Sunken Lanes

Sunken Lane in the Chilterns
Sunken Lane at Pulpit Hill

One of the great joys of walking in the Chilterns is discovering the sunken lanes that work their way up the hills.

Many centuries old, these sunken lanes are ancient drovers routes, their sides worn steeper and steeper by sheep driven up from the vale to the common grazing above. Other daily travellers were lines of packhorses carrying goods from villages to towns and on to London. Turnpikes, canals, railways and roads have gradually left these old routes to hikers, walkers and ramblers.