Tuesday, 12 May 2015

A Chiltern Ridge Walk from Wendover, Buckinghamshire

One hour from Harringay by car. A walk with fantastic views across the Vale of Aylesbury, red kites, beech woods, 14th century church and a chance to snoop as you circumnavigate Chequers, the PM's country residence.

How to get there 
By car up the M1, one junction on the M25 to the A41, after Tring right along the A4011 to Wendover, there is a small car park in the main street opposite Budgens. Alternatively catch the train to Wendover from Marylebone. 

The Walk 
It's as long as you want to make it. There are loads of footpaths to choose from. This walk is around 9 miles and based on the 'Combe Hill and Chequers' walk covered in the brilliant 'Thames Valley and Chilterns Pathfinder Guides' which I've just discovered. The Ordnance survey map is Explorer 181. 

Wendover is a small market town that's been there for ever, first references are from Saxon times in 970 AD. On your way out you pass a few nice old houses. 


You're out of Wendover and on the walk pretty quickly. There's a slow climb up to the ridge, 

Up on the Chilterns looking back at Wendover. 
After the initial large vistas, trees obscure the view for while until you hit Combe Hill, almost the highest point in the Chilterns providing glorious views all around and on a clear day to the Cotswolds. Red kites circle up on the rising currents and you can spot Chequers down to your left. 

Red Kites Circling above the view from Coombe Hill 

Views from Coombe Hill across the Vale of Aylesbury

The huge monument honours those who died in the second Boer War. It was erected in 1904 and is one of the first monuments to commemorate the dead rather than a victory. Behind the monument is a long wide avenue of closely cropped grass with some brilliant climbing trees, perfect for picnics and ball games. 
Coombe Hill Monument

You take the path close to the edge of the hill rather than down the avenue and just keep following the ridgeway path markers until you come to a wood, you then descend down the hill. 

Turn right along the road at the bottom for a short distance then turn left along a footpath straight through the middle of a field to Ellesborough Church.

Ellesborough Church 
Back across the road and along the footpath taking you to the picture book Beacon Hill, site of a first century fort. Whilst it's a bit of a detour, it's worth scrambling up Beacon Hill for the view. 

View of Ellesbough Church from Beacon Hill 

Back down to the path and you're shortly in a bit of woodland

Onwards until you rejoin the ridgeway path and this takes you behind Chequers, perhaps not the most beautiful of 16th century houses, but interesting none the less, in part because of all the security arrangements along the way. 

 then through beautiful beech woodlands 

and through a field of buttercups back to Wendover - lovely.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the exercise! I enjoyed every view you showed. Love this blog.