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Burnham Beeches

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Burnham Beeches
Author: Claire, Published: 10 Sep 2012 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Burnham Beeches walking Guidestar1 Burnham Beeches walking Guidestar1 Burnham Beeches walking Guidestar0 Burnham Beeches walking Guidestar0 Burnham Beeches walking Guide
Buckinghamshire, Burnham
Walk Type: Woodland
Burnham Beeches
Length: 2 miles,  Difficulty: boot Burnham Beeches walking Guide boot Burnham Beeches walking Guide
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A two mile circular woodland walk through Burnham Beeches in Buckinghamshire. Burnham Beeches is 540 acres of ancient woodland which has been managed by the City of London Corporation since it purchased the site in 1880. Many of the trees are several hundred years old and the woodland is rich with wildlife.

The walk follows a mixture of tarmac paths and woodland paths, the latter of which are quite uneven can be very muddy after rain and in the winter months. There are a few climbs and descents throughout plus a couple of gates, but there are no stiles. One area of the woodland that you pass through is grazed by cattle so take care with dogs here. There is a cafe and toilets in the car park at the start of the walk. Approximate time one hour.

The walk starts from the Burnham Beeches cafe and car park on Lord Mayors Drive. From Junction 6 of the M4, take the A355 north through Slough towards Beaconsfield. Turn left onto Beeches Road and continue straight ahead at the crossroads into Lord Mayors Drive. The parking areas are on the left. Parking fees are compulsory at weekends and on Bank Holidays, and are voluntary at other times. Approximate post code SL2 3PS.

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Walk Sections

Start to Footbridge
Start to Footbridge

Start point: 51.556 lat, -0.624 long
End point: 51.5574 lat, -0.6216 long

The walk starts at the cafe on Lord Mayors Drive, alongside the car parks. With your back to the cafe, turn right along the road heading back to the vehicle entrance. Opposite the second to last parking area on the right, turn left onto the narrow path next to a litter bin. Follow this path passing a small grass clearing on the right and continue ahead into the woodland.

Follow the path downhill and at the bottom of the slope you will come to a brick footbridge across a narrow stream.

Footbridge to Star Junction
Footbridge to Star Junction

Start point: 51.5574 lat, -0.6216 long
End point: 51.5585 lat, -0.6274 long

Cross the footbridge and continue straight ahead on the wide forest path winding uphill. At the top of the slope you will reach a junction, turn left here onto the level path winding through the trees.

Follow this main path and after a while you will pass a bench made of a tree trunk on the right. The path will then bend left and head downhill to a dip. Go ahead to climb once again and you will reach a star junction of paths at the brow of the hill.

Star Junction to Steep Slope
Star Junction to Steep Slope

Start point: 51.5585 lat, -0.6274 long
End point: 51.5538 lat, -0.6382 long

Take the second left path, a wide level path heading south west.

Burnham Beeches covers an area of 540 acres and is protected as a National Nature Reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest. The land was bought by the City of London Authority in 1880 to protect it as a public open space and wildlife reserve. During World War II the woodland became a vehicle depot where vehicles were stored in preparation for the D-Day landings.

The path emerges past a wooden shelter to reach a junction with a tarmac lane. Cross over this lane and go ahead onto Victoria Drive, marked with a street sign. Continue for some distance and as you begin to hear the road a few hundred yards ahead, look out for a crossroads, with a fairly steep sloped path up to the left.

Steep Slope to Lord Mayors Drive
Steep Slope to Lord Mayors Drive

Start point: 51.5538 lat, -0.6382 long
End point: 51.552 lat, -0.6359 long

Turn left onto this steep sloped path heading slightly back on yourself. At the top you will reach a junction with a fenceline ahead. Turn right and follow the path with the fence running immediately on your left.

Follow the footpath alongside the fence as it bends to the left and you will pass to the left of a large wooden shelter to then reach a junction with a tarmac lane. This is the site of Hill Fort dating from the late Bronze and Early Iron Ages.

Lord Mayors Drive to End
Lord Mayors Drive to End

Start point: 51.552 lat, -0.6359 long
End point: 51.5555 lat, -0.626 long

Turn left onto the tarmac lane – Lord Mayors Drive – and pass through the gate alongside the cattle grid. Note there are likely to be cattle grazing in this section of the woodland so take care with dogs.

The close proximity of the woodland to Pinewood, Bray and Shepperton Studios means that the site has been used for filming scenes for many films including Goldfinger, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves and some of the Harry Potter series.

Follow the tarmac drive and in the edges of the woodland both left and right you will see a number of wooden sculptures which form part of the sensory trail. Continue until you pass out through another gate alongside a cattle grid. A little distance further on the right you will reach the cafe where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2012 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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