On a very cold morning this week we ventured to Hughendon Manor https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hughenden where the reception staff where loathe to come out of their warm hut to scan tickets it was so cold! There were 7 hardy souls and 2 dogs who set off towards Downley Common http://www.chilternsaonb.org/ccbmaps/369/137/downley-common.html down very pleasant paths with not too much mud underfoot. We were soon warmed up from walking up the hill to Downley and pausing for a photo by the Beacon on the Common. Our only company was the birdsong, our chatter and the odd dog walker also out enjoying the crisp cold morning.
Our route took us over the Common and up to Naphill Common which is a myriad of footpaths, bridleways and muddy tracks – route finding is made difficult by the number of dog wakers routes cris crossing the official paths and a compass is almost a must to ensure you are going in the right direction.
We soon found ourselves in the pretty village of Bradenham by the village green and cricket pitch overlooked by Bradenham Manor and the church https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradenham,_Buckinghamshire Bradenham Manor was once home to Disraeli as was Hughendon so there was a theme to our walk.
The Red Lion pub has closed although the notice on the door says open at weekends this does not appear to be the case.
It is a sad fact that many of the Chilterns pubs – once occurring in every village and hamlet cannot be sustained as a business and many are now turned in to houses. We crossed the busy main road to venture on under the railway line and up a steep hill in the wood to arrive at Noble Farm. With protestations from the walkers that this was not meant to be too hilly everyone was pleased to reach the top and all felt a sense of satisfaction from their achievements.
From here it was a brisk walk along the top of the ridge all the way to West Wycombe with the spectacular view from the church on the top of the hill. There was no sun glinting off the golden globe but it is still impressive. http://www.westwycombevillage.com/goldenball/
We were then rewarded with another downhill to the village of West Wycombe before climbing again towards Downley
2 more uphills and downhills before arriving at a very welcome bowl of soup in the Hughendon stable cafe.
The lovely thing about the walk was the opportunity to look back at intervals and see where you have come from – something we often cannot do on home territory around Henley with its lovely beech woods.