This 8.6 km (5 mile plus) circular walk from Chalfont St Giles has a 93 m (305 ft) ascent with a high point of 140m (459 ft). It begins in the car park in the middle of Chalfont St Giles and tours the north, west and south of the village.
The path runs parallel to the construction of HS2 and then turns sharp left up to the highest point of 140m across open fields. There is then a section through Hodgemoor Woods and then much of the route is single file. Long trousers are recommended for this route as there are some very farro nettle ridden parts.
Up to the high point
The first part of the path takes you out of the village with very attractive houses on your left and via a wide gravel track. Follow this straight on and on your left as the view opens up you’ll see the HS2 workings.
After awhile there is a sharp left turn up the hillside across open countryside.
Look back when you arrive at the top for a lovely view of English countryside.
Continue more or less straight ahead and the path skirts along the edge of Hodgemoor Woods. The woods are worth a visit in their own right. They are managed by Forestry England and owned by Bucks CC. The woods are designated as an area of Special Scientific Interest and contain oaks, birches, beeches and hornbeam.
After Hodegemoor Woods
The path leaves the woods across open ground and descends to Newbarn Lane. At the lane, which has a pavement, turn sharp left. Just after the corner turn off the road and pass between two stables.
We missed the entrance to the path and went past only to return a few minutes later. Don’t make the same mistake the photo above should help.
This is very much horse country with stables and horses grazing in most fields.
Once you pass between two stables the path becomes single track for a large part of the remaining route. It passes by what is described as a greyhound training track on the left. There were no signs of any greyhounds when we looked in. In fact I can’t remember anyone going to a greyhound track for over 20 years.
At the end of this section the way crosses a minor road and then becomes very difficult for those with shorts on. Lots of nettles close to the path and low overhanging trees. You will definitely have to stay in single file.
Eventually the route opens out as it approaches Chalfont St Giles again and then passes by a bowls and cricket club.
On final part of the journey the walk descends back into the village and finds itself beside Milton’s Cottage and Museum.
Can you imagine John creating his verse here in the 17th century? I am sure Chalfont St Giles was a much different village then.
Shortly after passing the bard’s old home and museum the path returns to the village centre and back to the car park. The Chalfont St Giles circular walk is over.
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