Recent forestry operations on parts of the route across Naphill Common may lead to poor path conditions after heavy rain (see Terrain section). We strongly recommend using the local 1:25000 Ordnance Survey map in addition to these instructions. Stout walking shoes or walking boots are recommended in wet conditions or after heavy rain.
Total steps: 11
Total steps: 11
National Trust car park in Bradenham village. Grid reference: 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.
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.
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 and 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..
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.
Turn right up Loosley Hill, across Lower Road up to a crossroads, where you will find the Whip Inn and the Lacey Green Windmill at the junction of Pink Road and Main Road.
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 1.5km 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.
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 1.5km, 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.
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.
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.
Turn left to go past the information board then immediately turn right along a footpath through oak woodlands. Merge onto a 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 village. Grid reference: SU827969
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