Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular walk

The Chilterns: wooded forests (very muddy in winter), Hughenden Manor (NT), West Wycombe Caves (of Hellfire club fame), finishing with a short ridge walk

History

This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Date Post # Weather
Sat, 02-Apr-22 Saturday Walk: Saunderton Circular via West Wycombe 11 warmish with light cloud
Wed, 11-Aug-21 Wednesday walk Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular - Bradenham Woods, Hughenden Manor, West Wycombe Caves and Dashwood Mausoleum 15 hot sunny
Sat, 29-Feb-20 Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular 6 mostly sunshine and occasional showers with steady breeze
Wed, 21-Aug-19 Wednesday walk Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular - Hughenden Manor, West Wycombe Caves and Dashwood Mausoleum 11 sun and clouds
Sat, 10-Nov-18 Saturday Walk - Autumn in The Chilterns: Saunderton Circular (via West Wycombe and Wheeler End) 7 all kinds of weather
Sat, 02-Jun-18 Saturday Walk: Saunderton Circular via West Wycombe 22 hot and sunny
Tue, 09-Jan-18 Evening walk - Saunderton via West Wycombe 4 fog turning to spray
Tue, 01-Aug-17 Benjamin Disraeli's Hughenden Manor, and West Wycombe Caves 4 overcast in the morning nice sunny and warm after lunch
Sat, 01-Apr-17 Saturday Walk Saunderton Circular via Wheelers End 4 sunny
Sat, 17-Sep-16 Second Walk - A Chilterns Variation - Book 2 Walk 3c: Saunderton Circular (via West Wycombe & Wheeler End) 9 overcast but dry with some piercing wind
Wed, 03-Aug-16 Midweek Day Walk - Saunderton Circular via West Wycombe 6 overcast in the morning sunny and
Sat, 04-Jul-15 Saturday First Walk Saunderton via West Wycombe circular 9 cloudy first then sunny and hot
Sun, 12-Oct-14 Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular 9
Sun, 08-Dec-13 Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular 2
Sun, 22-Sep-13 Saunderton via West Wycombe (short) & Wheeler End 5
Sat, 06-Oct-12 Saunderton via West Wycombe (short) & Wheeler End
Sun, 16-Sep-12 Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular
Sat, 03-Mar-12 Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular
Sun, 07-Aug-11 Saunderton via West Wycombe (short) & Bledlow (short)
Sun, 24-Oct-10 Saunderton via West Wycombe (short) & Wheeler End
Sun, 19-Sep-10 Saunderton via West Wycombe (short) & Bledlow (short)
Mon, 31-May-10 Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular
Sat, 27-Feb-10 Saunderton via West Wycombe (short) & Wheeler End
Sun, 17-Jan-10 Saunderton via West Wycombe, omitting Hughenden Manor
Sat, 11-Jul-09 Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular
Sun, 21-Jun-09 Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular
Sun, 15-Mar-09 Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular
Sat, 07-Feb-09 Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular
Sat, 22-Nov-08 Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular
Sat, 18-Oct-08 Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular
Mon, 05-May-08 Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular
Sat, 05-Apr-08 Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular
Wed, 06-Feb-08 Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular
Sat, 28-Jul-07 Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular
Sat, 24-Feb-07 Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular
Sun, 21-Jan-07 Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular
Sat, 30-Dec-06 Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular
Wed, 20-Dec-06 Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular
Sat, 02-Apr-22
Saturday Walk: Saunderton Circular via West Wycombe
9.9 miles / 16 km
An easy-going walk in the Chilterns with chances to visit Hughenden Manor (National Trust) and West Wycombe Caves. The return route passes the Dashwood Mausoleum, and local landmark St Lawrence Church.
Trains: Take the 09:53 from London Marylebone, arriving at Saunderton at 10:51. If you miss this train, you can catch up by taking the 10:00 service to High Wycombe.
Return trains at xx:57.
Lunch: The first possible lunch stop is the café at Hughenden Manor. Further on is the Le De Spencer Arms (01494 535317), food served 12pm - 3pm, phoning ahead is advised.
T=2.03

  • 18-Apr-22

    This one's gone a couple of weeks without a report, so I'd better file one.

    11 on this walk, of whom 7 said they wanted lunch at the pub, and 6 actually took said lunch. (The previous week, more people took the lunch than said they wanted it, to the bemusement of that walk's poster.) Service, welcome and atmosphere were at a more elevated level than the cuisine.

    I misremembered the tea place as being after the Dashwood Mausoleum, and so marched purposefully up the hill before being surprised by the realisation that the terrain have become inconsistent with the promise of a cafe or any chocolate cake. Those who weren't so dim passed the West Wycombe Caves and reported the cafe insufficiently inviting to prompt a visit.

    warmish with light cloud as far as I can remember.

Wed, 11-Aug-21
Wednesday walk Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular - Bradenham Woods, Hughenden Manor, West Wycombe Caves and Dashwood Mausoleum
Book 2, Walk 3 - Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular

Length: 16 km. (9.9 miles)
Toughness: 4 out of 10
London Marylebone: 10-13 hrs Chiltern Rail service to Aylesbury
Arrive Saunderton: 10-53 hrs
Return: 15-53, 16-51, 18-02, 19-00 and 19-27 hrs
This makes for a lovely summer's walk, with paths through Bradenham Woods less muddy than in winter. After these woods you head through more woods towards Hughenden Manor, the one time home of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, now a NT property with a good cafeteria - a lunch stop option. The house is well worth a visit. After the manor the walk continues to Downley and your lunch pub option today - the Le de Spencer's Arms, which serves good pub grub.
After the lunch pub you cross fields and head through more woods until you come to West Wycombe Caves. From here it is a short steep climb up to the Dashwood Mausoleum, then through a churchyard and along a long, flat farm track to Nobles Farm which continues on back to Saunderton. Your tea stop close to the railway station is the Golden Cross pub, a very pleasant watering hole for walk-end.
T=2.3
Walk Directions are here: L=2.3
  • Anonymous
    09-Aug-21

    This sounds nice😊 thank you walk poster. So long since I did a walk can some1 please advise how do you buy a ticket using a freedom pass (and railcard)? ie getting the extra discount..ta

  • Anonymous
    09-Aug-21

    I meant BEFORE, not at the station - where there's likely to be a queue!

  • 09-Aug-21

    Most ticket machines support 'boundary zone6' as a starting point these days. Use the ticket from another station option. To buy online, you have to use a station on the route within zone6 as an approximation.

  • Anonymous
    09-Aug-21

    Thank you @Pete g

  • 12-Aug-21

    15 walkers, including 2 first-timers, set off on a hot sunny day along a route strewn with wild flowers (wild carrot, knapweed, poppies, ragwort). After Bradenham, your correspondent was shaken off on the climb into the woods. But, ever cheerful, always smiling, he soldiered on to the Le de Spencer Arms. He can report that the Book 2 directions still work. A whole pint of cider later, 11 of the others trickled in. Turns out they’d done a dilly-dally past Hughenden Manor. Those who ate were approving of the quality and service. Then we were off again, across the valley, and yours truly was left behind again. Having took a sneaky shortcut up the hill, I sat and waited with my smuggest expression for the others to struggle up the hard way. No luck. Turns out they had taken the same shortcut and were already ahead. :( I was surprised to have a view across to Bradenham from the ridge. Scrub clearance? Got to the station just in time to not have time to visit the Golden Cross. Needless to say, the others had had plenty of time.

Sat, 29-Feb-20
Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular
Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular T=2.3

Length: 16km (9.9miles), 5 hours walking

This walk combines a fairly easy stroll in the Chilterns through a mixture of woodland and sloping meadows, with an optional visit to Hughenden Manor and West Wycombe Caves.

Trains: Get the 1013 Marylebone - Aylesbury train to Saunderton, arriving 1055. Return trains are xx50, but the Cross Keys is a pleasant pub to while away any wait.

Lunch: Hugendon Manor National Trust with cafe & picnic area, or the pub lunchtime stop: Fullers Le De Spencer's Arms (tel 01494 535317), Downley Common 5.6 miles/9km from the start of the walk, which serves food from 12 to 3pm daily.



  • 01-Mar-20

    Just 6 of us assembled at Saunderton railway station for today's walk on a day of mostly sunshine and occasional showers with steady breeze . Infact, we were most fortunate with the weather, given what had been forecasted, as we only encountered one light shower in the morning, and one in the afternoon when the sun was shining - but no rainbow. Over lunch there was a heavy hailstorm - but we were safely snug in the pub at the time.

    It was nice to be walking in a small group (my preference always to mob walking) and we tackled the muddy, sodden paths through Bradenham Woods in good humour with pleasant chat. On reaching Hughenden Manor one of our ladies opted to visit former PM Disraeli's house and have lunch in the (usually) excellent NT cafeteria. We didn't see her on the walk again, so we hope she enjoyed the rest of her day.

    The remaining 5 of us continued on the walk from Hughenden Manor and some thirty five minutes later we were in the pub, the Le De Spencer Arms. The pub was initially full inside so we anticipated outside dining under a canopy, which would have kept us dry (from the pending hailstorm) but it would have been a bit chilly after a while. So full marks to the pub's owners who took the trouble to make space for us inside, and then serve the five of us with good quality and filling pub grub. We lingered in the snug of the pub with post meal coffees and further half pints and it took an effort to leave and embark on the afternoon leg of the walk.

    The post lunch walk was uneventful but very enjoyable and we took the easier ascent to the mausoleum above the Hellfire Caves. The onwards track beyond the church was both muddy and submerged but passable and we were back in Saunderton with ten minutes to spare before our target train - the 16-50 hrs - not enough time for tea at the Golden Cross but never mind. At the railway station we found a fast service train parked there - waiting for a broken down train ahead to moved. We were allowed to join the fast train and after an hours wait it set off, fast to Marylebone. As none of us had a pressing evening engagement we took the delay in our stride. It certainly did not spoil what had been a most enjoyable day's walking. I had forgotten how many ups and downs were along the way and the excellent variety in terrain and good views on this underrated walk.

    So thanks to Pete for posting this walk today.

Wed, 21-Aug-19
Wednesday walk Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular - Hughenden Manor, West Wycombe Caves and Dashwood Mausoleum
Book 2, Walk 3 - Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular

Length: 16 km (9.9 miles)
Toughness: 4 out of 10


London Marylebone: 10-13 hrs Aylesbury service
Arrive Saunderton: 10-53 hrs

Return

15-53, 16-51, 17-25 and 18-26 hrs


This is a good walk for a hot summer's day, with plenty of woods offering shade in the morning. The morning leg takes you through said woods on paths where directions are not so easy to follow, all the way to Hughenden Manor, former home of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli - now a National Trust property - well worth a visit - to the house or NT cafe. If not stopping here for lunch, you continue on for circa 40 mins to the Le De Spencers Arms, a pleasant country pub with a nice outdoor seating area.
After the pub, your walk takes you to West Wycombe Caves, then a short but steep climb up to the Dashwood Mausoleum. You then walk along a quiet track on the level to Nobles farm and back to Saunderton. If you have time before catching your scheduled train, I recommend tea at the Golden Cross pub, down the road from the railway station.
T=2.3
Walk Directions are here: L=2.3
  • David M
    23-Aug-19

    11 on this walk. A mix of sun and clouds and feeling very pleasant. Unusually for an SWC walk, we stayed together throughout with nobody rushing ahead. Lunch was taken at Hughenden Manor. Most elected to have a picnic outside, although a couple I believe sampled the delights from the café. We all stopped for a drink at the lovely garden at Le De Spencer’s Arms with further refreshments taken at the Golden Cross in Saunderton. All but the 2 car drivers were on the train back to London shortly before 5pm.

  • 23-Aug-19

    11 sun and clouds

Sat, 10-Nov-18
Saturday Walk - Autumn in The Chilterns: Saunderton Circular (via West Wycombe and Wheeler End)
Length: 24.1 km (15.0 mi) [shorter walk possible]
Ascent/Descent: 692m; Net Walking Time: 6 hours
Toughness: 9/10
To shorten: walk the ‘normal’ version (17.0 km/10.6 mi, 5/10) or even the ‘short’ version of this walk.
Take the 09.13 Aylesbury train from Marylebone (09.22 Wembley Stadium, 09.35 Gerrards Cross etc.), arrives Saunderton 09.53. For the shorter walks, the 10.13 is sufficient.
Return trains are on xx.50 (49 mins journey time).
The standard version of this walk combines a fairly easy stroll in The Chilterns through a mixture of woodland and sloping meadows, with an optional visit to Hughenden Manor and Hell-Fire (West Wycombe) Caves. The route heads south east over the Chiltern Hills to Bradenham, and continues through Naphill Common, and Flagmore Wood to Hughenden Manor. The route from Hughenden heads west across Downley Common to West Wycombe lunch/early tea. Today’s walk will then extend this by a westerly loop to Wheeler End, adding a fair bit more undulation to it, before picking up the standard walk again in Hearnton Wood.
Lunch/Tea:
Hughenden Manor Tea Room (8.0 km/5.0 mi, hot food to 14.30);
Le De Spencer’s Arms in Downley Common (9.8 km/6.1 mi, food to 15.00);
Hell-Fire Caves in West Wycombe (12.6 km/7.9 mi);
The George and Dragon Hotel in West Wycombe (12.9 km/8.0 mi, food all day);
The Chequers in Wheeler End (16.3 km/10.1 mi, food to 15.00).
The Golden Cross in Saunderton (at the end of the walk).
For summary, map, height profile, photos, walk directions and gpx/kml files click here. T=2.3.c
  • Anonymous
    09-Nov-18

    Hi Guys I am attending this walk and its the standard walk 10 miles or 15 miles? Don't fancy walking in the dark with 15 miles although Wheeler ends looks good as I have not done this walk before. Any suggestion not to finish in the dark?

    Thanks

    Monica

  • 09-Nov-18

    The Wheeler End route branches off from the standard Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular at West Wycombe, which is about three quarters of the way through the walk. So you could just do the standard finish to the Saunderton Circular, which would be only 10.6 miles: it is a fairly straightforward route along the top of a ridge.

  • Anonymous
    09-Nov-18

    Many thanks Walker I shall do the standard version and hope to finish before sunset.

    Monica

  • 09-Nov-18

    Is the nearest train before or after at 09.13? The 09.43 requires a change.

  • 10-Nov-18

    Walking in an Autumn Wonderland!

    That's what it felt like, what with all (ALL!) the non-evergreen trees suddenly (compared to even just 3 days ago) having burst out in Ye Olde Russete Hues. Lots of leaves on the ground, a wind in the air, and all kinds of weather : from blue skies and sunshine at the start, to sloooowly clouding over, to going all dark grey brooding skies in no time at all, then to heavy downpour just 5 minutes b4 reaching the lunch pub, to overcast with rainbows and blue sky patches, to dark and broody again and then more rain, although lighter than b4.

    An amazing number of dog walkers out in the morning, they had obv studied the weather forecast. And even more Red Kites in the air. 3 of the group had declared they wanted to walk the 'normal' 17 km version of the walk, in the end only 2 did. The rest had lunch at The Chequers in Wheeler End (this has been spruced up by Fuller's since last visited, now with impressive oak wooden floors etc.) and reached Saunderton at 16.15, leaving enough time 'til the 16.50 train for tea and cakes at The Golden Cross. The Landlady seemed disinterested in our business to a touch grumpy, but at the end of a walk, who really cares, as long as the cakes are del...?

    Back in The Smoke at 17.30. Result!

    7 , including one driver (over from Newbury).

Sat, 02-Jun-18
Saturday Walk: Saunderton Circular via West Wycombe
Book 2 Walk 3
9.9 miles / 16km

An easy-going walk in the Chilterns with chances to visit Hughenden Manor (National Trust) and West Wycombe Caves.

Trains: ~Take the 10:13 from London Marylebone, arriving at Saunderton at 10:55. Return trains at xx:55.

Lunch: The National Trust tea room at Hughenden Manor is 7.5 km from the start of the walk.
Further on (9 km) is the Le De Spencer Arms (01494 535317), food served 12pm - 3pm, phoning ahead is recommended.

Tea: The Golden Cross pub near Saunderton station.
T=2.03
  • Anonymous
    30-May-18

    Art Fund members can get into Hughenden Manor free.

  • Anonymous
    31-May-18

    Great, I must remember to bring my card. Thanks for pointing this out.

  • Sandy
    01-Jun-18

    Probably going, as no more apocalyptic storms forecast

  • 01-Jun-18

    Hi Can I meet with at least 2 others at the station to get a group save ?

  • Anonymous
    01-Jun-18

    Be independent Dan. Buy a Network Card. Pays for itself over time.

  • Sandy
    01-Jun-18

    Sorry Dan, I'm travelling into London by train and it makes more sense for me to buy a return from my starting station

  • Anonymous
    01-Jun-18

    Anyone with a gold card or a network rail card can take three other walkers on their card and you can get 1/3 off rail fares, provided you travel together. Dan, if you wait at the ticket office and see anyone looks like a walker and ask around, I am sure you’ll find someone who will take you on their card. On the return journey, you can either stick to the person who you come with or find another person who has a network or gold card who can take you. It does not matter if you come with one person and return with another as long as the person you travel with has a network or gold card.

  • 02-Jun-18

    Early threats of rain on the train windows did not persist and 22 walkers were treated to a hot and sunny day. A bit muddy underfoot at times, but not as horrendous as winter. Plenty of birdsong, some butterflies, flowers a bit faded except the roses. It's easy to get lost in the woods. I missed a turn somewhere, was lost for ages, and somehow ended up at the pub first! Others had trouble too. The directions are probably due an update. Mind you, I was using the book! Meals seemed good in the Le de Spenser Arms. Tea was had at the Hellfire Caves, and for some, the Golden Cross, Most got the 17:55 some got the earlier train. Widespread agreement this walk was more than a 4.

  • 02-Jun-18

    I forgot to mention the abundance of red kites. I counted 11 in the air at one stage.

  • Anonymous
    03-Jun-18

    At least 9 stopped at HughendenManor for lunch followed by a short tour of the gardens, a tree of more than 2500 years old was spotted enroute, beautiful gardens and views over the valley. The food was tolerable but I had better days at NT cafe, a good place for picnic though.

Tue, 09-Jan-18
Evening walk - Saunderton via West Wycombe
CW2 3a - Saunderton via West Wycombe

Length: 9.6km (6 miles)

Catch the 18:24 train from London Marylebone, arrives Saunderton 19:08.

Return trains: 21:53, 22:54

Will stop for a drink / meal half way into the walk at West Wycombe.

T=2.3.a
  • 07-Jan-18

    Intend going.

  • 09-Jan-18

    4 in fog turning to spray . Atmospheric woods, a well lit mausoleum on the hill, splendid dinner in between at The George in West Wycombe, then a relative dash to definitely not miss the last train back.

Tue, 01-Aug-17
Benjamin Disraeli's Hughenden Manor, and West Wycombe Caves
Book 2, Walk 3 - Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular

Length: 16 km (9.9 miles)
Toughness: 4 out of 10

London Marylebone: 10-13 hrs (Aylesbury service)
Arrive Saunderton: 10-53 hrs

Return: 15-53, 16-51, 17-25, 18-26 and 19-27 hrs

This makes for a very pleasant summer walk (sections can be muddy in winter) with plenty of variety (although lacking water features). Lots of woods in the morning as you make your way to Hughenden Manor, the former country home of Benjamin Disraeli, now a National Trust property, and well worth a visit. Although there is a perfectly acceptable NT cafeteria on the premises, it is not usually open on Tuesdays, so your suggested lunch stop today is the pretentiously named Le De Spencer's Arms, which serves good pub grub, and has a nice garden for outdoor dining. Onwards after lunch to the West Wycombe Caves, then up a steep slope to the Dashwood Mausoleum. Then it's a pleasant two mile stroll along a track through a farm and back to Saunderton, for tea at the Golden Cross pub, a favourite stop for SWC walkers, and a short distance from the railway station.
Enjoy !
T=2.3
Walk directions here: L=2.3
  • 02-Aug-17

    4 of us on this outing in the Chilterns. overcast in the morning nice sunny and warm after lunch . The forecasted shower(s) arrived during our lunch stop, spent under cover in the pub's garden. Otherwise, we were spared rain and thunderstorms.

    We happened upon a young couple, with Book 2 in hand. Hence they became lost more than once but made it to the pub where we were briefly re-united. Route finding on this varied and lovely walk, mostly through woodland, can be tricky and even the latest version of the directions needs sharpening up: quality well short of my Book 1 updates !!

    Hughenden Manor was very busy, as expected during the school holidays, and well done to the National Trust for putting on a "Mad Hatters" Alice themed event for the little ones: we wanted to join in.

    One in our party went direct to High Wycombe after lunch, leaving three of us to ascend the cliff to the Dashwood Mausoleum (it seems like a cliff to an oldie), then the relaxed walk along the track back to Saunderton. One on the 16-51, two of us on the 17-25, allowing time for refreshments at the walker friendly Golden Cross pub.

    A nice day out, and once again, we were very lucky with the weather.

  • Anonymous
    04-Aug-17

    The extra one went back to Hughenden Manor to look at the house and partake of tea.Lovely day.

    jfk

Sat, 01-Apr-17
Saturday Walk Saunderton Circular via Wheelers End
Saunderton Circular via Wheelers End

Length: 10.1 miles (16.3km) 4 out of 10

Trains: 1013 Aylesbury train from London Marylebone arrives 1055. Direct return trains are xx50. There is also an xx55 via Princess Risborough.

This is quite a big variation on the Saunderton via West Wycombe walk and doesn't seem to have been posted for some time.

You will need to download two sets of instructions for this walk. Start with the Saunderton via West Wycombe short walk to point 8, then switch to the Wheelers End variation. There is a warning about noise from the M40 on the approach to Wheelers End

Lunch is at The Chequers, Wheelers End, which welcomes walkers. Food 12.00-1500. 5.4 miles (8.7km) a bit over 2 hours from the start

Tea At the end of the walk, you have the Golden Cross pub, close to the station. From memory, it does have some cake or at least desserts. It certainly has good beer and does tea.
T=2.3


  • 02-Apr-17

    Just 8 of us got off the train, but one was off to Hughenden and three were wanting a shorter walk, so 4 did the actual walk. Lovely weather sunny , and an enjoyable walk and I didn't think the traffic noise on the approach to Wheelers End was much of a problem.

Sat, 17-Sep-16
Second Walk - A Chilterns Variation - Book 2 Walk 3c: Saunderton Circular (via West Wycombe & Wheeler End)
Length: 24.1 km (15.0 mi)
Ascent/Descent: 692m; Net Walking Time: 6 hours
Toughness: 9/10
[to shorten: walk the ‘normal’ version (5/10) or even the ‘short’ version of this walk;
to lengthen: add the short version of Book 2 Walk 2 to this at the end; for details see the webpage(s)]
Take the 09.13 Aylesbury train from Marylebone (09.22 Wembley Stadium, 09.32 Denham etc.), arrives Saunderton 09.55.
For the shorter walks the 10.13 is sufficient. Return trains are on xx.50 (46 mins journey time).
The standard version of this walk combines a fairly easy stroll in The Chilterns through a mixture of woodland and sloping meadows, with an optional visit to Hughenden Manor and Hell-Fire (West Wycombe) Caves. The route heads south east over the Chiltern Hills to Bradenham, and continues through Naphill Common, and Flagmore Wood to Hughenden Manor. The route from Hughenden heads west across Downley Common to West Wycombe for lunch/early tea. Today’s walk will then extend this by a westerly loop to Wheeler End (possible late lunch), adding a fair bit more undulation to it, before picking up the standard walk again in Hearnton Wood.

Lunch or tea:
Hughenden Manor Tea Room (8.0 km/5.0 mi, hot food to 14.30, 01494-755 576);
Le De Spencer’s Arms in Downley Common (9.8 km/6.1 mi, food to 15.00, 01494-535 317);
Hell-Fire Caves in West Wycombe (12.6 km/7.9 mi, 01494-533 739);
The George and Dragon Hotel in West Wycombe (12.9 km/8.0 mi, food to 14.30, 01494-535 340);
The Chequers in Wheeler End (16.3 km/10.1 mi, food to 15.00, 01494 883 070).
Golden Cross in Saunderton (at the end of the walk, 01494-565 974).

For summary, map, height profile, photos, walk directions/options and gpx/kml files click here.
(for the posted extended walk you'll need both the normal pdf and the Wheeler End pdf!)
T=2.3.c
  • 17-Sep-16

    15 minutes of rain upon arrival, then later 15 minutes of driving drizzle, else overcast but dry with some piercing wind . new walk to me personally. very nice walk with a mixture of grassy slopes and ridges, plenty of woods and fine views (considering the low clouds), enjoyed by 9 walkers, who occasionally lost the route due to the old enemy of staying on course: too much chat.

    But with several 'leaders' and 1 follower-of-a-line-on-a-screen, we always got back on route quickly. Major changes at the NT-property Hugenden Manor, else the directions stood up well.

    A vote was taken at West Wycombe and we decided to push on to Wheeler End for late lunch at The Chequers. After some delay due to a First Aid necessity (painful looking damage to a wrist, with the patient later off for an X-ray to the nearest A&E from Marylebone station), we had a great lunch: tasty food, attentive staff, a very pleasant place.

    The 16.50 was narrowly missed, so it was off to the Golden Cross with its grand selection of cakes.

    En route we had overtaken a group of 10 Young Uns, whom we met back at the pub. Turned out they were work colleagues who had done the 'normal walk' off the 10.13 train. They had enjoyed themselves and asked to pass on many thanks to the walk author (David, are you reading this?). I tried to encourage them to leave a comment on the website, we shall see...

  • Heidi
    18-Sep-16

    Thanks to everyone on the walk (after a ridiculous fall on and into a mudbath) for helping with the process of cleaning me up which everyone helped with including pain killers and backpack sorting out! Thank you Thomas for taking me to A&E which it turned out was the right thing as 3 XR's later (and about 3 hours later!)diagnosed fractured wrist and obligatory POP for 4-6 weeks. Despite all great walk, great team effort. Heidi

  • Kelda
    19-Sep-16

    Heidi - sorry to hear your wrist is actually broken. I hope you're fully recovered and fighting fit again soon!

Wed, 03-Aug-16
Midweek Day Walk - Saunderton Circular via West Wycombe

Saunderton Circular via West Wycombe

The Chilterns with wooded forests, Hughenden Manor (NT), West Wycombe Caves (of Hellfire club fame) then finishing with a short ridge walk

Book 2 Walk 3

Length : 16 km or 10 miles

Toughness : 4 out of 10

Getting there : Catch the 9:43 am Bicester North train from London Marylebone to Saunderton

Meeting point : Saunderton Station at 10:24

Tickets : Buy a cheap day return to Saunderton

Brief Description

Trains to Saunderton are hourly and with over two hours to the Le De Spencer Arms (where some may wish to lunch at) I've gone for an earlier train on this occasion.
NT members may like to bring their membership cards if planning to visit the Manor.
If it's awfully hot, walkers may like to make a mid afternoon stop at the Hellfire Caves for an ice cream or even a visit to the caves themselves.
As ever, you may find full details of this walk here and a the latest pdf here.

Suggested Lunch stops

Hughenden Manor Stableyard Café
Le De Spencer Arms The Common, Downley, High Wycombe HP13 5YQ t: 01494 535317 (do phone first!)

Suggested Tea stops

Hellfire Caves t: 01494 533739 (mid -afternoon)
The Golden Cross ( about 200 metres from the Station) Wycombe Road,, Saunderton, HP14 4HU, t: 01494 565974

Map

OS Explorer : 172

Return train times

Trains return from Saunderton at the following times 16:26 | 16:50 | 17:26 | 18:26 journey time is about 45 minutes. (If you have a long wait, the Golden Cross provides beverages and has a small garden at the rear)
  • Anonymous
    30-Jul-16

    Hi, Are Network cards valid on the 9.43? Thanks.

  • 30-Jul-16

    Anonymous, if you have a Network Rail Card, then that doesn't work so well during weekdays. To summarise, the fare for this train is £14.40 and a train one hour later is £13.00.

    The same tickets for both times at the weekend is £9.50.

  • Anonymous
    31-Jul-16

    Thank you,Arthur.

  • Anonymous
    02-Aug-16

    Please be more mindful of those who do not have the luxury of free or near-free travel, if you want to be fair, keep your walk numbers up and attract new blood. The difference in the Cheap Day RETURN tickets - comparing the 9.43 and 10.43 trains - is £7, £20.10 compared to £13.25. For Network Carders £7 is not a tiny amount. The pub serves lunch until 3pm so the later train would have been more sensible. It is also a relatively short walk. I appreciate that posting is not an easy job, but the point about Network cards has been made by others in the past. Thanks.

  • Anonymous
    02-Aug-16

    I totally agree with the last comment. Can't come because it is pre-10 o'clock and the price.

    Really appreciate all your time and effort Arthur but mid week walks have traditionally always started post 10 o'clock

  • Anonymous
    02-Aug-16

    Expensive walks also encourage 'unoficial', unposted mid-week walks, leading to cliques and reducing the often modest 'official' walk numbers further, and who wants that? Second that comment about time and effort, and realise the antics of Southern hampers you, Arthur.

  • 02-Aug-16

    I'd like to apologise for misquoting the fares to Saunderton.

    I had wrongly assumed that the cost of a return fare was just slightly above that of a single.

    As you know, I try to post a varied range of walks on Wednesdays and quite a few have started before 10:00 am e.g. when there is a promo offer like SWT's current offer, or the return fare is not excessively above £10 (where a Network Card attracts little discount) and I will continue to do so when I feel it's appropriate.

    This weeks walk is to, what I believe is, a particularly nice section of the Chilterns and involves a round trip railway journey of 80+ miles.

    I know that some walkers will always be discouraged by some walks. The walks will be too long, too short, too hilly, too flat, too near London, too far from London, too late starting, too early starting, too expensive to get to and so forth.

    So here's a challenge to the anonymous folk who've talked the talk, why not post the walk?

    Get in touch with me (arthur at quitenear.me ) with a mid-week date or dates you'd like to post on and we'll make sure you're set up on blogger and the date or dates you wish to post on are kept free for you to indulge us with your offerings.

  • 02-Aug-16

    Train Fares

    We tend to loose track (if you pardon the pun) on offers that the various train companies offer.

    However I've just taken a peek at Chiltern Railways site and there are offers to be had where groups of three get a good discount (railcards make no difference)

    I know this is a little late for tomorrow, but three could have travelled to Saunderton for £39-75 (details Here )

    I've just re-read the walks notes re the lunchtime Pub and this is what they say ...

    "The recommended pub lunchtime stop is Le De Spencer's Arms (tel 01494 535317), Downley Common 9km from the start of the walk, which serves food from 12 to 2pm daily. However you are strongly advised to phone through beforehand, on occasions they stop serving lunch much earlier."

    Hence my note about calling them at the start of the walk

  • 04-Aug-16

    Just 6 chaps on today's walk, no ladies. Weather overcast in the morning sunny and warm-in-the-afternoon-with-cooling-breeze

    In other words, near perfect summer walking weather. Without some ladies to keep us in check, the six of us managed to become separated and semi-lost in Bradenham Woods, leaving 3 of us to take the long route to Hughenden Manor, where one of us stopped to do some sightseeing. That left two to head for the pub, where me met one who had taken the direct route to the pub to quench his thirst. A good pub lunch was enjoyed by the three of us, before we were collected by our sightseeing colleague from Hughenden (keep up at the back) for our afternoon leg. Now in a group of four, we set out in warm sunshine, tempered by a cooling breeze. The climb up to the Dashwood Mausoleum was challenging for us oldies, but the young swain in our company (who's rail tickets cost £ 12 more than their older colleagues) sportingly resuscitated the senior railcard holders who, now turbo-charged, sped off on the long downhill track back to Saunderton. Train times left us plenty of time to enjoy a cuppa or pint in the garden of the Golden Cross, before the four of us caught the 4-26 pm train back to London.

    After some texting we located walker No 5 who was enjoying a visit to an exhibition at Hughenden Manor, but no-one knows what happened to No 6 - please come in, your time is up.

    An enjoyable day for those who made it safely back to Saunderton.

  • Anonymous
    04-Aug-16

    On a footnote to Marcos's report, we found ourselves sat near to some Southbank Walkers on the outbound train. They were doing a Princess Ris to Great Miss walk and did try to encourage us to join them. Had we succumbed, we would have been able to say 0 took part in this SWC midweeker!

    AD

Sat, 04-Jul-15
Saturday First Walk Saunderton via West Wycombe circular
Book 2 Walk 3 Saunderton via West Wycombe circular
Length is 16km (9.9miles)
Toughness is 4 out of 10
OS LandRanger Map No. 165. OS Explorer Map No. 172

Take the 10.09am train from Marylebone station to Saunderton arriving at 10.48.
Trains back from Saunderton run once an hour at XX.59

This walk combines a fairly easy stroll in the Chilterns through a mixture of woodland and sloping meadows, with an optional visit to Hughenden Manor and West Wycombe Caves. The route heads south east over the Chiltern Hills to Bradenham, and continues through Naphill Common, and Flagmore Wood to Hughenden Manor. The route from Hughenden heads west across Downley Common to West Wycombe Caves for the recommended tea stop. After a brisk climb from the Caves up to Dashwood Mausoleum, it is then an easy level stroll back into Saunderton.
If wishing to visit Hughenden Manor or West Wycombe Caves, please check their opening times
Hughendon Manor (tel 01494 755573, http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hughenden-manor/ )
West Wycombe Caves (tel 01494 533739, www.hellfirecaves.co.uk)

The suggested lunchtime stop is the tea room at Hughenden Manor (tel 01494 755576) 7.5km from the start of the walk, which serves lunch from 12 - 2pm (snacks until 4pm).
Otherwise there is Le De Spencer's Arms (tel 01494 535317), Downley Common 9km from the start of the walk thus just over half way through the walk, which serves food from 12.30 to 3pm daily.
Picnic Virtually anywhere along the route would be a good picnic spot.

If more than six of you wish to lunch at the same place please phone them as a matter of courtesy and to check that they will be serving food.

The suggested tea stop is at West Wycombe Caves (tel 01494 533739) or a late alternate tea stop is at the Golden Cross pub, (tel 01494 562293) Saunderton, which serves tea and coffee.

  • 02-Jul-15

    May do this (again) as a bit of chilling out in the caves appeals on what could be another hot day.

    And I have to say I enjoyed walking in the Chilterns last Saturday.

  • Ian T
    05-Jul-15

    9 cloudy first then sunny and hot Most people seemed to get lost in one or another of the woods. Lunch for most was at the Le De Spencer. They were having a beer festival. Plenty of orchids centaury and marbled whites. Field bindweed at start was pretty. Made it back to Saunderton for 4:30. Visit to Golden Cross ensued.