Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Celebrating Bucks! A - Z of Walks - A

A – Z of Walks in Bucks 

What do you love about our county? For me, it is all about the beautiful countryside.


So this week, the Bucks Freedom Press starts an A-Z series of walks. I hope this first walk will tempt you out to go and see the glorious bluebells while they are at their best.


The weather forecast is good for the rest of the week, sunset isn’t until around – so get out there and enjoy the outdoors!  Send me your photos and share your favourite beauty spot.

            A is for AMERSHAM


The walk starts from the Old Town car park, which is situated on the north side of The Broadway next to the B & M Motors garage in Old Amersham.

OS map ref SU960972

Chiltern Society Footpath Map No. 6


Length of full walk: 6.7 miles  

Time required: 3.5 hrs at a leisurely pace

Shorter version: 5.7 miles

The Crown Inn at Little Missenden



Can be muddy in places so boots recommended.

Toilets: in Old Town car park

Refreshments: Plenty of cafes and pubs in Amersham

The Crown at Little Missenden

Why not take a picnic?

Try my recipe for Leek and Potato Soup with a Coconut Twist ! (see separate post) 

Amersham Walk Route

A.  Starting from the bottom left hand corner of the car park, turn left and  follow the River Walk along the Misbourne. Cross the bridge and pass the cemetery on the right. Leave the river and follow the walled path to a road with Badminton Court on your left and the allotments on your right. Cross at the traffic lights and then School Lane opposite, taking the footpath to the left.  Go between the houses and turn right to pass the Youth Centre, then enter Barn Meadow Recreation Ground.                                                            

River Misbourne

River Walk

A nice picnic spot at the Recreation

B.  Make for the far corner where you will find a path following the river again for the short distance to Mill Lane. Turn left and then right into the High Street. After about 1/4 mile when you have exited the town by the white gates, take the footpath to the left which leads up to the bypass. Turn right and take great care when crossing this fast, busy road to the footpath between the bollards on the other side.

C. Turn right along the driveway to the wrought iron entrance gates to Shardeloes House. Go through and enter the driveway then take the South Bucks Way
which goes behind the Amersham Cricket Club pavilion and across the grass to a gate.


Enter a tree-lined pathway which leads to a kissing gate, with beautiful views of Shardeloes Lake opening up to your right.
Go forward and look out for waterfowl as you follow the lakeside.

We saw Coots and Swans nesting, a Cormorant, Canada Geese and a gaggle of goslings!

Shardeloes Manor

D.  When you leave the lake you will see Shardeloes Manor on the hillside to your left. Go through another gate and then across the fields until you come to a crossing path.

 E.  This is Mop End Lane and if you wish to do the shorter walk turn left and follow the lane uphill to Mop End Farm, where you can rejoin the longer walk instructions by turning left along the road for a short distance and picking up the directions at ( H )

If you are continuing with the longer walk, carry on straight ahead keeping the River Misbourne in view on your right. Cross over a farm track and follow the fenced path all the way to the road at Little Missenden.

Mother and Foal at Kennel Farm

F.  If you wish to see the beautiful gardens and pond at the grade II listed  Mill House take a short detour to the right.
Here we saw a Green Woodpecker in the trees, and a Yellow Wagtail flitting over the pond.

Mill House Pond

Mill House Garden

Retrace your steps and continue up the road to The Crown. Shortly past the pub you will find a bridleway (and the Chiltern Heritage Trail) on the left. This is Toby’s Lane and it climbs steadily for over a mile up to Mop End. It is a lovely green lane with spectacular views at several vantage points looking across the Misbourne Valley.

Ignore a right fork when you reach the wood and carry on until you reach a crossing path. This stretch can get very muddy in wet weather.

Toby's Lane

View across the Misbourne Valley

G.  At the crossing path turn left and go through a kissing gate, cross to another one and then follow the left hand hedge out to a lane at Mop End. ( H ) This is where the short cut rejoins the main route.

Cross straight over and follow the stony track along the edge of the woodland. This is particularly beautiful in May when there is a carpet of bluebells and their scent fills the air. We saw a deer grazing in the woods here.


At the edge of the wood you are now near the electricity sub station so stick strictly to the path and veer left to pass next to the pylon and follow the well defined path, soon entering woodland again. Continue downhill and listen out for the birdsong in this wild area.

On leaving the wood follow the path forward along the valley bottom. Carry on for approx. 1 mile, ignoring any branching tracks.

Keep a lookout for wildlife; we were lucky enough to see hares boxing on the skyline to the right! More beautiful views of the Misbourne Valley open out ahead as you cross the parkland.

I.  Just before reaching the driveway to Lower Park House, turn half right to follow a diagonal path across the field towards a tall sycamore tree on the horizon. Listen out for the sound of skylarks!

At the far end of the field, cross the track and carry on straight ahead and follow a path leading to a gap in the hedge. Cross the stile to the bypass. Taking great care again, cross the road to a stile just to the right on the other side.

Descend the steps to follow the path through woodland. Go straight ahead along a fenced path bordering allotments on the left. Look out for comfrey which has spread out from the allotments and lines the path. It is used as a fertiliser and has many medicinal purposes.  Cross the lane and continue ahead through a kissing gate. Carry along the path, eventually passing the Platt cemetery. Look out for a permissive path on the left, through a gap in the wall, which goes through the grounds of Kings Church and joins the High Street by the Kings Arms Hotel.

Turn right and walk back to your starting point.


J B Blackett said...

I will need time to digest all that , M - like Grandma's leek pudding.

Morag said...

Oh dear. It wasn't that heavy going, was it?

J B Blackett said...

No. Just time ; because there is so much to it. To chew it. And get through it. And you knew it. Really , didn't you ?

Morag said...

I did know it really. I just didn't show it. Just relax and go with the flow...

Edna Welthorpe said...

Perfect weather now too!
I feel a picnic coming on.

Morag said...

Lovely isn't it? Best to relax, Edna, before this week's shocking expose in the Sunday paper ......... more news shortly!

Lorrainej said...

That looks like a lovely Walk Morag, bit much for me in this heat. I went for a nice walk to day, not that far tho Parked up at a car park just past the Spade Oak at Bourne End and walked to the Bounty Pub for lunch with a friend. It was lovely, right on the Thames, we sat and watched the boats, people watched, and dog watched. Dog watching was my favouite, second to lunch of course. A really lovely spot. Looking forward to what happens next, you must be very busy.

J B Blackett said...

Did you mean 'exposé' , Morag or something even more risqué ?.
PS Have done some bits of your walk over the years but not in the order / sequence you display it.
I think the Chess Valley is lovely. Shame about the HS2 - ask Geoffrey Palmer.

Morag said...

Yes, Lorraine - it would be too far in this heat for me too! Best on a nice Spring day with a cool breeze. Sounds like you had a lovely day. It's been a while since I was out that way but the Spade Oak Nature Reserve is a great place to visit.

Morag said...

Oh dear I forgot my accent, didn't I, JBB? Pure Bucks :-) It doesn't bear thinking about what HS2 would do to the Misbourne Valley. I don't need to ask Geoffrey Palmer. I have lived in the area even longer than he has. (I am NOT as old as him though - just in case anyone was wondering. Apart from a stint in Oxfordshire, I have lived in Bucks all my life!) I wouldn't be directly affected but I am strongly opposed to HS2.

Jock's little helper said...

Did you do this walk last weekend?

Maybe on Sunday?

If so our paths must have crossed. I set out from Old Amersham (while the Mrs did the shopping) towards Coleshill turning right onto the Chiltern Way through Coleshill village and onto Winchmore Hill, around the back of Penn Street before joining your route at Mop End, the bluebells were nice! – in all about 7.4 miles.

Morag said...

That would have been a coincidence!
No, I did it on a weekday evening and we hardly saw a soul. I know the route you mean - it's a lovely area, isn't it? But why did you leave your Mrs to do all the shopping while you went for a nice walk? :-)

J B Blackett said...

I too am banking on HS2 not happening. All the HS2 propaganda is politicians' blatant lies again. Like Iraq , Afghanistan , Libya , Euroland , etc etc and all the other broken promises that occur after every election.
So none of them is to be trusted. History proves that except for a handful of non-conformists (eg Martin Bell , Jack Ashley)they are professional liars - mostly trained in law at our expense. And then they use their dodgy trade against their own fellow citizens.
They are a horrendous mix of blithering idiots , inept smart alecs and time-servers.
But I am biased as I depise them all. What's to like ?
The HS2 will have a terrible environmental effect on your walk and other areas. We do not deserve these trashy transient tricky-dicky toffs and toads.
We have only one Earth and it should be as in your photos. If we have to curtail the ever-expanding population , that's a price that is well worth paying.
But if left to 'The Powers That Be' the countryside we are cherish so much will be destroyed for us and all those that come after.

Morag said...

Yes, JBB. If you want further proof of blithering idiots and inept smart alecs, see my latest blog just published. Justine Greening's latest brilliant idea.

J B Blackett said...

I am concerned about that woman - she is not in fact a multi-millionaire like her fellow cabinet minister. She somehow has to hold her own in their select little group - like they do - all the time.

And she gets terrible facial spots you know. She might be a bit run down - perhaps on a level crossing
Or it may be all that worrying and dealing with people like Norris ,Horace, Cloris, Doris , Maurice , the Slow Loris and listening to umpteen painful versions of The Hallelujah Choris.
Oh and Boris (aka Mr Bumble) of course.

Morag said...

Is that why she thought she could just move an Ancient Foris? (sorry)

J B Blackett said...

No need for 'sorris' ! M.
I also wonder if Ms Greening was in 'thinking mode' when she spoke the other day about what normal people call Walking.

Morag said...

Have you not done any re-moding lately, JBB? It does you a lot of good, apparently... perhaps she could get the trees to re-mode to the other side of the railway line? I heard that Socratea exorrhiza re-mode when no-one is looking.

J B Blackett said...

Socratea exorrhiza ? Is that a distant cousin of the Triffid basilica ? There were lights in the sky last night and the night before.
These politicians , time and again , prove they are a different species from normal people. Probably alien invaders / colonizers rather throw-backs to ancient Troglodytes.
More like as in Invasion of the Body Snatchers (or Hand Bag / Wallet Snatchers). They really have to go - and the sooner the better.

J B Blackett said...

Am off out now - to N of Brackley. Ta-ta for now.

Jock's little helper said...

Followed your walk yesterday (while the Mrs was in Tesco) - the upper end of Toby's Lane was a bit overgrown!

Morag said...

You will have to tell Mrs JLH to do her shopping in Asda next week, then you can nip off and do my latest walk :-)

Jock's little helper said...

Ohhhhhh .... does that go by those little temples thingy's?

Morag said...

Do you mean the Dashwood Mausoleum (photo on Bradenham blog), in which case yes.

Or do you mean the little temple thingys in West Wycombe Park, in which case no. As far as I know, you can only pay to visit when the grounds are open.

Jock's little helper said...

Temple probably not the right word, I was thinking more of this ..... http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/228801

Morag said...

No, sorry! I meant drive down to West Wycombe and pick up my Bradenham walk from there. Click on "June" blogs on right hand sidebar.