recommend using the local 1:25 000 Ordnance Survey map in addition to these instructions.

Map

Walking trail map for Chilterns Countryside Three in One walk

Start:

National Trust car park near St Lawrence’s Church on West Wycombe Hill at grid ref. SU827950

1

Walk away from the church to the far end of the car park, then turn right down the lane that leads into the car park. After about 150m, and opposite a passing place, turn sharp left through a narrow gap in the hedge onto a sign-posted footpath that leads into a small area of woodland. After about 50m bear right under some yew trees until you emerge into a field, with views across the broad Saunderton Valley and the Chiltern Line railway track.

Bear left then continue straight ahead along the edge of the field with a hedge on your left. On reaching an area of woodland, continue straight ahead through the woodland for 20 minutes (1 km) until you reach a signposted T-junction. Turn right to pass a large old chalk pit on the right then continue following the track. Large areas of woodland to the right of the track have recently been clear felled and replanted, opening up very good views (for now) over Bradenham Valley and Village. About 12 minutes (600 metres) after the turn you reach the buildings at Nobles Farm.

2

Turn right opposite the entrance to Nobles Farm, following a path that heads steeply downhill through woodland. Just after a wooden gate, you will enter a field and you will see the village of Bradenham ahead of you. Continue downhill, following the edge of the field. On reaching the bottom corner of the field, the path turns right through a narrow, rather overgrown gap to a gate. After passing through the gate, turn right along the edge of a field and go through another gate. Turn immediately left, across the narrow field, to reach a track that heads under the railway line. As you reach a gate on the other side of the underpass, you will see a field gate ahead of you. Head towards this and go through a smaller metal gate on the right of the field gate that leads onto the A4010 main road. Take great care crossing this busy road and then turn right. At the Red Lion former public house, now a welcoming café, cross Bradenham Wood Lane towards an old-fashioned, red telephone kiosk that houses a defibrillator. Turn left into Bradenham Wood Lane, following the narrow roadside pavement until you reach the village green. Here take a footpath that heads across the green towards a track that runs along the right side of the green. At the corner of the green, just past the cricket pavilion, you will reach the National Trust car park for Bradenham Village.

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Bradenham village

3

From the National Trust carpark by the cricket pavilion, follow the track away from the village green that heads uphill to the right of the wall at the corner of Bradenham Manor. After the second corner, take the left fork and continue along the track alongside the wall to the Manor House. After 80 metres, follow the track as it curves to the right and head uphill through woodland. You will pass some houses on your right. 60m beyond a signboard about ‘The Clumps of Naphill Common’, leave the track (which curves to the right) and continue straight ahead on a narrow footpath until you reach a second signboard showing your location on the edge of Naphill Common.

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Naphill Common

4

Continue in the same direction on the path to the right of the signboard. On reaching a crossing path, turn right again to follow a path that runs parallel to the edge of a field. After 3 minutes (180 metres), just before a plantation of Christmas trees, turn left on a downhill fork and then turn right through a gate. Follow the path through Great Cookshall Wood for about 20 minutes (1 km), ignoring crossing tracks. On reaching the Cookshall Farm buildings, continue straight ahead on a track, keeping the buildings to your left. From here, you will see expansive views back towards West Wycombe Hill. When the track reaches a T-junction, head straight ahead through a gate into a wood to a footpath that curves immediately to the left, then heads downhill to meet a crossing track.

(If you wish to do the shorter walk of 5.5 miles (8.5 km) cutting out Hughenden Manor, turn right here, following the path downhill until you reach a narrow country lane. Turn left on the lane and follow it for 4 minutes (200 metres) until you reach a private car park on your right by some buildings. Now go straight to instruction 9.)

5

At the crossing track, turn left, heading gently uphill through woodland until you reach a kissing-gate. Follow the path across a field to another gate. After the gate, turn right for 2 minutes (100 metres) and then turn left passing a pond on your right. After a further 2 minutes (100 metres) you will reach a small parking area at the end of Hunt’s Hill Lane. Follow Hunt’s Hill Lane downhill.

6

After about 7 minutes (340 metres), turn right into a field, following the public footpath sign to Hughenden Manor. The path follows a dry valley downhill and, after passing through a gate, it continues into Flagmore Wood. Just before the path reaches another gate into a field, turn left up a short climb. At the T-junction at top of the slope turn right, following the signpost to Hughenden Manor & Tea Room. Follow this path along the edge of Echo Valley, with distant views towards High Wycombe town centre, and then straight ahead through woodland until you reach a short, steep slope and then a narrow road between two brick and flint walls taking you to Hughenden Manor.

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Hughenden Manor

7

From the entrance gate to Hughenden Manor, facing the Stableyard, turn left to retrace your steps, following a narrow road between two brick and flint walls. At the end of the road, head straight ahead down a steep slope. At the next junction, fork left, following the signpost towards Downley. Follow the path downhill towards a set of gates and then along the bottom of Echo Valley. On reaching Common Wood, continue straight ahead until you reach a major junction of footpaths by a National Trust sign for Hughenden Estate Manor Farm. Turn right uphill to the left of a ditch, then bear left away from the ditch where the path forks. As you emerge from the woodland continue straight ahead until you reach the cricket pitch on Downley Common.

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view of Dashwood Mausoleum and St. Lawrence's church West Wycombe Hill

8

Either cross the common, or if a football match or cricket match is in progress, turn right to skirt around the northern edge of the common until you reach the Downley Sports Pavilion on the opposite side. Take a footpath to the right of the pavilion. Go through a gate to the left of Blacksmith’s Cottage and then follow the path with a hedge on your right. Head towards another metal gate, near the base of a wooden electricity pylon, and enter the West Wycombe Estate. Follow the path along the right edge of the field until it enters an area of woodland by another wooden electricity pylon. The path now heads downhill through the woodland to reach a crossing path in the bottom of a valley. Turn left and follow the path downhill until you reach a narrow country lane. Turn left on the lane and follow it for 4 minutes (200 metres) until you reach a private carpark on your right by some buildings.

9

Cross the carpark towards a green public footpath sign to the left of the buildings. Follow the footpath downhill across a field until you reach a crossing track. Cross the track, taking the path opposite that heads briefly uphill through some scrub woodland and then along the right hand edge of a field. Follow the path towards and then under the railway line. On the other side of the railway, take the path that heads half left across a field towards the A4010 road. Taking great care, cross the road and go through the kissing gate opposite. Follow the right hand edge of the field to another kissing gate and then continue uphill along the edge of the field until you reach a road. Turn left down Church Lane, keeping straight ahead when the main road bends right, until you pass beneath the Church Loft to reach the main A40 road.

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West Wycombe Village

10

Turn right and follow the pavement along the High Street. At the end of the High Street, you will be opposite the entrance to West Wycombe House.

11

Turn right into Chorley Road, then immediately right again into Church Lane. There is a paved path parallel with the narrow lane until you reach the far side of primary school. Continue up Church Lane until you reach the entrance to the Hell Fire Caves on your left.

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Hellfire caves  West Wycombe Hill

12

From the small car park in front of the caves, take a path that heads steeply uphill to the right of the iron gates to the Hellfire Caves. After 50 metres, turn left onto a broader uphill path that heads towards the flint-built Dashwood Mausoleum. From the Mausoleum, you will see fine views of West Wycombe House and West Wycombe Park.

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Dashwood Mausoleum West Wycombe Hill

13

On reaching the Mausoleum, turn right, following a path towards the West Wycombe War Memorial on the edge of St Lawrence’s Church’s churchyard. Follow the concrete path through the churchyard. On your left is the entrance to St Lawrence’s Church, at the base of the church tower. Turn right, through a gate, to reach the car park where you started the walk.

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St. Lawrence's Church West Wycombe Hill

End:

National Trust car park near St Lawrence’s Church on West Wycombe Hill at grid ref. SU827950

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Chiltern Hills Three-in-One Walk

Terrain

Most of the walk is on soft footpaths, although you will need to cross some busy main roads, and there are two short stretches on quiet bur narrow country lanes. In the village of West Wycombe, the pavement along the main A40 road is quite narrow at one point. There are a number of gates. Dogs are welcome, but must be kept under strict control as livestock is grazed on several parts of the route. Dogs must be kept on leads on the West Wycombe Estate. There are several short, but fairly steep climbs and descents. Some paths may be muddy and slippery after prolonged or heavy rain. Stout walking shoes or walking boots are recommended in wet conditions or after heavy rain.

Please note that parts of the route between points 4 and 9, and between points 11 and 13, are not on National Trust land. As such, the National Trust does not check for hazards on these sections of the walk. Walkers therefore follow this route at their own risk.

Chiltern Hills Three-in-One Walk

Contact us

+441494 755 596 chilternscountryside@nationaltrust.org.uk

Chiltern Hills Three-in-One Walk

How to get here

Address
Start at the National Trust Car Park on West Wycombe Hill Grid Ref. SU827950. Alternative parking available at Bradenham (free), starting at Step 3, and at Hughenden Manor (free to National Trust members), starting at Step 7.
By train

The nearest station is High Wycombe (2.9 miles away) on the Chiltern Railways Line.

By road

West Wycombe village is 2.5 miles west of High Wycombe, on the A40. Pass through the village and then turn right into Chorley Road, then immediately right again into Church Lane. Continue up the narrow lane to reach the large National Trust carpark at the top of the hill by the church.

SATNAV: the nearest postcode is HP14 3AR. Latitude: 51.647362.  Longitude: -0.805630.

By foot

Please see OS map 172

By bus

The main bus route through West Wycombe is the Number 40 service between High Wycombe and Thame run by Carousel Buses.

By bicycle

West Wycombe is accessible by bicycle from High Wycombe, Stokenchurch or Princes Risborough.

Chiltern Hills Three-in-One Walk

Facilities and access

  • There are several public houses in West Wycombe, a tea room at the village shop and a cafe at the Hellfire Caves. There is also a cafe The Red Lion in Bradenham. Hughenden Manor has a cafe in the Stableyard which is open 363 days a year, serving specials
  • There are public toilets in West Wycombe at SU828946, close to the village school. There are also toilets at Hughenden Manor in the Stableyard.
  • Benches and other places to picnic can be found on the village green at Bradenham, on West Wycombe Hill and at other places along the route. Please take your litter home with you.
  • Free parking is available at the National Trust Car Park on West Wycombe Hill Grid Ref. SU827950.
  • Alternative parking available at Bradenham (free) and at Hughenden Manor (free to National Trust members)
  • Alternative parking is also available in West Wycombe Village off Chorley Road. Grid. Ref. SU826947. Here, parking is free for the first hour, then £2.50 for up to 2 hours and £4.50 for more than 2 hours. Machines will not take cash.