- Start: The Green in Quainton, 2½ miles north of Waddesdon off the A41; grid ref SP746201
- End: The Green in Quainton, 2½ miles north of Waddesdon off the A41; grid ref SP746201
- Country: England
- County: Berkshire
- Type: Country
- Nearest pub: Quainton – The George and Dragon (01296 655436)
- Ordnance Survey: OS Explorer 192; OS Landranger 165
- Difficulty: Medium
Steve Davison leads the way on this 5 mile walk, with shorter 2Â½ mile option, through the rolling countryside around the village of Quainton in North Buckinghamshire...
The picturesque village of Quainton, sitting just to the south of Quainton Hill, was known as Cwene-tun, meaning Queens manor. Queen Edith, wife of Edward the Confessor, had a manor here. Cottages cluster around the village green, with the remains of an old 15th century preaching cross, overlooked by the windmill and, to complete the rural scene, there is the George and Dragon pub. The windmill, the tallest in the county, dates from 1830, although it was abandoned around 1896 and has only recently been restored by volunteers. The mill is usually open on Sunday mornings (for information: 01296 655306).
1(SP746201) From the top of the village green turn right along Church Street, passing the village shop and 17th century almshouses. At the corner, go straight on into the churchyard towards the Parish Church of The Holy Cross and St Mary. The church, built in a Decorated Gothic style of architecture, albeit with some heavy Victorian restorations, dates from the 14th century. Inside there are some interesting 17th and 18th century monuments, including one with the recumbent effigies of Richard Winwood (d.1688) and his wife Anne (d.1691). He was the son of Sir Ralph Winwood, Secretary of State to King James I and founder of the almshouses.
After looking around the church, follow the surfaced path along the north side of the church, go through a kissing gate and left up the lane. Continue straight on at the junction following the surfaced track, soon passing a house and cattle grid, and keep ahead to a track junction.
2(SP752204) Here the short and long walks go their separate ways:
Short walk: Fork left across the field corner, go through a gate, and continue northwards up along Swans Way. Go through another gate before passing between some trees and a tall mast at the top of Quainton Hill. Admire the views and then continue through a gate and turn left following the fence on the left to a stile;
now continue from Point 5.
Long walk: continue straight on along the surfaced track, soon passing some houses and cattle grid; the route is now following part of Matthews Way, a circular 6-mile route in memory of Matthew Lane, who died in 1996 just before his first birthday. Keep straight on for a further 200m and fork diagonally right up across the grassy field look out for the signs. At the top, with Denham Farm down to the left, cross the stile beside the gate and head diagonally right across the field, aiming for the lone tree. Cross the stile and pass the tree before heading north-east downhill, aiming for the barn, later cross a stile to join the lane.
3(SP760217) Go through two kissing gates just right of the barn and continue diagonally across the field to cross a stile in the hedge on the left. Here the path splits, we follow the left fork, soon passing under the powerlines and following a hedge on the right.
Go through the gate in the field corner and follow the path straight on through a couple of fields, with Manor Farm, then St Johns Manor over to the right. At Carters Lane Farm head diagonally right to reach a stile in the field corner and turn left along the St Johns Lane.
Go left at the junction, soon passing Brook Farm and, just after passing a house and speed limit sign, turn right over a stile beside the gate. Head diagonally left down across the field, go through the kissing gate and turn left to follow a path under the powerline to reach a gravel track on the west edge of the field.
4(SP758226) Cross the stile and follow the fence on the left before going straight on across the field to a stile and footbridge. Continue through the next field, crossing a stile just left of a small pond and keep ahead, aiming for Fulbrook Farm. Turn left at the path junction, crossing stiles either side of the lane, here the path splits and we follow the left fork heading south, signposted North Bucks Way and Midshires Way.
Pass through a line of hawthorn bushes and wooden pylons to a small gate and footbridge, about 100m to the left of a house. Continue climbing steadily up Conduit Hill to reach a gate at the top. After admiring the views continue southwards to a stile in the field corner to the right; the short walk rejoins here.
5(SP749214) Continue across the small field to another stile and keep ahead across the corner of the field to a stile in the hedge, about 75m right of the field corner.
The route now goes through the long narrow field with views ahead and to the west past Grange Hill.
Go through into the next field where there is a three way split, take the middle route down across the grassy field, still following the North Bucks Way and Midshires Way. Go through the kissing gate and down the narrow stone-flagged path, pass between the houses and straight on along the gravel drive. Turn left along Upper Street to reach the village green.
- Start/finish: The Green in Quainton, 2 miles north of Waddesdon off the A41; grid ref SP746201
- Distance: 5 miles (8.2km) or 2 miles (3.9km)
- Map: OS Explorer 192;
- OS Landranger 165
- Terrain: Stiles and gates, some climbs, field paths and quiet country roads
- Time: 1 or 3 hours
- Refreshments: Quainton The George and Dragon (01296 655436)