Distance: 2½ miles (allow 1½ hours)
Start: Hughenden Church. Buses pass the entrance to the Manor. There is parking off the driveway in front of the church. Alternatively, continue uphill along the driveway to a car park on your right.
Access Information: Initial gradual climb from the church (avoided if you park in the car park further along the driveway); from there mainly level walk until a short climb on the return route before you reach the driveway at Hughenden Manor.
Refreshments: At ‘The Stables’, Hughenden Manor, when house is open. There are pubs in Downley and Downley Common.
Route: Walk uphill past the church and cottages on your right until you meet a gate giving access to the driveway. Go through the gate and turn left along the driveway passing ‘The Old Vicarage’ on your left and, shortly after, ‘The Stables’ on your right, now a National Trust gift shop and restaurant. Continue past the rear entrance to the House to meet a signpost at the edge of the wood. Follow the bridleway straight ahead to Downley, ignoring a righthand path shortly after entering the wood, and descend slightly through the wood to reach a gate.
Go through the gate and continue along the path, ignoring a track on your right. Shortly after, you enter another wood where you follow the path along the bottom of the wood, ignoring side paths, until you reach a track by Well Cottage and then a road at Downley. Carry on along this road (Moor Lane) past houses until you meet another lane.
Turn right here and continue along the lane to Downley Common, ignoring side paths. Follow the lane as it twists all the way around the Common. It becomes an unsurfaced track past some houses on your left. At the end of the houses, turn off the track it as it swings right, following the track straight ahead of you, to the left of a white house.
Go through a gate and turn right following a narrow path downhill into a wood, to another gate. Go through the gate and immediately turn left to see two white arrows on a tree ahead of you; follow the right arrow, walking along the path through the wood to meet a crossing path. Turn left here and continue over a chalk ditch, ignoring a white arrow on a tree on the right, and continue downhill to leave the wood where it meets a broad crossing track. Go straight over this track and uphill to where it joins another path at the top. Turn right and follow the path as it contours around the hillside. Continue straight on through the wood to eventually join up with the path near Hughenden Manor which you followed on the outward route.
To download a map of this walk go to www.chilternsaonb.org