Walk 3314 - printer friendly version
Akeley & Maids Moreton from Chackmore Walk
Author - Allan Friswell
Length - 7.0 miles / 11.4 km
Ascent - 320 feet / 97 metres
Grade - easy/mod
Start - OS grid reference SP687359
Lat 52.01728 + Long -1.0003224
Postcode MK18 5JG (approx. location only)
The village of Chackmore is a quiet and pretty backwater, an adjunct to the glorious Landscape Gardens of Stowe, designed by William Kent and "Capability" Brown. The Queen's Head is a cosy C18 pub offering draught Bass and Worthington bitter (no guest ales), and a broad selection of home cooked food including Sunday Roast. There is a garden, but no play facilities for children.
How to get there: From Buckingham town centre follow A422 Brackley Road, and then the brown signs to Stowe Gardens. At the end of the long straight approach of Stowe Avenue turn right into the village and the pub is on the left. Using consideration, park in the street or in the small car park at the village entrance.
Using the Queen's Head as a useful starting point, turn left on leaving the pub and walk along the main street to the left hand footpath sign about 330 yards away. Cross the field to the stile-less fencing, negotiate this and cross the next field, skirting the hawthorns in the middle and making for the left hand of two stiles. Cross to the opposite stile, climbing the hill heading initially for the spur of hedge on the right and then maintaining that line to the gap in the hedge at the far corner. The squat building of Stowe Castle is on your right as you cross.
At the gap in the hedge, and between various rusting farm machinery, the path veers to the right - cross the field keeping the second left hand power pole hard on your left. When you reach the hedges skirting the woods the path turns right but you should go through the hedge along a little obscure path slightly to the left. Go half right and make for the white gabled buildings and fir trees ahead. At the trees find the little bridge by the signpost "Farey Oak" and, having crossed it, climb the hill to the single storey dwelling in the left hand corner, where the bridleway joins from the right. As you climb ponder the reason for the mock gothic pile on your left. A church? A Victorian pumping station? The Adams Family residence? It is, in fact, the Gothic Tower of Stowe Gardens, a unique triangular building, now converted into dwellings.
After the gate, follow the left hand edge of the field all the way round, with the Bourbon Tower away to the right, until you reach the track. Negotiate the stile and gate. Turn right and walk along the track for about half a mile. Turn right at the T-junction and follow the tarmac road up towards the sports field, but turn left when you get to the trees and walk over the field with them on your right. Make for the corner. Turn right and follow the bridleway for about a mile. It bends right and left before getting to the main road. Turn right. After 50 yards cross and go down the bridleway for a mile. This is wonderfully shady in summer and spring, and full of scents and colour in autumn. The track eventually broadens into a lane and becomes surfaced. When you get to the road, take the stile on the left. Cross to the stile ahead, then to the far r/h corner by the houses. Here you turn left along the road, (the Bull & Butcher pub is ahead here, 200 yards away), then right into Leckhampstead Road.
After 50 yards turn right along the path (Old Back Lane) to the kissing gate. Then go through two more kissing gates before going ahead downhill to the stile and bridge. Go uphill slightly right to the corner stile. Go ahead over three more stiles to the road. You are now in Maids Moreton. Turn left then, after 50 yards, cross over and take the path. Cross to the far end of the allotments and stile. Go ahead, then take the kissing gate and squeeze stile. Keep ahead through various squeeze stiles to the edge of the rugby field. Go ahead, keeping parallel to the pitch, to the gate at the bridle path. Turn right along the bridleway. After about 300 yards the path veers left. You come to a gate on the right. Go through and follow the l/h edge of the field to the stile and bridge. Cross the field at 11 o'clock to the track, which is to the side of the leftmost of three trees. Follow the track back to the Queen's Head.