Chiltern Hills, Valleys and Woodlands Walk

Walking trail

This is an 8 mile (13 kilometre) walk starting in the National Trust’s Bradenham Village and leading you through a mix of chalk meadows, beech woodlands and a variety of farmland. This is a walk of contrasts, starting with far-reaching views across the Chiltern Countryside around Bradenham, Smalldean, Loosley Row and Lacey Green, followed by a gentle descent along a typical chalk dry valley to the village of North Dean, before returning to Bradenham through the mature beech woodlands of Naphill Common.

Recent forestry operations on parts of the route across Naphill Common may lead to poor path conditions after heavy rain - see Terrain.

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


Chiltern Hills, Valleys and Woodlands Walk map


Start at the National Trust car park in Bradenham village near the cricket pavilion, Grid. Ref. SU827969


From the car park head north along the top edge of the village green. From this side of the green, you can see the layout of the unspoilt Chiltern village of Bradenham with its flint and brick cottages. Pass in front of Bradenham Manor, the childhood home of Benjamin Disraeli, and St. Botolph Church. Take great care crossing Bradenham Wood Lane and take the footpath opposite which passes between the pond and the Old School. Go through two gates and continue straight ahead across open grassland with woodlands above you on your right hand side.

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Bradenham Village in Buckinghamshire


Cross over a rough track by a star shaped wooden bench and continue gently uphill along the edge of a field with the field boundary on your right. There are often horses grazing in the adjacent field. Near the top of the hill and before crossing another path, pause and enjoy the view back towards Bradenham. Continue up along a grassy path with Park Wood on your right hand side. At the top of the hill there is a view to your left towards Saunderton village and Bledlow Ridge. You may see one of the Chiltern Line trains running between London and Birmingham The track runs along the valley bottom.

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Star shaped wooden bench at Bradenham


The path now turns sharp left and downhill. Instead, bear right and pass through a gate into Park Woods. After about 100m bear left onto a wide footpath which joins from the right. After about 500m continue downhill along a sunken path with a mix of beech, yew and holly trees. There are views of Smalldean Farm between the trees on your left hand side. Go up a short steep incline then merge onto a footpath joining from the right. Continue downhill ignoring any side paths to a small National Trust car park. Turn left onto Smalldean Lane. Beware of occasional cars & bicycles as this is part of the Chiltern Cycleway. You pass Smalldean Farm on your left. After heading uphill for another 100m you come to a small lay-by on your right..

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Chalk grassland at Bradenham


Turn right onto a footpath which heads uphill across a field then runs to the left of a hedge. Continue uphill across 3 fields, always keeping the hedge on your right hand side. At the top of the second field pause and enjoy the views back along the valley, You may be able spot the Golden Ball on the hill above West Wycombe in the distance. On the right there are views of Lacey Green and Promised Land Farm. As you reach the top of the hill go through a gate (this may be muddy). Continue straight ahead, ignoring the first metal gate on your left and after about 25 m pass through a second metal gate, then through a short section of woods before emerging onto an open field with far-reaching views towards Chinnor, Lodge Hill and across the Oxford Plain. Pass through a gate or over a stile and continue gently downhill towards the village of Loosley Row, ignoring a path that bears right. Go over another stile, take care crossing Little Lane into Foundry Lane and continue downhill for about 200m where you will see Gommes Forge on your left.

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Loosley Row


Turn right up Loosley Hill, across Lower Road up to a cross roads, where you will find the Whip Inn and the Lacey Green Windmill at the junction of Pink Road and Main Road.

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Lacey Green Windmill


Take care crossing the busy road, then turn right and continue along Main Road for about 300m, then turn left into Goodacres Lane. At the end of the lane turn right along a narrow path between a barbed wire fence and a hedge. To your left you can see the fields and paddocks of Widmer Equestrian Centre. (Note - this narrow path can become very overgrown in the summer, so an alternative route is to continue another 500m along Main Road, past the Black Horse pub, then turn left into Kiln Lane.)


At the end of the path turn left down Kiln Lane and follow this track for the next 1.5 km down along this typical chalkland dry valley (notice that there is no stream or river). Pass several cottages until the track emerges from Highwood Bottom onto Flowers Bottom Lane. Bear right downhill along the road (beware of any cars or bicycles), then back up towards a brick and flint cottage, which was once a popular gastro-pub called The Old Plow (closed in 2015), owned by the daughter of former Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald. 

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View across the Chilterns from Lacey Green


Just before reaching the brick and flint cottage on a right hand bend in the road, turn left and follow a path between paddocks containing alpacas and chickens. Follow the path that runs along the valley bottom for the next 1.5 km, crossing several stiles until you reach North Dean village. Some of the fields contain grazing horses belonging to the Rest home for Retired Horses, many of which are ex-military, ex-police or former racehorses. There may also be grazing cattle belonging to Dean Farm. Please ensure dogs are kept on a lead through this section As you enter the village go through a gate into a farmyard then turn right along a footpath to the left of the large metal gate, which takes you to the main road.

Paddocks in Flowers Bottom


Turn right along the road for 250m through Upper North Dean and then turn right into Clappins Lane. After about 100m go through a gate in the hedge on your left and follow a path diagonally uphill towards the woods. Look back for a good view of Upper North Dean village. Climb over a stile and follow a path uphill through Stocking Woods, marked with white arrows. As you emerge from the woods climb over a stile and follow a path across a field. At a crossing of paths, pass through a gate or over a stile and bear right across another field past two lone trees. After yet another stile follow a winding path until you reach a kissing gate onto Main Road.

Upper North Dean from Stockings Wood


Take great care crossing this busy road (visibility may be restricted) and follow a narrow footpath directly opposite between houses and hedges. (If you wish to visit The Black Horse pub, it is about 50m along a rough road to your right.) Bear slight right and follow a footpath through Naphill Common woods, ignoring any crossing paths. When you come to a fork, bear right until you merge onto a wide path (H18) that joins from the right. Soon you will reach Lady Horse Pond on your left. Continue straight ahead to a crossing of paths. Keep in the same direction as before, now beneath telephone lines. At the next junction of paths you will see an Information Board on your left.

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Naphill Common


Turn left to go past the information board then immediately turn right along a footpath through oak woodlands. Merge onto an unmade road / track joining from Bradenham Hill Farm on the left. Pass another information board at The Clumps and follow the track downhill, taking the left hand fork when the track splits. On reaching the Bradenham Manor garden wall, follow the track downhill keeping the wall on your right hand side back to the National Trust village car park where you started.


National Trust car park in Bradenham

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Chiltern Hills, Valleys and Woodlands Walk


Most of the walk is on a mix of soft footpaths, rough tracks and two short sections of road. There are some moderate climbs, of about 290 metres in total. There are several stiles and a number of gates. Dogs are welcome, but must be kept under strict control as livestock is grazed on several parts of the route. Some paths can 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 recent forestry operations on Naphill Common have disturbed a section of this walk. Between points 10 and 11, parts of the route may be heavily gullied and very muddy in wet conditions, particularly during the winter months. This should be only a temporary issue.

Please note that part of the route between points 4 and 10 is 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, Valleys and Woodlands Walk

How to get here

Start at the National Trust car park in Bradenham village near the cricket pavilion, Grid. Ref. SU827969.
By train

The nearest station is a mile (1.5 km) away at Saunderton on the Chiltern Railways line. From the station, head southeast toward Slough Lane, then turn left onto Slough Lane. Turn right onto Wycombe Rd/A4010 and after just under a mile (1.3 km); turn left at the Red Lion pub into Bradenham Wood Lane to join the route at point 2

By road

From the A4010, High Wycombe to Princes Risborough road, take Bradenham Wood Lane. Take the first right (Rectory Lane) along the edge of the village green, then next left along on a track on the southern edge of the village green for about 180 metres. The designated car park is just after the cricket pavilion. SATNAV: the nearest postcode is HP14 4HF. Latitude: 51.665615, Longitude: -0.80446690

By foot

Please see OS Explorer map 172.

By bus

The main bus route through Bradenham is route 321 between High Wycombe and Aylesbury. The bus stop is near the Red Lion pub in Bradenham Road (the A4010).

Alternatively, take the 300 bus between High Wycombe and Aylesbury to the Purssells Meadow bus stop in Naphill (near Point 10 on the map) or The Whip bus stop in Lacey Green (at Point 6 on the map). To join the walk at Point 10 from the Purssells Meadow bus stop, head northwest along Main Road to a slightly hidden waymarked public footpath between hedges on the left. This is about 60m past the entrance to Mosely Road.

By bicycle

Bradenham is accessible by bicycle from High Wycombe or Princes Risborough. The Chiltern Cycleway passes Saunderton Station (see access by train above). Please note that no cycling is allowed on much of the trail.  Please see OS Explorer map 172.

Chiltern Hills, Valleys and Woodlands Walk

Facilities and access

  • Free parking is available in Bradenham village, near the cricket pavilion at Grid. Ref. SU827969
  • There are no public toilets on site.
  • Food & Drink: The Red Lion in Bradenham has recently reopened as a Tea House, serving breakfast, lunch snacks and afternoon tea. It also has a small licensed bar. Opening Times: Mon closed, Tues to Sat 9am - 4pm, Sun 10am - 3pm. Tel 01494 565554.
  • The Whip Inn in Lacey Green, is located about half way along the route and serves good pub food and drinks. Opening Times: 12am -11pm every day. Tel. 01844 344060.
  • The Black Lion in Naphill, has a large beer garden, ideal for young families and serves good pub food and drinks. Opening Times: Mon to Sat 11am – 11pm , Sun 12am – 7pm. Tel. 01494 563176.
  • Benches and other places to picnic can be found on the village green in Bradenham and at several places along the route