Buckinghamshire Walk – June 2018

Head to Buckinghamshire for a Chiltern’s walk at Great Missenden.

On the way from Prestwood towards Rignall Wood
On the way from Prestwood towards Rignall Wood

The village of Great Missenden, 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, lies tucked in the Misbourne Valley. The valley provided a relatively easy route through the Chilterns between London and the Midlands and there was once a number of coaching inns along the 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.

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

From the car park the walk heads to the Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul which dates from the 14th century, albeit with various additions and alteration over the centuries; Roald Dahl is buried in the churchyard beside the tree with the circular memorial seat. From here we head past Missenden Abbey, mirrored in Warren Water, before crossing over to the west side of the valley.

View of Missenden Abbey from the footbridge
View of Missenden Abbey from the footbridge

If there’s time, take walk along the High Street to visit the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre (01494 892192; www.roalddahl.com/museum) and see 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.

Roald Dahl Museum, Story Centre and Cafe Twit on the High Street, Great Missenden
Roald Dahl Museum, Story Centre and Cafe Twit on the High Street, Great Missenden

The walk, however, meanders up through Angling Spring Wood – which gave Dahl the inspiration for the Fantastic Mr Fox – before heading through Atkins Wood to arrive at Prestwood.

Heading towards Angling Spring Wood
Heading towards Angling Spring Wood

From here the route heads back into the valley, meandering through Rignall Wood and Coneybank Wood before following the valley back to the start; published in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire Life, June 2018.

The Black Horse pub passed on the way back to Great Missenden
The Black Horse pub passed on the way back to Great Missenden