Hockliffe is a parish at the foot of the Chilterns, long and narrow in form, with an area of 1,028 acres, a mixture of arable land, permanent grass and woodland. The slope of the ground is irregular, and varies from 322 ft. to 445 ft. above ordnance datum. The parish is watered by two tributaries of the Clipstone Brook, one entering from Eaton Bray and passing north-east to Battlesden, the second in the south of the parish. The soil is rich loam, the subsoil clay. There are old gravelpits in the north-east of the parish.
Watling Street, the Roman road from London to Chester, forms the eastern boundary of Hockliffe, entering from Fenny Stratford in the north and passing south to Dunstable. Before leaving the parish it is joined by two other roads, one coming west from Leighton Buzzard, the other from Woburn in the east. Hockliffe at one time enjoyed an unenviable reputation for the bad condition of its roads. In 1633 Sir Edward Duncombe, as the result of a complaint of the justices of the county, writes to Secretary Windebank that there is no truth in the complaint, and that he has always kept the road between Hockliffe and Woburn in good repair, and intends to lay yearly on the same 400 loads of gravel and stone. Lysons, though mentioning their reputation, says the roads were greatly improved in his time. Various Private Acts have since been passed to improve the roads leading from Hockliffe to Aylesbury, Stratford and Woburn.
The village, which is situated in the south-west of the parish, straggles on either side of Watling Street for more than a mile. The church of St Nicholas stands north of the village, about a quarter of a mile to the west of the main road. North of the church is the entrance to Hockliffe Grange, an old house much modernized, beautifully situated on rising ground in a park of 40 acres.
The Manor House, on the main road, appears to be partly of 18th-century date, the older portions being half-timbered. Hockliffe House at the southern extremity of the village, is a pleasant-looking late Georgian building.
Two well-known names are included in the list of Hockliffe rectors: John Warner (1736–1800), the classical scholar and admirer of John Howard the philanthropist, who was succeeded in 1772 by William Dodd, the famous forger, who was hanged in 1777.
The following place-names have been found in documents connected with this parish: Chason, Coppid Moor, Devinson, Meggs Bonners, Moat Bank Close.