This walk is through one of the most interesting areas of the Chilterns with a rich mix of industrial heritage, secluded gardens, panoramic views and sites of interest for their geology and their natural history. The trail holds special interest for steam railway enthusiasts and fans of film and television! This is the long version of the Chinnor Circular walk. For the shorter trail please click here.
The Chilterns is defined by its geology, particularly its chalk. Nowhere is the geological richness of the Chilterns more in evidence than on this walk. Richness in terms of the mixture of flower rich grassland, high forest and agricultural land, and in terms of the commercial value of the underlying chalk as a natural resource.
The first part of the walk follows the bottom of the scarp slope, shadowing the resurrected Watlington Branch railway to the film-set village of Bledlow. The Lions at Bledlow provides the perfect opportunity to take on refreshments and gather yourself for the climb up onto the scarp at Chinnor Hill. The climb up through beech woodland is punctuated by flower rich old chalk pits and holloways; remnants of earlier commerce. The top rewards with extensive views over Oxfordshire and north Buckinghamshire and follows a trackway bordered with a scattering of pits and small quarries from the quarrying of flint.
A steep descent to the ancient Icknield Way, now part of the Ridgeway National Trail, provides the opportunity to divert and fully appreciate the commercial importance of chalk and its surprisingly valuable legacy.