Returning to Bottom Wood

After a week on my own in the caravan I have been joined by Lynnie.  She has decided to join me on a walk today as part of my planned route is through Bottom Wood.  I walked there a week ago and told Lynnie how stunning it was and she is keen to see for herself.

We set off from Cholsey Grange by the farm track, heading downhill to reach the footpath leading into Penley Wood.  At the junction of paths we turn right and head towards the woods and then in the trees take a path on the left.

We stay on the path at the bottom of the valley until we reach a stile beside a gate leading to a track alongside an arable field. 

Turning right on the track we stay with it skirting the field and passing fields with horses in.  At a stile besides a gate we cross and continue on the track to go through the tunnel under the M40 and walk into Stokenchurch.  We continue across the green to pass the Kings Hotel and then join Church Street following this to the junction with Park Street where we turn right besides the Royal Oak pub.

We have now joined the Chiltern Way and at a fork in the path we go right through a gate and stay with this long distance path as it heads across fields.

Through another kissing gate we soon join a track where we go right and follow the way-markers with the footpath running beside a hedge.

At a junction of paths we stay with the Chiltern Way heading diagonally across a field towards farm buildings in the distance.

At a junction of paths we turn right and within a very short distance go left to cross a stile and continue towards the farm.  After crossing a farm track the path ascends steeply towards Andridge Farm.  Stopping for a breather we get a fine view back across the valley.

After going through gates the path joins a track.  Here we leave the Chiltern Way and follow the driveway to reach Sprigs Holly Lane where we turn right and head steadily downhill into Radnage. It was our intention to visit the church in the village, but there is a funeral service going on so we’ll return another day.

At a junction we turn left  and follow the road towards the church and then after a couple of hundred metres we go right on the Chiltern Way heading towards Bledlow Ridge.

This path leads into Yoesden Nature reserve, this is a thirty-two acre site managed by the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust and is a combination of chalk downland and Beech woodland.  Before becoming a nature reserve the trees in the woodland would have been managed to produce timber for the furniture industry.

This a cracking spot and there are some great views as we ascend the ridge.

Keeping with the Chiltern Way we follow the path to reach the village of Bledlow Ridge where we turn right and walk along the pavement until we reach St Paul’s Church.

In 1801 a church was built to the north of the village but this was replaced in 1834 on a site more central to the village.  However, that church was then replaced in 1868 by the current building.

This church has the feeling of one that is being regularly used for community activities.  So many churches we visit feel like they are used for a service once a week and in between hardly anyone ventures in.  

Leaving the church we continue through the village to pass Haw Lane on our left and then 50 metres further on take a track on the right.  We stay with this track as it descends steeply to reach Bottom Road where we turn left and then after 50 metres right to follow a path besides fields.

We reach a minor road in an area of Radnage known as The City.  Although sparsely populated Radnage village spreads across a wide area.  Apparently this part of the village once formed part of the village known as Radnage Manor, this was owned by the Crown. King Charles I mortgaged the land to the City of London.

On reaching Radnage Common Road we turn right and soon pass a playing field before continuing down the lane to reach Ashridge Farm.  At a junction of paths we keep left to follow a wide path towards Bottom Wood.

The track leads through a gate into the woods.  Now we turn left and follow a broad track through this attractive area of woodland.  An information board explains the 36 acre Bottom Wood is owned by the Chiltern Society and was given to the charity in 1984 by nearby resident Cynthia Ercolani.  Later research suggests that Cynthia was the wife of Lucian Ercolani whose family ran the Ercol furniture business based in High Wycombe.

Staying with the track we go through the bottom of the woods and pass a concrete slab covering a well.  Apparently this well is 100 feet deep and was once used to provide water to the nearby hamlets of Beacon’s Bottom and Radnage Common.

The route through the bottom of these woods is an old packhorse trail.  After leaving the trees the route continues along a track to reach Ham Farm.

After passing the farm we reach the A40 and cross to join a minor road opposite which is the Dashwood Roadhouse pub.  After 50 metres we leave the road and turn right onto a farm track heading towards Hillingdon Farm.

Past the farm we continue to reach a crossing of paths, we go straight on through a belt of trees towards Barn Wood.

After 300 metres we reach the edge of Barn Wood, at a junction of paths, we continue straight on through the woodland following a path towards Leygrove’s Wood.  On entering Leygrove’s Wood we carry straight on now on a broad track.

On leaving the woods we go through a small clearing and then enter Pound Wood and stay with the track through the wood until we fork left onto a footpath that heads steadily uphill to reach a tunnel under the M40.

On the far side of the tunnel we follow the track up to the B482 and turn right to join a pavement and pass a school.  We now cross the road and then a village green and follow the lane into Cadmore End. After passing the church we turn right on a footpath along a track heading out of the village.  

At a junction of paths we turn left to stay on the track as it heads downhill to reach the edge of Hanger Wood.  As we enter the trees the path divides, we take the right fork.

About two hundred metres further on we take a footpath on the right which heads through the trees to pass a dew pond on our left.

The path now descends steeply to reach a gate into a field of pasture where we pass a redundant stile.

As the path heads downhill there are fine views towards Fingest.

After passing through two gates we reach a minor road, Chequers Lane, where we turn right and then very soon after turn left along a track with footpath way-markers.  We now follow this track through the bottom of the valley towards Twigside Bottom.

After a mile and a half on this path we reach a junction of paths at a clearing and turn left to head uphill towards Cholsey Grange.

This path brings us to the metal gate at the south side of the caravan site. 

You can view this 14 mile walk on OS Maps and download the GPX File Here

To follow my walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 171 – Chiltern Hills West

12th August 2021

© Two Dogs and an Awning (2021)

All information on this site is provided free of charge and in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of damage, loss or injury which might result from it.  To the best of my knowledge the routes are entirely on public rights of way or within areas that are open for public access.
Walking can be hazardous and is done entirely at your own risk.  It is your responsibility to check your route and navigate using a map and compass.

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