Buckinghamshire Walk – September 2016

A walk with Dahl

Head to Great Missenden, tucked in the Misbourne valley, for a walk in Roald Dahl country.

Admire the views of the Misbourne Valley on the way towards the church at Great Missenden
Admire the views of the Misbourne Valley on the way towards the church at Great Missenden

Great Missenden, tucked in the Misbourne Valley – which provided a relatively easy route through the Chilterns between London and the Midlands via Wendover – once had a number of coaching inns along its High Street to cater for the high volume of travellers; it wasn’t until 1892 that the railway arrived with the opening of the Metropolitan Line from London Marylebone.

Heading along the track towards Hyde Lane
Heading along the track towards Hyde Lane

For many, this picturesque village is probably best known as the former home of the world-famous children’s author Roald Dahl, who lived and wrote here for over 35 years. He used many features of the area in his stories and the walk passes a couple of these along the High Street; the Crown House (70, High Street) used as the “norphonage” in The BFG and the Red Pump Garage which featured in Danny, the Champion of the World.

Picturesque Chapel Farm
Picturesque Chapel Farm

From the car park the walk takes a meandering route through fields and woods on the east side of the valley, passing through South Heath and Hyde End, before heading down to the Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul. Take time to admire the church which dates from the 14th century, albeit with various additions and alteration over the centuries and maybe visit the grave of Roald Dahl which lies close to the tree with the circular memorial seat. After leaving the church the walk soon heads along the High Street passing Cafe Twit and the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre (01494 892192) before heading back to the start; published in the September 2016 issue of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire Life.

Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul, Great Missenden
Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul, Great Missenden