Pete's Walks - West Wycombe and Fingest (page 1 of 5)

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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 roughly 14 mile circular walk on Saturday, 8th December 2012. It was Walk 14 of my Chiltern Chain Walk, but done in the opposite direction (clockwise).

I started walking about 10:20am, having had a late start as I'd needed to first go into Markyate to get stamps for my Christmas cards (Bah, humbug!). I parked in the large car park in West Wycombe - astonishingly, I've just found that it's almost two years since I last parked here, and a year since I did a walk that went through this village. From the car park I followed the road towards the village then turned right along the A40 for about 300 yards. It had been a nice morning when I set off from Kensworth, but disappointingly as I'd driven southwest along the foot of the Chiltern escarpment it become misty, even foggy. So when I turned left into Toweridge Lane I'd could see it ahead of me fading into the mist as it rose uphill. As usual the hedge-lined lane was a steepish start to the walk, but it was soon over and at the top of the hill I followed the lane as it turned left in the hamlet of Towerage (no, I don't know why the hamlet and lane have different spellings!). There was a nice view left, past a statue and down a wide grassy ride to West Wycombe House. A little further on I took a footpath on the right. This was soon running alongside a left-hand hedge, with the remains of a maize crop in the field to my right. A Red Kite flew out of a tree in the hedge, something I've seen happen here before so I wasn't surprised.

Toweridge Lane, rising up into the mist

 

Approaching Towerage

 

Looking back to West Wycombe House from Towerage

 

The path south from Towerage

 

The path then dropped downhill through a small section of Hellbottom Wood. On leaving the wood, the path continued downhill through a rather muddy enclosure, then went a few yards right in the valley bottom to re-enter another section of the same wood. The path went left, heading uphill through the trees, not far from a farm track to the left of the wood. On leaving the wood I joined the farm track and followed it to the top of the hill. When it turned left near Fryer's Farm (to my right) I went ahead over a stile into an empty paddock or pasture, following the right-hand boundary and staying with it when it turned right and so reaching another stile. Over that, I turned left along another hedgerow and passed Sandage Wood (used for paintballing). The sun was now starting to break through as I looked across the stubble fields on my right towards Wheeler End.

 

The path south from Towerage, through a small section of Hellbottom Wood

 

The path south from Towerage - here it leaves Hellbottom Wood only to re-enter it near the valley bottom

 

Hellbottom Wood again

 

Hellbottom Wood

 

Approaching Fryers Farm

 

The footpath from Fryers Farm, heading past Sandage Wood

 

Looking right towards Wheeler End, from near Sandage Wood

 

The path ended on a minor road, where I turned right and immediately crossed over the M40 motorway.  A path then started on the left, across a drive, running through a section of what I think is Widdenton Park Wood. Initially there was a felled area of the wood on my left. The path through the wood then turned half-right.  Beyond the trees I crossed a drive (to a reservoir, over to my left) and crossed a large area of rough grass to reach the edge of Lane End.

 

The bridge over the M40

 

The footpath through Widdenton Park Wood

 

The footpath through Widdenton Park Wood

 

Approaching Lane End (the mist had gone and it had brightened up nicely now)

Part 2 of this walk

Chiltern Chain Walk (2) main page

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