Cadmore End and Fingest circular: full route
A 4 mile easy-going circular walk on good paths in hilly countryside with some lovely views. The route includes woodland, meadows and open farmland. There are also several seats along the way!
By Sue Brinn, Chiltern Society
Details of route
Starting point Church Road, Cadmore End HP14 3PE
Distance 4 miles
OS Ref SU 783 927
The steps you need to take
Walk past the village hall and church, then turn right. Follow the track beside the gate, passing a shady pond with a wooden seat to a path junction.
Keep left, walk down a stony track and take the right hand path into woodland. Follow this
to a wooden notice board showing the history of the woodland and the work involved in maintaining it. Keep on this path which soon goes downhill emerging on to open fields with a lovely view towards
Skirmett. There is a convenient bench to admire it! Walk downhill, go over a stile and turn right to a lane in the village of Fingest.
Turn left along the lane and turn right through a gate into the church yard. On the right,
just beyond the 2 benches there is a small brick paved area with a sundial which makes a good coffee
stop. Foolow the path past the church and go through the gate into the lane. Turn right along the grass verge and, almost immediately, bear right through a gateway to a track between a flint wall and high hedges to a path junction.
Take the footpath immediately right which skirts Fingest Manor. This is a pretty path with
views across to Hanger Wood. At the end of the path, go right through woods towards Gravesend to a path junction just before a lane.
Turn immediately left along the bridleway which soon comes out into open fields. Follow
this path for 800m to a stony track on the right that leads towards Harecramp Cottages.
Take the track and, just before the Cottages, go right over a stile in the hedge. Cross an
open meadow and go over the next stile into a lane. Cross the lane to the footpath immediately opposite. Follow this path steady uphill through woodland and along to meet the grassy track at Waypoint 1. Turn left past the shady pond to return to the parking place just past the church.
Points of interest
Cadmore End’s name probably has its origins in the Saxon Cadamere where cada was a person and meare means boundary. This name first appears in 16th century manorial roles as part of Fingest Manor. It also once lay in the county of Oxfordshire in the Hundred of Lewknor, but became part of Buckinghamshire in 1844. One notable local character was Jack Butler, the ‘Cadmore Hermit’, who, during the early 20th century, lived in a shack constructed from odd pieces of tin and board in Pound Wood. For years he earned his living tying up bundles of firewood. St Mary le Moor Church was built in the mid-19th century using some of the materials from Moor Chapel in the long abandoned village of Ackhamstead. The church is worth a visit for its Victorian stained glass.
Fingest gets its unusual name from the Danish Thinghurst, meaning a wooded hill where there were public assemblies. The most notable building is the Grade I listed Church of St Bartholomew, with its fine 12th century Norman tower and unusual twin gables. In the grounds of Fingest Manor are the remains of a bishop’s palace, and it is said to be haunted by the ghost of Henry Burghersh, a 14th century Bishop of Lincoln. He enclosed common land for a deer park, causing the poor locals much hardship. His ghost haunts the area as penance for his misdeed.
Cadmore End is on the edge of the beautiful Hambleden Valley. There are historic and picturesque villages to explore and many have featured in films and TV, including Midsomer Murders.
There is some excellent local food and drink produced in this rural area, for a good selection head over to Lacey’s Farm Shop in Lane End.