Buckinghamshire walk around Great Missenden
PUBLISHED: 10:39 27 September 2016 | UPDATED: 10:39 27 September 2016
© Steve Davison
Follow Steve Davison as he heads to Great Missenden, tucked in the Misbourne valley, for a walk in Roald Dahl country
Great Missenden, tucked in the Misbourne Valley – which provided a relatively easy route through the Chilterns between London and the Midlands via Wendover – once had a number of coaching inns along its High Street to cater for the high volume of travellers; it wasn’t until 1892 that the railway arrived with the opening of the Metropolitan Line from London Marylebone.
For many, this picturesque village is probably best known as the former home of the world-famous children’s author Roald Dahl, who lived and wrote here for over 35 years. He used many features of the area in his stories and the walk passes a couple of these along the High Street; the Crown House (70, High Street) used as the ‘norphonage’ in The BFG and the Red Pump Garage which featured in Danny, the Champion of the World.
From the car park the walk takes a meandering route through fields and woods on the east side of the valley, passing through South Heath and Hyde End, before heading down to the Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul. Take time to admire the church which dates from the 14th century, albeit with various additions and alteration over the centuries and maybe visit the grave of Roald Dahl which lies close to the tree with the circular memorial seat. After leaving the church the walk soon heads along the High Street passing Cafe Twit and the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre (01494 892192) before heading back to the start.
• Start/finish: Buryfield pay and display car park on A4128 in Great Missenden, just off the A413; grid ref SP895014
• Map: OS Explorer 181
• Distance: 5 miles (8.1km)
• Terrain: gates and stiles, ups and downs, paths and tracks that can be muddy, and sections of road
• Time: 2.5 hours
• Refreshments: Great Missenden has a good choice of pubs and a cafe at the museum
1 (SP895014) – With the car park entrance behind you, head along the left edge of the large grassy area (tarmac path), following the South Bucks Way. Continue past houses and a school to reach The Square (village green). Turn left, soon pass through two underpasses and continue steeply up the tarmac path to a track. Turn left and soon take the narrow path between the entrance to Frith Hill Stables (left) and Hill House (right). Keep ahead through the wood and leave via a gate. Immediately turn right through another gate and follow the enclosed path. Go through a gate and keep ahead up through the field to pass a gate at the top. Continue alongside the fence, passing under the power lines, to the wood.
2 (SP904021) – Continue through the wood, then a field. Cross a stile beside the gate, cross the lane and through the gate. Keep ahead for a few metres to the Y-junction and take the right-hand fork through the field to a stile. Continue through the wood, cross the stile and keep ahead, soon with the hedge and trees on the right to reach a stile and path junction. Turn right and follow the fence on the left through the long field. Cross a stile at the corner and keep ahead to cross two more stiles a couple of metres apart. Bear slightly right across the field towards the building, cross a stile on the right and head diagonally right up across the field to a stile in the top right corner.
3 (SP913022) – Cross the lane and follow Marriots Avenue (track), with houses on either side. At the junction go right for a few metres, then left along the enclosed path. Cross the track and continue along the enclosed path. Cross a stile and follow the left-hand field edge to a stile at the corner, then continue, now following the fence on the right. Cross a stile some metres to the left of the field corner and continue straight on through the field to leave over a stile in the hedge, with Hyde Lane opposite. With care, cross the road and turn left along the verge for 50m. Immediately after the Hyde Manor driveway, turn right through the trees and gate to enter the field and follow the right-hand boundary. Cross a stile in the corner and bear slightly right through the next field to cross another stile. Head diagonally left down to a path junction and turn right along the dip. Cross a stile beside the gate and bear right up the track to a lane.
4 (SP914007) – Turn right for 100m, passing Chapel Farm (left), then turn left on a path through the trees to a stile. Turn left along the field edge, cross another stile and continue through the next field. Leave over a stile and follow the right-hand field edge, passing the power lines. Cross a stile and continue through the middle of the field. Cross stiles either side of the track (Rook Wood to the left) and head downhill, staying on the right-hand slope. Near the bottom, turn right through a gate and bear diagonally left through the churchyard passing the Church of St Peter and St Paul. Turn left along the access drive (Church Lane), keep left at the village green (passed earlier) and follow Church Street to a T-junction. Turn right along the High Street, passing the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, to a roundabout and turn right back to the car park.
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