Give yourself around 2 hours to enjoy this 5.7 mile (9.2 km) easy ramble on the Little Missenden Loop. Delight in the English countryside just outside Amersham and visit the tiny village of Little Missenden and its historic buildings. Below are 8 reasons for you to love this walk.
- See the Jacobean Cottages
- Tour 10th Century Church of John the Baptist
- See where the Vicar of Dibley of Dibley was filmed
- Admire the Elizabethan Manor House
- Appreciate the “perfect specimen of elegant English residence”
- Cherish the 17th Century mill house
- Open countryside
Begin the Little Missenden loop walk at Mop End. If you are coming from Amersham leave the town and follow the A413 until the roundabout and take the second exit along the A404. After approximately 2 miles you’ll see a signpost marked Mop End. Turn Right and park in this small curved road.
Follow Mop End Lane off to the left.
The two houses to your right as you pass along the lane were derelict in the 1950s. The Griffin Cottage sold for £1 million in 2011 and had previously been the Old Griffin Public House. The name Mop End derives from a local 18th Century phrase to go out ‘on the mop’, i.e to go out drinking.
Just before you arrive at Mop End Farm take the footpath to the left and cross the field. Where the foot paths cross you turn right. This is Toby’s Lane
Keep to the right of the lane itself as it is a bit too muddy at the moment.
Continue along the side of the field until you are forced onto the lane. Don’t worry it’s not so muddy at this point. I have no idea why this path is called Toby’s Lane, so if anyone can help explain please add it to the comments at the bottom of the post.
Eventually you will arrive at an opening to the left and this path leads you down to Little Missenden.
Entering this charming village you are immediately struck by the beautiful early 17th Century cottages built at the time of James I.
The timber framed cottages with tiled roofs are only the beginning of the short and enchanting walk round Little Missenden.
Facing you as you pass down the lane is The Manor House.
This imposing House dates back to the end of the 16th Century when Queen Elizabeth I was on the throne. Alterations and additions down the centuries have retained the style and elegance of this grand building.
Parish Church of St John The Baptist
The route actually turns to the right but a very short detour to the left leads you to the village parish church. This ancient church still preserves elements of its 10th century origins.
The oak timbers of the south porch entrance were hewn in the 15th Century but the central part of the church is much older. It was, in fact, built in 975 AD during Anglo-Saxon times.
Find out more about the church from this video tour.
The Vicar of Dibley
Retrace your steps after the church visit and follow the route passed the Old Manor House. A few hundred yards along the road you’ll find another very impressive house.
This 18th century house appeared as Dibley Manor in the popular Vicar of Dibley series. The estate agent describes it “as even more beautiful than you expect”. For once, the estate agent wasn’t exaggerating. Have a look at the brochure in the link.
Continue along the main village street and take another very short detour past the pub and around the corner. Here you will find the old mill.
The 17th Century Grade II listed mill house sits over the river Misbourne from which the village takes its name. Read here for more details about the village and its history.
Retrace your steps and cross the small bridge over the Misbourne.
Join the South Bucks Way as it runs parallel with the Misbourne.
As you walk along the path look up to the right and you will see the grand house called Shardeloes. This mansion was described by Edmund Burke in the 18th Century as the “perfect specimen of elegant English residence.”
Built between 1758-1766 for the MP Sir William Drake the house became a Grade I listed building earlier in the last century. The house sits in 50 acres of parkland in the Chilterns. The Misbourne was dammed for Drake’s pleasure to create a lake view from the house. Robert Adam designed the interior. No expense was spared with this build.
The house remained in the same family for nearly 200 years. In WWII it was requisitioned as a maternity hospital. After the war the property became derelict and was bought by a developer whose plans to demolish the building were thwarted. The local Amersham Society and the Council for Rural England and others fought and won protection for the mansion. The building has been converted into flats and houses. A 2 bedroom flat is currently available for £695,000.
Amersham Cricket Club
Continue along the South Bucks Way and you’ll shortly enter and cross a cricket pitch. The ground is the home to Amersham Cricket Club.
The Club has a long history and first played at this ground in 1856. Buckinghamshire has hosted the occasional Minor County match here.
The return journey
After crossing the cricket ground take a sharp right up the road that leads to Shardeloes. Despite the Private Property sign this is a properly marked footpath.
Before you arrive at the mansion take the footpath to the left.
The route from here back to the car is fairly straightforward.
The first section is more or less open ground with the hill on the right. You then enter The Rough Park.
Climb through the woods and you’ll return to Mop End Lane. Walk down the road to your parked your car and the end of the Little Missenden loop walk.
If you enjoyed the Little Missenden loop walk there are many other great walks to find.
If you have a favourite walk please send it into ShareYourRoute. Find out more about how to add your walk to our collection.
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?