The Coleshill to Penn circular walk crosses the beautiful Chiltern Hills of Buckinghamshire. Begin at the pretty little village of Coleshill that sits above the market town of Amersham. Wander through woods, open farmland for some excellent views and a few quiet country roads.
The 10.6 km (6.5 miles) took us just over 2 hours 30 minutes to complete. The total ascent during the walk is 216m (708 ft). In winter take some decent boots or wellies.
Begin in Coleshill
Continue down Windmill Hill which is very aptly maned.
Follow on down the hill and shortly after turning right, cross over a style and pass by Lucking Farm on your right.
Great Beards Wood and beyond
At the bottom of the hill turn right along the track that skirts Great Beards Wood.
Great Beards Wood is noted for it’s birdlife. Recent sightings in the wood include the Nuthatch, Common Crossbill and Treecreeper. As you continue along this path you’ll be able to see Hertfordshire House in the distance.
There seems very little left of the 18th Century Mansion that was built by the Grove family.
When you arrive at Fragnall Lane turn right up the hill and pass by some pretty cottages.
Turn left into open countryside and pass alongside Round Wood down to the road.
When you arrive at the bottom, cross the road and follow the path with the hedge and road on your left.
As you leave the hedge and cross the field towards Vicarage Wood you can see The Crown Inn.
This pub didn’t come with any positive recommendations from our fellow walkers. However, it does have a car park and maybe an alternative place to start the walk.
As you approach the pub the route turns abruptly and almost back on itself. Had the pub a better reputation perhaps we might have visited it for a quick half.
Vicarage Wood and the return
Vicarage Wood is, like Great Beards Wood, classified as ancient semi natural. The dominant wood in both areas is beech. The furniture makers of nearby High Wycombe had a high demand for beech in the 19th century. As a result, the call for a cash crop encouraged the enclosure of the land.
Penn House Estate
Much of the land around here is owned and managed by the Penn House Estate. This estate began in the 1530’s with the grant of land to David & Sybil Penn. Sybil Penn was nursemaid to Henry VIII’s children. The estate has been in the same family of Penn, Curzon and Howe’s ever since. Today Earl Howe holds the keys.
From the route you can glimpse the 18th century house.
Leading to the house is a Lime Tree Avenue devoid of leaves at this time of the year.
The final stretch
From here the trail leads to Winchmore Hill and in the centre of the village sits The Plough. This pub was once owned by Eastenders and Carry On star Barbara Windsor. After the pub the route joins The Chiltern Way back to Coleshill.
As you proceed along the route you will a small wood called Coleshill Larches. Just recently a whole section of the this wood has been completely swept away to leave an ugly, dirty hillside.
Why has this lovely forestry area been cleared. If you have any information please leave a comment at the bottom of the blog or use the contact form.
The next section of the walk across the field is the muddiest. By the time we had crossed it our boots were twice their normal weight.
If you enjoyed the Coleshill to Penn circular walk then you can find other great walks at Find a Walk – Britain.
We would also encourage you to share your favourite walk with us. It’s free and we make no money from the web site at all.
We are sorry that you didn't enjoy this walking post!
Let us improve this walking post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?