Backup Only

This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

Blog Archive

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Wednesday Walk Wendover Circular via The Lee and Swan Bottom - a fairly energetic walk through the Chiltern Hills and its woods

SWC 140 - Wendover Circular via the Lee and Swan Bottom

Length: 20.2 km (12.6 miles)    Options to shorten by 3.2 miles before lunch, and 1.1 mile after lunch
Toughness: 6 out of 10              Lots of ups and downs to remove the cobwebs

London Marylebone: 09-56 hrs       Chiltern service to Aylesbury Vale Parkway
Arrive Wendover:  10-45 hrs

Return     16-23, 16-36, 16-53, 17-20, 17-55, 18-26, 18-52 and 19-23 hrs

Please see - and comply with - our Covid Rules and Track and Trace - and practise Hands-Face-Space 

Our last longer walk of the season before clocks go back to GMT. The rewards for the ups and downs are some good views from vantage points, and hopefully some good autumn leaf colour in the many woods which we walk through. 

The first pub which we pass today is the Cock & Rabbit Inn at The Lee. I leave it to individual walkers to call in if you are comfortable having a drink or dining under latest Covid guidelines and directives, which prohibit mixed households from meeting indoors - and applies to Londoners,  now in a Tier 2 area - even though we are walking in a Tier 1 area.  The later pub option on this walk, the charming Old Swan at Swan Bottom, is not serving food during Covid-19 times, nor does it open weekdays for a tincture until 6 pm, but its location Swan Bottom makes for a good place for picnickers to stop for lunch.

On arriving back in Wendover after today's exertions, you have Wendover's usual suspects for tea - again, having regard to latest Covid guidelines and directives. Individual chocoholics make for Rumseys whilst the rest of us usually head for the Shoulder of Mutton pub, despite its more than strict Covid rules which are a bit intimidating.

Walk Directions are here: L=swc.140


Anonymous said...

Brilliant choice, Marcus. Thank you.

Unknown said...

Just to note, there are a number of footpath closures in the area in connection with High Speed Two. The tunnel portal is next to Kings Lane, a few hundred metres from The Lee church. Last time I was there, several footpaths between Great Missdenden and The Lee were closed.

Walker said...

Speaking as a regular HS2 nerd who has made several trips to the area this summer, I would be surprised if any path closures for the HS2 route affect this walk. I was last there on 29 July when I walked the early part of this walk without issue. Part of my reason for going there was to see if the route was affected, but I concluded it was not. For reference, the route almost exactly follows the line of electricity pylons which run along the valley and which are clearly shown on the OS map. This walk is to the north west of them at all times. Major construction is not supposed to start on this section till next spring anyway.

Walker said...

Oh, and the tunnel portal is immediately to the north of Small Heath: a good way from Lee church by my reckoning, but let’s not squabble over details.

Unknown said...

Hi. I was there two weeks ago. Footpaths are already closed and works and protests are well underway. You can see the BBC coverage here:

Details of the closures are here:


Walker said...

Which of these footpath closures (or protests) affect THIS walk? Scanning the list, I can’t see a single one. But if I have missed one, point it out to me.

Unknown said...

Happy to leave it to you to check. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Rather sour, Kieran. A pity.

Mike P said...

Is there any chance of a South Downs walk for Weds 28th please? e.g.
129 Berwick to Birling Gap
181 Lewes to Seaford
316 Winchelsea to Hastings

Marcus said...

I'm afraid not, Mike. If I post a walk for Wednesday 28th it will be closer to London - probably Ockley to Warnham,'twixt Surrey and Sussex.

Anonymous said...

Please post any walk, Marcus. Ta.

Anonymous said...

I did this walk over the weekend, there was no foot path closure. The autumn colour is the best around Wendover Woods although not in full display yet. I was surprised to see that the walk is already a bit muddy in places.

Marcus said...

Just n=4 of us today - our fair weather walking colleagues stayed away - and missed a wonderful day's walking through woods in full leaf colour - and not just Wendover Woods, although the latter's displays were the best. I hope leaves stay on trees for Dirk's Book 2 Wendover walk on Saturday week - if they do SWC participating walkers are in for a treat.
OK - the weather could have been better. I was hoping to report brilliant, warm sunshine, with bikini-clad nymphs a-sunbathing in the meadows: but back in the real world, although it was not cold, it w=rained-steadily-for-most-of-the-day, only relenting briefly over lunch and for the last hour of our walk. No matter, we never encountered downpours and everyones waterproofs held up, so the weather did not spoil our walk.
We stopped at the Cock and Rabbit and the four of us dined as individuals in the otherwise empty pub and Italian restaurant. Service was very friendly - they were glad to have some customers - and we enjoyed some delicious pasta in the pub's very comfortable surroundings. It was a bit of a wrench to up sticks and leave, but the afternoon leg of the walk beckoned, so off we set as the rain returned. We found the walk directions taxing 1 km after Swan Bottom, and spent ages - without success - in figuring out the correct way ahead. Note to self: contact the walk author to ask him where we went wrong. After some "off piste" road walking we eventually found the Ridgeway path to continue back on the route-proper, soon to enjoy the leg up into Wendover Woods in full leaf colour. The descent from the Woods to the outskirts of town can be slippery and after rain the path tends to be treacherous. Having just warned my colleagues to take care and avoid the chalky bits, I then did a somersault (score 5 out of 6) and came crashing to the ground. It took me ages to get back on my wobbly legs but fortunately I landed on my well padded trash-can, so no harm done.
Back in Wendover, and now later than envisaged - 6 pm - we purchased takeaway teas and coffees from a tapas bar, to enjoy on the 18-26 hrs train home.
A lovely day's walking, despite the weather.