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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.

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Saturday, 27 June 2020

Saturday Walk - The Chilterns: Whiteleaf & Pulpit Hill --- Wendover Circular (with Coombe Hill optional)

Length: 20.2 km (12.5 mi), Ascent/Descent: 550m
Net Walking Time: ca. 5 hours, Toughness: 7 out of 10.
Shortcuts possible, tougher afternoon option possible, for details see the webpage linked below.

Take the 09.27 Aylesbury train from Marylebone (Harrow-on-the-Hill 09.39, Rickmansworth 09.49 etc.), arriving Wendover 10.15. Return trains: xx.26 and xx.56.

This energetic walk serves as a fine introduction to the Chiltern Hills, first passing through woodland, then descending into hidden vales and fields before emerging out onto the Chiltern escarpment above Princes Risborough at a spot that commands panoramic views of the countryside below. Lunch would have been in Whiteleaf, a pretty village with many ancient cottages, after which the return to Wendover goes through wooded valleys and hills reminiscent of an earlier age. Then the walk continues along a fine open section of escarpment, with grand views north, before descending to the plains for a leisurely finish, in contrast to the landscape passed earlier.

Covid-compatibility: not many fenced paths (from memory); Coombe Hill on the tougher afternoon option will be busy but it is a wide, open area.

Lunch: Picnic.
Tea: plenty of options in Wendover some of whom may sell takeout drinks and snacks.

For walk directions, map, photos, height profile and gpx/kml files click here. T=2.1

5 comments:

Walker said...

Don’t be alarmed by the fenced diversion at the start of this walk taking you around HS2 workings. The route around the fence is a tad circuitous, but it only affects the first field. Thereafter the route is unaffected.

Anonymous said...

Cracking walk. Thanks for scheduling.

Walker said...

Bacombe Hill, the last bit of the ridge before Wendover when coming down from Coombe Hill, is carpeted with wonderful flowers at present - rosebay willowherb, St John’s wort, and lots of very rarely seen common valerian, plus a range of downland species. The walk route slants down the side of the ridge but you can stay on top of it for the best effect (and views): all paths come down to the road at the same place.

Anonymous said...

The short-cut at Cross Coppice reduces the walk to just over 8 miles. Nice. The later train at 9.57 will do. Good.

Thomas G said...

10 off the train plus 1 car driver, so n=11 walkers in w=rain-to-noon-sunny-breaks-from-1 type of weather. The rain was proper rain, rather than the drizzle that some of us had expected, so layers were added as we shuffled away in two groups. The slow group had their luncheon at The Red Lion (firmly shut of course, so we sat on the roadside wall), and just as we were ready to get up and going again, the 'fast' group turned up! Navigational difficulties, apparently... They walked on and up Whiteleaf Hill for their break.
By now it was dry and plenty of blue sky could be seen, just in time for the 'with-views' part of the route. One short stretch of fenced path between Pulpit and Beacon Hills, else wide open spaces. At Ellesborough Church the eternal question needed answered: Coombe Hill or not Coombe Hill? 2 of our group of 5 said yes, the rest were indifferent, so up we went. 2 of the other group were seen not far behind us doing the same thing, so 7 in total up the Coombe. Plenty of people there, but easy to stay away from them.
Us 5 descended along the top of the ridge to Wendover, as per Walker's recommendation in his earlier comment, and were indeed delighted by the wildflowers on show. Thanks for the tip. The 15.56 train was doable, but we had spotted plenty of people milling around along the High Street, so assumed some nourishment must be available in the village. Lady Grey Tea Rooms was still shut (open from 4 July), but Rumsey's and Whitewaters were selling takeout drinks and cakes. We plumbed for Whitewaters and consumed the goods on the benches by the War Memorial. At the station the other 4 were encountered, half an hour behind us, despite walking the valley ending. There must have been some further navigational issues, one deducts from that...
16.26 train.