Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Walk
A Stroll in the Beautiful Chiltern Hills

We fancied a day out into an area new to us and settled on a walk in the Chiltern Hills area of outstanding natural beauty (ANOB). The walking route we found on the internet sounded truly scrumptious as it passed through three charming villages with the promise of lovely pubs, climbed a couple of hills for wonderful views, and passed Cobstone Windmill which starred as the Potts' family home in the 1960’s film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Hence, we have called this the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang walk!

The Chiltern Hills cover an area of around 600 square miles and spread across the counties of Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, and Oxfordshire. The Chilterns have been described as “Quintessential English countryside” on the website

It all sounded so promisingly nice that we decided to make day of it. Thus, the Buckinghamshire Windmill Tour was born, which saw us visiting the last nine remaining windmills in the county of Buckinghamshire.

Early View of Cobstone Windmill © essentially-england.comEarly View of Cobstone Windmill ©

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Walk Map

We found the walk on the website where there are very clear walking instructions. In fact, for this walk we didn’t use, or need, our GPS device or the walking app, as the written instructions were easy to follow and footpaths well signposted. However, if you use the “Discover more info about this tour” link on the map you can follow the route on your mobile device or download the gpx file for your GPS device.

Considering the walk is only around 4 miles long, it packs a lot into its short route, and with the network of local footpaths available could easily be extended into a longer walk.

We started the walk from Skirmett village and parked right outside the front of the Frog Inn, which was unfortunately closed for refurbishment. Luckily, we were prepared and had brought a little picnic with us!

Walking Through Skirmett in the Chiltern Hills © essentially-england.comWalking Through Skirmett in the Chiltern Hills ©

The route left the very pretty village of Skirmett and started to climb almost immediately. The Chiltern Hills are not that high and so the uphill stretch was not too much of struggle. At the top of the hill, we entered woodland, where there was a wonderful line of trees and our first views of Copstone Windmill in the distance. As it was just after midday, we found a fallen tree to sit on and had our lunch with just the surrounding trees for company. It was all very peaceful.

Tree Lined Footpath near Skirmett in Buckingshire © essentially-england.comTree Lined Footpath near Skirmett ©

After our picnic lunch, we continued through woodland until the path descended into a grassy meadow with lovely views of the windmill and the village of Turville. Plus some very noisy sheep in an adjoining field.

We crossed the meadow and passed through another small area of woodland to a road. The footpath continued diagonally across the next meadow to join a wider chalky path. Turning right, the footpath entered more woodland until we came to the small village of Turville. This was a very attractive village and was used as the setting in The Vicar of Dibley television series.

Turville in Buckinghamshire © essentially-england.comTurville in Buckinghamshire ©

Around the village green you can find pretty brick and flint cottages, a few timber-framed buildings, the church of St. Mary the Virgin which dates from the early twelfth century, and the Bull and Butcher pub, which appeared to be doing a roaring trade in the late spring sunshine. Note, the church is covered in scaffolding and closed until September 2024 for restoration works.

View of Cobstone Windmill from Turville Village © essentially-england.comView of Cobstone Windmill from Turville Village ©

Taking a gravel track that ran between two houses, we left the village heading towards the windmill. If we'd felt energetic, we could have run up the hill to get a closer look, but instead we kept to the walking route and turned right to follow the footpath to the village of Fingest, much of which was through woodland.

Turning left onto the quiet road running through the village we soon found St. Batholomew's Church. Like the church in Turville, this church dates from the early 1100’s. The huge tower is from the Norman period and has a double-gabled roof. The churchyard is very pretty with interesting gravestones and old trees. The church was open, and we both commented on the interior feeling very narrow and small. It was like Doctor Who’s TARDIS, but in reverse.

St. Bartholomew's Church In Fingest © essentially-england.comSt. Bartholomew's Church In Fingest ©

Just down the road from the church is The Chequers pub. This has been used as a filming location in several Midsomer Murder’s television episodes. Judging from the noise, it sounded like it was also a popular destination.

We left the village, and climbed up the side of a field towards the woodland at the top, where some kind soul had put a wooden bench on which to take a breather and admire the fine view. The walking route then descended through woodland to a meadow and across a horse training course back into Skirmett.

View over Fingest Village in the Chiltern Hills © essentially-england.comView over Fingest Village in the Chiltern Hills ©

This was a really wonderful walk, and if you like small English villages with pretty cottage gardens and the chance of a pub lunch - this walk is a treat. The two climbs on the route aren’t too long or tiresome and reward you with gorgeous countryside views. And the chance to step into your favourite film or TV location or explore a historic church or two is a bonus.

Turville Village Scene © essentially-england.comTurville Village Scene ©

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For more England days out return from our Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Walk page to the Things to do in England page.