The Five Horseshoes - Route 3

A fairly long walk over hilly terrain with two steep uphill sections.

Technical sheet No. 4742223

A Swyncombe walk posted on 26/01/21 by The Brakspear Pub Trails. Last update : 08/03/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 4h05[?]
Distance Distance : 11.93 km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 222 m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 227 m
Highest point Highest point : 206 m
Lowest point Lowest point : 90 m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Chiltern Hills
Location Location : Swyncombe
Starting point Starting point : N 51.595278° / W 0.974295°
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(D/A) With your back to the car park entrance turn left and walk along the lane that skirts the common. Continue along this lane until it bends to the left.

(1) Ignoring a bridleway to the right, continue straight ahead on a path that bisects the south eastern corner of the common. Arriving at a track bear slightly to the right and follow this track for a short distance, then bear right and follow a lane for about 300m.

(2) Just before Lodge Farm turn left on to a path indicated by a Chiltern Way sign. This path goes between cottages and after a few metres you arrive at a junction of paths. Take the right hand path and follow it in a diagonal direction across an arable field leading to Park Wood. Follow the footpath straight ahead through the wood, then exit through a wooden kissing gate and take time to enjoy the superb views as you descend down the hill through pastureland. Go through the wooden kissing gate at the bottom of the hill and proceed straight ahead to the Watlington Road (B480).

(3) Turn left, taking great care in walking along the road as far as the Stonor Park footpath entrance on the right hand side of the road. Go through a large black circular metal gate and follow the footpath up the hill adjacent to the deer park; continue straight ahead on this path with wonderful views all around and of Stonor House to the left. (At this point you might like to pause for some refreshments at the Visitor Centre’s Pit Stop Café, if you do, turn left off the footpath when you reach the Pit Stop Café sign.) Continue on the same path through the estate until a road is reached at the end.

(4) Turn left and follow the road for a little over 100 yards until you reach the hamlet of Southend. Turn right by the Southend notice board and walk along the road by the side of the common for about 100 yards then take a footpath on the left, the entrance of which can be hidden somewhat by bushes. Climb over the stile, proceed straight ahead across the paddock and go through a kissing gate to a road.

(5) Cross the road to a footpath opposite and follow this path by the side of a field until a gate is reached. Go through the gate into a grazing field and proceed in a diagonally left direction (wonderful views towards Turville, Fingest and Cadmore End) to the edge of a wood (Summer Heath Wood). As the wood is entered, go straight ahead ignoring paths to the left and right. Keep going on the same path through the wood ignoring a path coming in from the left and a path crossing the route until the road to Turville and Northend is reached.

(6) Turn left onto the road, ignore the immediate left-hand lane to Southend, and proceed a quarter of a mile walking past two roads to Stonor on the left. After the second junction and just past the bus shelter on the right, take the footpath on the left hand side of the road following the access drive to a house called Saviours. To the left of Saviours proceed through a couple of metal kissing gates which are very close together and walk round the perimeter of the garden of Saviours to two more metal gates. Go through these gates and follow the footpath across the meadow to another gate. Go through this gate and proceed in a left diagonal direction across the field to another kissing gate (made of cast iron). Turn right and follow the path down the hill (great views of the Stonor Valley and Stonor Estate). After a short distance there is a very useful bench situated where one can enjoy the views. Continue along this path with some downhill sections and one ascent until a T junction of paths is reached.

(7) Turn left and after a short distance the road to Watlington is reached. Turn right and walk along the road for a few yards before turning left into Church Lane (signed the Oxfordshire Way). Walk up the hill past Pishill Church and The Old Vicarage, continue past the Vicarage garden on the right, ignoring a path to the left until a junction of bridleways is reached. Take the bridleway to the left (signed Oxfordshire Way); go through two field gates and follow the path as it descends down to a wood. At the entrance to the wood follow the bridleway as it climbs steeply up the hill.

(8) Continue climbing and then shortly after the bridleway levels off take a footpath to the right (signed PS19). Follow this path between houses as it becomes a road and follow this down to another road. Turn right and continue along this road which leads back to the pub.(D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 196 m - The Five Horseshoes
1 : km 0.74 - alt. 191 m - Bridleway
2 : km 1.43 - alt. 181 m - Lodge Farm
3 : km 2.88 - alt. 90 m - B480
4 : km 5.1 - alt. 203 m - Southend
5 : km 6.55 - alt. 195 m - Road
6 : km 7.02 - alt. 190 m - Bus shelter
7 : km 9.08 - alt. 116 m - Pishill
8 : km 10.51 - alt. 181 m - Bridleway
D/A : km 11.93 - alt. 196 m - The Five Horseshoes

Useful Information

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 highly unusual ‘T’ shaped country church in an enviable location overlooking the Stonor Valley. It was originally an 11th-century Norman building but it was rebuilt in 1854. One of the stained glass windows was made in 1967 by John Piper who for many years lived less than 2.5 miles (4km) away in Fawley Bottom, Buckinghamshire.

Opinions and comments


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

Admin walker
on Tue 08 Mar 2022 09:49:51 CET

Thank you for this information. Indeed it makes sense so I just corrected it.

Enjoy your hikes

on Tue 08 Mar 2022 09:37:21 CET

In fact it is step 6 - I would edit the first sentence as follows: "turn Left onto the road, ignore the immediate left hand lane to Southend and proceeed a quarter of a mile.....

Admin walker
on Tue 08 Mar 2022 09:21:53 CET

Hello and thank you for your feedback.

Do you have any suggestions to improve the description around waypoint 5 ?

King regards

on Mon 07 Mar 2022 10:46:52 CET

Global average : 4 / 5

Date of walk : 06/03/22
Clarity of route description : ★★★★☆ Good
Clarity of route map : ★★★★☆ Good
Walk interest : ★★★★☆ Good

Route guidance good with just one confusing section around marker 5. Varied walk with mix terrain that took me <3hrs even at gentle pace.

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