Walk 133: Turville circular…”Come in if you’re sexy & love Jesus”

The ‘Needs to Know’

Distance: 3.36 miles (5.4km)

Time to walk: This is a very short walk, but it took us 2 hours due to stopping for a fabulous lunch at The Frog in Skirmett. You may also want to take time for refreshments at the Bull & Butcher at the start & end of the walk

Difficulty: A mixture of hard surfaces, grass & forest tracks. There are a couple of small climbs, but nothing too strenuous

Parking: Use the car park at the Bull & Butcher in Turville

Public toilets: The Bull & Butcher in Turville, or The Frog in Skirmett

Map of the route:

We’ve done this short walk many times & have introduced several people to the beauty of this area. What we’ve never done is share it in print so it’s time to put that right

The walk starts in stunning Turville , which lies in the Chiltern Hills, 5 miles west of High Wycombe & 5 miles north of Henley on Thames. When you arrive, you’ll think that you’ve seen it before. You probably have as the village & the surrounding ones in the valley are well known filming locations

Turville is most famous for the television series, ‘The Vicar of Dibley‘ & the film ‘Goodnight Mister Tom‘, as well as ‘Midsomer Murders‘. More recently, it also appeared in ‘Killing Eve‘. Look up to spot the windmill sitting proud on the hill, overlooking the village. This featured in ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Let’s Walk!

1. The walk starts from the Bull & Butcher pub, which is a real traditional old English inn, dating back to 1550 with a large garden to sit in on warm days. A word of warning…the pub does sell food, but closes for a couple of hours in the afternoon. It also gets extremely busy in the summer, so may be best to book ahead if you want to eat

2. Spend some time looking around this idyllic village…

3. Enter the churchyard & you’ll immediately recognise the Vicar’s house from ‘The Vicar of Dibley’ just inside the gate – just don’t knock on the door & ask if Geraldine’s in?

The church of St Mary the Virgin is just as beautiful as it looks on the television, but the inside was just a set. It’s well worth stepping inside where you’ll find a quite basic building

4. Don’t forget to look up to see the windmill. It is possible to walk up the hill, but beware as it’s very steep & when you get there, you can’t actually see very much as it’s protected by a high fence

Once you’ve finished looking round the village turn right up the lane near the church gate, which also shows the school sign…

5. Pass the school & take the footpath through the trees on the right…

At the end pass through the kissing gate. Ignore the footpath signs running off to the left & right & continue straight ahead, keeping the hedge on your right. We did this walk in early August when the fields were full of wild flowers

6. The path is well kept, but look for a way marker in the hedge showing that it heads diagonally left towards the wood on the hill

On reaching the hedge, walk through “Mildred’s Gate” & cross the lane into the woods

7. The path will begin to rise quite sharply now so take your time to enjoy the views that start to appear. Pass the gas plant on the right & carry on to the next gate, crossing a meadow up the hill into the woods once more…

Keep turning round as the views back down the valley to Turville start to become quite spectacular

8. The path reaches a fork at a signpost…

…& our route is left, where it starts to descend the hill back towards the valley floor once more

9. Shortly the path reaches the edge of the wood, so follow the fence as it turns right…

Look down into the valley floor to see the village we’re heading towards. This is Skirmett, another of this area’s beautiful hamlets

10. At the corner turn left & walk down the steepish hill towards the village. When we did this walk there were numerous varieties of butterflies in the verges

At the bottom of the track, walk through a gate & down what looks like a private driveway to arrive in Skirmett. Turn right & walk along the main road, but be careful as there’s no path

11. There’s some lovely properties in the village. Look out for the the old flint church which dates back to the 19th century & has now been converted into a private home. However, if you’ve timed this walk correctly, it may well be lunchtime at the excellent local pub – ‘The Frog

You’ll see from the memorabilia inside that the owner comes from Limerick & is a Munster RFC fan. The food comes highly recommended by us &, if it’s warm, why not eat outside in the garden

It made us chuckle when we asked what the wifi code was, to be told “Skirmettthefrog” – of course it is!!

12. Refreshments over, continue along the road to the junction…

…turning left up the lane, passing the cottage with ‘wonky’ chimneys, aptly named ‘Crooked Chimney Cottage’

13. As the lane heads up the hill look for a gate in the hedge on the left indicating the route of the Chiltern Way

The Chiltern Way is a 133 mile circular long distance path which passes through Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire & Oxfordshire. It was officially launched in October 2000 by The Chiltern Society to mark the millennium & to provide walkers in the 21st century with a new way of exploring the diverse beautiful countryside which all four Chiltern counties have to offer – it’s on our list

14. The path enters a paddock & follows a well marked grass track…

…turning left at the end onto a driveway, passing the village hall, to exit onto the main road in Skirmett once more

15. Turn right along the main road, passing the place it was originally joined. After a couple of hundred yards is a junction. Look for a gate in the hedge on the left…

Pass through it &, keeping the hedge on the left, walk to the gate into the next field. Keep straight across that one & walk through the gap in the hedge into a third field. Head now for the houses on the right. The exit onto the lane is to the left of the houses

16. You now find yourself at a crossroads, so walk straight across & up the hill towards Ibstone & Stokenchurch

After 100 yards look for a footpath sign which crosses the lane – it’s The Chiltern Way again. Take the left path into the trees once more

17. The track now hugs the hillside (beware of rabbit holes) before it eventually emerges through a kissing gate into a meadow above Turville…

The windmill we mentioned is love you on the right & the path’s close by if you fancy the climb up to it

18. Walk to the gate through which the track leads back down into Turville & the start of this walk

So that’s it…one of our shortest, yet most beautiful walks through some of our most stunning scenery & villages

We’ve done it many times & can’t recommend it enough so…

Go Walk!