A walk from Princes Risborough using the Ridgeway and the Chiltern Way to visit some of the local highlights.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
Start : Princes Risborough Library, Bell St, Princes Risborough (HP27 0AA). Grid ref. SP 808 033
(D/A) From the library entrance, turn right along Bell Street, go over Jasmine Crescent and continue to the pedestrian crossing just after Park Street.
(1) Go over the crossing, turn left and immediately right up the surfaced footpath. Turn right straight after the metal barriers to emerge into a road (Clifford Road). Turn left uphill, go over Merton Road and continue to a field at the end. Go straight across, drop down to a lane and turn right along it.
(2) After a few metres turn left over a stile into a field. Bear right down it and cross the next stile to a road (A4010). (A) Turn left, walk along the pavement for 600m and turn right along Upper Icknield Way. Cross over the junction with Shootacre Lane and continue uphill to Ridgeway Lodge on the left.
(3) Just after the entrance, turn left on the Ridgeway across the middle of a field to a gate in the hedgerow ahead. Do not go through the gate but turn left to leave the Ridgeway and walk along the field edge following the Chiltern Way. (B)
(4) After 350m bear left across the corner of a field and over a ditch. Continue straight across the next field and through a kissing gate onto a very busy road (A4010). Cross straight over, go through a gap in the hedge opposite and stay in the same direction along the field edge.
(5) Cross directly over an access track; go up a set of steps and bear immediately left on a path to meet the access track again. Turn right along it as it climbs through a riding complex. Just after the concrete track bends left, turn right uphill on a wide path, through a gate and onto a road (Lower Road).
(6) Turn right along it then first left up Looseley Hill. At the top are the Whip Inn and the entrance to the Chiltern Society’s Lacey Green windmill (C). Cross Pink Road, turn right along the pavement and take the gate on the left just in front of the bus shelter. Walk along the field edge, go through a kissing gate and stay in the same direction through two more gates into a large paddock.
Bear right to cross a stile in the fence line. Turn left, follow the path between the paddocks for 300m and cross two stiles.
(7) Cross the field to the left of the electricity pylon aiming for a kissing gate in the middle of the hedgerow ahead. Go through and bear half right to pass through a further gate at the edge of a wood. Turn left down to a lane and then left along it for 550m to a road junction by The Pink and Lily pub (D). Turn right along the verge for a few metres and cross to a driveway past Woodlands.
(8) Follow the driveway to the entrance to Hampden Lodge and take the bridleway to the right of it. Go through the gate and stay on the bridleway for 1km, ignoring all tracks left and right, to pass through a gate onto a lane (Peters Lane). Turn left along the lane for 450m to a bridleway on the right just past Hailey Cottage.
(9) Go through the gate, bear half left across the field and follow its edge to a gate in the right-hand corner. Go through, cross directly over a wide bridleway and go past a gate into a wood. The route now follows the bridleway and the edge of the wood for the next kilometre, ignoring all paths and tracks to the right.
(10) At the T-junction there is an option of a short diversion to the right to visit the top of the ancient Whiteleaf Cross (E). Otherwise, turn left past both the WWI trenches and the path up to Whiteleaf Hill car park. After 250m, drop down to a lane (Peters Lane).
Turn right downhill for a few metres and then take the slope on the left up to a gate. Go through, turn left and stay on the path past the next gate. Bear right to admire the magnificent panorama from the stone toposcope at the top of Brush Hill (F).
(11) From the toposcope, walk straight on and follow the path down the hill. Drop down a set of steps and through a kissing gate. Continue down the next set of steps, past an information board and out of the wood. Continue to descend for another 300m to meet a t-junction and the Icknield Way.
(12) Turn left along the rough lane to a road (New Road). Turn right and follow it downhill to a roundabout at the bottom. Turn left along Horns Lane and Bell Street to return to the library. (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.
D/A : km 0 - alt. 112 m - Princes Risborough Library
1 : km 0.2 - alt. 110 m - Pedestrian crossing
2 : km 0.9 - alt. 123 m - Stile - Field
3 : km 2.52 - alt. 130 m - Ridgeway Lodge - Chiltern Way
4 : km 2.97 - alt. 129 m - Ditch
5 : km 3.66 - alt. 150 m - Access track
6 : km 4.18 - alt. 194 m - Lower Road - Chiltern Society’s Lacey Green windmill
7 : km 5.53 - alt. 226 m - Electricity pylon
8 : km 6.78 - alt. 239 m - Hampden Lodge
9 : km 8.71 - alt. 242 m - Hailey Cottage
10 : km 9.46 - alt. 234 m - T-junction - Whiteleaf Hill
11 : km 9.76 - alt. 242 m - Brush Hill
12 : km 10.48 - alt. 144 m - Icknield Way
D/A : km 11.33 - alt. 112 m - Princes Risborough Library
Terrain: A moderate walk on easy but sometimes muddy tracks and along quiet lanes. One easy climb. Total ascent 220m / 720ft. Bridleways between points 6 and 9 can be very muddy in winter.
Start & finish: Princes Risborough Library, Bell St, Princes Risborough HP27 0AA
Parking: Horns Lane Pay & Display Car Park, Horns lane, Princes Risborough HP27 0AW
Local transport: There are various bus services to Princes Risborough including Bus 300 which runs between High Wycombe and Aylesbury all week. Princes Risborough is also served by mainline trains to London Marylebone, the Midlands and Aylesbury.
Food & drink: The Whip Inn, Lacey Green and Pink and Lily, Pink Road. Cafés and pubs in Princes Risborough
Note : A walk from Princes Risborough using the Ridgeway and the Chiltern Way to visit some of the local highlights.
The Chiltern Society and Chilterns Conservation Board are founding members of the Ridgeway Partnership, a new group tasked with maintaining and developing The Ridgeway National Trail. This walk is one of a series being produced as a cooperative venture between the Society and the Board to promote both the Ridgeway and the Chiltern Way.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
(A) Here you join the Ridgeway National Trail described as Britain's oldest road, following a route used for at least 5,000 years by travelers, herdsmen and soldiers. It starts in the World Heritage Site of Avebury and crosses the chalk ridges of the North Wessex Downs and Chilterns AONBs, a total of 87 miles. The Chilterns section travels through woodlands, nature reserves and quiet valleys and also passes several magnificent viewpoints along the Chilterns ridge. For further information see www.nationaltrail.co.uk.
(B) Here you join the Chiltern Way, set up as a millennium project by volunteers from Chiltern Society. It’s a circular walking route of 134 miles with two optional extensions and an additional loop taking the total route to a maximum of 220 miles. It’s enjoyed by thousands of walkers each year.
(C) Lacey Green Windmill: England’s oldest remaining ‘smock’ mill, so called due to its resemblance to an old fashioned farmer’s smock. The internal wooden machinery appears to date from c1650. During the 19th century it was rebuilt and modernised with fantail, patent sails, governor and machinery for grain cleaning and flour sifting, and continued working until 1915. In the 1920s it was used as a weekend cottage. Despite some obvious attempts at weatherproofing, by the mid-1930s it was in poor condition. By the late 1960s, the mill was in a desperate state, the whole body being twisted and tilted. In 1971 the Chiltern Society stepped in and volunteers, led by Christopher Wallis, began work to restore it. The project was completed in 1986 and in July 2013 it was given a prestigious Engineering Heritage Award by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
(D) Pink & Lily Pub Legend has it that the Pink and Lily pub came into being in 1800 when Mr Pink, a butler from nearby Hampden House, and Miss Lillie, a chambermaid from the same house, fell in love and turned a private house into the Pink and Lily hostelry. Rupert Brooke, one of the famous First World War poets, used to walk in the Chilterns and regularly visited the pub. He wrote a short cheerful ditty about a particularly merry lunch at the Pink and Lily with his friend Jacques Raverat.
(E) Whiteleaf Hill: In autumn 2014 the Chiltern Society took over the management of this nature reserve from Buckingham County Council. The chalk hill-figure of Whiteleaf Cross has dominated the local landscape for several centuries. Its full history is unknown but is thought to have been constructed by the Saxon king Edward the Elder to commemorate a battle. The Bronze Age burial mounds date back to c3500-2500 BC. There are several WWI practice trenches at the southern end of the site adjacent to the Ridgeway.
(F) Brush Hill: This site was transferred to the care of the Chiltern Society in 2013. It was designated a Local Wildlife Site in recognition of its importance as a haven for the wide variety of plants and animals that inhabit its chalk grassland, scrub and woodland. Depending on when you visit you may be lucky enough to see roe deer, nuthatches and goldcrests, chalkhill blue butterflies, orchids, violet helleborines, bluebells, and even glow worms.
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