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A distant view of West Wycombe Park taken from a nearby hill, Buckinghamshire
Distant view of West Wycombe Park, Buckinghamshire | © National Trust Images/Hugh Mothersole
Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire & Berkshire

Chiltern Hills three-in-one walk

Enjoy a walk between the historical village of West Wycombe, the unspoilt village of Bradenham and the estate of Hughenden Manor. This 8½-mile trail takes in parkland and woodland including far-reaching countryside views across the Chiltern Hills. A shorter 5½-mile circular trail can be completed between West Wycombe and Bradenham, as an alternative route.

Bring a map

We strongly recommend using the local 1:25 000 Ordnance Survey map to accompany your walk.

Total steps: 13

Total steps: 13

Start point

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

Step 1

Walk away from the church to the far end of the car park, and turn right down the lane. After about 150m, and opposite some steps, turn sharp left through a gap in the hedge onto a signposted footpath that leads into a small woodland. After about 50m bear right under some yew trees until you emerge into a field. Bear left then continue straight 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 (1km) until you reach a signposted T-junction. Turn left uphill for 120m then turn right. Pass an old chalk pit on the right then continue following the track. After about 12 minutes (600m) after the turn you reach the buildings at Nobles Farm.

Step 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. Continue downhill, following the edge of the field. On reaching the bottom corner of the field, the path turns right through a narrow 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 bear left towards a field gate and go through a smaller metal gate on the right of the field gate that leads onto the A4010 main road. Take care crossing this busy road and then turn right. After the Red Lion café cross and turn left into Bradenham Wood Lane following the pavement until you reach the village green. From here take a footpath that heads across the green towards a track that runs along the right side of the green. Beyond the cricket pavilion, you will reach the car park for Bradenham Village (SU828970)

Step 3

From the National Trust car park 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 80m, follow the track as it curves to the right and head uphill through woodland. You will pass some houses on your right. About 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.

Step 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 (180m), 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 (1km), 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 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 (200m) until you reach a private car park on your right by some buildings. Now go straight to step 9.

Step 5

To continue on the longer walk, 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 (100m) and then turn left passing a pond on your right. After a further 2 minutes (100m) you will reach a small parking area at the end of Hunt’s Hill Lane.

Step 6

Follow Hunt’s Hill Lane downhill. After about 7 minutes (340m), 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 and tea-room. Follow this path along the edge of Echo Valley, with distant views towards High Wycombe town centre. Then go 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.

View up to the house from the parterre garden in winter, Hughenden, Buckinghamshire
Hughenden Manor in winter, Buckinghamshire | © National Trust Images/Hugh Mothersole

Step 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.

Step 8

Either cross the common, or 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 country lane. Turn left on the lane and follow it for 4 minutes (200m) until you reach a private car park on your right by some buildings.

Step 9

Cross the car park towards a green public footpath sign, under a large tree, 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 left-hand 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.

Step 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.

Step 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 the primary school. Continue up Church Lane until you reach the entrance to the Hell Fire Caves on your left.

Step 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 50m, 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.

Step 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.

Dashwood Mausoleum, West Wycombe Hill, Buckinghamshire
A view of the Dashwood Mausoleum, West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire | © National Trust Images/Hugh Mothersole

End point

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

Trail map

Trail map for the three in one walk in the Chiltern Hills
Trail map for the three in one walk in the Chiltern Hills | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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