The South Bucks Way is a walking route that starts at Coombe Hill and goes all the way to Hillingdon. Obviously we didn’t walk all that way, but there’s a section from Amersham to Little Missenden via Shardeloes Lake that makes a nice family walk. You can find the details of the entire South Bucks Way on this interactive map.
In terms of access, there are a couple of gates but no stiles on the section that we walked.
The beginning of the walk
We started the walk just off of the A413 near Shardeloes House. This is private land, although the public footpath runs right through it. It’s actually quite well signposted what is private land and where the South Bucks Way is. Walk down the drive of Shardeloes House and look for the sign almost immediately on your right for the South Bucks Way. This goes alongside the cricket ground – keep to the road and follow it round. When you get to the bit of grass to the right of the footpath you need to walk towards the back where there’s a footpath. There isn’t a signpost here to look for, but this is what you’re aiming towards.
You walk through a little wooded path (this looks like it could get quite muddy). This then leads out into Lower Park which is a really nice parkland with quite a few resident horses. The path parallel to Shardeloes Lake and you can get glimpses of it through the hedge. You cannot get right up to the water’s edge but if you took binoculars you could quite happily watch all the wildlife. We saw plenty of ducks and other waterfowl. Although I’ve referred to this as the Shardeloes Lake walk, actually you don’t really get that close to the lake. The footpath also doesn’t go close to the steam either so if you’re looking for a specifically water-side walk then there are better ones to choose in my family walks section.
Please keep to the pathway and respect the landowners property
The horses seemed quite happy to wander over to you. If they do then please don’t touch or feed them. This route was much more popular than I was expecting it to be and we came across a lot of people, particularly dog walkers. Luckily there’s plenty of space to keep your distance.
PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOU STICK TO THE FOOTPATH AND DON’T STRAY OFF OF IT. There’s maps at each gate post to show where you should and shouldn’t be walking. TBH it’s also pretty obvious from the footpaths themselves. This is a working farm not a parkland. They are trying to grow crops, but I’ve seen reports of people having picnics, leaving litter and damaging those crops. It might be tempting to get closer to the water etc but please don’t it’s not fair on the landowners. Also please make sure any dogs are on a short lead. I saw lots that were on long leads in the horses’ field, or no leads at all.
The return leg
The problem with linear routes is that you have to turn around and come back again. If you’ve got little legs with you then you have to judge when is the right time to turn back whilst they still have enough energy left for the return journey. This was the same with the South Bucks Way. We walked up to road for the farm just off of Parkview Cottages – this is about 3/4 of the way along to Little Missenden. It seems that there are some pigs and other animals along the final 1/4 of the route. You can then stop in Little Missenden for a pint in the pub before coming back, or just walk back the way you came.
Our Shardeloes Lake / South Bucks Way Review
It’s a nice flat, and therefore easy, walk. There’s lots to see and it’s very pretty. It does feel a bit like a country park (maybe something like Stonor Park) so I can understand why some people treat it like that. Whoever lives in that house is incredibly lucky!! There was a lot less visibility of the water than I’d seen on Instagram. I can’t decide if that’s because people were going off the path or we just hadn’t walked far along enough. Google maps makes me think it’s the former. It was really nice to see the horses though.
Parking / How to get there
We parked at the Shardeloes Lake end of this section of the South Bucks Way. Use the postcode HP7 0RN. There’s a layby just off the roundabout, before you get to the gates. If this is full then you could park in Little Missenden and start that end. Either way, please be mindful of local residents when parking
None along this section. Please don’t stop for a picnic in the fields. There are places to eat in Little Missenden and Amersham.
Hi, I’m Vicky. My husband and I live in Aylesbury with out three children; a 10 year old son, an 8 year old son and a 3 year old daughter. I (mostly) love spending time together as a family. We visit all kinds of places and we’re quite happy to drive a fair distance for a decent day out. A few years ago I decided to set up Free Time with the Kids as a way to share our experiences of these family days out. You know, the essential information you need to know before your visit that can be surprisingly hard to find out. Where do I park? How much will it cost me to get in? Are there any discounts available? Are there loos? Can I take a picnic or get food? My aim is to be your go-to guide for all your free and cheap family days out across Bucks, Beds, Oxon, Herts & slightly beyond. I really hope you find the reviews helpful. If there’s anywhere that you’d recommend please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via Facebook