Walk lengths: circular routes of 2 and 5.5 miles
Discover the rich geology of the Chilterns on these circular walks and find out what the chalk rock of the Chilterns Hills means for our local wildlife and our local history. You can also follow part of the Ridgeway National Trail, visit a nature reserve and a picturesque Chilterns village and enjoy some stunning views over the Vale of Oxford. And there is a charming pub en route!
The route follows the Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway line to the pretty village of Bledlow which is a very popular location for the Midsome Murders series: the church doubles as Badger’s Drift Church and the Lions of Bledlow pub is better known as the Queens Arms. You can make a slight detour to visit the tranquil Lyde Water Garden, whose pools were once used for growing watercress.
Climbing up Chinnor Hill through the woods brings you to an open grassy area managed by the Berks Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust which is covered in wildflowers in summer including gentians and orchids. Take a rest on the bench and drink in the views.
On the way back down you can follow the Ridgeway a short distance to get a glimpse of the huge water-filled chalk pits which are the legacy of 90 years of cement-making in Chinnor. This industry quarried the chalk and at its peak was producing 5,600 tonnes of cement a week. Bond movie lovers may recognise the chalk pits from the opening hovercraft sequence in Die Another Day.
You’ll need stout footwear as some of the paths can be muddy. There are some steep ascents and descents on the longer route and several stiles.
The Chinnor Circular Walks are part of the Chilterns Country series of walking routes produced by the Chilterns Conservation Board. You can download a free leaflet for it which has a route map and detailed route directions, plus lots of other useful information. Download it from www.chilternsaonb.org/walk-rides-leaflets-2 It’s also part of the free Handheld Tours app.