Pete's Walks - Cobblershill and Little Kingshill (page 1 of 4)

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If you are considering walking this route yourself, please see my disclaimer. You may also like to see these notes about the maps.

Google map of the walk

I did this 12.5 mile circular walk on Monday, 23rd July, 2012. It was the reverse of Walk 11 of my Chiltern Chain Walk, this time I was walking in the anti-clockwise direction.

I parked in the car park on Cobblershill Lane (off the A413, a few miles south of Wendover) [IMPORTANT NOTE: When I tried to use the car park on 27/9/14 it was closed - there is only space for one or two cars to park by the car park entrance], and started walking about 10.20am. It was a beautiful sunny day (I don't remember seeing a cloud all day) with, initially at least, a friendly breeze keeping the temperature down. I was overjoyed - July 23rd and finally summer seemed to have arrived! I walked a short distance back down the lane (ignoring a stile on the left into a huge meadow that I'd be walking through shortly) until I reached a crossing footpath. I went through a gate in the hedge on the left and immediately crossed an artificial horse gallop. Through a gate in the wooden fence I entered a huge meadow surrounded by the artificial gallop and its fence. The map shows the path going in a straight line half-left here, but in fact a path curved round  through the long grass close to the fence. I soon spotted some Marbled White butterflies and a few Skippers, though I couldn't tell which species. On reaching another gate in the wooden fence, I re-crossed the artificial gallop and went through a hedge gap, turning right along the edge of the huge meadow I'd passed a few minutes earlier. About half the meadow had already been cut for hay or silage, and as well as a tractor moving around there was another machine that was wrapping the cylindrical bundles of hay in black plastic (I'd never seen that done before). I followed the hedge on my right, gradually heading uphill over quite a long distance.

Cobblershill Lane

 

The meadow surrounded by the artificial gallop

 

The huge meadow, heading gently uphill

 

On eventually reaching the corner of the meadow, I went over a strange double stile to reach Hampdenleaf Wood. Across a bridleway a path started descending down through the wood - in the sunnier parts of this path I saw some Meadow Browns, as I would in several other woods today. At the bottom of the slope I left the wood and the path followed a hedge on my left (this section of path was overgrown and clearly little used, there is a broad track on the other side of the hedge but the map clearly shows the right of way this side). The path then continued uphill through a wood, named Little Hampden Common on the OS map, to emerge at the end of the narrow lane into Little Hampden, opposite The Rising Sun pub (update 17/1/17: now closed).

 

The path descending through Hampdenleaf Wood

 

The path between Hampdenleaf Wood and Little Hampden Common

 

The path continuing through the woods of Little Hampden Common

 

The Rising Sun, Little Hampden

 

I turned left along the lane through this small and remote village. After about a quarter of a mile I turned right along a track or drive. After passing one or two properties, a footpath went left, initially along a track. It then followed a long hedgerow on my left, gradually descending towards the valley of Hampden Bottom. Soon there was a glorious array of red poppies in the corn field on my right. After quite some distance the path went through a small gap in the hedge and continued along the other side, still dropping down into Hampden Bottom. I finally reached the road through the valley, where I followed the road for about a quarter of a mile to the left.

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The track heading out of Little Hampden

 

Start of the footpath from Little Hampden to the valley of Hampden Bottom

 

The footpath from Little Hampden to the valley of Hampden Bottom - the poppies here where quite spectacular

 

The footpath from Little Hampden to the valley of Hampden Bottom

 

The road through Hampden Bottom

 

Two footpaths started off from the same point into a small wood on the right (the OS map shows them starting from slightly separate points), and I followed the rightmost one - it didn't really matter, because they merged just before they left the wood. I then crossed the Glade, a broad avenue or 'ride' largely between woods with Hampden House visible uphill to my right. I then entered woods again  and continued uphill (I thought all this wood was Lodge Wood, the only name on the map, but the initial part is actually Pepperboxes Wood as I passed a sign to that effect somewhere). I then made a stupid mistake and wasted 20 minutes - I should have turned right at a junction by a bench, but blissfully kept straight on. I soon became aware that I didn't seem to recognise this stretch of (very muddy) woodland path but nevertheless kept straight on (and dumbly didn't bother checking the map!). It was only when I reached the road on the far corner of what was now Lodge Wood, and knew that I should have arrived on the other path that comes in at that point, that I realised what I had done. I dutifully turned round, traced my (very muddy) steps half a mile back to the bench and took the path, now on my left, that I should have taken. Needless to say this path through the wood was equally muddy! At least this unnecessary extra mile of mud brought the length of the walk closer to the 15 miles I normally aim for.

 

The path through the wood south of the Hampden Bottom road

 

Close-up looking right, along The Glade towards Hampden House

 

The path through Pepperboxes Wood (not named on the OS Map, but I passed a sign saying this)

 

The path through Lodge Wood

 

The path through Lodge Wood

Part 2 of this walk

Chiltern Chain Walk (2) main page

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