It was another lovely afternoon and just right for a walk so we decided to drive over to Hambleden, an idyllic village, a setting for film versions of novels, the birthplace of barons, noblemen and bishops, one of the prettiest villages in Britain, with a village green with a pump, delightful old cottages and a beautiful church. Oh, and it was one of the few of the right length left in the guidebook.
This three and a half mile walk starts from the free car park at the back of the village, just next to the cricket pitch, where a match was taking place in the sunny conditions. We set off to the right on a gently rising lane which gradually became steeper as it went into woodlands before evening out. We carried straight on out of the wood and then saw signs indicating that the footpath to the left we were looking to take had been temporarily diverted, so we took the diversion along the front of Hutton’s Farm, which appeared to be undergoing a lot of work and landscaping.
The diverted route was more direct than the original track and soon brought us alongside a hedgerow at the top edge of a field, providing us with a lovely view across the valley to the wooded hills opposite.
After passing some cows in the field below us
we entered woodland again and followed the path without taking any of the forks off it. The guidebook went into some detail about which track to take, but simply put you just keep going straight on, staying with the top edge of the woodland. We entered a long, thin strip of woodland and carried on until a gap in the hedge to the left led us out into a large field. There was no clear path across it but we could see where we needed to get to, which was a gate to the right of the buildings at Rockwell End, and the crops were only at ankle level so it was easy going. We came out on to a road, turned left, then took the right hand fork before turning right again and taking a footpath across the fields on the other side of the road. We were presented with another stunning view across the valley with red kites flying overhead. We walked along the track at the edge of the field before descending into the woodland to our right and taking the track in there. At a crossing of two tracks we took a turn to the left on to a path that parallels the top left-hand edge of the woodland, and it was very pleasant walking in the shade out of the sun.
The track branches to the right and soon narrows between the growth on either side, then narrows even more as it descends to meet a road at Pheasant’s Hill. We crossed the road and took steps down to an even narrower path on the other side, going between the houses and squeezing through with my backpack, and at the end we turned left on to the Chiltern Way. We were now walking between gardens and past a most remarkable topiary
as more red kites flew overhead. We continued straight on, crossing the fields, eventually seeing the village church and walking towards it.
I took some photos, of course, and then we returned to the car after our lovely little walk.