Buckinghamshire walk around Great Missenden

PUBLISHED: 11:06 05 June 2018 | UPDATED: 11:12 05 June 2018

On the way from Prestwood towards Rignall Wood (Photo by Steve Davison)

On the way from Prestwood towards Rignall Wood (Photo by Steve Davison)

Steve Davis

This month we head to ‘Roald Dahl land’, the Great Missenden area, for a walk through the lovely Misbourne valley

The village of Great Missenden, 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, lies tucked in the Misbourne Valley. The valley provided a relatively easy route through the Chilterns between London and the Midlands and there was once a number of coaching inns along the 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.

From the car park the walk heads to the Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul which dates from the 14th century, albeit with various additions and alteration over the centuries; Roald Dahl is buried in the churchyard beside the tree with the circular memorial seat. From here we head past Missenden Abbey, mirrored in Warren Water, before crossing over to the west side of the valley.

If there’s time, take a walk along the High Street to visit the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre and see 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.

The walk, however, meanders up through Angling Spring Wood – which gave Dahl the inspiration for the Fantastic Mr Fox – before heading through Atkins Wood to arrive at Prestwood. From here the route heads back into the valley, meandering through Rignall Wood and Coneybank Wood before following the valley 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 (8.2km)

• Terrain: gates and stile, 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

The walk

1. (SP895014) – With the car park entrance behind you, follow the tarmac path along the left edge of the large grassy area, following the South Bucks Way. Continue past houses and a school to reach The Square (village green). Dogleg right and continue straight on along Church Lane (wall on right), soon crossing the A413 bridge to reach the Church of St Peter and St Paul. Retrace your route back over the bridge and immediately turn left down steps to a gate, then head south through the field (trees on right). At a metal fence surrounding some trees, go through a gate and then over a footbridge; look right for a view of Missenden Abbey. Keep ahead through two gates to reach the main road and turn right back towards the village for 500m. Just before Church Street on the right, turn left on a narrow path between the buildings; ahead on the right is the Roald Dahl Museum.

2. (SP895011) – Turn left along the track and then right along Twitchell Road (track) past houses. Keep ahead under the railway to a track, turn right for a few metres, then left. Go through a gate and follow the path straight on alongside the fence (left) to a gate. Continue into Angling Spring wood where there is a three-way split, map and carved post. Turn left up through the trees to a junction with a bridleway. Bear left and follow the bridleway as it curves right. Keep right along the lane to pass Angling Spring Farm. Continue along the bridleway and shortly after it swings right, go through a gate on the right. Continue through Atkins Wood, staying close to the right-hand side, then follow the right-hand field edge as it curves right and left. Turn right through a gate and follow the enclosed path past Andlows Farm. Go through another gate and turn left along the track to a road. Turn right to the A4128, cross over and turn left, passing the Green Man pub to a crossroads in Prestwood.

3. (SP876008) – Turn right along Moat Lane for 200m and immediately after the entrance to Prestwood Farm, turn right along the concrete track, then keep ahead along the enclosed path. Go through a gate and soon continue along the track. On reaching the edge of Rignall Wood, fork right and follow the path down through the trees. Continue down the enclosed path to reach the road beside an entrance drive. Cross over and turn left for 150m, passing the entrance to Rignall Farm, then turn right along the next track – Mapridge Green Lane. Follow the track uphill, passing some buildings to a path junction and turn sharp right. Head through Coneybank Wood, go through a gate and continue through the field (trees on right) down to a gate.

4. (SP885023) – Go down steps to a gate, continue through two fields and exit through a gate to a three-way path junction. Turn left through a gate, pass under railway to a junction and turn left (straight on), passing a gate to join a road. Turn right and then left into the entrance drive of the Black Horse pub. Bear right through the car park, cross a stile and head through the field towards the trees. Go through a gate and continue through the meadow, keeping to the left-hand path. At the far corner, keep ahead through paddocks separated by gates, then cross the road back to the car park.


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