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Church Farm and Hughenden Valley
Church Farm and Hughenden Valley | © National Trust / Hugh Mothersole
Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire & Berkshire

Views of the Hughenden Manor estate walk

This is a circular 5.3 mile (8.6 km) walk around the Hughenden Manor estate which gives you 10 different views of the surrounding Chilterns countryside.

Following the walk

This walk is not waymarked but you can follow it on a hand-held device or print out a copy to use as you walk. Parts of the route between points 7 and 10 are not on National Trust land, and the National Trust does not check for hazards on these sections of the walk. You therefore follow this route at your own risk.

Total steps: 14

Total steps: 14

Start point

Start at the visitor welcome kiosk. Grid Ref SU860955

Step 1

From the visitor welcome kiosk, retrace your steps towards the main car park. At the junction of paths by the Dew Pond take a sharp right in front of the pond until you reach the road. Turn left towards the car park for 50 metres before turning right onto a path, with a small plantation of young fruit trees on your left.

Step 2

Continue downhill into Woodcock Wood, bear left along a gentle footpath until it meets another path merging from the right. Bear left and follow the woodland path, past a set of red and blue way markers, until it descends to a crossing path in a distinct dip. Turn right, following the path downhill to a gate. Go through the gate to see a fine view over Hughenden Valley and Church Farm.

Step 3

From the viewpoint, head directly downhill towards Church Farm, turning right when you reach a fence at the bottom of the slope. Follow the path through a gate into an adjacent field. Keeping the field boundary on your left, head for another metal gate, Go through the gate and turn right towards the car park at St Michael and All Angels Church.

Step 4

Keeping the church on your right, take the path up through the churchyard and out through a gate, then straight on up the hill. Just before you reach another gate, turn left, following the boundary of the park, passing several wooden benches, until you reach a brick wall (a ha-ha) on your right. Above this you will see the east side of Hughenden Manor through a broad gap in the trees. When you reach the ha-ha, turn around to see the view.

Step 5

From the ha-ha, continue in the same direction to go through a metal kissing gate. Keeping Hughenden Manor’s woodland garden on your right, walk past an ornamental gold and green gate on your right and continue uphill towards a fenced-off area around some of Hughenden Manor’s beehives. On your right you will soon see the South Facade and the Parterre Garden of Hughenden Manor across a low wrought-iron fence.

Step 6

Bear left, and then head gently downhill away from Hughenden Manor on a wide grassy path along the top of the slope, parallel to a line of trees on your right. To your left you will see further views across Hughenden Park. After 150 metres you will pass some gravestones on your right, erected by Coningsby, Disraeli's nephew, for his pet dogs. Head towards a wide metal gate at the right-hand corner of the park. Go through (or around) the wide gate, then follow the wide track on the other side of the wide gate as it curves right, away from Middle Lodge. Continue downhill, past various animal burrows on the right-hand bank, until you meet a gate leading onto Coates Lane.

Step 7

Go through the metal gate on to Coates Lane. Cross the road, taking care as it can be busy. Turn left then almost immediately right through the kissing gate. Follow the public footpath through fields beside a fence. Go through another kissing gate into Little Tinker's Wood and take the path immediately on the left. Climb up the hill until reaching a metal gate to the left through which you should see the D'Israeli Monument. Go through the gate towards the monument.

Step 8

Return to the kissing gate then take the path ahead, left of the path on which you arrived. Continue along this fairly straight, level path through Little Tinker's Wood. Ignore a downhill path on the right. Continue until the path narrows and eventually emerges into a small cul-de-sac. The path continues straight ahead for a few more metres to reach Littleworth Road. (This short section of path can become overgrown in the summer, so you may wish to turn left to reach Littleworth Road via the cul-de-sac.) Turn right along Littleworth Road, following the roadside path for 270 yards (250 metres) until it meets Coates Lane.

Step 9

Cross Coates Lane. Take care as this road can be busy. Enter a narrow footpath following the public footpath sign between hedges, walls and fences until you reach a National Trust sign in Common Wood for the Hughenden Estate; the path widens here. Follow the path downhill to a junction of paths at the bottom of Echo Valley where there may be a view of the west wing of Hughenden Manor above the distant trees. (This view may be obscured by leaves on the trees in summer.)

Step 10

Turn left away from Echo Valley, heading gently uphill along the bottom of the wooded valley until you reach another junction of paths. Go straight ahead for 10 yards (10 metres) past the signpost and then bear right taking the uphill path towards Downley Common to the left of a ditch. Part-way up the slope, take the left fork (where the right fork bends sharply right to follow the edge of the ditch). On leaving the wood, bear slight left past a clump of scrubland on your right and continue uphill until you reach the cricket pitch on Downley Common. Head across the outfield towards a set of benches on the other side of the pitch. (If the grass on the edge of the common is overgrown, or if a game is in progress, you can go round the cricket pitch in an anticlockwise direction via a track and a lane.)

View across open countryside with a glimpse of the D'Israeli Monument
View across open countryside with a glimpse of the D'Israeli Monument | © National Trust / Hugh Mothersole

Step 11

At the benches turn left on the road for about 43 yards (40 metres) then turn right onto a footpath just before the wooden Downley Sports Pavilion. Go through a metal kissing gate by the driveway to Blacksmiths Cottage. Keeping right, cross the paddock to another gate leading into the West Wycombe Estate. Follow a broad field-side path with a hedge on your right. About 55 yards (50 metres) after a wide gap in the hedge on your right, to your left you will see a view across the valley to St Lawrence's Church and the Dashwood Mausoleum.

Step 12

Continue along the same path, into an area of woodland in the corner of the field. Continue downhill through the woodland until you reach a crossing path in the valley. Turn right, heading uphill through woodland until you reach a kissing gate. Follow the path across a field to another gate. After the gate, turn right and follow the path for 110 yards (100 metres) until you reach a pond on your left. Turn left just before the pond, and follow the path for a further 110 yards (100 metres), to a small parking area at the end of Hunts Hill Lane. Head down Hunts Hill Lane for just under 300 metres until, near the bottom of a steep hill, you reach a signposted footpath on your right into Oaks Wood. Follow this path, parallel with the boundary of the wood, until the path flattens and you reach a small crossing one. Here turn left, following the path about 43 yards (40 metres) to a metal kissing gate. Go through the gate to a view over a grass meadow in a dry valley, with a circular copse in front of you.

Step 13

From the gate bear right towards another gate leading into woodland. Enter Flagmore Wood and follow the path, which merges with another path from the left, until it reaches a dip. Turn left, following a clear path directly downhill. The path curves to the right towards the bottom of the slope. On reaching a T-junction, turn right along the bottom of the valley. At a crossing path, just before you reach 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.

Step 14

.Turn left towards the Stableyard cafe entrance, where you may wish to stop off for some well-deserved refreshments. When you are ready to continue, take the road on the left of the Stableyard that curves uphill, passing the buildings on your right and, later, the apple orchard picnic area on your left. You will soon reach the visitor welcome kiosk where you started.

End point

Visitor welcome kiosk. Grid Ref SU860955

Trail map

Map of Hughenden Manor estate views walk
Map of Hughenden Manor estate views walk | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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