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Pulpit Hill and Ninn Wood

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Pulpit Hill and Ninn Wood
Author: Claire, Published: 08 Dec 2018 Walk Rating:star1 Pulpit Hill and Ninn Wood, Buckinghamshire Walking Guidestar1 Pulpit Hill and Ninn Wood, Buckinghamshire Walking Guidestar1 Pulpit Hill and Ninn Wood, Buckinghamshire Walking Guidestar1 Pulpit Hill and Ninn Wood, Buckinghamshire Walking Guidestar1 Pulpit Hill and Ninn Wood, Buckinghamshire Walking Guide
Buckinghamshire, Monks Risborough
Walk Type: Woodland
Pulpit Hill and Ninn Wood
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot Pulpit Hill and Ninn Wood, Buckinghamshire Walking Guide boot Pulpit Hill and Ninn Wood, Buckinghamshire Walking Guide boot Pulpit Hill and Ninn Wood, Buckinghamshire Walking Guide
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0001_sunny Pulpit Hill and Ninn Wood, Buckinghamshire Walking GuideToday's weather
13 °C, Clear/sunny, Wind: 7 mph N
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0002_sunny_intervals Pulpit Hill and Ninn Wood, Buckinghamshire Walking Guide 0001_sunny Pulpit Hill and Ninn Wood, Buckinghamshire Walking Guide 0001_sunny Pulpit Hill and Ninn Wood, Buckinghamshire Walking Guide 0002_sunny_intervals Pulpit Hill and Ninn Wood, Buckinghamshire Walking Guide 0002_sunny_intervals Pulpit Hill and Ninn Wood, Buckinghamshire Walking Guide

A 3 mile circular walk close to the village of Monks Risborough in Buckinghamshire. The walk climbs into Pulpit Wood to visit the site of Pulpit Hillfort, before descending into the beautiful grasslands of Chequers Knap. Joining a section of The Ridgeway, you will enjoy beautiful views across the Chiltern Escarpment before returning through Grangelands nature reserve and Ninn Wood. The various woodlands are beautiful throughout the year, whilst the chalk grassland areas come alive in the spring and summer with wildflowers, orchids and butterflies.

The walk includes many climbs and descents throughout, including a couple of steep sections. The paths can become very muddy after periods of rain and in winter, and some sections of the chalk surfaces can also become slippery. You will need to negotiate several kissing gates plus one stile (this has a built-in dog gate, and it can be avoided entirely by using a nearby kissing gate instead). You will cross one sheep pasture and you may come across conservation cattle grazing in the nature reserves at times. Most of the route is traffic-free, but there is one road crossing that needs care. Allow 1.5 hours.

The walk starts and finishes from the roadside parking area for Pulpit Wood, located on Longdown Hill about one mile east of Monks Risborough. To reach this parking area, travel north through Monks Risborough on the A4010. As you reach the roundabout (at Askett), turn right onto Cadsden Road. Follow this for about one mile (it becomes Longdown Hill) to reach the parking area on the left, marked with a National Trust sign for Pulpit Wood. Nearest post code HP27 0NB (from where you will need to continue east – away from Monks Risborough – for a further half mile).

Walk Sections

Start to Fort Entrance
Start to Fort Entrance

Start point: 51.7339 lat, -0.7955 long
End point: 51.7374 lat, -0.7958 long

Standing in the parking area with your back to the road, take the path at about 11 o’clock, passing the Pulpit Wood National Trust sign on your right. After just a few metres you will come to a crossroads (with a vehicle barrier on your left). Go straight ahead here (signed towards Pulpit Hillfort), on the path leading through a staggered barrier and then heading steeply uphill through the woodland. The path climbs ahead, bears left and then right and emerges to a T-junction with a forest track.

Turn left along the track (signed towards Pulpit Hillfort). Follow this track, a welcome section of level walking, for about 200 metres to reach the next fingerpost (on your left). Turn right here (signed to Pulpit Hillfort) and follow the path with a low woven fence on your left. This marks the boundary of the hillfort.

Stay alongside this left-hand fence and it will swing left to lead you through the entrance to the old hillfort. This small Iron Age hillfort at Pulpit Hill once commanded extensive views across the Vale of Aylesbury, although today the views are largely obscured by trees. The hillfort's commanding position demonstrates not only defensive power, but also the status of its former inhabitants. The interior is broadly square, and measures almost 100 metres on each side. The fort was probably not primarily used as a fortress in time of war. It is more likely to have been a centre for storing agricultural produce or to enclose animals from farms in the district (perhaps as protection from cattle raids), as well as being a defensible site if the need arose. An archaeological excavation in 1855 revealed occupation debris in the form of coarse-ware pottery shards, animal bones, oyster shells and a boar's tusk.

Fort Entrance to Chequers Knap
Fort Entrance to Chequers Knap

Start point: 51.7374 lat, -0.7958 long
End point: 51.7409 lat, -0.7962 long

Having entered the fort, follow the path as it bears right to reach the edge of the fort’s plateau (with a steep woodland slope and beautiful views ahead). Turn right to continue with this steep slope on your left. The path leads you through a staggered barrier and then winds gently downhill, crossing a low boundary bank to reach a crossroads of paths.

Go straight ahead onto the public footpath, signed with a yellow arrow. This path leads you through a kissing gate, exiting the dense woodland to enter a lightly-wooded meadow (you may come across livestock grazing for conservation here). Follow the obvious grass path leading you downhill to reach the corner of the meadow (with a fenced pasture ahead and to your right).

Do NOT exit the meadow, instead turn left to join the track (The Ridgeway) leading downhill with a fence line on your right. Part way down the slope, ignore the kissing gate on your right, simply keep ahead. At the fence corner, you will reach a Ridgeway fingerpost. Fork right here, leaving The Ridgeway main track and following a footpath heading onto the flat-topped hillside known as Chequers Knap.

Chequers Knap to Bridleway Track
Chequers Knap to Bridleway Track

Start point: 51.7409 lat, -0.7962 long
End point: 51.7423 lat, -0.8024 long

After just a few metres this footpath forks. Take the right-hand branch and follow it leading you diagonally across the beautiful hillside. The path broadly follows the fence line to your right and beyond this is the deep and steep-sided valley known as Great Kimble Warren.

This small hill of Chequers Knap offers fine views of the Aylesbury Vale and part of the Chiltern Escarpment. Look out for the tower of Great Kimble Church. In the summer months, Chequers Knap is covered in numerous wildflowers, visited by a wide variety of butterflies, bees and other insects.

At the far end of Chequers Knap, follow the path as it turns left to continue with a fence on your right. Stay on the path alongside the fence, eventually crossing some old furrows to reach a kissing gate in the meadow corner. Pass through this gate to reach a T-junction with a bridleway track.

Bridleway Track to Grangelands Reserve
Bridleway Track to Grangelands Reserve

Start point: 51.7423 lat, -0.8024 long
End point: 51.7377 lat, -0.8025 long

Turn left to join the bridleway track. Follow this track between trees and ignore a metal kissing gate on your right (although this does give access to a lovely viewpoint over horse pastures and the valley if you want to pause a moment). Continue on the bridleway track until the point where it narrows to a path, and you will see a stile (with dog gate) on your right. NOTE: If you need to avoid this stile, you can continue ahead on the path for a further 80 metres and enter this same pasture via a kissing gate on your right instead.

Turn right across the stile to enter the sheep pasture and take a moment to enjoy the views across the adjacent horse paddocks and valley. This hillside is a favoured spot of red kites and you are likely to enjoy their incredible aerial acrobatics. Walk ahead down the slope for a few paces and then bear left until you draw level with the kissing gate entrance up to your left. Turn right and follow the grass path (a section of The Ridgeway) leading you through the pasture, with the horse paddocks to your right.

Ignore a footpath signed off to the left, instead keep straight ahead and exit the pasture via a metal kissing gate at the far end. Go straight ahead to cross over a bridleway track and pass through a bridle gate ahead to enter the Grangelands nature reserve. You may come across livestock grazing for conservation in this reserve.

Grangelands Reserve to Ninn Wood
Grangelands Reserve to Ninn Wood

Start point: 51.7377 lat, -0.8025 long
End point: 51.7329 lat, -0.8042 long

Walk straight ahead on the obvious grass path, with a fence running to your right. Towards the bottom of the slope ignore a stile on your right, instead take the right-hand of the two paths ahead, staying close to the fence on your right. This will lead you to a bridle gate alongside a Ridgeway sign. Go through the gate to exit Grangelands and go ahead to continue on The Ridgeway, with a garden hedgerow on your right.

The path emerges directly onto Cadsden Road, so take extra care here. Waiting for a suitable gap in the traffic, turn left along the lane for just a few metres and then fork right onto the access track for The Plough pub (still following The Ridgeway for the moment).

Pass the pub on your right and, as you draw level with the end of the building (before the car park ahead), turn left and then immediately right through a metal kissing gate to join a woodland track. We have now left The Ridgeway and have entered Ninn Wood.

Ninn Wood to Beech Plateau
Ninn Wood to Beech Plateau

Start point: 51.7329 lat, -0.8042 long
End point: 51.7285 lat, -0.7993 long

Walk ahead on the woodland track, passing the pub car park on your right. The woodland track leads you to a junction of multiple paths, with a couple of waymarker posts. Ignore the main tracks left and right, instead go straight ahead to join an unmade path leading you steeply uphill through the trees. Take care as this path can be slippery.

At the top of the climb, the path levels off to lead you across the flat plateau of the hilltop. This plateau is home to a beautiful stand of tall, elegant beech trees.

Beech Plateau to End
Beech Plateau to End

Start point: 51.7285 lat, -0.7993 long
End point: 51.734 lat, -0.7956 long

At the far side of the plateau, keep ahead on the path as it leads you back into mixed woodland. Ignore a permissive path to the right and pass through an old fence gap to reach a T-junction with a bridleway track. Turn left and, just a few paces later, turn left again to follow the blue arrow which marks the bridleway.

Now simply keep straight ahead on this bridleway, ignoring any paths off to the side. At the far end of the bridleway, you will emerge to a T-junction with Longdown Hill. If you look diagonally left you will see the car park where the walk began.

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network Pulpit Hill and Ninn Wood, Buckinghamshire Walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2018 by iFootpath and the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


1 Comments for: "Pulpit Hill and Ninn Wood"

Well nice walk

By chochichek on 09 Jan 2019

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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