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Church Lane West Wycombe
Church Lane, West Wycombe | © National Trust / Hugh Mothersole
Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire & Berkshire

West Wycombe Trail

This short walk will introduce you to the colourful history of West Wycombe and its wide variety of historical buildings set in the picturesque landscape of the Chiltern countryside.

Total steps: 7

Total steps: 7

Start point

St Lawrence's Church on West Wycombe Hill. HP14 3AP. Grid ref: SU826947

Step 1

From the car park, head towards the church, entering the church yard via a gate on the right.

Step 2

As you face the church door, follow a concrete path that curves to the left of the church, through the churchyard, and then head downhill, passing the village war memorial on your left. When the concrete path ends and you reach an open meadow, continue straight ahead and downhill towards an isolated dark green yew tree, passing to its right. Shortly after the yew tree, and before a set of bollards, turn right off the main path, following a level path between two areas of yew trees. You will soon see West Wycombe House ahead. At a wooden signpost for 'Caves', head down some rough earth steps to the Hellfire Caves entrance. Take care on this path in wet or icy conditions.

Entrance to the Hellfire Caves, Buckinghamshire
Entrance to the Hellfire Caves | © National Trust Images/Hugh Mothersole

Step 3

From the entrance to the Hellfire Caves, walk through the small car park to reach Church Lane. Turn left onto the lane and when the lane curves left, take a footpath to the right by a telegraph pole and pass an old-fashioned street lamp. You will soon re-join another branch of Church Lane. Here turn right downhill.

Step 4

When you reach the bottom of Church Lane, pass under the Church Loft and turn left onto the high street. You can cross the road safely at the pedestrian crossing outside the village hall. From here, turn left to explore further up the high street where you reach the entrance to Crown Court. (Please do not enter the courtyard, which is private.) From Crown Court, retrace your steps to the zebra crossing and continue (west) along the high street.

Step 5

There are several public houses, unusual shops and a tea-room on the high street. When you are ready to move on, continue west along the high street until you reach the entrance to West Wycombe Park on your left at the far end of the high street.

Step 6

Taking great care on this relatively blind corner, cross the road. (You may wish to back-track along the high street so you have a better view of approaching traffic). Head up Chorley Road and then, about halfway between the first and second lampposts, branch half right on a grassy footpath. Ignore the first crossing path and then, after about 90 metres, turn right up some steps onto a well-trodden crossing path signposted to the Hilltop. The path climbs gradually at first and then steepens at some rough steps. At the top of the steps turn left onto a well-used, wide, grassy path that leads uphill to the Dashwood Mausoleum.

Step 7

On reaching the mausoleum, take a moment to catch your breath. From this excellent vantage point, take the opportunity to look back to West Wycombe Park and to reflect on the landscape around you and beneath you. (The artificial Hellfire Cave ends directly below the mausoleum.) Turn left following a level path around the structure. Where the path divides, take the right fork, which will lead you through the churchyard to the front of St Lawrence's Church. From here, retrace your steps to the car park.

Dashwood Mausoleum, West Wycombe Hill, Buckinghamshire
Dashwood Mausoleum, West Wycombe Hill | © National Trust Images/Hugh Mothersole

End point

St Lawrence's Church on West Wycombe Hill. HP14 3AP. Grid ref: SU826947

Trail map

West Wycombe trail map
West Wycombe Trail map | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Get in touch

West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, HP14 3AJ

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