Walk 1060 - printer friendly version
Little Missenden and Amersham Walk
Author - Peter Smyly
Length - 8.5 miles / 13.8 km
Ascent - 700 feet / 212 metres
Grade - easy/mod
Start - OS grid reference SP960015
Lat 51.704039 + Long -0.6121653
Postcode HP5 1ED (approx. location only)
This Buckinghamshire walk could be seen as a follow-up to the Chess Valley walk between Chesham and Rickmansworth. In common with that walk, this one also starts at Chesham tube station on the Metropolitan Line of the London Underground and finishes at another tube station, also on the Metropolitan Line, in this case, Amersham rather than Rickmansworth.
The walk involves the occasional busy main road to cross and goes along some country lanes. However, for the most part, the route passes through rural countryside with Shardeloes Lake and the River Misbourne especially pretty on a bright, warm summer's day. The Herbert's Hole footpath passes along a shallow valley and is brightened up in summer by one field of red poppies on the hillside to the north, and another one of yellow rape seed flowers. However in 2016 the flowers were absent. The route passes through Hyde Heath, a quintessentially English village with its village green, cricket pitch, village store, church and pub. This is just one route possibility which I have devised, but there are a number of public footpaths in the area, and therefore there is scope to vary the route. There are pubs en route at Hyde Heath, Little Missenden and Amersham Old Town.
From the tube station at Chesham, follow Station Road down to High Street, go past the Clock Tower and cross the next road, Red Lion Street, following it round to the right to enter Lowndes Park. Take the public footpath on the left of the park, the Chiltern Link route, through woodland and cross Pednor Road. then two fields which in summer are brightened up by flowers. At Drydell Lane, follow the road round to the right and the Herbert's Hole footpath appears on the left; along with a warning sign that CCTV cameras operate in the area. Ignore the minor footpath on the left shortly before this point unless you want to take a more direct route to Little Hundridge Lane via Blind Lane.
Following Herbert's Hole, the next part of the route follows a more or less straight line ahead. There is a road on the left, but continue ahead as the route passes first an open field on the left and then continues between high hedges. With limited views on either side, progress should be quick as the path emerges on to a road at Little Hundridge Lane. Next follow Little Hundridge Lane due south to the next main road, Chesham Road.
On the other side of the main road, follow a winding unsurfaced road through woodland towards a private house, ignoring a minor track off to the right through woodland just before this point is reached. At first sight, it may appear that the road simply leads to the house; however, a less obvious narrow path to the left of it leads through a tunnel of trees to emerge briefly into the open at another house. Continue on the other side of the open space and this time, the path through trees is brief before the common at Hyde Heath comes into view ahead. Cross the common and, just past the Plough pub, turn right down Brays Lane and follow the road through a residential area before taking a public footpath left down through Bray's Wood to go through a gate. The path continues past a sloping field on the left before a sharp left turn uphill leads to a bridge over the railway line, before descending through more woodland to reach Lime Farm and a busy dual carriageway. Once this road is crossed, a sign on the right indicates Little Missenden in half a mile to the left.
The next road due south leads past a pond on the left and signposts appear a little further along, also on the left, for the South Bucks Way. Unless making a digression to the village of Little Missenden itself - to the right, or to visit "The Crown" Inn which is also on the right before the village - turn left here. The next stretch between here and the cricket field at Amersham is scenically the best part of the whole walk. Of course weather conditions make a difference, but on a bright sunny day in summer, there are pleasant views of the River Misbourne and Shardeloes Lake a mile or so further on. The lake abounds with Canada geese and the surface is partly covered with green vegetation while trees and reeds vie for space on its shoreline. Initially, on reaching the lake, views are limited due to tree cover and tall reeds, but further along there are some largely unrestricted views of the lake which is idyllic in summer sunshine and a suitable place for a stop.
Once you have left the lake to continue the path through woodland, a cricket field comes into view, another pleasant spot to stop when a game of cricket is in progress. The route continues beyond the cricket field to the left, following the South Bucks Way signs through woodland to pass under and then alongside a very busy main road, the A41, (on the right), but which later leads alongside a quieter road (on the left) High Street, that leads into Amersham Old Town which has a few pubs. After passing Mill Lane on the left, take the next road on the left, Church Street, then a path past the church on the right. Now follow the path round to the left and the way to go next comes into view, a sloping path up the hill to the left towards some woods, just before which, there is a fine view looking back to Amersham Old Town among rolling hills and a sloping wheat field in the foreground. A path leads up through Parsonage Wood to a busy main road and the streets of Amersham. Amersham station is located to the right after passing under the railway bridge.