Distance: 4.3 miles
Time: two hours
Long Crendon is a large village located about 1 ½ miles from Thame. The village is in Buckinghamshire, just over the county border with Oxfordshire. Unlike Thame, which is a small town, Long Crendon isn’t a hive of activity (and that suits many of the residents and visitors). I love the countryside around these towns and villages, which is why I’ve decided to document this Long Crendon to Chearsley walking route.
The route to Chearsley – an even smaller village about 2 miles away from Long Crendon – is pretty easy going. There are a couple of short but steep climbs, and you’ll be walking across fields. If you’re planning this walking route during winter, I highly recommend you wear supportive walking boots or shoes.
Parking is at a premium as this walk starts from St. Mary the Virgin church in the heart of the old village. Most days you’ll find plenty of parking, but best check ahead for any festivals of events as the village fills up fast.
Anyone who’s read and followed some of my other walks near Thame will recognise a part of this route from the Thame to Long Crendon walk.
Long Crendon to Chearsley Church Route
Standing with the church in front of you (the old courthouse on your left is a good reference point), look slightly right and you’ll see a lane running down to two large houses. Between these buildings is a dirt track bordered on the right by a wooden fence. Head down this track until it opens out on a hill leading down into a series of fields.
On your right is a hedge line. After about 30 metres you’ll see a break in the hedge. Follow the footpath through this gap and then keep the hedge on your left. Follow the track until, after 300 metres you’ll come to a stile.
Crossover and keep walking east, up the incline. A good reference point is the start of the track that leads past Long Crendon industrial estate. To your right is a metal corral used by sheep farmers to herd their livestock. On the left you’ll see a forestry block – look hard and you’ll see a few small buildings in the wood.
Keeping the woodland to your left, continue along the track. After a few metres you’ll see some buildings on your left, over the fence. This is Notley Farm industrial estate.
Walk another 200 metres and you’ll reach the end of the dirt track. On the right at this T-junction is Notely Barn, a beautiful example of 12thcentury architecture and history.
Turn left and immediately right. You’ll now be walking along a road that bends around into the back of the Notely tythe barn. Keeping close to the fence on your left, walk until you see a gate and public footpath sign (slightly to your left).
Go through the gate and head down the incline until you see another farm gate, and, to the left, what looks like a horse jump. Step over the ‘hurdle’ and you’ll see a lone tree on your right. You can’t miss it. Beyond the tree and a little to the right is a signed footpath leading into the woodland. Cross the stile.
As you climb off the stile, be careful. The bridge over the stream is old and heavily worn making it easy to lose your footing. In winter the wooden panels can be slippery. Cross the bridge and follow the path through the woods.
You’ll only need to walk a short distance before you break cover and find yourself in a field. The route here is obvious – follow the well-worn track (it’s one of the reasons why this Long Crendon to Chearsley walk is so easy).
To your front you’ll see a gate with a warning sign. You’re now going to cross the railway line so please be careful. Look left and right, then listen before you cross. On the far side of the track walk up the embankment and go through the metal stile.
You’re now pretty close to the turnaround point – Chearsley church. Look to your right and you’ll see the church steeple.
This is one of those places where I like to pause and take in the scenery. The views towards the Chiltern hills as breath taking. One sunny day it feels good to pause and take some time just to appreciate this amazing part of the country.
Breather time over!
Keep the hedge on your left and follow the footpath until you exit the field at a crossroads in the track. In front of you is a stile and you need to walk through, across the next field and then through another stile.
The road in front of you terminates just past the church. Turn right onto the road and walk the short distance to the church. As you amble towards the turnaround point, you’ll see an old water pump on your right. Apparently, the pump and what is now a pond, date back to the 1800’s.
From here you can decide what to do next. The walk from Long Crendon to Chearsley church is a 4.3 mile round trip. You can choose to the turn around and walk back the way you came, or head into Chearsley village and take a well-earned break at the Bell pub.
Some other points to note about this trail:
Beside St. Mary’s church is the old courthouse, which traces its origins back to the 1400’s. There’s a wealth of information for local history buffs and some interesting facts about personalities who have lived in and around Long Crendon.
The walk to Chearsley church follows a network of footpaths that form the Long Crendon/Chearsley circular route, which is about 5 miles long. The start point is the same as this route, but your travels will take you a in wide loop through the Buckinghamshire countryside and into the back of Long Crendon.
If you’re passing through the area on a grand walking tour of the UK there are plenty of places to stay. Beside the Thame roundabout is a Travel Lodge. Across the road from the hotel is the company HQ.
Long Crendon trading estate is the home to Natural Balance Foods (very nice people who supplied me with some Nakd and Trek bars for some of my expeditions. You’ll know this estate if you’ve walked my Thame to Long Crendon route.I hope you enjoy this route. I regularly run this route from Long Crendon to Chearsley and I love it. If you’re keen to try something a little longer then I highly recommend the circular route.