The short Wind in the Willows walk

Walking trail

Enjoy this shorter 3 mile walk through the attractive, un-spoilt village of Cookham Dean before passing the boyhood home of Kenneth Grahame, author of 'The Wind in the Willows'. The walk then continues through Quarry and Fultness Woods, which were the inspiration for Kenneth Grahame's 'Wild Wood'.

Please keep dogs on a short lead or under close control around livestock.


Map of the shorter Wind in the Willows walk


Elevation map for the shorter Wind in the Willows walk


Cookham Dean Common car park


From the National Trust car park head out across Cookham Dean Common, following the path that skirts around the left hand edge of the common. Continue following the path to the left of the large house and grounds at the northern edge of Cookham Dean Common, turning left by a yellow grit salt bunker. Take the lane to the right after passing the finger post to Combe End that points back from the direction you just came.

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Cookham Dean Common


After 2 minutes (120 meters) cross over the triangle of grass and lone silver birch tree and briefly continue along the Chiltern Way Berkshire Loop, turning right before the kissing gate. Follow the woodland path up a gentle hill for 8 minutes until you reach Bigfrith Common meadow and the red telephone box on the corner.

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Bigfrith Common telephone box community library


Continue past the restored red telephone box on the corner of Bigfrith Common taking the next right before taking the sharp left turn onto Church Road.


Continue along Church Road for 3 minutes (150 meters) past the blue plaque commemorating Sir Henry Walford Davies on your right, until you reach the Jolly Farmer free house on your left, then St John the Baptist Church on your right. From here continue ahead along Church Road until you reach the Cookham Dean Village war memorial.

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St John the Baptist, Bigfrith Common


From here take a left at the village war memorial, skirting around Cookham Dean Cricket Common past the sign for Sanctum on the Green restaurant and bar. Re-join the Chiltern Way Berkshire Loop, taking a left at the No Vehicles sign and continue down the hill past Cookham Dean Quarry on your left. At the bottom of the hill take a right at the Old Stables following the Cookham Bridleway Circuit. After 50 meters, take the footpath on your left.

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Cookham Dene quarry


Continue uphill until you reach Dean Lane. Take a left and continue up Dean Lane. After 40 meters you will see Herries Preparatory School on the right.

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Keep following Dean Lane and skirting along the edge of Tugwood Common, crossing at the junction between Dean Lane, Quarry Wood Road, and Grubwood Lane, and entering Bisham Woods at the Woodland Trust car park.

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Quarry Woods


Take the footpath straight ahead from the Woodland Trust car park following the blue topped posts, make sure to avoid following the track on your left by the bench after 5 minutes (250 meters) and continue to follow the track and the blue topped posts for a further 7 minutes (360 meters). Here you will find another bench, opposite from which is a fine view of the Thames Valley towards Marlow.

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Marlow from Quarry Woods


From the seat and view point continue along the path, keeping the steep slope on your right. After 4 minutes (280 meters) take the right fork past another blue topped post downhill for a further 3 minutes (180 meters) where you join up with a bridleway. Following the way marker for the bridleway downhill for a further 2 minutes (170 meters) will lead you to a five-way crossroad.


At the five-way crossroad take the track to the left by the way marker post. You are now leaving Quarry Wood and entering Fultness Wood. After 4 minutes (200 meters) leave the bridle way, climbing the earthen bank to follow the footpath way marker attached to a tree on the right. Continue up the steep slope until it levels out, before crossing another footpath and passing through the kissing gate. Follow the hedge line on your left, making sure to then cross over into the arable field on the left. With hedge line now on your right, continue for 7 minutes (360 meters) before taking the stile and small ramp through the trees on the left. Straight ahead at the end of the trees is Winter Hill Road, and beyond the National Trust car park at Cookham Dean Common where you started.


Cookham Dean Common car park

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The short Wind in the Willows walk


Much of the walk is on undulating ground on soft footpaths, tracks and verges, however in places the route follows quiet country lanes; these are not entirely free from traffic. There are two moderately steep descents and one climb of about 300 metres each. Dogs are welcome, but must be kept under strict control.  Some paths can be very muddy and slippery after prolonged or heavy rain.  Stout, waterproof walking shoes or walking boots are strongly recommended. A walking pole is not essential, but may be useful when the paths are slippery.

The short Wind in the Willows walk

Contact us

The short Wind in the Willows walk

How to get here

Cookham Dean Common, Winter Hill Road, Cookham, Maidenhead, SL6 6PJ, UK
By train

The nearest railway station is Cookham Station. From the station, turn left into Lower Road, which becomes Dean Lane. You joint the walk at Point 8 at the junction of Dean Lane with Alleyns Lane.

By road

Cookham Dean can be reached through Cookham or from Reading, Marlow or Maidenhead, via Pinkney’s Green.

By foot

Cookham Dean is on the Chiltern Way, Berkshire Loop. Please see OS map 172.

By bus

The main bus route is the 238/239 Maidenhead - Knowl Hill / Henley / Cookham Dean run by Courtney Buses.  Buses stop by the Jolly Farmer and the Chequers Public House.

By bicycle

Cookham Dean is easily accessible by bicycle from Maidenhead, Slough, Marlow, Bourne End and High Wycombe. Please note that no cycling is allowed on the parts of the trail that are footpaths.

The short Wind in the Willows walk

Facilities and access

  • Free parking at Cookham Dean Common
  • Several benches can be found along the route if you would like to sit for a while
  • Nearest public toilets are in Cookham Village near the Stanley Spencer Gallery