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Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes and West Middlesex Area

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Winslow - (Addington) - Adstock - Padbury - Buckingham 1.5 to 9 miles (2.3 to 13.5 km)

A gentle walk through the rolling countryside between two comparatively unspoilt towns in North Buckinghamshire. Addington, Adstock and Padbury are attractive villages with a number of old houses. Two or three arable fields, but mostly pasture.

Checked July 2011

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Distances

Winslow to Adstock 3.5 miles (5.2 km)
Adstock to Padbury 1.5 miles (2.3 km)
Padbury to Buckingham 4 miles (6 km)
Total 9 miles (13.5 km)
Not flat, but the uphill sections are fairly gentle (except for the optional climb up to the church at the end).

Travel

The 60 service runs hourly (on Sundays there are only three buses in each direction throughout the day) between Aylesbury, Winslow and Buckingham (Tesco and town centre), also with bus stops near where our route crosses the main road before Adstock and 350 yards off our route at Padbury.
(In Winslow, a few buses, mostly very early or late, do not go down Vicarage Road: ask for the nearest stop.)
At the Buckingham Tesco stops, the 60 service usually uses stop C, near the recycling point, not on the main road, but check whether buses for Aylesbury may stop at stop A on the main road, especially on Sundays and bank holidays.
The X5 is half-hourly, and connects Buckingham Tesco (stop B, on the main road) with Bicester (for trains on the Chiltern line) and Milton Keynes. 
In Winslow there is a car park (with toilets) in Greyhound Lane, a turning opposite Vicarage Road, on the east side of the High Street, just north of the church.
There is a large car park in Buckingham, some of it free, though it can get full at busy shopping times. There is also customer parking at Tesco, to which you can return towards the end of the walk instead of entering the town. 
Detailed travel information for the whole of this area is available from the Traveline South East website www.travelinesoutheast.org.uk or telephone 0871 200 22 33

Ordnance Survey Map

The whole of this walk is on the Ordnance Survey Explorer map number 192, Buckingham & Milton Keynes.

Refreshments

The Old Thatched Inn and Restaurant at Adstock.
The Folly on the A413, 500 yards off the route (but there is a short cut along the main road).
The Blackbird at Padbury (no food when we last checked).
The New Inn at Padbury, 350 yards off the route (closed at lunch time except at weekends, and all day Wednesdays).
The butcher's shop in Padbury has a delicatessen counter.
There are numerous opportunities for refreshment in Buckingham, including Tesco. The service stations sell snacks. 
Please always be considerate about muddy boots in pubs etc; either take them off, or cover them up. 
Never eat or drink your own provisions on pub premises (including the garden, if there is one).

Route

Get off the bus in Vicarage Road. (If you are coming from the Aylesbury direction, this is after turning right at a T junction at the top of Burleys Road. Coming from Buckingham, it is after a right turn nearly half a mile (0.7 km) after entering Winslow.)
Go forward (if you have come from the Aylesbury direction) or back (if you have come from the Buckingham direction) 100 yards to the High Street.

(The walk starts with a half-mile (0.8 km) circuit of Winslow; if you do not want to do that, go in the opposite direction to that described above, and follow the instructions from the junction of Burleys Road and Verney Road, below.)

Much of Winslow to your left is Victorian, built following the arrival of the railway in 1850. (The old station was constructed some way from the town). The line, from Bletchley to Bicester and Oxford, with a branch from Verney Junction to Buckingham, Brackley and Banbury, was built by the Buckinghamshire Railway. Once complete, it was acquired by the LNWR in 1851. The station was closed in 1987.The permanent way is still in place, preserved against the possibility of the reopening of an Oxford to Milton Keynes line along this route, but while the Oxford end is still in use, the section through Winslow has not seen a train for years.

Turn right, and go along the High Street to Church Walk, an alley on the right just before the church.

The church is mostly fourteenth century. The Buckinghamshire volume of Pevsner's The Buildings of England draws attention to the curious half-timbered eastern gable of the chancel (you need to stand back from the church to see it), the Jacobean pulpit, a good chandelier in the nave, and wall paintings of the martyrdom of Thomas a Becket, St Christopher and the Last Judgement (with, unusually, the Virgin Mary sitting in judgement), though the paintings are not easy to see clearly.

Go along the alley, to the entrance to the churchyard.
Go round the church (there is a notice in the porch saying where keys may be obtained) to exit from the churchyard at the other side, and turn left on to the Market Square, where you turn right.
Before leaving the Market Square, you can collect from Wilkinsons Estate Agents the keys to Keach's Baptist meeting House, which you come to shortly (see below).

Winslow was granted a market in 1235. A survey in 1798 recorded 34 different occupations among the inhabitants, showing that it provided the usual wide range of services of a market town to the surrounding villages.
Note the seventeenth century Bell Hotel half left.

Go along the right-hand side of the Square to the T-junction with Horn Street.

From here, to your left you can see the chimneys and part of the roof of Winslow Hall, built in 1700 for William Lowndes, who rose from a humble background to be Secretary to the Treasury. Sir Christopher Wren is known to have checked some of the bills for the construction, but it is uncertain how far he was involved in the design. The house was apparently built without corridors downstairs, making it 50 years out of date at the time.

When you reach Horn Street, where you turn right, the entrance to Keach's Meeting House is along a gated passageway off Bell Walk, opposite.

This is thought to be the oldest nonconformist place of worship in Buckinghamshire. As is characteristic of early non-conformist chapels, it is situated as inconspicuously as possible. Some authorities date it from 1695, the date on the porch, but a notice inside gives 1625 as the date of the main building. The furniture is said to be Georgian. If the Estate Agent's is closed, keys can also be borrowed from 1A Horn Street, next to the restaurant. Be sure to return the keys afterwards!

The original village of Winslow had an east-west axis along Horn Street, and you can still see the haphazard layout of the original village here. This contrasts with the greater regularity of the High Street, which was laid down as an urban extension (as far as Vicarage Road) in the thirteenth century, when the Market Square was created. You will see a number of old houses not only facing the street, but also in side alleys, such as Bell Walk and The Walk, opposite.

Continue along Horn Street to the old Congregational Church (now converted into residences) on the left.

It has what the Shell Guide calls an "asymmetrical elephantine tower".

Shortly after this, turn right into Parsons Close for 30 yards; take the alley on the right for a further 30 yards, then turn left along another alley into another part of Parsons Close.
Turn right for 30 yards, then follow the asphalt path to the left to the junction of Burleys Road, Verney Road and Vicarage Road.
(The route from here is a temporary one during construction of the new housing)
Turn right for 30 yard, then left down Byford Way.
Go ahead along a fenced path between houses, cross a road and continue ahead to a T-junction of paths,
Turn left, then follow the signs left and right along a new path.
Bear left across a small stream/ditch, then slightly right along the enclosed path to the left of the  driveway.
Follow the fenced path round the outside of school grounds to a road (Furze Lane).

The Cross Bucks Way is a 24 mile route, promoted by Bucks County Council, linking the Oxfordshire Way and the Greensand Ridge Walk in Bedfordshire.

Cross the stile opposite and bear right, to a plank bridge with stiles in the field corner.
Cross, and continue in the same direction to a footbridge and stiles.
Cross a plank bridge over a marshy area and a stile on to the disused railway.
Bear half left to a plank bridge and stiles.
Continue uphill in the same direction to a stile, then pass to the right of a small wood, across the corner of the field to a stile and plank bridge into a long field, downhill and then up again, to a gate and stile 70 yards to the right of the far left corner of the field.
Bear slightly right to pass the end of a small wood on your left, then slightly left towards a stile in front of the brick gateposts of Addington Manor.

The present Addington Manor dates from 1929, having replaced its predecessor (built a recently as 1857) on the same site. The pre-1857 Manor House, however, stood on a different site, which you come to shortly.

Cross a stile on to a tarmac road, turn right for 40 yards, then left along another tarmac road.
Ignore two roads to the right, until you come to a T junction, with Addington House ahead, where our route turns right, unless you visit Addington church to the left.

Addington House (the former Manor House) is a fragment of a Queen Anne house, now further subdivided.
Addington church is said to have the largest collection of Netherlandish glass in any church in the country, dating from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It was brought here by the first Lord Addigton in 1857. (Pevsner awards it a star.)
Laurence Olivier's father was rector from 1924 to 1930.

Having turned right at Addington House, turn left at the next T junction, to leave the village past the relocated village stocks and converted tithe barn on your left, to a stile into the first field on your right.
Cross the field diagonally to a plank bridge with stiles.
Continue in the same direction across the next field, not to the obvious gap in the field corner, but to a stile 100 yards to the right of it, by a small tree (where you leave the Cross Bucks Way).
Go over the next field to cross a footbridge 70 yards to the left of the far right-hand corner of the field.
Follow the left-hand edge of the field to the road (A 413).

Note the old milestone, indicating that this was once a turnpike road. Thomas Jefferys shows 53 miles from London at this point on his 1770 map

(Bus stops, with shelters, are 200 yards to your left.)

To cross to the stiles opposite, it may best to go 30 yards to your left, where you can see round the corner, but beware of sunken drainage channels on the opposite verge.
Go over the stiles and cross the field to stiles and a plank bridge at the right-hand end of a post and rail fence.
Continue ahead 70 yards to cross a rather inconspicuous stile with a plank bridge in the left-hand hedge, go ahead alongside a fence, then cross another stile to join a track into Adstock.

Adstock Church is mostly fifteenth century, with some Victorian glass that Pevsner describes as "not at all bad". It has a fine collection of needlework hassocks.
As you reach the road, note the house with curved eaves to your right. There is at least one other house with a similar roof in the village.

At the T-junction, the Old Thatched Inn and Restaurant is to the right with some attractive old houses a little further, but our route goes to the left, to a sharp left bend in the road. (Continuing along this road would take you to the bus stops.)
Just before the bend, cross diagonally over the driveway of the last house on the right (Lane House) and go up an enclosed path, to the left of the house garage, to a stile.
Ignore the waymark to the left

(except to go to The Folly pub; from The Folly, either return to this point, or continue along the main road 600 yards to pick up the route again at the bridleway on the left)

but continue ahead along the right hand side of a field, downhill to a gap in the hedge and a culvert, and continue ahead to a stile a little to the left of the next field corner.
Continue ahead across a field, heading for a pylon, then along the left-hand edge of two fields, to the road.
Turn left for 150 yards along the road, to a bridleway on the right. (The Folly is 600 yards further along the road.)
Go along the bridleway 200 yards, to where electricity wires join from the left.
Bear half right across the field to cross a plank bridge and stiles into newly planted woodland (Windmill Piece; there is an information board later).
Cross a broad track beyond the hedge to a stile and almost immediately turn right to follow the curving, wide, grassy ride.
At a T-junction, turn left downhill to another T-junction and turn right to a kissing gate into paddocks.
Go half right through the paddocks to a concrete then tarmac drive/road.
Follow this to a T junction with the main street of Padbury.
The Blackbird pub and the butcher's shop are just to the right, and the New Inn and bus stops (with a shelter for buses to Aylesbury) are 350 yards to the right, on the main road, but our route turns left down Main Street for 150 yards, to the war memorial at the junction with Old End.
Turn right up Old End (adding 200 yards to the direct route, to see the older part of the village) and follow it round two left bends and across Station Road, to rejoin Main Street.
Go down to the bottom end of the village.

You cross the line of the old railway to Buckingham as you leave the village. After you cross the Oxlane Bridge, if you can see over or through the hedge, you may be able to see the arches of the old railway viaduct on your right.

Continue to a road junction and turn right.

This used to be the main road between Aylesbury and Buckingham until the present A 413 was opened as a turnpike in the 18th century.

Cross the Padbury Brook by the Oxlane Bridge, pass a track turning back on the left, and after another 200 metres go through a gate on the left and take a raised track curving slightly right to a conspicuous gateway by a copse.
At the gateway continue slightly left, along the right-hand edge of a field, and then head uphill to the left of buildings (Manor Farm).

In this field there are traces of earthworks which Pevsner attributes to the remains of the mediaeval manor of Lenborough

After a gate, bear right to join a concrete track, which leads through a gate.
Turn left and follow the track up past a small wood.
On reaching the gateway to Keeper's Barn, follow the tarmac track to the right to a road.
Cross the road, continue in the same direction with a fence on your left for two fields to join an enclosed track bearing slightly right.

There are traces of mediaeval ridge and furrow in the first of these two fields.
Until fairly recently you would have passed the prominent masts of a radio station on your left.

Continue along this track to the road at the limit of Buckingham Industrial Park.
Cross the road and continue down the track ahead.

(At the bottom of the slope, there is a footpath to the right. It would be a pity not to go in to the centre of Buckingham, but if you are pressed for time you can get buses from Tesco, about half a mile (0.7 km) away, which you can reach by turning right here.
Follow the footpath alongside a stream (ignoring a footbridge) to join the exit road from the Industrial Park on to the bypass.
Turn right along the bypass, then right at the roundabout.
X5 buses use stop B, on the near side of the road. Other buses generally uses stop C, which is not on the main road but near the recycling point to your right; confusingly, a few use stop A on the other side of the road. Check! )

To continue into Buckingham follow the track up to the A421 Buckingham bypass.
Cross, and take the bridleway opposite to cross Aris Way.
Follow the road ahead down to the bottom of the hill.
Turn right, and go under the old railway viaduct.

From here you have the choice of A) going along the river, or B) a tour through the old town, including climbing up to the church. There is little difference in length.


A) Cross Station Road, which joins from the right, and immediately take the footpath bearing right, down to the river.
Cross the river by the footbridge, and loop back under the bridge to continue with the river on your right.

The river is the Great Ouse, which flows into the Wash at King's Lynn.
To your left is the main campus of the independent University of Buckingham, founded in 1971.

At the next footbridge, cross, and continue with the river on your left (there are toilets on the path to the right just before the tennis courts), until you come to a black footbridge

Note the remains of the old ford beside the bridge. The 1770 map shows the main road bridge here. By 1825 it had been replaced on the present site, ahead of you.

For the nearest bus stop for Aylesbury turn right for 100 yards and go a few yards up the main road; otherwise cross the black footbridge.
Go up to a T junction, turn right, then left, then right to the centre of the town and the High Street.
The main bus stand is at the far end of the High Street. Toilets are up Moreton Road, on the left just before the bus stand.


B) Follow the road ahead, crossing the river, and continue ahead.

This is the Great Ouse, which flows into the Wash at King's Lynn.
On both sides of the road are buildings of the independent University of Buckingham, including on the left the restored Yeomanry House. The University, founded in 1971, has taken over and refurbished many old buildings, as well as adding new ones.

After the Yeomanry House, follow the right-hand footway up through the church yard.

This is the site of the old church. The spire collapsed in 1698 and again in 1776, after which the church was demolished and replaced by the one you will see ahead.
On the right at the exit is the Elizabethan Manor House, with a plaque purported to be of St Rumbold, a Saxon infant who was reputed to have lived only three days and performed many miracles in that short time. Queen Elizabeth I dined here. As you go past the house you can see it has a twisted chimney, some way back from the road.

Continue up Church Street to the present parish Church.

This was built in 1780-1 on the site of the former castle. Buttresses (together with other gothic features) were added by Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1860, when subsidence became evident.

Continue through the church grounds and down the road ahead, noting the pargeting (plaster work) on the house on the left, to a road junction.

There is a large ammonite let into the wall of the shop opposite, below one of the windows.
This part of the town was largely rebuilt after the fire of 1725, and ahead are several imposing buildings dating from that time. The Villiers Hotel was formerly the White Swan Inn, where Cromwell is said to have held a council of war. Buckingham was near the front line in the Civil War, when the heavily defended Royalist capital was at Oxford.

Continue ahead along Castle Street to the corner of the Market Square, with the former Town Hall immediately to your right. From further away you can see the gilded swan weathervane.
Turn left up West Street for 25 yards to the next road junction.

Note the archway of the former coaching inn ahead.
200 yards off our route, ahead down West Street, is Castle House, which Pevsner considers the most important building in Buckingham. Catherine of Aragon and Charles I are known to have stayed there.

Turn right along Market Hill.

On your left is the oldest building in Buckingham, the Chantry Chapel (National Trust), with the doorway dating from 1260 and the rest of the building rebuilt in the fifteenth century. At the Reformation it became the St John's Royal Latin School.
A short distance further on you pass the Fleece Yard (formerly of the Fleece Inn), a reminder of Buckingham's past importance in the wool trade.

Continue ahead past the Old Gaol (housing the Museum and Tourist Information Office).

This was built in 1748 as the necessary item in a bid to secure for Buckingham the Summer Assises, which were indeed held for a time in the Town Hall (behind you at the top end of the High Street). While Buckingham had been the County Town from Anglo-Saxon times, from 1218 onwards there had been competition from Aylesbury for this position, only finally resolved in 1848. During the Civil War Buckingham was royalist (though taken by Cromwell) and Aylesbury parliamentarian, so at the Restoration Buckingham was restored as County Town for a time.
The museum is well worth a visit, if only to see how remarkably compact the cells and exercise yard of a local gaol used to be.
A branch of the Grand Union Canal was opened from near Wolverton to Buckingham in 1801, terminating at the bottom end of the High Street ahead of you, and the railway station was opened in 1861. The canal quietly died during the first half of the twentieth century due to a failure to maintain an adequate depth for navigation and the railway was closed in the 1960s. The construction of the bypass has taken east-west through traffic out of the town centre, leaving it comparatively quiet and unspoilt.
The arrival of the independent University of Buckingham is probably the most significant recent development, though you will have noticed the expanding commercial/industrial area south of the bypass as you approached the town on this walk.

Toilets are a short distance up Moreton Road to the left.

The restaurant on the corner of Moreton Road is the former Market House.

Continue ahead to the bus stands in the lower part of the High Street.

Last Updated on Monday, 30 April 2012 09:00