Stokenchurch to Lodge Hill and Chinnor Hill, Chilterns

Explore the pretty ridges, valleys and woods to the north and east of Stokenchurch. You follow the Chiltern Way past Radnage and over Bledlow Ridge. Cross Lodge Hill before returning via Chinnor Hill and Crowell Wood.

Technical sheet
No. 27889332
A Stokenchurch walk posted on 19/10/22 by Chiltern Society. Update : 21/10/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 5h30[?]
Distance Distance : 16.03 km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 309 m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 314 m
Highest point Highest point : 255 m
Lowest point Lowest point : 140 m
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Chiltern Hills
Location Location : Stokenchurch
Starting point Starting point : N 51.660413° / W 0.901811°
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Download : PDF / Print - GPX track

Description

Start & finish: Public car park East of the Kings Hotel, Oxford Road, Stokenchurch. (Nearby postcode HP14 3TA) Grid ref. SU 760 963

(D/A) Head to the edge of the grassy area East of the car park and turn left, away from the main road, passing right of the buildings to Church road. Turn left and then right on Park Lane to the right of the Royal Oak pub. Follow the lane out of town past the entrance to Longburrow Hall.

(1) Just out of town take the footpath to the right signposted 'Chiltern Way' (A). Follow the path straight across the field, keeping to the right of a row of mature trees before passing through a gate and descending then climbing to a ridge by a bungalow. Bear right near the bungalow along a broad grassy track.

(2) After around 200m the path passes through the hedge on the left and continues in the same direction on the opposite side of the hedge. At the end of the hedge, the path drops down some steps, across a track and into an open field.

Bear a little to the left (North-East) across this field. heading for a signpost on the track in the valley bottom. Turn right on the track for 50m then cross a stile and continue across the next field aiming for the right-hand edge of the trees in front of the farm. Cross the track to the farm, pass through a gap in the hedge then turn left on a minor road.

(3) Shortly after take the footpath half-right across the next field aiming for the point where the electricity wires from the farm meet the hedge at the top of the slope - you should see a waymark post.

(4) Turn left along the hedge then right through a gate in the corner of the field. Almost immediately go through a gate on the right and follow the fenced path around the right-hand side of the garden. At the end, turn right through a gate, cross a road, and pass through another gate.

Now take the road to the right passing between houses and barns. You emerge at the edge of an open field with some lovely views across the valley. Bear left and walk along the hedge at the left hand side of the field. The path descends and passes to the left of a house, crossing a couple of stiles before dropping down to a lane (Horseshoe Road). Turn left on the lane and left again when you get to a junction.

(5) Then take the footpath right off the road heading across a narrow meadow towards the pretty church of Radnage (B). Cross a road and follow the footpath through the churchyard.

(6) Leave the churchyard by the gate in the South-East corner and walk diagonally across the next fields. Keep left at the first footpath junction and climb to the edge of woods ahead of you. When you reach the trees bear left through a gate and then bear right following the edge of the wood uphill.

Bear left at a fork in the path and continue to climb. As you near the top of the slope the path passes in to scrub and young trees and then turns left along the left hand side of open fields. In another 400m you reach the narrow strip of houses along the top of Bledlow Ridge. Cross straight over the road (Chinnor Hill) and follow the gravel track as it curves left. Continue in the same direction on a footpath where the track ends.

(7) At the end of the first field on the left you come to some concrete gateposts on the right. Leave the Chiltern Way and take the footpath downhill on the right hand edge of this field. Continue descending across the middle of the next field, aiming to the right of a small group of cypress trees.

Turn left through the gate and walk along the edge of the field. Turn right on the track by Lodge Hill Farm and then left at the T junction. Keep right on to a bridleway by Granary Barn and continue on this broad grassy track with a hedge on your left to the base of Lodge Hill, ignoring footpaths to left and right.

(8) Curve right on the main track at an offset crossroads of bridleways below Lodge Hill (C). Follow the path up the left-hand side of the field and as it levels off continue along the broad grassy track ahead. Where you meet the Ridgeway turn left and follow it as it climbs steeply up to the top of the hill, along the ridge at the top and then descends steeply down the North side of the hill (C). You will be following the well signed route of the Ridgeway for the next 2 miles.

(9) At the base of the hill as you exit the woods, follow the path straight on for about 100m then turn left through a gate and walk diagonally across the fields to a road (Wigan's Lane). Cross and take the footpath a little to the left on the opposite side.

This runs on a broad grassy track to the right of a hedge. After 300m follow the Ridgeway as it passes through the fence and continues in the same direction on the opposite side. The Ridgeway continues to the left of the trees and where they end bears a little away from the fence, climbing across a field to a gate in the hedge.

(10) Turn left through the gate on to a Byway and, unless you want to visit Bledlow, follow it along the side of the hill for the next 1/2 mile to a cluster of houses.

''If you wish to visit the pub in Bledlow, take the bridleway on the right almost immediately after joining the byway. This will bring you to the pub in just over 1/2 a mile. To rejoin the walk, take the footpath across the field by the pub rather than retracing your steps. This soon meets a track that leads you to the houses at Waypoint (11). The trip to the pub adds a pleasant 3/4 of a mile to the walk."

(11) After passing in front of a small terrace of houses you meet a track coming in from the right. Turn left around the side of the terrace on a path between hedges. Then in about 10 metres take the next left turning signposted for Chinnor Reserve and Barrows. You now have a fairly long steep climb, but in compensation the route runs up a lovely hollow track typical of the Chilterns.

The bottom of the hollow may be quite muddy, but there is a good footpath at the top on the right. As the bridleway starts to level out and curve left along a fence you will see a gate ahead of you. Pass through the gate into the Chinnor Hill Nature Reserve (D).

(12) This soon leads you out on to the open hillside with views over Chinnor and the vale of Aylesbury. There are also a few handy benches. As you near the far end of the open area, just before a noticeboard, bear left to a kissing gate in the corner. Pass through the gate and turn right to rejoin the bridleway. Follow until you emerge from the wood and bear left into a car park.

(13) From the car park take the minor road ( Hilltop Lane) past cottages. This quiet road takes you through woods and scattered houses. Turn left when you reach a junction and walk along this road (Chinnor Road) for 400m. Look out for a large water tank on stilts in the woods on the right of the road and take the bridleway that runs past the tank.

Follow this bridleway through Sunley wood down into a valley then up the other side, reaching a road at Sprig's Alley. Turn right on the road. After 250m you pass a house on the left.

(14) Turn sharp left (South) on to a bridleway behind the house. The bridleway runs down a sunken track which can be very muddy but it should be possible to find a drier route through the woods to the right of the track.

(15) Bear a little to the right at a fork in the bridleways. The main, sunken track continues to the left down the valley, but we leave it and head uphill inside the right hand edge of the wood. There are many tracks in the woods because of forestry operations but the route is well signposted with white arrows painted on the trees. Make sure you keep these in sight particularly if you divert from the path to avoid muddy stretches.

The path starts to descend steeply and becomes stony. Cross straight over a forestry track halfway down the slope and continue to the valley bottom where you turn left on a broad stony track.

(16) Where you see the trees on the right give way to fields, turn right on a footpath that runs inside the left hand edge of the wood. When you emerge from the woods at the top of the slope bear left and walk beside the hedge on the left hand edge of the field in front of you. Bear a little to the right across the next field - you are aiming for the fenced path at the bottom of the valley. Follow the fenced path to a road.

(17) Turn right on the road for 10m, keeping straight on where the road turns sharply left. Follow the footpath up the track into the woods. Turn sharp left when you come to a junction of footpaths. You soon emerge from the woods. Bear right when you come to a track then take the footpath to the right of a shed which brings you out on a lane (Park Lane). Turn right on the lane past Mallard's Court and you will soon be retracing your steps back into Stokenchurch. (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. 226 m - Public car park - Stokenchurch
1 : km 0.28 - alt. 221 m - Longburrow Hall - Chiltern Way
2 : km 1.33 - alt. 176 m - Field - Hedge
3 : km 2.09 - alt. 145 m - Minor road
4 : km 2.32 - alt. 173 m - Top of the slope
5 : km 3.18 - alt. 149 m - Junction - Narrow meadow
6 : km 3.51 - alt. 150 m - Church of Radnage
7 : km 4.76 - alt. 206 m - Track end - Concrete gateposts
8 : km 6.24 - alt. 142 m - Lodge Hill - Lodge Hill
9 : km 7.76 - alt. 164 m - Base of the hill
10 : km 9.14 - alt. 182 m - Gate in the hedge
11 : km 9.92 - alt. 159 m - Small terrace of houses - CHINNOR HILL NATURE RESERVE
12 : km 10.54 - alt. 233 m - Noticeboard
13 : km 10.98 - alt. 255 m - Car park
14 : km 13.38 - alt. 238 m - Sharp turn - House
15 : km 13.68 - alt. 231 m - Fork in the bridleways
16 : km 14.59 - alt. 192 m - Left into woods
17 : km 15.16 - alt. 191 m - Road
D/A : km 16.03 - alt. 226 m - Public car park - Stokenchurch

Useful Information

Start & finish: Public car park East of the Kings Hotel, Oxford Road, Stokenchurch. (Nearby postcode HP14 3TA) Grid ref. SU 760 963

Parking: There is a public car park east of the Kings Hotel, other small car parks around the town and some on-street parking.

Local transport: Carousel Bus 40 from High Wycombe and Thame, National Express Bus 737 from Oxford and Hemel/Luton

Terrain: Good, well waymarked footpaths, bridleways and lanes.

Food & drink: Pubs (Kings Hotel, Royal Oak) and cafes in Stokenchurch, the Boot, Bledlow Ridge, the Lions of Bledlow, Bledlow (adds 3/4 mile to route).

Find more information and walks at Chiltern Society here.

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) Chiltern Way: We will follow the Chiltern Way to Bledlow Ridge. The Chiltern Way 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.

(B) Radnage Village and Church : Radnage is a village of scattered hamlets (the City, Town End, Green End, Bennett End) nestling in the same valley, but it has no true centre. The church of St Mary's stands apart from the main hamlets on the way up to Bledlow Ridge. It was constructed by the Knights Templar in the thirteenth century. From the outside the church appears attractively simple due to the flint and mortar walls and the squat tower, unusually positioned between nave and chancel. Inside there are wall paintings spanning 6 centuries.

(C) Lodge Hill: Although Lodge Hill is lower than the ridges on either side of the valley it is a neat little summit standing out in the valley offering lovely views all round. The hill has the remains of an iron age settlement and a couple of barrows. Now it is an SSSI notable for its chalk grassland and the related butterflies and other insects.

(D) Chinnor Hill Nature Reserve: Chinnor Hill stands above the ancient Icknield way and the more modern Ridgeway. There are two bronze age barrows near the top of the hill.The Nature Reserve is a mix of chalk grassland, beech and mixed woodland. It is worth visiting for the flowers in spring and summer including bee orchids and chiltern gentians. It is also a good place  to see butterflies in summer and look out for Red Kites soaring above the woods.

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