Hambleden to Turville and Fingest, Chilterns

A walk linking three of the most picturesque Chiltern villages. Using the Chiltern and Shakespeare ways it takes you on a circuit through lovely scenery with fine views.

Technical sheet
No. 28416624
A Hambleden walk posted on 03/11/22 by Chiltern Society. Update : 08/11/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 5h20[?]
Distance Distance : 15.23km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 341m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 338m
Highest point Highest point : 203m
Lowest point Lowest point : 47m
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Chiltern Hills
Location Location : Hambleden
Starting point Starting point : N 51.572525° / W 0.868577°
Download : -


Start: Hambleden village car park (RG9 6RP). Grid ref: SU784865

(D/A) Turn left out of the car park and walk down the main street (A). Enter the churchyard through the lych gate, walking down the avenue of yews then follow the path to the left of the tower to a road. Keep straight ahead on the road.

(1) After it has curved to the left and crossed a low bridge, turn right off the road on to a footpath (through 'Colin's' gate) and take the path as it climbs gently to the left of the stream towards a road. Turn right when you reach the road.

(2) After 250m on the road you come to a house. Take the bridleway to the left immediately after the house. It passes behind the house, climbing up the hillside between hedges towards a wood (B).

(3) When you reach the edge of the wood you come to a fork - take the right fork heading up into the trees. When you emerge from the trees near the top of the slope bear left on a broad grassy track between fields. The path passes back into woods and after 50m turns right on a private road.

After 200m take the footpath half left off the road. Keep straight ahead where it joins a larger track. The path starts to descend to the right of a conifer plantation.

(4) When you reach a road in the valley bottom continue over it on a path that runs in broadly the same direction (West) you have been walking.

The bridleway climbs gradually up the side of the valley following a sunken track below the bridleway on the right hand side. Eventually the bridleway and sunken track merge. Continue to the top of the hill where the track runs between hedges and trees with fields either side.

The track joins a concrete road just before Upper Woodend farm. Turn left and follow this road for 100m passing the farm and then turning right on to the public road.

(5) When you come to a T-junction keep straight ahead over a stile into the field. Continue in the same direction across the field into the woods on the other side.

Once in the woods the path bends to the left. Cross straight over a stony crossing track and you soon emerge into fields. Keep on in the same direction to the right of a hedge.

Look out for a gap in the hedge after 300m. The footpath takes a diversion through the hedge, passes to the left of a tree lined chalk pit and then back through the hedge 50m beyond the chalk pit so that you are once more walking with the hedge on your left.

You join a stony track by a house. Follow it as it bends left to bring you to a road. Turn right on the road and in 100m you come to Southend where you turn right onto the Chiltern Way (C).

(6) Our walk now follows a direct route to Turville although you cannot see it until you are almost there. Walk along the concrete track and keep straight ahead when it becomes a road. After passing some barns it becomes a broad track and then descends through a wood. When you come to a road cross straight over. You should now be walking along the left-hand edge of a field with the windmill above Turville almost directly ahead of you.

The path continues between grown out hedges for a stretch before you reach a street at the top of the village (D). Descend into the village and you soon reach the small triangular green next to the church. Our path continues on the broad track through the gap in the houses ahead.

(7) Our route continues straight uphill to the left of the windmill with very fine views over the village on the way up.'' If you do not fancy the short steep climb, you can avoid it by following the Chiltern Way to the right after the houses. This takes you around rather than over the shoulder of the hill and you re-join at Waypoint (6).
Climb the steep side of the hill. Remember to take time to enjoy the view. As you near the top the path veers to the left, keeping to the left of the fence between you and the windmill.

(8) Turn right where you join a road and start to descend. After 500m, just before the steepest part of the descent take the footpath into the woods on the left which descends a little to the left of the road.

(9) Keep straight on where you re-join the Chiltern Way, now descending between fences. Turn left when you reach the village street (E) and after visiting the church or pub continue on the same road out of the village. Take the footpath to the right after the end of the houses. The path climbs to the left of a hedge and then a wood, curving to the left. Remember to look back at the views over Fingest. The path turns half right and passes through the wood. Continue across a field into more trees.

(10) Look out for a sharp right turn about 50m into the wood and take it, descending through the woods on a broad track. At a major path junction in the wood, keep straight ahead continuing to descend, now on a bridleway. Near the edge of the wood the path levels off and veers to the right. The path bends back left and starts to descend in a sunken track and soon emerges from the wood continuing between hedges.

When you come to a gate across the track take a footpath to the right. This runs diagonally across a field. After leaving the field, pass through a gate and bear slightly right on a broad path between fences heading to Skirmett village.

(11) Just before the first house, turn sharp left, once again walking along a broad grassy track between fences. Turn right when you come to a road and after 150m take the next footpath left. For most of the distance back to Hambleden, the path follows a consistent course a little above and to the left of the valley bottom.

The path is fairly clear on the ground but look out for gates and signs. At the first road you come to, cross straight over. At the next road (Colstrope) keep straight ahead where you meet the road. After 100m, where the road bends sharply right, take a footpath off to the left.

(12) When you reach the hamlet of Pheasant's Hill the path runs between garden fences for a stretch, but you are soon walking across open fields again.

The church of Hambleden will soon come in to view. In the large field that leads to the church follow the path as it veers to the right towards the lane leading to the church. Do not be tempted by the paths through the hedge to the road on your left.

Turn left on the road and you can now retrace your steps through the churchyard and village to the car park. (D/A)

"We hope you have enjoyed your walk. Please remember to rate the walk and add comments. We are interested in how we could improve the instructions or the route and would like to hear about any issues with paths on the walk."

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 49m - Hambleden village - Hambleden village
1 : km 0.39 - alt. 48m - Road
2 : km 0.9 - alt. 53m - Bridleway left - Shakespeare's Way
3 : km 1.21 - alt. 83m - Wood
4 : km 2.51 - alt. 124m - Valley bottom
5 : km 4.18 - alt. 192m - T-junction - Chiltern Way
6 : km 5.58 - alt. 194m - Southend
7 : km 7.69 - alt. 88m - Turville
8 : km 8.07 - alt. 160m - Windmill
9 : km 8.69 - alt. 102m - Rejoin Chiltern Way
10 : km 9.94 - alt. 167m - Sharp right
11 : km 11.12 - alt. 73m - Sharp left
12 : km 14.15 - alt. 56m - Pheasants Hill
D/A : km 15.23 - alt. 49m - Hambleden village

Useful Information

Start: Hambleden village car park (RG9 6RP). Grid ref: SU784865
Alternative start points: There is parking at Southend Common (Waypoint (4)) or in Turville or Fingest villages.

Parking: Hambleden village car park

Local transport: Arriva Bus 800 (High Wycombe, Marlow, Henley) stops at Mill End, 1 mile from Hambleden

Terrain: Some longish, steady,  ascents and descents. One steep climb - to the windmill at Turville - can be avoided.

Food & drink: Stag & Huntsman pub and general store & café in Hambleden. The Bull & Butcher in Turville and The Chequers in Fingest. The Frog in Skirmett is 150m off the route at Waypoint 8.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

(A) Hambleden: One of the prettiest villages in Buckinghamshire and well worth exploring. There many charming old cottages built of flint and brick a thriving village shop and pub, cobbled pavements and a village pump. The church dates back to the 12th Century and has much of interest inside. The church has 8 bells, one of which is believed to have first been rung in 1415 around the time of the victory at Agincourt. The Manor House, facing the eastern end of the church, was the birthplace of Lord Cardigan. Village and church have featured in many film and TV productions including Midsomer Murders and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

(B) Shakespeare's Way: This long-distance path runs between Shakespeare's birthplace in Stratford on Avon and the Globe Theatre in London - a total of 146 miles. Using footpaths, bridleways and minor roads the path aims to follow as closely as possible a route that Shakespeare could have taken between Stratford on Avon and the city where he spent his most productive years. Look out for waymark discs and stickers on fingerposts with Shakespeare's face on.

(C) Chiltern Way: Most of the walk from Southend to Hambleden follows the Chiltern Way. This is a 134 mile circular route around the Chilterns created by the Chiltern Society for the Millennium. Further information can be found on the Chiltern Society website.

(D) Turville: The village nestles at the base of a valley overlooked by Cobstone windmill. It has a mixture of traditional cottages in brick and flint, with larger houses on the outskirts. The village is open in character, with a small village green overlooked by the Bull and Butcher Public house, and the church.The church building dates from the 12th century and is built principally of flint, the only available material in chalk country in the Middle Ages. The tower is squat in comparison to its massive proportions and is topped with brick. The interior is charming for its simplicity.

The village was the location for outdoor scenes in the sitcom 'The Vicar of Dibley'. In the series, the church of St Mary the Virgin was renamed 'St Barnabus' (sic). Scenes have also been shot in the village for Midsomer Murders, Lewis and Marple.

(E) Fingest: The name comes from the Anglo Saxon ‘Thinghurst’, meaning a wooded hill where public assemblies were held. Fingest is a perfect example of an unspoilt village, with medieval and Georgian cottages clustered around the churchyard, nestling in the Chiltern Hills. The first thing that strikes you about the church is the massive Norman tower with its twin gables - there is only one other tower like it in England. Inside the church is simple and unadorned between massive lime-washed walls.

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