Prestwood Route, Chilterns

A wonderful opportunity to combine a stroll round Prestwood Nature Reserve with a lovely walk in the surrounding area. At Peterley Manor Farm there is the opportunity to do a little ‘pick your own’ for such delights as strawberries, gooseberries, raspberries and various vegetables.

Technical sheet
No. 28951821
A Hughenden walk posted on 24/11/22 by Chiltern Society. Update : 24/11/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 2h55[?]
Distance Distance : 9.32km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 102m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 103m
Highest point Highest point : 191m
Lowest point Lowest point : 125m
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 51.683998° / W 0.748983°
Download : PDF / Print -


Start: Prestwood Nature Reserve (A) car park (HP16 0JD). Grid ref: SU 866 991

(D/A) Exit the car park onto the road, turn left and then left again into Perks Lane. Walk up Perks Lane for over 700m, going past a footpath on the left on a sharp right-hand bend.

(1) As the lane nears the top of the hill, take the footpath on the right through the gate into Longfield Wood. The main path starts off parallel to the left side of the wood. Follow this for 1.5km as it winds through the wood. Occasional white arrows on trees as well as some waymark posts marking the correct path. When you meet a tall wood and wire stock fence on the left, follow the fence line until it meets a driveway and the brick gateposts of a large house. Follow the driveway until it reaches Hatches Lane.

(2) Turn sharp right down the lane and after 70m take the footpath through a gate on the left. Follow the path uphill around the left side of the copse. At the brow of the hill, continue in the same direction and look for a gap in the hedge line ahead a little to the right of a telegraph pole. Continue through this gap then through a kissing gate into the next field, heading for the far right corner. Go through the kissing gate and turn right towards the lane. Once on Pipers Lane turn left and follow it to the main road (A4128).

(3) Head directly across the road junction and through the footpath gate behind the Cockpit Road sign. Follow the path across the field and through the hedge line. In the next field, with the hedge on the right, continue to the footpath marker post at the corner. Here, cut straight across the corner of the field towards the gap in the hedge line. Do not go through the gap, instead turn left and follow the edge of the field with the hedge on the right for 250m.

(4) Approaching the end of the field, a path joins from the right and immediately beyond, you pass through the hedge line on your right and through a kissing gate. Ignore the path joining from the left after 50m and continue down, then up the hill to a kissing gate. Go through it and continue straight ahead between two fences to a road.

(5) Cross the road and follow the lane to Copes Farm. At the end of the drive go between the first set of brick pillars and take the path to the right-hand side of the gate. After 200m follow this path through a gate, continuing with a hedge line to the left to reach the corner of a wood. Head straight up the left-hand edge of the wood, continuing beside a number of fields and eventually pass the Baptist church to reach a road.

(6) Cross the road and then turn left on the pavement. Continue past Hare Lane on the right and after 200m turn right into Shepherds Gate. The footpath starts from the left-hand side of the driveway straight ahead. Go through the gate and follow the path to reach a fork where you take the left fenced-in path. `

This continues in a straight line for 400m where it then bends slightly left into trees to shortly meet a bridleway. (B) Turn right on to a hedged-in bridleway. Continue for 170m to a kissing gate on the left, go through it and follow the perimeter of the field and wood for 400m. Then take the gate on the left into the woods. At the first path junction turn right to meet a road.

(7) Cross the road into the woods. Follow the bridleway waymarks and keep to the left-hand edge of the woods for 250m. Just before a slight dip, take the first footpath on the left and follow it all the way to a road (A4128).

(8) Cross the road and turn right, passing in front of the Polecat Inn. Take the footpath on the left at the end of the Polecat car park. Walk up the right side of the pub’s garden, across the paddock beyond and through the kissing gate in the far right-hand corner. Then follow the telegraph poles down the hill, heading to the far left corner of the field. Go through the kissing gate onto Perks Lane. Turn right and head down the hill back to the Nature Reserve 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. 126m - Prestwood Nature Reserve
1 : km 0.79 - alt. 171m - Top of the hill
2 : km 2.51 - alt. 171m - Hatches Lane
3 : km 3.27 - alt. 181m - Main road (A4128)
4 : km 3.87 - alt. 175m - End of the field
5 : km 4.56 - alt. 178m - Road
6 : km 6.01 - alt. 181m - Windsor Lane
7 : km 7.65 - alt. 187m - Peterley Lane MC15
8 : km 8.13 - alt. 186m - Road (A4128)
D/A : km 9.32 - alt. 126m - Prestwood Nature Reserve

Useful Information

Start & finish: Prestwood Nature Reserve car park (HP16 0JD). Grid ref: SU 866 991

Parking: Prestwood Nature Reserve car park, Hampden Road, Prestwood HP16 0JD

Local transport: Bus 41 runs between Great Missenden and High Wycombe all week. There are stops near waypoint (3) on the walk and on either side of the crossroads just South of waypoint (8).

Terrain: A moderate walk, with the main climb at the start. Can be very muddy in places.

Food & drink: Peterley Manor Farm café (normally closed in winter) and The Polecat pub at waypoint (8) on the walk. Otherwise, picnic in the Nature Reserve

This walk was created for the book "50 Great Walks in the Chilterns" available from the Chiltern Society, White Hill Centre, White Hill, Chesham, Bucks, HP5 1AG Tel. 01494 771250 or fromAmazon 50GW. Tel. 01494 771250. Fax 01494 793745.

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) Prestwood local Nature Reserve: In late 2013 the management of the reserve was taken over by the Chiltern Society. Even though the site is just 4.8 acres, it is abundant with wildlife, including an incredible diversity of flora. In recognition of this and its value to the local community for recreation and study, the site was designated a Local Nature Reserve in 1993. From April to the end of summer the floral highlights include cowslips, pyramidal, common spotted and bee orchids and Chiltern gentians (the county flower of Bucks).

Prestwood: The name has Anglo-Saxon origins and means priest-wood. It was formed as an Ecclesiastical District in 1849 from parts of Great Missenden, Hughenden and Hampden. Major industries were based on agriculture and furniture making. This part of the Chilterns was famous for its cherry orchards and in the 19th century Londoners took day trips to see the spring blossom.

(B) Peterley Manor Farm: Farm shop, nursery and pick your own.

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