Saturday Walkers Club

Aylesbury Vale Parkway to Aylesbury Walk

Quiet hill top villages in eastern Aylesbury Vale. Finishing with a long stretch along the Grand Union Canal.


24.6 km (15.3 mi), of which 4.4 km (2.7 mi) on tarmac or concrete . Cumulative ascent/descent: 275/274 m. For a shorter walk, see below Walk options.

Time: 5 1/2 hours walking time. For the whole outing, including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 8 hours and 15 minutes.


OS Landranger Map: 165 (Aylesbury & Leighton Buzzard) OS Explorer Map: 181 (Chiltern Hills North) and 192 (Buckingham & Milton Keynes).

Aylesbury Vale Parkway station, map reference SP 786 153, is 3.6 km northwest of Aylesbury and 75m above sea level. Aylesbury Station, map reference SP 817 134, is 76m above sea level. Both are in Buckinghamshire.


5 out of 10

Walk Notes

This walk links up a few quiet hilltop villages north of Aylesbury in the rolling landscape of East Buckinghamshire, providing for good views into Aylesbury Vale and back to the Chiltern Range.
After an inauspicious start along the pavement of an A-road the walk leads along the River Thame and some of its tributaries, past the site of the deserted medieval village of Quarrendon and on to the picturesque villages of Weedon and Hardwick. After ascending to and skirting around the site of the medieval Bolebec castle mound in Whitchurch, the route leads eastwards to Aston Abbotts and then south back down into the Thame Valley along grassy fields.
The walk finishes with an extended stretch along a branch of the Grand Union Canal before crossing over into Aylesbury’s historic centre for tea.

Note: some of the fields along the Thame, its tributaries and along the canal are essentially flood plains, and this walk is therefore not recommended after prolonged wet weather.

Walk Options

It is possible to shorten the walk in two ways. Shortcuts I and II are mutually exclusive though:
Shortcut I from Weedon to Rowsham cuts out 6.2 km length and 84m ascent/descent (lunch in Weedon), giving a rating of 3 out of 10;
Shortcut II from Hardwick to Aston Abbotts cuts out 2.8 km length and 51m descent/re-ascent (lunch in Hardwick or Aston Abbotts), giving a rating of 4 out of 10.

Three bus services to Aylesbury run through the walk area:

  • The 60 bus (Buckingham-Aylesbury) travels through Hardwick (an early lunch stop) and Whitchurch (a recommended lunch stop). It runs hourly Mondays to Saturdays and two buses per afternoon Sundays/Holidays;
  • The 165 bus (Leighton Buzzard-Aylesbury) travels through Aston Abbotts (the recommended lunch stop), Rowsham (8km from the end of the walk) and Bierton (5km from the end). It runs two services on weekday afternoons/evenings and two on Saturdays, but none on Sundays/Holidays;
  • The 150 bus (Milton Keynes-Leighton Buzzard-Aylesbury) runs along the A 418, with stops at Rowsham (8km from the end of the walk) and Bierton (5km from the end). This service runs hourly Mon-Sat, but less frequently and only until late afternoon on Sundays/Holidays.

Aylesbury and Aylesbury Vale Parkway (AVP) stations are on the London Marylebone to Aylesbury line (via Amersham). Journey times are 65 minutes to AVP (hourly service) and 60 minutes returning from Aylesbury (half-hourly service). Buy a day return to Aylesbury Vale Parkway. Saturday Walkers’ Club: Take the train closest to 9.30 hours.


The Five Elms Stockaway, Weedon, Buckinghamshire, HP22 4NL (01296 641 439). Open Mon-Tue 18.00-21.00, Wed-Sat 12.00-14.30 & 18.00-23.00 and Sun 12.00-16.00. Food served Tue 18.00-19.45, Wed-Sat 12.00-14.00 and 18.00-21.00, Sun 12.00-14.30. Last food orders 15 minutes before close of service. The Five Elms is located 5.3 km (3.3 mi) into the walk. It is a 400 years old thatched Freehouse. The restaurant, providing quintessentially English dishes, only seats 16 people, so phone ahead if in a large group! There are a few outdoor tables.
The Bell at Hardwick Lower Road, Hardwick Buckinghamshire, HP22 4DZ (01296 640 005). The Bell is located 7.0 km (4.4 mi) into the walk. Open 12.00-14.00 and 18.00-23.00 Mon-Sat and 12.00-18.00 Sun. Food served 12.00-14.00 and 18.00-21.00 Mon-Sat and 12.00-16.00 Sun. A 17th century pub completely restored and under new Management as of 2013. With log fires, a quiet front garden and a large courtyard at the back.
The White Swan 10 High Street, Whitchurch, Buckinghamshire, HP22 4JT (01296 641 228, > ) Open Mon 17.00-22.30, Tue-Wed 12.00-23.00, Thu-Sat 12.00-24.00 and Sun 12.00-22.30. Food served Tue-Sat 12.00-21.00 and Sun 12.00-17.00. The White Swan is located 9.6 km (6.0 mi) into the walk . It is a part-thatched Fuller’s pub with a large garden at the back, serving pub classics plus daily specials at reasonable prices as well as quality Real Ales.
Royal Oak Inn Wingrave Road, Aston Abbotts, Buckinghamshire, HP22 4LT (01296 681 262). Open Mon-Sat 12.00-24.00, Sun 12.00-23.30. Food served Mon-Sat 12.00-14.00 and 18.00-21.30, Sun 12.00-21.00. The Royal Oak Inn is located 150m off the route 14.5 km (9.0 mi) into the walk and is a Grade II listed C16-C17 timber framed building.


Aylesbury Station Coffee Shop One4six Coffee Station Approach, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire HP20 1RU. Open Mon-Fri 5.00-18.30, Sat 8.00-14.00, Sun 9.00-13.00.

A plethora of options in Aylesbury City Centre (see Walk Directions).


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Out: (not a train station)

Back: (not a train station)

By Car

Start: HP18 0PS | Directions at 4pm

Finish: HP20 1RU | [Directions] at 10am


Start walking Large print Using GPS data

National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234



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Walk Directions  

Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.

This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from