Little Missenden to Cobblershill and back


A cold start to the day. I had to scrape ice off the car before setting off, and it was still very frosty when I started walking. 

This walk started outside the church in Little Missenden (I really enjoyed looking round the church last year when I did the Chiltern Heritage Trail). I took a long path diagonally uphill across a field to reach Toby’s Lane, a nice bridleway between hedges, which I followed southwards for about a mile. I then turned right, and followed good paths to the village of Holmer End. There was about half a mile of walking on pavements through the village, then I headed north on more footpaths. These initially went through a sequence of paddocks, then round two sides of a cattle pasture. I continued through a wood called Grubbins Plantation, then took a path to Little Kinghill.

I turned left, then went right and followed a series of paths to reach a road, across which I entered Peterley Wood. The bridleway through the beech wood was a little indistinct under the mass of leaves, and also rather soft and muddy in places. It was still a pleasure to walk through a beech wood, though. The bridleway turned left to reach the A4128, on the edge of Prestwood. I now continued on some very pleasant paths heading west, finally descending a very long and steep slope through another beech wood.

A short road walk to the right, then I went right on another very pleasant path that went uphill very gently, through another wood and then through three empty pastures. Another short road walk (again I was on the edge of Prestwood) and I entered Lodge Wood, where I’d been on a recent walk through Little and Great Hampden. Here I foolishly went wrong – worse, really, as I was actually on the correct path, but managed to convince myself I’d gone wrong and wasted twenty minutes before coming back to the same place and realising it was where I wanted to be (if I’d just walked 10 or so yards further on in the first place, I’d have realised where I was).

I followed a hedgerow, with nice views over the valley of Hampden Bottom to my left, then went left down a lane to the road running through the valley. On the other side, I followed a long line of tractor tracks through a field, gradually rising up the other side of the valley. I followed a hedgerow through another field, then the path continued just inside the edge of a wood. A little further on I came to a lane, which took me into the hamlet of Cobblershill (I’ve been here or hereabouts two or three times recently!).

From Cobblershill I took a Bridleway, heading southeast towards Great Missenden – I’d walked this before on the South Bucks Way – waymarks indicate that that route uses a parallel path on the other side of a hedge, but the map shows it using the bridleway. At a stile where the path rejoins the bridleway I stopped for lunch – it was already about 1.40, and I’d still some way to go.

I followed the South Bucks Way as it took the right fork at a bridleway junction and then went left through Coneybank wood, but then turned off it, taking a path going right.  This took me through another part of the wood, and then downhill to enmerge by a farm on a road. I went a few yards down the road, then took a path between hedges or fences that rose up the other side of the valley. The path then entered another wood, where I continued uphill. The path levelled off beyond the wood, where I passed a number of paddocks to reach Prestwood again.

After a short road walk and a path along an alley, I left the village on the route of the Chiltern Heritage Trail. This took me across a meadow than diagonally across a field of winter wheat to yet another wood. Beyond this, the path ran between hedges and fences with cattle pastures either side, to emerge immediately in front of a pub in Little Kingshill. I crossed a road and followed the edge of a playing field to another road (I’d reached the same point from the opposite direction this morning).

I turned left and walked down the road for about half a mile, passing a couple of schools – I was now back on the route of the South Bucks Way, as well as the Chiltern Heritage Trail. By a left-hand bend I took a path on the right which soon emerged on the edge of a huge field of winter wheat, with a really attractive view towards Little Missenden ahead of me. It was a long gradual descent across this field and the next, then I crossed a horse paddock to reach the road into Little Missenden.

Having had several shorter walks of 10-12 miles recently, I felt quite tired after walking about 15.5 miles today. It was a very good walk though, better than I’d anticipated. I managed to explore three lengthy sections of path that I’d not done before, although most of the return from Cobblershill was on routes I already knew.

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