5 great Buckinghamshire dog walks
PUBLISHED: 11:40 10 April 2018 | UPDATED: 11:41 10 April 2018
Steve Davison suggests some super short walks that are great for both you and your four-legged companion
1 - Burnham Beeches
• A woodland wander through the magical, ancient beech woods that are full of interest throughout the year
• Start/finish: Burnham Beeches car park off the A355
• Distance: 3 miles (4.7km)
From the car park walk west along the Lord Mayor’s Drive, pass Beeches Café and fork right. Keep right, pass a large gate and follow Halse Drive down to a dip with Victoria Drive off to the left. Continue along Halse Drive, ignoring Dukes Drive (right). Turn right along McAuliffe Drive, then right along Dukes Drive back to Halse Drive. Turn left back to the junction with Victoria Drive and turn right along the woodland path for 600m to a crossing path. Turn left up to a junction with fence ahead. Bear right and follow the fence on your left to join Lord Mayors Drive and turn left. Follow the drive (on the right is the 700-year old Druid’s Oak tree) past Victory Cross and keep ahead past Beeches Café back to the car park.
2 - Penn Wood
• Explore the tranquil, intimate woodland near High Wycombe – just make sure not to get lost.
• Start/Finish: car park near the church at Penn Street just south of the A404
• Distance: 2.25 miles
From the parking area head towards the church and just before the churchyard gate turn left for 100m, then right (northwards) for 400m. Keep left at the split following a path parallel with the road and ignore the crossing surfaced path. Keep ahead at the crossing path (footpath sign). Go through a gate and follow the path past Beamond End Pond, later turning left to reach a crossing path (grassy ride). turn left along the conifer and rhododendron lined path, and keep ahead at a crossing path beside a fenced-off beech tree. Later follow the path as it bears left to reach a crossing track. Turn right, then through a gate to a road at penn Street. Turn left, following a path alongside the trees with the grassy Penn Common and the Squirrel pub over to the right. Pass to the left of the War Memorial and pond, to arrive back at the parking area.
3 - Lodge Hill
• Follow the Chiltern Way and the Ridgeway along tracks and paths for some great views near Princes Risborough
• Start/finish: roadside parking on minor road between Bledlow and Bledlow Ridge
• Distance: 3 miles
From the layby walk south-west along the road for 100m, then turn left along the Chiltern Way (track). Pass Callow Down Farm and follow the sunken route ahead. Turn right along the concrete for 20m, then left along a field-side track (fence on left) for 150m. Turn left through a gap in the hedge to enter the adjacent field and turn right alongside the hedge, following the bridleway uphill. Follow the track (lane) past houses (left) to a junction of lanes and turn left to its end (after a while, to visit The Boot pub, detour right along the Chiltern Way; 1.25 miles return). Go through a gate and continue down the steep slope. Cross the field, later following the left-hand edge; ignoring a bridleway then a path. Follow the grassy path to a junction with the Ridgeway. Turn left, go through a kissing gate and head up to a marker post. Bear right and follow the level path over Lodge Hill, passing a seat. Go through a kissing gate by some trees and follow the fence on the right. Head steeply down through trees and then along the side of a field. Turn left through a kissing gate, keep ahead through two fields separated by kissing gates back to the start.
4 - Coombe Hill
• A lofty walk along the Ridgeway to the wide open spaces around Coombe Hill with lovely views across the Vale of Aylesbury
• Start/finish: small parking area on Ellesborough Road just west of Wendover
• Distance: 3 miles
Head up the track and fork left to follow the bridleway for just under a mile to a junction of routes. Turn left along the track to the NT car park (alternative start). At the car park entrance turn right following a footpath to a cross-junction. Turn right along the Ridgeway to the monument on Coombe Hill; this commemorates the Buckinghamshire soldiers who died during the South African Boer War (1899-1902). Take a rest and then head east following the Ridgeway – this is the grassy strip to the left of the gravel path. Go through small gates either side of a sunken way and head along the ridge of Bacombe Hill passing through a kissing gate. Fork slightly left at the marker post to follow the Ridgeway back to the start.
5 - Ivinghoe Beacon
• Head to the sometimes windy summit of Ivinghoe Beacon, endpoint of the Ridgeway, for some bracing fresh air and a wonderful 360-degree view including the large, white chalk figure of the Whipsnade Lion
• Start/finish: NT car park near Ivinghoe Beacon
• Distance: 2.5 miles
From the car park follow the path northwards, staying parallel with the road. Turn right through a gate and head downhill, passing another two gates. Then bear slightly left before turning left through a gate beside the trees. Follow the track between the fields to the trees. Turn left, go through a gate and head up onto the ridge. Now turn left and follow the ridge to the top of Ivinghoe Beacon; a great place for a rest. Turn left down the Ridgeway to the minor road before turning left then right to retrace the route back to the car park.