In a fold in the Chilterns formed by the River Misbourne sits a little village all along a single lane; Little Missenden. The valley here is a pretty place, and a starting point for a series of walks, to north and to south. Through here runs the South Bucks Way (mapped here under our page ‘Buckinghamshire Way‘).
Little Missenden itself is a pleasant place, catering well for walkers. The parish church is an Anglo-Saxon building, possibly tenth century, but extended in the Middle Ages leaving odd glimpses of the original work. Most eye-opening though are the mediaeval wall paintings, whitewashed over at the Reformation and uncovered in the modern age.
I have mapped two routes, each starting at the village’s fascinating church.
The northern walking route is one I have walked a few times, if not recently. It starts just west of the church, heading north on a hedged footpath, crossing the Misbourne and to the A413. Across the road, the path continues as an open path across a field to a bridge over the railway which also follows the valley.
After the railway, the path enters Mantle’s Wood. Take the left branch off in the wood, and out through the farms northwards to a cross-track close to Hyde Farm, where we turn north-east to Hyde Heath Road. There is a small right-left dogleg here to go up a lane before turning off towards Hyde House. The path then follows gently south-east to Hyde Heath.
Through the edge of Hyde Heath, on Brays Lane, and south out of the village again to the railway line, and across it on another footbridge and to Lime Farm. Here it is across the A413 again and into Little Missenden, where you can follow the village’s one road west to your starting point.
The southern walk sets off east along the village’s one road and up a farm track which is also part of the South Bucks Way. This leads by a meadow beside the River Misbourne until a kissing gate and, turning south, the delightfully named Mop End Lane, a footpath, once a byway, leading south up out of the valley to the equally charmingly named hamlet of Mop End, which is one farm and no more.
Turning west from the farm, followed a path at a hedge line to a kissing gate where the hedge doglegs, and through to another tree-edged lane, named Toby’s Lane. At this point there is a choice: the shorter walk is to take Toby’s Lane north, between high hedges of trees. On this route, there is, after Breaches Wood, a path diagonally across the field north-westward down to the valley floor and back to Little Missenden, emerging almost opposite the church.
The longer walk looks like a much wider loop, but adds only a mile to the walk; it passes by Toby’s Lane, crosses Beamond End Lane and continues to Holmer Green.
Through Holmer Green, and a bridleway leads north, into Coleman’s Wood / Haleacre Wood, then down sharply into the Misbourne Valley, with, just above the river, a cut-across path to the edge of the village.
In the Explorer, 1:50 000 series:
- Ordnance Survey Explorer 172 (Chiltern Hills East)