Pete's Walks - West Wycombe, Bradenham, Hughenden (part 1)

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

Google map of the walkDownload GPX file of the walk

PLEASE NOTE: The very large car park in West Wycombe used to be free. When I came here on 15th January 2022 I found it is now a pay and display car park, only free if you stay less than one hour and costing 4 if you stay more than 2 hours. I think you have to pay by credit card, I don't think the machine takes cash.

This is a circular walk about 11.5 miles long. It starts at West Wycombe, follows a long ridge north for several miles before going east through Saunderton and then south on a parallel ridge to Bradenham. It then goes through various woods to reach Hughenden Manor, before heading west through Downley back to West Wycombe.

I did this walk on Thursday 18th October 2007, a gloriously sunny autumn day. From the large car park (grid reference SU 826947) at West Wycombe I crossed the road and took the permissive path that climbs up West Wycombe hill. I kept straight on where a couple of paths went right, then turned left after going up some 'steps' to reach the Dashwood family's Mausoleum. I then followed a path round to the left to reach the car park behind the church of St Lawrence.

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The permissive path up West Wycombe Hill

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The Mausoleum on West Wycombe Hill, still used by the Dashwood family.

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View east towards High Wycombe from West Wycombe Hill

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St Lawrence's church, on West Wycombe Hill

With the church directly behind me I crossed the large car park and continued northwards (or NNW to be more accurate) on a good track through trees. I was following a ridge between valleys either side, and I occasionally had views across the valleys. I passed some fields or paddocks on my right and continued on through Hearnton Wood.

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The track through Hearnton Wood

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Further on along the track through Hearnton Wood

Eventually the track turned right, but I continued on a path with a hedge on my left with a field or pasture beyond, but the wood continuing on my right. I soon reached Nobles Farm, where the path joined the tarmac farm drive. I passed a couple of sheep pastures on my left, where I saw two or three Red Kites. At one point there was a nice view over the valley to my right.

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Looking east from the drive from Nobles Farm (later on I'd walk along the edge of the wood on the far side of the valley)

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The drive from Nobles Farm

After the sheep pastures the drive re-entered woods, before descending to a gap in the ridge crossed by a lane. I went straight ahead on a footpath going up Slough Hill. At first I was following the edge of a field, before the path went slightly into the trees to the left of the field.

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Looking north-west to Bledlow Ridge from the end of the drive from Nobles Farm

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Looking back, south, from the path to Slough Hill

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Looking out across the Saunderton Valley from the path to Slough Hill

At the top of Slough Hill I turned sharply right on a path that crossed the field on my right - I saw some lovely Common Toadflax growing here. I reached the lane I'd crossed a few minutes earlier, and followed it (left) into the village of Saunderton, passing the railway station on my left. I crossed the main road through the valley and continued along a lane for just over half a mile to reach Small Dean Farm on the far side of the Saunderton Valley. Here I turned right on a path going south, initially following a fence and then the edge of Park Wood as it curved right.

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Looking ahead along the path beside Park Wood

After the long curve to the right, I stayed next to the edge of the wood as it went left and left again, and then went quite steeply up the hillside. At the top of the slope I turned right, still following the edge of Park Wood. There were now good views across the valley towards Bledlow Ridge (which I went through on the Chiltern Way), north to Lodge Hill (which I crossed on my Berks-Essex Walk) and south along the valley towards West Wycombe.

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Looking north-west across Saunderton towards Bledlow Ridge

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Looking towards Lodge Hill rising from the Saunderton Valley

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Looking south towards West Wycombe - I'd walked through Hearnton Wood on top of the other side of the valley earlier