Hambleden and Pheasant’s Hill Trail

Walking trail

This circular, 5.0 mile walk starts and ends in the flint and red brick village of Hambleden. The walk initially ascends the east side of the Hambleden Valley; it then descends through the hamlet of Pheasants Hill. After following the valley floor for a short distance, the route explores the west side of the Hambleden Valley, with its beech woods and distant views across the valley and towards Hambleden village below. The walk returns to Hambleden from the south, following the route of the Hambleden Brook: a chalk stream. It then takes you through the village before returning you to the public car park by the Stag and Huntsman public house.

Please always follow the Countryside Code.

Restrictive Covenants

Some of the land in this walk is protected by the Greenlands restrictive covenant. This is a legal agreement dating from 1944 between the National Trust and Lord Hambleden which means the land is protected in perpetuity. The land has various private owners, but any changes to the land or the buildings require the prior consent of the National Trust. The route follows public rights of way, including parts of the Chiltern Way.


Hambleden and Pheasants Hill trail map


Pay & Display public car park at Hambleden Village. Grid. Ref: SU785865


From the car park, head away from the road entrance towards a footpath signpost by a gate that leads to the cricket ground. Here, turn left along the edge of the field towards a gap in the hedge by some benches and in front of Kenricks: a large house overlooking the cricket ground.


Walk through the gap in the hedge then turn left onto a broad track. You will soon meet a lane. Here turn right heading uphill past the entrance to Kenricks. (Ignore the ‘No Through Road Private Access’ sign – this does not apply to pedestrians following the public footpath). As the lane gives way to a footpath, continue uphill through the woodland until you reach a gate at the top of the hill. Continue straight ahead on a track, passing a large farmyard on your right.

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Sheep grazing near Hambledon


Take the next track on your left sign-posted ‘The House’ which takes you past the modernised farm buildings of Hutton Farm on your right. Once you have passed Hutton Farm, continue almost straight ahead at a junction, following a rough lane through a double gate with a hedge on your right and views across the Hambleden Valley on your left. After the track starts to slope downhill and enters a wood, take a sign-posted footpath on your left. The path heads downhill through North Close Copse. Keep right at a fork following the yellow footpath marker and continue downhill until you reach the edge of the wood. Here the path turns right between two fields with views of the Hambleden Valley and the hamlet of Pheasant’s Hill on your left. The path eventually emerges onto a narrow road at Rockwell Hill End. Take great care at this point as you may not be seen by cars approaching from the left. Turn left, and then follow the road downhill into the Hamlet of Pheasant’s Hill. 

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Pheasants Hill United Reformed Church


Go past the junction with Bottom Hill on the right then, where the main road bears sharp left by the Lower Mead sign, turn right along a short newly surfaced tarmac lane between houses. After 25 metres turn left by Appletree Cottage onto a downhill lane between houses. After another 50 metres turn right following the Chiltern Way sign between a hedge on your right and a private house and garage on your left. You will soon reach a gate, which leads into an open field. Continue until you reach a fourth gate and the quiet lane at Colstrope Farm.

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Turn left onto Colstrope Lane. Follow the lane for about 250 metres to reach Skirmett Road.


Taking great care, bear left across Skirmett Road to reach a light blue wooden gate and follow a path diagonally left across a field towards a group of buildings at Bacres Farm. On reaching the buildings, follow the gravel track in front of the farm which becomes a private road to Built Farm (The road is a public footpath). The road soon turns right and uphill within an avenue of trees. Ignore any side tracks and keep to the sign-posted footpath until it enters an area of woodland. When you reach a wooden, four-way signpost at the top of the hill, turn left along a level gravel track, which meanders through the woodland. Ignore any minor joining tracks or paths. At the next major junction, by a second four-way wooden signpost, turn left again following the track straight ahead across an open area with views into the Hambleden Valley.

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Hambleden Valley


As the track starts to descend, branch right onto a woodland path which runs through woodland parallel with the track (which runs alongside the woodland). Descend the hill on this slightly sunken track. As the path leaves the woodland, turn sharp right and follow the clearly defined path gently uphill, After about 180m bear left off the uphill track and continue straight ahead along a smaller, signposted level footpath ignoring any private forest tracks. You will catch regular glimpses of the Hambleden Valley and Hambleden village on your left. You will also pass through a recently restored historic avenue of Wellington trees, which appear to align with the church in Hambleden Village. Follow the path for about 1.3 km until the path curves to the right and starts heading downhill. Immediately look out for a downhill, currently un-signposted bridleway on the left.


Turn left on the bridleway. After a short distance, turn right at a T-junction, still following the bridleway downhill until you reach a wide crossing path at the bottom of the slope. On reaching the path turn left for about 240 metres until the path to the left. Shortly after this, fork right onto a narrower path and head downslope joining a track towards a cluster of buildings and a lane. Follow the short lane until you reach Skirmett Lane.


This is a difficult road junction as you cannot be seen easily by the traffic coming from your right. When you judge it to be safe, turn right along the road for 110 metres. Then turn left onto a rough lane which is also a public footpath. After about 100 metres, turn left through a gate and follow the path across an open field towards Hambleden, which should be clearly visible ahead of you. Note the fine eighteenth century barn to your right, which has featured in a variety of television and film productions. These water meadows are often used for grazing sheep or cattle. After 500 metres, you will reach a gate to the left of a bridge over the Hambleden Brook. Turn right, over the bridge, following the road into the village of Hambleden.

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Hambleden Village


On reaching the village pump, go more-or-less straight ahead to reach the lych-gate to St Mary the Virgin Church.

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St Mary the Virgin Church Hambleden


At the gate, bear half right following a path across the southeast corner of the churchyard to reach another gate. Opposite the gate is the Elizabethan manor house (This is private property - please do not enter the grounds).

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Turn right on Pheasant’s Hill Road and then almost immediately left. You will see the Stag and Huntsman ahead of you and beyond the pub, the entrance to the car park where you started the walk.


Public car park at Hambleden Village. Grid. Ref: SU785865

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Hambleden and Pheasant’s Hill Trail


The walk is mainly on soft footpaths and gravel tracks, with some short stretches on country lanes. There are some fairly steep slopes. There are a number of gates on the route, and you will need to cross a busy country road twice. Stout walking shoes or walking boots are recommended in wet conditions or after heavy rain as some paths can become muddy and slippery. Dogs are welcome, but must be kept under strict control to protect the wildlife and livestock that may be encountered along the route. There are some stretches where game birds and other livestock are reared and where the landowners require that dogs must be kept on a lead.

Please note that none of the route is on National Trust land. As such, the National Trust does not check for hazards on the walk. Walkers therefore follow this route at their own risk.


Hambleden and Pheasant’s Hill Trail

How to get here

Pay and display public car park at Hambleden Village. Grid. Ref: SU785865
By road

From Marlow, follow the A4155 towards Henley-on-Thames for 4.7 miles. At Mill End turn right towards Hambleden. Head north for just under a mile and then turn right into Hambleden Village. Go past the church yard, and where the road turns sharp left, go straight ahead towards the Stag and Huntsman. The public car park is just after the pub.

From Henley-on-Thames, follow the A4155 towards Marlow for 2.8 miles. At Mill End turn right towards Hambleden. Head north for just under a mile and then turn right into Hambleden Village. Go past the church yard, and where the road turns sharp left, go straight ahead towards the Stag and Huntsman. The public car park is just after the pub.

SATNAV: the nearest postcode is RG9 6SE. Latitude: 51.572520, Longitude: -0.868640

By foot

Hambleden is on the Chiltern Way and the Shakespeare Way long distance paths.

By bus

Arriva and Carousel Buses run regular services between High Wycombe and Reading (Route 800, 850 and 80X) which stop at Mill End, Hambleden.

By bicycle

Please see OS map 171. The route itself is not suitable for bicycles, but it is within easy cycling distance of Reading, Wargrave, Marlow, Twyford or High Wycombe.

Hambleden and Pheasant’s Hill Trail

Facilities and access

  • Pay & Display public car parking in Hambleden Village behind The Stag and Huntsman. Current rates: £3 for up to 4 hours, £4 for up to 6 hours, £5 for up to 24 hours. Grid Ref. SU 785865
  • The Stag and Huntsman in Hambleden is the only public house on the walking route, although other pubs can be found nearby in Skirmett (The Frog), Medmenham (The Dog and Badger), Fingest (The Chequers) and Turville (The Bull and Butcher).
  • In Hambleden, there is a village store and post office, which has a small café, where they sell an array of everyday products, filled rolls, and a wide variety of drinks and snacks.
  • There are several seats and benches in Hambleden.