Short Chiltern Walks
Our selection of short Chiltern walks are ideal in combination with an excursion to a local town or one of the many places of interests the Chilterns has to offer. On our guided walking holidays we will combine an excursion with one of our short walks.
Chiltern Stroll, Penn Hellfire Steps, West Wycombe
Flashes of Blue, Wendover Beaconsfield Circle
Golden Ball, West Wycombe Runnymeade & Windsor Great Park
Prefect Peace, Lane End Trees & Water, Henley
Chiltern Hamlets, Cadmore End Village Odyssey, Chalfont St Giles
Distance - 6 miles
Area - Tylers Green/Penn
The village of Tylers Green which is in perceptively joined to Penn is a delightful Chiltern village. It has a pretty green and a duck pond, which also attracts seagulls. The walk commences at Tylers Green village hall. We walk into the woods of mostly beech trees and then up around Penn House then onto Penn Street village. From here we head off across fields with good open Chiltern views and into Winchmore Hill with a large open green and two pubs; the Plough and the Potters Arms. Now we head off across more fields and down to Penn Bottom. A good track then returns us to Tylers Green.
Distance - 5/6 miles
Area -West Wycombe
Join us cave side on a visit into the Hellfire Caves of West Wycombe once home of the notorious Hellfire Club followed by a 5/6mile walk. The Hellfire Club – was a name for several very exclusive clubs for high society rakes established in Britain and Ireland in the 18th century. These clubs were rumoured to be the meeting places of “persons of quality” who wished to take part in immoral acts, and the members were often involved in politics.
The first club was established in London but the most infamous was that set up by Sir Francis of Dashwood in the Hellfire Caves. The club motto was Fais ce que tu voudras (Do what thou will), a philosophy of life associated with François Rabelais fictional abbey at Thélème and later used by Aleister Crowley.
The members addressed each other as "Brothers" and the leader, which changed regularly, as "Abbot". During meetings members supposedly wore ritual clothing: white trousers, jacket and cap, while the "Abbot" wore a red ensemble of the same style. Like Wharton's Club, rumours of Black Masses, orgies and Satan or demon Worship were well circulated during the time the Club was around. Other clubs, especially in Ireland and Scotland, were rumoured to take part in far more dubious activities. Rumours suggest Dashwood's Club meetings often included mock rituals, items of a pornographic nature, much drinking, wenching and banqueting.
Dare we enter!
And how many of us will make it back from 300 foot underground? Remember secret tunnel legends exist in West Wycombe and High Wycombe. One rhyme apparently spoke of a secret passageway in the caves. Two of the verses go:
"Ta'ke 20 steps and rest a while, Then take a pick and find the stile
Where once I did my love beguile 'Twas 22 in Dashwood's time
Perhaps to hid this cell divine Where lay my love in peace sublime"
Those of us who do return will then enjoy a pleasant 5/6 mile country walk where we will have an opportunity to view the Dashwood Mausoleum and the 18th Church of St Lawrence, with its unusual golden ball. Above our heads look out for the famous Chiltern Red Kites as they swoop and swirl overhead – these are truly magnificent birds of prey with a distinctive forked tail, russet plumage and a five and a half foot wing span.
Distance - 6.5 miles
Area - Wendover
To Wendover Woods and canal we merrily go! A 6 mile energetic walk where we will be rewarded by glorious views across the Vale of Aylesbury on what we hope will be a fine clear day.
On this walk we will enjoy a long steady climb through the glorious Wendover Woods to the highest point of the Chilterns. Our exertions will be rewarded by great views and the return leg is beside the Wendover arm of the Grand Union Canal. This has been closed for over a century but still carries water. Shaded by trees, it is rich in all sorts of waterfowl and some have even caught sight of the blue flash of a kingfisher.
Distance - 6 miles
Area - Beaconsfield
From Beaconsfield Old Town, Windsor End we cross the busy and noisy M40 motorway and shortly are in tranquil country side. We progress along the boundary of the Hall Barn estate and along to Jennings farm with a huge flock of ducks in the pond. We then enter some wood land and emerge onto Kiln lane which leads us into the lovely village of Hedgerley. We then retrace our steps on mostly parallel paths back to Windsor End.
Distance - 8 Miles
Place - West Wycombe
Starting from the garden centre car park we get good views of the Mausoleum and Golden Ball past the famous Hellfire Caves where Lords of the Manor did play. Crossing the railway line up through the woods to Bradenham Manor past the old youth hostel towards Saunderton where we cross back across the railway line and head south back to The Golden Ball. High above we hope to spot the red kites floating on thermals and perhaps some early autumn colours.
Distance - 7 Miles
Area - Windsor Great Park
The walk itself interweaves historic interest with riverside meadows, woodland and parkland taking us to Runnymede the site of one of the most important events in English history, the signing of the Magna Carta, and nearby we have the memorial to President Kennedy and a small plot of USA in England, and the thought provoking Commonwealth Air Forces Museum commemorating so many young lives lost.
Walking through Windsor Great Park we will enjoy a memorable view from Copper Horse, the equestrian statue of George 111, looking down the Long Walk to the dramatic outline of Windsor Castle.
Area - Lane End
Distance - 6 miles
A six-mile walk starting from Lane End, which skirts the village of Frieth as we head for Skirmett. This walk crosses three commons each with its own character and wildlife – especially Moorend where rare orchids can be seen in spring and summer. Our walk will take us over open fields and through lovely Chiltern beech woods with views over the Hambleden Valley.
Distance - 7 miles
Area - Henley
A 7 mile waterside walk around Henley & Fawley where we have an opportunity to enjoy beautiful beech woods, parkland the world famous Henley Regatta course on the river Thames Starting at 1pm.
If you love trees as well as walking by water, this is the walk for you. It starts on the outskirts of Henley-on-Thames and climbs through woods and across fields to Fawley, high on the Chiltern Hills overlooking the Thames. The route then descends through beautiful beech woods to Greenlands and crosses the parkland with many specimen trees before returning to Henley along the world-famous regatta course.
Fawley is a scattered hilltop village, probably of Saxon origin. The well under a pretty pagoda on the village green on the right is said to be 336 feet deep and there has been a church on this site for over 800 years.
The stretch of the Thames we walk is the famous Henley regatta course, a great rowing festival which had its origin in the first University Boat Race, in June 1829. The first regatta took place on 14th June 1839, and has now grown to five days of racing with 350 entries from all over the world.
Distance - 6 miles
Area - Cadmore End
Description: This is a lovely walk six mile walk starting from Cadmore End through valleys and over rolling countryside with stunning views from the high points including the much-filmed Turville. We will pass the windmill of “Chitty Chitty” fame and the “Vicar of Dibleys” church and pass through the pleasant villages of Skirmett and Fingest.
Distance - 8 miles
Area - Chalfont St Giles
Enjoy an eight mile walk around the lovely Chiltern villages of Jordans & Chalfont St Giles and walk in the footsteps of the poet John Milton. He came to the village of Chalfont St Giles in 1665 to escape from the Great Plague of London and during the year he spent here he finished Paradise Lost and began Paradise Regained.
We will also walk to the village of Jordan’s, the village is a notable centre for Quakerism and in this 17th century village we will find one of the oldest Friends meeting houses built in 1688, shortly after the Declaration of Indulgence. In the cemetery of the house is the burial place of William Penn founder of the Province of Pennsylvania as well as other notable Quakers.
Within the grounds of Old Jordan is the Mayflower Barn, said to be built from the timbers of the Mayflower the ship that took the Pilgrim father’s to America according to the antiquarian J. Rendell Harris in the 1920’s.