Walk 1517 - printer friendly version
Amersham circular via Hyde Heath and Little Missenden Walk
Author - Peter Smyly
Length - 8.0 miles / 13 km
Ascent - 750 feet / 227 metres
Grade - easy/mod
Start - OS grid reference SU964981
Lat 51.67341 + Long -0.60731678
Postcode HP6 5FG (approx. location only)
Amersham railway station is situated at the end of a branch line of the London Metropolitan Line, a journey time of about 50 minutes from Baker Street and trains run twice an hour in each direction. The station is the start and finish point for this circular walk in the Chilterns that passes through the Buckinghamshire villages of Hyde Heath, Little Missenden and Amersham Old Town. Much of the route goes through woodland or across fields and there are some distant views of rolling countryside. Red kites may also be seen gracefully soaring overhead as the Chilterns are one of just a few places in the UK where they live. The route involves crossing a few main roads where care needs to be taken with oncoming traffic.
Turn left out of the station and follow Station Road to the right. Bear left at Chesham Road and take the next road on the right, Longfield Drive. As the name suggests, the road is long, leading through a residential area at the end of which, Hervines Park comes into view on the right with its cricket field and distinctive line of trees on the right. The route passes another path coming in from the left which comes up from Amersham Old Town. The path borders the park on the right, before descending to the left through deciduous woodland and follows a course roughly in parallel with the railway line on the left, from which it is separated by a high metal fence.
The route leads away from the railway line to emerge from the north western end of Weedonhill Wood to cross a field and the first of the road crossings as you approach Hyde Heath. Turn left along Weedon Hill and right into Brays Green Lane. Turn left into Chalk lane and taking a footpath on the right down through Bray's Wood, across a field and a railway bridge, then more woodland to emerge at Lime Cottage. Next comes the second road crossing with a sign showing that Little Missenden village is half a mile away. Having crossed the busy main road, follow the road ahead leading into Little Missenden village. Across the road from the duck pond is a Grade II listed mill dating back to the 17th century. When I did this walk in October 2014, there was an anti-HS2 poster on a telegraph pole, a reminder of the strength of local feeling in opposition to the proposed new rail route.
For those wishing to shorten the route, a more direct approach to Amersham Old Town can be made by bearing left along part of the South Bucks Way a scenic option that takes you past the River Misbourne and Shardeloes Lake (a route described in my ?Chesham, Little Missenden and Amersham? walk description). However, for this route, follow the road round to the right to the pub, opposite which is the village hall. A public footpath, part of the Chiltern Heritage Trail, leads uphill past the village hall, initially in the form of a sunken path with hedges on either side.
Compared with the South Bucks Way approach, this is a more circuitous route to Amersham Old Town via Toby's Lane. Views are limited in the stretch between here and Mop End Farm but one exception is the view looking down on the village of Little Missenden to the right. Glimpses of it are seen between trees but there is an unobstructed view where a metal gate appears on the right, revealing a sloping diagonal path down across afield. Continuing with the route ahead, don't follow the path all the way to the road but bear left across fields to reach the farm at Mop End. Cross the road and continue along the path immediately opposite through more woodland. When the path emerges into the open, the route continues across more fields and pheasants may be seen scurrying around, perhaps unwittingly startled by the appearance of people. When Lower Park House is reached, at a minor road, there are different route options from here. For this walk, follow the road downhill with the cricket field on the left and take a path across the field on the right to cross another minor road and another field. The white house of Shardeloes Estate is seen in retrospect and, to the right, the view of the wooded Chiltern Hills to the north is one of the better views of this walk. Next comes the final busy road crossing before the path ahead leads down steeply to begin with and leads to Amersham Old Town, emerging at the road called The Platt where a left turn takes you into town. The backdrop of woods and hills is apparent on the approach to the main road running through the town.
After crossing the main road, pass to the right of the church and a water channel on the left. A sloping field backed by Parsonage Wood is seen ahead and this is the way back to the station, a path leading up the hill on the left of the field as far as the woods. A fine view overlooking Amersham Old Town is seen looking back. There are different paths in the woods but bearing right brings you to the road connecting Amersham Old Town with Amersham on the Hill and the station is then just a few minutes walk away on the right.