Hughenen Manor - West Wycombe, Dashwood Mausoleum, Hellfire Caves

A circular loop offering heaps of views, wildlife spotting, and history preserved by the National Trust. This walk goes up and down the hills and woodlands where end of May-June you can enjoy the bluebells. Keep your ears and eyes wide open listening to the whistling red kites or spot some pheasant or squirrels.

Technical sheet No. 20593872

A Hughenden walk posted on 30/03/22 by Delphinium. Last update : 12/12/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h30[?]
Distance Distance : 9.78 km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 252 m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 246 m
Highest point Highest point : 192 m
Lowest point Lowest point : 86 m
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Chiltern Hills
Location Location : Hughenden
Starting point Starting point : N 51.652016° / W 0.751381°
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Walking down the footpath. View on Dashwood Mausoleum. View on High Wycombe road. View into the valley and a farm


Park at Saint Michael and All Angels church at the bottom of Hughenden Manor.

(D) Facing Saint Michael and All Angels church entrance, go left of the (South-South-West) down the corner of the car park. Climb right (West) uphill keeping the church on your right-hand side going towards the road that brings you to Hughenden Manor.

When you reach the road, take the pedestrian access going through the gate. Keep straight up the road uphill to the main road to reach a junction with on your right hand a garden, the coffee shop (with toilets), and on your left Hughenden Manor.

(1) At the top, you have the option to visit Hughenden Manor (free access to the garden) on your left. Do not hesitate to walk behind the building to enjoy the views and garden. After your visit, come back to the junction.

Otherwise, keep straight ahead (West) walking along the walls. You have now the manor on your left-hand side and the woodland in front of you. When you reach a junction with a private car park on your left-hand side, go straight (North-West) downhill into the woods.

On your way down, spot a little "cave" on your right-hand side. When you reach a junction, keep straight following "Downley" sign. At the next junction, take the right-hand gate. You now have a field on your right-hand side and a hedge on your left hand.

When you reach a junction, keep straight (West) towards Downley. When you enter the woods at the junction keep straight again (West).

(2) As you walk you can notice a trench on your right-hand side. When you see the Hughenden Estate Manor Farm signpost at a junction, keep straight ahead (West-South-West). At the next Y junction keep straight still and straight again to the next until you reach a lane.

Walk a few steps left (West) onto that lane until you see a field on your left-hand side. Climb left uphill (South-West) across the field following a diagonal. Walk towards the wooden bus stop at the top corner right of the field and then to the road. (High Street).

When you reach the bus stop and road, turn right (West) on High Street past Bricklayer Arms pub on your left-hand side. Keep straight ahead at the road junction with Plomer Green Lane following the footpath sign.

Take the tiny footpath going through the gate. Do not go straight on the obvious path. Carry straight on with a fence now on your right-hand side. Go through the next gate. You can spot a pond on the left-hand side then go through another gate giving you access to the school entrance.

Walk straight past the school entrance on your right hand and find seek for a footpath sign straight away on your right. Walk down this footpath with the school still to your right hand. Walk straight along the footpath ignoring accesses to the houses.

(3) When you reach the woodland, at the junction keep straight downhill. Keep downhill, at some stage you will get a field on your right hand. As you reach a junction with steps on your right-hand side go left still downhill. On the way down enjoy great views of West Wycombe Dashwood Mausoleum on your right. Down the hill, you reach Cookshall Farm driveway. Walk left (South-West) down the road.

On your left, you will see a gate with access to go up the hill. Take a detour here to the top to admire the view then come back to this point. Otherwise, keep straight down passing under the railway line.

For a safer journey, as you see a playing field on your right, go through the wooden gate into the football field then keep straight left to walk down the road. You are now walking parallel to the road and a hedge on your left hand. Walk towards the left-hand corner of the field through wood then two gates before reaching A4010.

Walk a few steps left towards the roundabout to cross A4010 straight ahead safely. At the roundabout turn right (West) towards West Wycombe village following High Street (A40). Carry straight on A40 past Kittys lodge then enter the village. Enjoy the old houses as you walk down the street up to West Wycombe National Trust park entrance on your left-hand side.

(4) Here you can take a detour to visit West Wycombe house and park. Otherwise, at the junction turn slightly right (North-West) on Chorley Road. When you reach the field find an obvious path on your right across the field. If you meet a junction, keep straight uphill, your goal is to go up to Dashwood Mausoleum up there.

When you reach a junction with some steps. Take the steps up on your right (North-East). At the junction with a wooden signpost carry on the uphill following (Hill Top). Eventually, you will reach a long flight of steps, take a breath and go up to the summit!

(5) When you reach the top find a signpost indicating Hell-Fire Caves with an incredible view of High Wycombe main road. Here you can make a detour going left uphill to enjoy the incredible view from Dashwood Mausoleum to the valley and West Wycombe Park before coming back to this point.

Otherwise, turn right (South-East) downhill following the Hell-Fire caves sign. Follow the sign right down the steps to reach the cave's entrance. Enjoy the caves and come back here.

Otherwise, go down to the road and turn left (East) up to West Wycombe Hill road. At the T junction turn left, keep following the road as it curves left and carry on the uphill left on Church Lane.

Eventually, a footpath will appear on your right (East). Take it, you reach the top of a field. Keep right (East) going downhill with a hedge on your right-hand side walking towards the road. When you see a gate on your right, go through it and turn straight away left (East) downhill towards a gate and Bradenham Road.

Cross A4010 straight into the field with extra care. Have a look behind you at the view then walk North-East towards the woodland which in fact is the railway. Pass under the railway enjoying the graffiti and drawings. Go straight (North-East-East) then uphill with a fence on your left hand and farmlands on your right hand. Go through the woodland, out of the wood keep straight with the wire fence on your left hand. Keep straight North-Esat through the woods and farmlands.

(6) Eventually, you will reach a farm track passing through a wire fence. Cross it straight ahead into the farmland. Walk up across the crops with the farm as a goal at the top of the hill. On your way look around at the great views of the countryside. When you reach the top, pass in front of the farm buildings and go straight up to reach the road. Go left (North-East) down the road.

(7) When you reach a junction of footpaths with the road, take the one diagonal going through the woods (North-East) then keep straight up into the field. Ignore some paths coming left and right. When you reach a gate at the top of the hill, carry straight on across the farmland under the powerlines until you reach a gate into the woods in front of you.

After the gate, turn right (South-South-East) straight away after the gate into the woodlands. Always keep straight ahead when paths come from the right and left. Keep aware. When you see some houses on your right-hand side carry straight on to the end of them. (Stay into the woods do not go up the houses)

(8) Eventually, you will come to a junction of paths, one coming from the end of the houses. Turn left (East) here. You are now on a bike path with some jumps. Keep downhill (East) onto this path with care.

You then reach a junction with on your right access to a car park and Le De Spencers Arms pub and a big bike park on your left-hand side. Here carry straight on (North-East). Keep going in that direction with houses on your right-hand side. At the junction with footpath signs, carry straight on then again until you see a gate giving access to a field.

(9) Go through the gate then go straight down the bottom to the gate you can see at the edge of the woods. Go through that gate into the woods on your right. At the junction, ignore the signpost saying, Hughenden Manor. Turn uphill left (East) go always straight ignoring the paths coming left and right. Walk straight for quite a while until you reach a junction (look to the map) where you turn left uphill then right downhill and uphill again on your left to reach a wooden stile giving you access to the edge of the woods.

(10) Past the stile, turn right (South-East) towards the farmland. Take a diagonal straight across the farmland (South-East). Cross the gate in front of you down to the farm track. Go straight across the other gate into the next farmland. Go across the field (East) towards the wooden gate into the woods.

Always keep straight (East) downhill ignoring paths coming from the right and left until you reach another wooden gate opening to an incredible view of the valley. Cross the field following a diagonal (South-East) with the corner right of the farm as a goal. Halfway down you can turn right (South East) downhill to the next field past a gate or carry on to the far bottom and do the same.

Either way, from the next field, you will be able to spot the car park and Saint Michael and All Angels church in front of you where you parked. (D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 90 m - Saint Michael and All Angels church
1 : km 0.38 - alt. 135 m - Hughenden Manor National Trust
2 : km 1.45 - alt. 155 m - Trench into the woods
3 : km 2.51 - alt. 162 m - Downley School
4 : km 4.19 - alt. 92 m - West Wycombe Park National Trust
5 : km 4.6 - alt. 134 m - Dashwood Mausoleum
6 : km 5.91 - alt. 111 m - Farm track
7 : km 6.45 - alt. 138 m - Junction of paths
8 : km 7.58 - alt. 192 m - Houses behind the trees
9 : km 7.81 - alt. 175 m - Bikepark - Gate
10 : km 8.48 - alt. 171 m - Junction - Wooden stile
D/A : km 9.78 - alt. 96 m - Saint Michael and All Angels church

Useful Information

Car park : Free car park at Hughenden Manor Church. You can also start your walk from the free car park nearby West-Wycombe Park or even at the Le De Spencers Arms pub.

Refreshments :

  • Toilets and food at Hughenden Manor café.
  • Food at Le De Spencers Arms pub and other pubs along the way.

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

  • The Hellfire Caves
  • Saint Lawrence Church
  • Dashwood Mausoleum
  • Hughenden Manor (National Trust)
  • West Wycombe Park (National Trust)

More information about West Wycombe history here.

Opinions and comments


Global average : 3.67/5
Number of opinions : 1
Clarity of route description : 3/5
Clarity of route map : 4/5
Walk interest : 4/5

on Mon 28 Nov 2022 11:27:52 CET

Global average : 3.67 / 5

Date of walk : 28/11/22
Clarity of route description : Average
Clarity of route map : Good
Walk interest : Good

This is the first time using Visorando and I didn't realise you could download the map to your phone and follow the blue dot - which really helped in the latter part of the walk. We were therefore reliant on instructions which mostly were clear but then the wording was not clear around points 7/8 and we found ourselves following instructions to a gate to a wood downhill but there was another gate further downhill, so we did go off track but using the phone map all was resolved albeit off the route we had originally chosen. I like a map and we did find our way eventually. So this is a minor complaint about the instructions which were ambiguous. The walk itself in the glorious chilterns around Hughenden is definitely worthwhile and full of interest with the rolling chiltern hills as a backdrop and pretty villages with nice pubs and cafes as well as the grounds of the manor and churchyard (don't miss Disraeli memorial). Lovely walk, highly recommended and would do it again in the spring to get seasonal variety.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.