Buckinghamshire Walk – February 2018

Head to Stokenchurch for 6 mile wander – with shorter option – through some picturesque rolling Chiltern countryside visiting peaceful Radnage.

The view to the south-east from the Chiltern Way across a patchwork of woods and fields includes the church on West Wycombe Hill
The view to the south-east from the Chiltern Way across a patchwork of woods and fields includes the church on West Wycombe Hill

Stokenchurch has long had good transport links, the ancient Ridgeway passes just to the north-west, while Collier’s Lane was once the main droving route. The later stagecoach route – the forerunner of the A40 – passed through the village and several coaching inns were established to cater for travellers going between London and Oxford.

The first leg of the walk follows the Chiltern Way through fields
The first leg of the walk follows the Chiltern Way through fields

Pop inside the Church of St Peter and St Paul, parts of which date from the 12th century, to see the stained glass including a vibrant modern window by David Wasley. On the chancel wall are two 15th century brasses depicting knights in armour in memory of the Morley brothers. The church is also the final resting place of Hannah Ball, founder of the first English Sunday School, in High Wycombe in 1769.

Collier's Lane (track) at point 2 where the short and long walk go separate ways
Collier’s Lane (track) at point 2 where the short and long walk go separate ways

After leaving Stokenchurch we follow the Chiltern Way for a couple of miles to arrive at Radnage and the beautiful, early 13th-century, St Mary’s Church. Inside there are fragments of medieval wall paintings and later post-Reformation religious texts. The church doubled as ‘Cranford Church’ in the BBC TV series Cranford, and was one of the main settings in the 1987 film A Month in the Country.

St Mary’s Church at Radnage dates back to the 13th century
St Mary’s Church at Radnage dates back to the 13th century

From here we leave the Chiltern Way behind and take a rollercoaster route through a typical Chiltern patchwork of woods and fields on our way back to Stockenchurch. A shorter 3 mile walk, missing out Radnage, is also described; published in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire Life, February 2018.

Heading up beside Venus Wood towards Sprig's Alley
Heading up beside Venus Wood towards Sprig’s Alley