Prestwood, Cobblershill Farm and the South Bucks Way: full route
The walk quickly leaves Prestwood and uses some of the less frequented paths to enjoy the beautiful countryside in the surrounding area. The route includes beautiful meadow views, woodland walking, and crosses the stunning glade to Hampden House.
By Helen and Aaron Keats, Chiltern Society
Details of route
Starting point High Street car park, Prestwood HP16 9ER
Distance 5.1 miles
OS Ref SP 872 008
The steps you need to take
On leaving the car park turn right. Before Crossroads garage cross the road and turn left into Moat Lane.
Walk along the pavement to the entrance on the right to Kimba Farm Stud and go down the concrete driveway. Go straight ahead between post and rail fences and then through a gate, eventually joining a track. Continue in the same direction for 250m to reach a footpath sign on the right heading into the woods. Take the path and descend through the woods. At the bottom of the woods, continue straight ahead with the field on the right and go past a house called Shercot to a road.
Cross onto the grass verge and turn right for 100m and take the first left down a wide gravel drive to reach the entrance to Coney Hill. Bear left along the footpath and, at the top of the hill, the path leaves the wood into a beautiful meadow.
Turn left along the field edge and re-enter the woods through a gate on the left. Follow the path to a T-junction by a 3-way finger post. Turn right onto the wide track, a byway, and stay on it ignoring all other paths.
At a bridleway junction turn left, the path then bends round to the left before continuing ahead in the same direction. Continue on the main bridleway, ignoring footpaths on the left, to meet a track by a house called Blossoms. At the 5-way junction, continue straight ahead onto a bridleway which exits onto a lane at Cobblers Hill Farm Cottage.
Turn left, then immediately right and walk along the driveway past a pond on the left. Go through a gateway, pass a barn on the left and continue along a track between two fields to a path junction with gates on either side.
Turn left through the kissing gate and follow the footpath as it descends through woods to a lane. Turn right and head downhill to the road junction, by Little Hampden Forge.
Cross the road, turn right along the verge to the sign for Little Hampden and then left on a footpath into the woods. At the marker post take the left of two paths, leave the wood onto a glade and look right to enjoy the view up to Hampden House. Cross the glade and enter Pepperboxes Wood. At a cross path continue straight ahead, ignore a further path on the left and continue slowly rising uphill to a bench at a crossing path. Stay straight ahead to the end and bear left at the finger post. When the path splits stay on the right-hand fork, continuing on the main path. Fork left at the next crossing path and continue straight heading towards a rail fence. Turn left through a gate to leave the woods and walk across the paddock to second kissing gate onto the lane.
Turn left on the lane and then immediately right onto a footpath past a five bar gate into Greenland Lane Allotments. Go to the right of a second five bar gate and continue on the right-hand edge, passing Kiln Common Orchard. The path exits in the far-right corner of the field, here turn right and at the end of John Hampden Way turn left. At the end of Mandeville Road, turn left and then right into Kiln Close. At the end of the Close head into the right-hand corner and take the path between two fences to a lane. Turn right and on joining the next road continue bear right, heading towards Wye Country estate agents. On reaching this turn left and head back to the car park.
Points of interest
The name has Anglo-Saxon origins and means priest-wood. It was formed as an Ecclesiastical District in 1849 from parts of Great Missenden, Hughenden and Hampden. Major industries were based on agriculture and furniture making. This part of the Chilterns was famous for its cherry orchards and in the 19th century Londoners took day trips to see the spring blossom.
South Bucks Way
A South Bucks Way is a 23 mile route from Combe Hill near Wendover to the Grand Union Canal at Hillingdon in Middlesex along the valley of the River Misbourne.
Pepperboxes Wood is owned by the Woodland Trust and is also known as Lodge Wood. It takes its name from the former lodges at the bottom of The Glade, a long wide avenue leading to Hampden House. The Glade was reputedly cut in a single night to provide a view for Queen Elizabeth I on one of her two documented visits to the house.