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View of village lying in valley surrounded by wooded hills and fields
View of Fingest village, Chilterns | © National Trust / Hugh Mothersole
Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire & Berkshire

Hambleden Valley, Turville and Fingest

This 10.2 mile circular walk starts from the village of Hambleden. It crosses the Hamble Brook chalk stream before climbing into the lovely hills and woods to the west of the Hambleden Valley. The walk then descends to the picturesque villages of Turville and Fingest and then climbs a hill to give a magnificent view over Fingest before turning south for a gentle return to Hambleden along the valley floor. The villages and countryside you see on the walk have proved irresistible to film and television companies. And this walk has another bonus: it takes you past four highly rated pubs.

Hazards

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.

Total steps: 11

Total steps: 11

Start point

Pay & Display public car park at Hambleden Village, grid ref: SU785865

Step 1

Turn left from the car park entrance then walk back through the village centre towards the Henley road, passing the church and then the store on your right. Cross the small bridge over the Hamble Brook to meet a road T-junction. Take care crossing the road then join a footpath heading uphill beside metal railings. Go through a kissing gate and continue uphill, ignoring two level paths to the left. When the path starts to turn downhill you meet a sign-posted junction of bridleways.

Step 2

Turn right uphill, then after about 50m turn right again when you meet a crossing path. The path soon heads downhill through mixed woodland with views of Hambleden village below on the right. You pass through an avenue of Wellingtonia trees (an American giant redwood) aligned with the Manor House in the village. Eventually the path approaches the valley floor at a junction of paths with an open field ahead.

Step 3

Turn sharply left uphill on a path inside the woodland edge. Leave the woodland and follow the footpath sign left across an open field. Some 60m after re-entering woodland you come to a crossroad of paths. Turn right here onto a surfaced track. After about 250m you will see a signposted footpath on the left.

Step 4

Turn left off the surfaced track through trees. After 150m bear left to join a track coming from the right. The path eventually goes down into a dip where you meet another surfaced track. Cross this and head uphill. After about 200m bear right at the junction with a path joining from the left. After a while this path becomes indented into the hillside in places, a sign of its ancient use. This section of the walk also follows Shakespeare’s Way. The path leaves woodland and levels off to follow a hedge line with open fields on either side. About 400m after leaving the woodland you meet a crossing footpath.

Gravel path running through woodland with dense bracken to either side
Shakespeare's Way, Chilterns Countryside | © David Ellis

Step 5

Turn right over a stile then follow a fenced path across the field. Go through a gate then bear left and follow another fenced path along the edge of another field. Go over another stile to re-enter the woodland. Continue through woodland until you pass through a blue-grey gate then meet a road where you turn left. As the road leaves the woodland it meets another road coming from the left. Turn right here over a stile into a field. At another stile the path re-enters woodland. Bear left then head downhill to meet a woodland track in a dip.

Step 6

Turn right downhill along the track. The track winds through mixed woodland and through an area that has been cleared of conifer trees and partially replanted. Turn right when the track emerges from the woodland onto a road. About 150m along the road you come to a lay-by on the right with a field gate.

Step 7

Turn left opposite the field gate through a narrow opening in the hedge, then bear diagonally right uphill across a field. Bear right when you meet a path running next to a hedge. Continue ahead through a gate and join a small road to pass the school on your left as you enter Turville village. The road brings you to the village centre with St Mary Church immediately on your left.

Step 8

Bear right across the small village centre, with The Bull and Butcher pub on your right, and over the road to join a small lane with a Cobstones marker sign, Follow it uphill between houses and towards the Cobstone Windmill on the hill. Go through a small gate then immediately right through another. Bear right diagonally uphill across a field, then go through another gate onto woodland path. Cross the road then continue ahead, ignoring a path to the left, and go downhill between a fence and a wall until you emerge onto a road. Bear left along the road into Fingest, with St Bartholomew Church on your left and The Chequers pub on your right.

Step 9

FULL TRAIL (see below for the slightly shorter and less hilly Short Trail option.) Continue on the road past the Chequers Inn for 100m then turn right into a field through a small gate beside a larger metal gate. Follow the Chiltern Way path uphill. Pause towards the top by a bench to enjoy the view back down to Fingest and beyond. Continue through a wood and across a field, then through a gate to join a woodland track. After 50m, as the track bends to the left, turn right downhill through a gap besides the gate at the entrance to the Woodland Trust’s Adam’s Wood. Continue on the track. After 170m, at a junction of paths just past a bench, fork left downhill in the same direction. After about 400m the path emerges from woodland then continues down a track to meet a road on a sharp bend. Just before the road turn right through a gate into a field. Go straight downhill across fields towards the housing of Skirmett. Turn left and continue along the road through the village, past The Frog pub until the road turns sharply to the right. SHORT TRAIL (dashed line on map) Retrace your route and go back up the road away from the church. Where this road bends left turn right uphill on the road marked to Turville and Ibstone. After 200m, at the junction of a road turning right to Ibstone, turn left onto a footpath. Continue across fields until the path rejoins the Fingest to Hambleden road. Continue on the road towards Hambleden, passing through the hamlet of Skirmett and The Frog at Skirmett pub. Continue on the road towards the end of the village the road bends sharply right at a junction. Alternative route: This route follows part of the Chiltern Way and reduces the amount of road walking. It goes through fine woodland and has some very good views, although it is longer by about 0.7 miles/20 mins) and involves a fairly steep ascent and descent. To follow it, continue on the road past the Chequers Inn for 100m then turn right into a field through a small gate beside a larger metal gate. Follow the Chiltern Way path uphill. Pause towards the top by a bench to enjoy the view back down to Fingest and beyond. Continue through a wood and across a field, then through a gate to join a woodland track. After 50m, as the track bends to the left, turn right downhill through a gap besides the gate at the entrance to the Woodland Trust’s Adam’s Wood. Continue on the track. After 170m, at a junction of paths just past a bench, continue downhill in the same direction. Follow the path through the woods and bear right when you come to a crossing of paths. The path through the woods may be very muddy in winter and the woodlands either side have been thinned by logging. After about 400m the path emerges from woodland then continues down a track to meet a road on a sharp bend. Just before the road turn right through a gate into a field. Go straight downhill across fields towards the housing of Skirmett. You meet a road and re-join the basic walk route. Turn left and continue along the road through the village, past The Frog pub until the road turns sharply to the right.

Step 10

Turn left up the road signposted to Frieth and Lane End. After 30m turn right off the road onto a footpath signposting the Chiltern Way. This path now extends south in a more or less straight line for some 2 miles/3.5km to take you back to Hambleden along the floor of the Hambleden Valley. The path does a slight left/right dogleg then continues to the right of a hedge. Later the path briefly joins a small road near Colstrope Farm. After crossing some open fields you reach the small village of Pheasants Hill. Cross over a small lane and continue along a narrow footpath between high hedges, until you reach open farmland again. Continue straight ahead following the Chiltern Way footpath. As you approach Hambleden, the path bends right to meet a road.

Path crossing field flanked by avenue of tall trees
The Hambleden Valley on the approach to Pheasant's Hill | © National Trust/Davis Ellis

Step 11

Turn left along the road then, after 100m, turn left to enter the churchyard of St Mary the Virgin church. You leave the churchyard through the main entrance to return to the village centre. The car park where you started the walk is 100m on your left.

End point

Pay & Display public car park at Hambleden Village, grid ref: SU785865

Trail map

Map of Hambleden Valley, Turville and Fingest, Chiltern Countryside
Hambleden Valley, Turville and Fingest walk | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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