Buckinghamshire walk around Shabbington and Ickford
PUBLISHED: 14:45 28 February 2014 | UPDATED: 16:20 05 October 2017
Follow Steve Davison as he leads the way on a 5 mile walk exploring the fairly flat countryside to the west of Aylesbury
For this month’s walk we head to the south-west of Aylesbury, close to the border with neighbouring Oxfordshire, for a meander through two historic villages.From the village hall in Ickford the route heads south, soon following a section of the Bernwood Jubilee Walk, a 61-mile trail that meanders through the countryside that once formed the Royal hunting forest of Bernwood, passing through 27 parishes.
The walk then passes some old earthworks, all that remains of the former medieval village, before making a quick stop-off beside the River Thame, overlooked by The Old Fisherman pub, once the location of the old watermill. The river, a tributary of the River Thames, rises in the Vale of Aylesbury and joins with the Thames near Dorchester. On the way through Shabbington call in at the Church of St Mary Magdalene, parts of which date from the late 11th century, albeit with alterations over the intervening centuries.
After leaving the village the route meanders through open fields, with a mix of arable and livestock farming, on a fairly level route heading back towards Ickford, home to the picturesque 17th-century timber-framed and thatch-roofed Rising Sun pub. Call in at St Nicholas’ Church, which dates from the late 12th century, to admire its variety of window styles from the 13th and 15th centuries as well as the Tipping Memorial, dedicated to the memory of Thomas Tipping. A final stretch past fields leads back to the village hall.
Start/finish: Ickford village hall along Bridge Road (parking); grid ref SP649070
Map: OS Explorer 180
Distance: 5 miles (8km)
Terrain: fairly level, tracks and paths which can be muddy, some stiles and gates, and sections of road
Time: 2¼ hours without stops
Refreshments - Shabbington – The Old Fisherman (01844 201247); Ickford – The Rising Sun (01844 339238)
1 (SP649070) – From the village hall turn left along Bridge Road, after 40m turn right along the driveway before following the path past the cottages. Cross stiles on either side of a field and soon turn left along the lane to a junction beside the village pond. Fork left, then right and once past the pond go right through a kissing gate. Head eastwards through the field following the Bernwood Jubilee Walk, keeping the field margin on the right. Cross a stile and continue along the enclosed path. Go through a kissing gate, cross the footbridge and stile and continue south-eastwards through the field. Go through the kissing gate in the far hedge, cross the footbridge and continue across the narrow field before passing another kissing gate and footbridge. Here the path splits, take the right-hand fork through the field, cross the track and then a stile in the hedge. Keep ahead and cross two stiles just left of some buildings at Franklins Farm. Go straight over the track, cross a stile and continue through the field down to a stile in the corner, joining a road beside The Old Fisherman and the River Thame.
2 (SP667065) – Turn left alongside Mill Road towards Shabbington, soon passing the Church of St Mary Magdalene. At the junction fork right along Crendon Road and keep right at the next junction. After the last house on the left, go through a kissing gate on the left, head northwards diagonally down across the field and leave through a large gate. Continue through two fields following the hedge on the right. Keep ahead through the hedge gap and continue across three fields to the far hedge.
3 (SP656086) – Continue for a few metres and turn left, following the trees on the left into another field where the path splits. Fork right, following the field margin on the right, continue through some scrub and cross a footbridge into the next field. Keep ahead mid-field, cross a footbridge and follow the ditch on the left. After turning left, cross a stile and continue through the next field. Cross a stile and footbridge slightly right of the field corner and keep ahead to leave through a large gate. Follow the Bernwood Jubilee Walk which soon turns left following a wide grassy strip between hedges. Later continue along the track to a road beside Peacehaven Farm.
4 (SP651078) – Turn right then left along the road through Ickford. Once level with the picturesque thatch-roofed Rising Sun pub, fork right along the lane (Wormighall Road odd numbers). At its end, keep ahead on the signed path, go through the small gate and turn right along the track. Go through a large gate and follow the enclosed path before turning left through a small gate and follow the path through young trees. Cross a footbridge and bear right then left over another footbridge and through a small gate, keep ahead to go through another small gate and continue through the churchyard with the Church of St Nicholas on the right. Follow the lane for 50m and turn right, continue along the enclosed path, with a field on the right. Go through a kissing gate and keep ahead across the field, through a small gate and then between houses to a road; turn right back to the village hall.