Follow field paths to the heart of the countryside, part of a unique network of rights of way throughout England and Wales.
Distance 4.2 miles (6.8km)
Minimum time 1hr 45min
Ascent/gradient 88ft (27m)
Level of difficulty Easy
Paths Quiet country road, stretches of field paths, North Buckinghamshire Way and Cross Bucks Way, 13 stiles
Landscape Gently undulating farmland either side of Claydon Brook
Suggested map aqua3 OS Explorer 192 Buckingham & Milton Keynes
Start/finish SP 742285
Dog friendliness On lead on road and near livestock
Parking Limited space by church in Addington
Public toilets None on route
1 Keep Addington Church on your right and an executive house with a well in the front garden on your left and follow the North Bucks Way out of Addington, across farmland. Make for a stile and footbridge over the Claydon Brook. Continue ahead to a stile and plank bridge and keep to the right edge of the next field. Over to the left lies Furzen Farm. Cross a track and make for a kissing gate leading out to a disused railway. The old 'stop, look and listen' sign is still in place - requesting drivers to 'notify the local British Rail manager before crossing with a vehicle which is unusually long, wide, low, heavy or slow-moving'. Follow the North Bucks Way, keeping the old 1870 station buildings on the right.
2 The canopied entrance is a reminder of the days when Verney Junction was a working station. Look out, too, for the Victorian post box. Walk along the road to the Verney Arms Country Bistro and keep right at the junction. Follow the road to Littleworth Farm and bear right at the next junction for Buckingham and Padbury. Re-cross the old railway at the next bridge and continue along the road, following it round a left bend. Turn right just before Claydon Hill Farm and join the Cross Bucks Way. Cross a stile and bridge and follow the fence along to a second stile.
3 Go diagonally right in the next field, passing under electricity cables, and cross a dismantled railway via two stiles. Go straight ahead in the next field to a galvanised gate and then veer to the left of a stand of trees. Look for a stile and footbridge and veer diagonally right. Across the field are two gates; make for the left-hand one and head diagonally up the field, towards the top right corner. Draw level with Hill Farm, pass through a gate and maintain the same direction to reach a track and two stiles. Aim diagonally right across the field to a stile and galvanised gate and go straight ahead in the next field to a stile, footbridge and waymark. Don't cross over, but perform a 150 degree turn and head for two stiles in the boundary hedge.
4 Head diagonally right towards the houses of Addington and make for a stile by a lane. Bear left by the telephone box and walk along to a road junction with a traffic arrow. Turn right here, then bear right again at the next junction and return to the church.
In recent years the simple activity of walking has become one of Britain's most popular outdoor pastimes, With 140,000 miles (225,260km) of rights of way in England and Wales alone, it's hardly surprising that people spend so much of their leisure time eagerly exploring the hills and dales, woods and moorland to be found in this glorious countryside.
Some footpaths came into being as vital trade routes or packhorse trails, while others were drove roads established to convey sheep and cattle. Pilgrim tracks and green lanes steered medieval wayfarers between the great centres of Christianity, Winchester and Canterbury. In the 18th and 19th centuries the agricultural revolution and Enclosure Acts were responsible for major changes in the countryside, producing a vastly different, almost unrecognisable landscape and introducing a host of new paths and tracks.
Over recent years many long distance trails have appeared on Britain's rights of way map. These range from 10 miles (16.2km) to over 300 miles (486km) and reflect the best of our varied countryside and ever-changing scenery. Two of Buckinghamshire's more popular trails meet on this walk, providing ramblers with the opportunity to explore the rural heart of the county. The Cross Bucks Way runs across Buckinghamshire for 24 miles (39km) from the Oxfordshire border to the Grand Union Canal near Leighton Buzzard, while the North Buckinghamshire Way is 30 miles (48km) long and extends from Chequers to Milton Keynes.
Addington's secluded church stands at the end of a long drive and is renowned for its windows, which contain the largest collection of Netherlandish glass in England. The roundels are 16th and early 17th century and the windows mainly illustrate biblical scenes. Sir Malcolm Sargeant (1895-1967), the famous conductor, lived in a cottage at Addington during the Second World War and sometimes played the church organ.
At Verney Junction you can see the remains of the old station, which was in use when trains ran along this line between Oxford and Bletchley. It is some years since the railway here was in regular use, though there are plans to integrate it into a long distance east to west rail route. Curiously, this remote station once represented the end of the Metropolitan Line, over 50 miles (80km) from Baker Street in London.
The Verney Arms Country Bistro at Verney Junction welcomes walkers and offers an imaginative menu. Typical lunch dishes include pie of the day, steak sandwich and shepherds pie.