Strenuous walk linking several hill top villages in the rolling landscape of the north westerly Aylesbury Vale, with splendid views throughout.
27.6 km (17.2 mi), of which 4.2 km (2.6 mi) on tarmac or concrete. Cumulative ascent/descent: 458m. For a shorter walk, see below Walk options.
Time: 6 hours 15 minutes walking time. For the whole outing allow at least 8 hours 45 minutes.
OS Landranger Map: 165 (Aylesbury & Leighton Buzzard) OS Explorer Map: 180 (Oxford) & 181 (Chiltern Hills North). HTP station, map reference SP 731 085, is 10 km south west of Aylesbury, 22 km east of Oxford, and 81m above sea level. Haddenham is in Buckinghamshire.
8 out of 10
This is a long and strenuous – but very rewarding – walk through the pleasant rolling countryside of the north westerly parts of Aylesbury Vale, just north of The Chilterns, with some far views on clear days. The walk first crosses the Thame Valley north of Haddenham and then passes through the area of the ancient Bernwood Royal Hunting Forest on a wide circular route to return south on a different route back through the Thame Valley to Haddenham.
A shortcut reducing the effort to 5 out of 10 is described.
The walk offers a shortcut half-way through the morning, which cuts out the recommended lunchtime destination, the charming hilltop village of Brill, though (cuts out 7.6 km (4.7 mi) and 156m descent/re-ascent). The recommended lunch stop for the short walk is in Ashendon, and it is rated 5/10. For details see the end of the main walk directions.
Haddenham & Thame Parkway (HTP) station is on the London Marylebone to Bicester main line.
Saturday Walkers’ Club: Take the train closest to 9.30 hours.
The Pointer 27 Church Street, Brill, Buckinghamshire, HP18 9RT (01844 238 339). Open Tue-Thu 12.00-23.00, Fri-Sat 12.00-24.00 and Sun 12.00-22.00. Food served Tue-Thu 12.00-14.30 and 18.30-21.00, Fri-Sat 12.00-14.30 and 18.30-22.00 and Sun 12.30-17.00. The Pointer is located 12.1 km (7.5 mi) into the walk. It is on a site which has had a pub on it since at least the 1700’s, and has a large outside area at the back. Until 2011 known as The Red Lion, it has been lovingly restored by the new owners, now serving as pub, restaurant and butchers, and also offering rooms in a building opposite.
House of Spice 19 Fort End, Haddenham, Buckinghamshire HP17 8EJ (01844 292 934). Open 12.00-14.30 and 18.00-23.30. An old pub converted into an award winning restaurant. Part of a group of restaurants across Bucks and Oxon. 1 km from the station.
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Out (not a train station)
Back (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from wwww.walkingclub.org.uk