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Ridges and Bottoms walk in Buckinghamshire
Chiltern Hills farmland | © David Ellis
Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire & Berkshire

West Wycombe ridges and bottoms walk

Discover all the ups and downs of the valleys that carve their way through the Chiltern Hills on this challenging trail. This circular route is a chance to see how the Ice Age left its mark on the surrounding countryside and learn how humans first settled here. The trail also explores the dense woodland, farmland and villages that call these valleys home.

Bring a map

Most of the route isn't on Trust land. While the paths are generally well-maintained, some signs may be hard to find and some tracks may be overgrown. We recommend using your own Ordnance Survey map with these instructions.

Total steps: 11

Total steps: 11

Start point

West Wycombe Hill car park, High Wycombe, HP14 3AH. Grid ref: SU827951

Step 1

Walk down the road and about 165yd (150m) after the car park entrance, head through a narrow signposted gap in the hedge on your left. After 55yd (50m) bear right under some yew trees to emerge into a field. Keep left along the field edge and then enter a woodland. Continue straight for ⅔ mile (1km). Where the main path curves uphill to the left, ignore this and instead continue straight on a smaller path to reach a T-junction.

Step 2

Turn left at the T-junction, heading uphill to reach a crossing track at the brow of the hill. Turn right, passing a chalk pit on your right, and follow the track. You'll pass an area of woodland that's been felled and replanted on your right. Continue past Nobles Farm, joining a surfaced track until you meet a footpath crossroads sign to the right and a small area of open grassland to your left.

Step 3

Turn left onto the first narrow footpath into woodland, beside a post. Follow this path as it leaves the woods and heads diagonally downhill towards the road at Slough Bottom Farm. Turn left onto the road, passing the farm and following the road uphill. After about 170yd (155m), turn right onto a public footpath just to the left of a wooden gate. Follow the path uphill, eventually joining a farm track, Scrubbs Lane, and then reaching Chinnor Road.

Step 4

Turn right, walking on the verge along Chinnor Road, to reach Bledlow Ridge village. Head into the village, passing the cricket ground and then Tudor Stud Farm on your left. About 175yd (160m) after the farm – and just before the Haw Lane junction – you'll see a signposted public bridleway on your left

Step 5

Follow the public bridleway as it heads steeply downhill into Radnage Valley, ignoring any righthand turnings. At the end of the bridleway, turn left onto Bottom Road. After about 55yd (50m), turn right onto a signposted public bridleway at the entrance to a large field.

Step 6

With the hedgerow on your right, follow the bridleway south-west through the fields. You'll soon start climbing up the other side of the valley and past a block of woodland on your left and then your right. At the top, you'll meet Green End Road.

Step 7

Turn left and after 400yd (369 m), go through a small gate on the right – to the right of the Ashridge Farm entrance – following a public footpath sign. Cross the field and go through a gate on the far side. Pass between the farm buildings and a gate to join a track. When the track turns right, continue through a small gate. Follow the edge of the field downhill to a second gate and into a holloway in Bottom Wood. At the valley floor you'll reach a bridleway.

Step 8

Turn left along the bridleway, walking through and then out of Bottom Wood. Continue through Plomer's Bottom until you emerge into fields. Head along a track to Ham Farm. (To avoid the wet area in winter, go through the metal left-hand gate and walk along the field, parallel to the track, before rejoining it.) Pass a cattle shed and go through a gate into an open yard on your left.

Step 9

Cross the yard and go through a small gate to the right of a large metal gate. Follow the path uphill initially with the fence on your left, then continue uphill through several gates with the fence on your left and views of Piddington back to your right. At the top of the hill, you'll meet a crossing track.

Step 10

At the crossing track, turn right across a stile into a field. At the corner of the field, at a T-junction of paths, turn right down a narrow holloway. After about 55yd (50m), follow a left-hand footpath sign up a short steep incline to enter Great Cockshoots Wood and follow the path through the wood. On leaving the wood, continue in the same direction on the path as it heads downhill and diagonally across fields to West Wycombe and Oxford Road (A40).

Step 11

Turn left onto the footpath next to the road. At the junction, cross over two roads (signposted to Bledlow Ridge) and turn left up Church Lane, following the sign to Hellfire Caves and Café. After 220yd (201m), turn left into the Hellfire Caves entrance and then head past the National Trust West Wycombe Hill sign just to the right of the caves. This path leads up uphill towards the Dashwood Mausoleum, St Lawrence Church and the car park where the trail started and ends.

End point

West Wycombe Hill car park, High Wycombe, HP14 3AP. Grid ref: SU826951

Trail map

Ridges and bottoms trail map
Ridges and bottoms trail map | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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