Pete's Walks - The Chiltern Chain Walk, Walk 11

ROUTE DESCRIPTION - Walk 11, Cobblershill and Little Kingshill

OS Explorer Maps required: 181, 172

Approximate distance: 12.5 miles

Start at car park near Cobblershill (SP 872042). 


Head south from the car park, following the bridleway (NOT the footpath that also starts at the car park)  steeply uphill through the wood – keep to the bridleway (blue arrows) ignoring all crossing paths. When it reaches a point on the edge of the wood where five tracks meet, take the second one on the left, with a pasture over the hedge on the right. Continue on this bridleway that runs between hedges, now heading south-east. Keep right at a fork, then take the footpath going left into Coneybank Wood. The path exits the wood and runs along its edge. Take the path going right, over a stile back into the wood and follow it down to Rignall Road. Turn right here, then take the footpath on the left, rising uphill and passing through Rignall Wood. On leaving the wood turn left, with paddocks to your right. Keep right at a fork, and go through a metal gate and follow the path between fences. Continue along a drive all the way to a road in Prestwood (SP 876010).

Turn left and go straight on at the crossroads. Where a footpath comes in on the right, turn left down an alley. At the end of the alley continue ahead along a street to reach a T-junction. Turn right, then take the path going left, initially along the drive to Andlows Farm (you are now following the route of the Chiltern Heritage Trail). The path goes right before reaching the farm, through a gate and initially to the right of a double-garage. The path then turns left and follows a field boundary to reach Atkins Wood. About a hundred yards into the wood, take the path going half-right (following faint arrows painted on trees), slightly downhill to a metal kissing-gate in a fence. Through the gate, turn right and follow the track gradually uphill. It joins a farm drive which you follow ahead to reach Nags Head Lane. Turn right, and follow the narrow lane carefully. At a lane junction, take the footpath on the left, going left of Nairdwood Farm. The path crosses a field then goes diagonally (half-right) across another, before passing through Sandwich Wood and continuing between hedges and fences to a pub in Little Kingshill (SU 893992).

Cross the road and take the path on the other side, that soon runs along to the right of a playing area to reach another road. Turn right here. Cross a road coming in from the right by a pub, and after 100 yards or so take the first footpath on the right (initially on a gravel drive to some modern houses – the footpath sign is hidden by holly, so that it is not visible when approached from this direction). The path goes over a couple of stiles, follows a hedge on the right and then curves left and crosses a field to its far corner where it reaches a line of trees (Peterley Avenue). Turn right here, then take the first path on the left. Follow the boundary on your left, continuing alongside it as it turns to the right, until you reach a gate in the fence on your left and a path going into a wood. Take this path for a few yards to a path junction where you turn right to reach a minor road. Cross over, and follow the bridleway all the way through the wood opposite, turning left at the end of the wood to reach the A4128 opposite a church. Cross carefully and go a few yards right to the start of another footpath. Follow this, initially between fences/hedges then across the edge of a pasture to reach Lawrence Grove Wood. Go through the wood, and continue beside a fence to another wood, where the path goes right and then left, descending VERY STEEPLY to reach a field and then a minor road. Turn right, and follow the road VERY CAREFULLY, before taking the path on the right past Stony Green Farm. Keep left at a fork, to pass left of the farm buildings. Just before the tarmac drive turns right, fork slightly left onto a footpath. Follow the path through the edge of Nanfan Wood, and continue beside a right-hand hedge through two meadows. Cross a third meadow to reach Hanging Lane. Turn right to reach the edge of Prestwood again (SU 887010).

Turn left at the junction. When a wood starts on the right, take the leftmost of the two footpaths. Keep straight on this path as it gradually goes downhill, usually close to the edge of the wood on your left, until you reach a junction by a telegraph pole after almost half a mile. Turn right here to reach a crossroads by a bench. Turn left and follow the path downhill through the wood and across a narrow strip of grass, The Glade. Back in a wood, the path forks – take the left fork, though it doesn’t really matter as both paths soon lead to a road in the valley of Hampden Bottom where you turn left. At the end of the small wood on the right, take the footpath on the right. This initially follows a hedge on your left, then switches to the other side as it gradually goes uphill. At the end of the path, turn right to reach a lane in Little Hampden (SP 859037).

Turn left along the lane. Opposite the pub, take the footpath (N.B. not the bridleway!) going right, which descends through a wood. On emerging from the wood, the right of way continues to the left of a hedgeline (there appears to be a better used path to the right). At the end of the hedge, enter Hampdenleaf Wood and continue on the path going uphill and turning half-right. Go straight on at a path crossing near the top of the hill, to reach a crossing bridleway a few yards further on. Go a few yards left, and go over a double stile on the right into a very large pasture or meadow. Follow the hedge on your left downhill. About a hundred yards before the field corner, go over the stile on your left. Cross a horse gallop and go through a wooden kissing-gate into a paddock. Follow the fence on your right to another wooden kissing-gate. Go through the gate, follow the fence a few yards further, then re-cross the horse gallop to reach a stile and Cobblershill Lane. Turn right to return to the car park.

The name Prestwood is a corruption of Priest-Wood and dates back to Saxon times. Prestwood was originally a large common, spread over several different parishes, and the village only acquired parish status in the late 19th century. The village grew throughout the early 20th century, but the biggest expansion came in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The Labour Prime Minister Clement Attlee once lived in Prestwood, before moving to nearby Great Missenden.