Friday, 1 June 2012

A – Z of Walks in Bucks - B


The walk starts from the free National Trust car park at the top of the village green, past the cricket pavilion. 
 OS map ref SU827972

Chiltern Society Footpath Map No. 7

Length of full walk: / 4.75 miles
Time required:  2 or 3 hrs at a leisurely pace, without detours at West Wycombe.
Shorter version: 4 miles   

Toilets: in West Wycombe

Refreshments: Cafés at the Plant & Harvest Garden Centre and the Hell Fire Caves in West Wycombe. There are also three pubs.

Hell Fire Caves and Tea Room
Plant & Harvest Garden Centre and Café


At the time of writing, the Red Lion in Bradenham is closed.
(See footnote)


Why not take a picnic?
Try my recipe for
 Blueberry, Raspberry and Citrus cake
(see separate post)

Peaceful picnic spot overlooking
Bradenham Village Green


Bradenham Manor
Red Kite soaring
over the cricket pitch


A.  Starting from the National Trust free car park, walk up the lane past the sign “No Unauthorised vehicles beyond this point” to reach the corner of a wood. Ignore a track and footpath to the right and continue following the left hand track uphill, eventually passing a National Trust estate cottage, Where the track bends to the right go straight ahead along the bridleway (ignoring the track marked with a horseshoe on the left).

B. This leads to an information board at Naphill Common. Pass to the right of it and after 100 yards turn right onto crossing track. After another 100 yards take the first narrow path to the left. This is approx 30 yards before an old wooden squeeze stile.

Old wooden Squeeze stile

If you would like to walk the shorter route go straight ahead to stile (photo) and after ¼ mile you will come to a crossing path. Turn left onto it and then continue all the way to Church Lane in West Wycombe (E ) where you pick up the longer walk instructions again.

To continue the longer route, descend to a gate and turn right through it and into a conifer plantation. When you reach another gate, do not enter but turn left and follow the right hand fence uphill and then down to a crossing track.


 These woods are full of squirrels and you can hear them rustling in the leaves and catch glimpses of them scampering through the trees as you walk past. There are pheasants in the undergrowth too and a red kite swooped low ahead of us as we entered a clearing.

Keep straight on, climbing again, ignoring crossing tracks until eventually reaching Cookshall Farm. Glorious views now open up across to the Golden Ball and the Dashwood Mausoleum on the hillside at West Wycombe.

Views across to the Golden Ball

Pretty path through the ferns

C. Cross over the lane leading to the farm to re-enter a wood through a gate. After a few feet take a right turn down a rather overgrown path and descend to a grassy track. Turn right here and rejoin Cookshall Lane.
N.B. You can just walk down the lane if you want to avoid the brambles, but you will miss a very pretty route.

Go left along the lane for approx. 200 yards and then fork right and walk across a gravelled area to a stile to the left of a farm building. Walk straight across the field to the valley bottom.

We saw a pair of Lapwings (Peewits) performing spectacular display flights here.  A cuckoo  was calling in the distance.

"Keyhole" gap in the hedge

Go through a gap in the hedge, cross a track and walk through a copse of young willows. As you leave, more beautiful views open up.

Zig Zag folds in the Chiltern landscape


Follow the right hand hedge to some trees and descend sharply to a tunnel under the railway line.  Continue forward to the A4010.

Carters Steam Fair
 in the Pedestal Field 26th May

D. Cross the road carefully and enter the Pedestal Field opposite.  Follow the right hand fence to a kissing gate on the right near the top of the field. Go through it and continue uphill to Church Lane.

E. Here you can turn left and  DETOUR to the Hell Fire Caves, the Plant & Harvest Garden Centre and to explore the village of West Wycombe. It is also possible to visit West Wycombe Park but it is a National Trust Property with limited opening times. Consult their website before planning a visit

West Wycombe House & Estate

Entrance to West Wycombe Estate

West Wycombe Village

For more information about the main features of special architectural and historic interest in West Wycombe visit     

Village Information Board

Dashwood Mausoleum

If you would like to visit the Dashwood Mausoleum and the Church of St Lawrence with its famous Golden Ball at the top of the tower, cross the road and DETOUR half right up the hill.

The Golden Ball on the church tower
 of St Lawrence

To resume the main walk, turn right and walk up Church Lane. Ignore a footpath off to the right and continue until you reach the West Wycombe Hill Top sign. 


Nobles Farm

F. Go through the gateway and take the path signposted to Saunderton. You are now on a ridge overlooking the valley towards Stokenchurch, with the BT telecommunications tower in the distance. Continue for approx 1 ¼ miles, ignoring a crossing track, until you reach Nobles Farm.

Field of Buttercups


Look out for Yellow Archangel (Lamiastrum galeobdolon) on the woodland floor. It comes into bloom just as the Bluebells are fading, so the blue carpet turns to yellow instead. It is part of the deadnettle family.

 G. At the end of a right hand fence opposite the farm entrance, turn sharp right to go downhill through a wood until you come to a kissing gate. Emerge into a field and follow the right hand edge to another gate, then turn left to go under the railway bridge. Go forward taking great care, cross the A4010 to the Red Lion. 

View across the valley to Saunderton                
Train crossing over the A4010

 This  Ice Age sarsen stone was erected by
 Bradenham Parish Council on the Green,
 to commemorate the dawn
 of the third Millennium.

H. Walk up Bradenham Wood Lane and across the green to arrive back at your starting point

 FOOTNOTE:  At the time of writing,  the Red Lion at Bradenham is closed.

The Red Lion



J B Blackett said...

What a lot of work you've put into that , Morag. Well done.
I will read it properly on my return. I have also walked all around there but not on the route as shown.
Perhaps I will have a go at the cake as it's the sort I love.

Lorrainej said...

Good morning Morag, lovely blog. I could enjoy this walk and think my dog could manage it aswell. Sorry, I won't be able to make the cake, cake is a big weakness of mine, but nobody else eats it, so I would have to eat it all. A very good Friend of mine is an excellent cake maker, so I get more than enough when she bakes. I will give her this recipe, hope she takes the hint.

Morag said...

Right that's settled then. JBB,you can make the cake and Lorraine can try out the walk :-) Let me know how you both get on!

Hope you both having a good weekend. I got lost and soaked to the skin trying out my C walk... Think there might be a change of plan on that.

Lorrainej said...

I think I should try JBB's cake and the walk. Oh Morag, you poor thing, I know you will do it

J B Blackett said...

Really nice pictures too , Morag .
I think I will do the walk as you have described it - when the weather gets better and I feel it's right to do it. It's been several years since I walked around those byways.and paths.
We did once actually get lost in Cockshall Wood and came out near the farm where the long narrow lane led us down to the Pedestal garage near West Wycombe.
And we got home just in time for tea and crumpets - except we didn't have any crumpets - or tea.

Morag said...

It would make me SO happy if this got you walking again, JBB. Just don't get lost in the woods again ....