HS2 is the big issue around these parts and it’s clear as we drive in that already many are trying to sell up and move out! Soon the Misbourne Valley will be mostly viewed at 150mph, traveling between London and Birmingham. It’s a shame because the valley is much like the land time forgot, tucked away yet an easy car ride from the M40, M25 and Heathrow. The countryside around Great Missenden is the setting for many of the Roald Dahl stories of my youth (including Fantastic Mr Fox, famous in our family for its corrupting potential for young minds!).
Parking for free in the Link Road car park (charges cancelled at the moment, so I’m £4 up already!), we pass the Red Pump Garage (Danny, Champion of the World) in the High Street before setting off across the fields towards Little Kingshill. It’s cold but once walking we quickly warm up. From there it’s down to The Misbourne at Little Missenden by way of Holmer Green. The walking is mostly downhill and easy. We have the paths to ourselves, no dog walkers today. Sue claims they’re all Christmas shopping, implying that somehow I’m preventing her from joining the fun!
We cross the Chiltern Line and as we climb up towards Hyde Heath Common the sun comes out. Suddenly it feels warm. At one point we pass through another shoot, more waxed jackets and tweed trousers but no evidence of downed birds this time. We loop back to Great Missenden by way of Little Hundridge Lane and chocolate-box cottages tucked away from the busier roads. We make good time and we’re back in Great Missenden by 1pm, not bad for a 10 mile walk, completed in 4hrs. My advice, enjoy the Misbourne Valley before the brash 21st Century, in the shape of HS2, arrives and wrecks it!
(Postcode for Satnav HP16 9AE)
Great Missenden picture gallery