The Ridgeway: Princes Risborough to Wendover

Wednesday 19th January 2011
7 miles

Finally, I’ve managed to go out for a walk again.  A lot of life and social arrangements seem to have got in the way, and it felt good to be out in the open again.  There were a lot of people out and about.  It’s time to get rid of the extra weight that tends to pile on around the end of December.

When I did the West Highland Way last year, it took me considerably out of my comfort zone.  It really made me rethink my definition of “rural” – some of the places were very remote, and you really could walk for miles without passing anyone or anything.  If you got lost, you really could be on your own.  Most of the time it was well used and populated, but I can see how you could potentially get stuck somewhere.  In contrast, when walking through the Chilterns, you’re never really more than a mile or two from a road, village, or some kind of building where you could ask for help in an emergency.  The genteel Chilterns may not be as dramatic as the awe-inspiring Scottish Highlands, but they feel a lot safer, a lot less like anything could go wrong.

The weather was quite cheerful today, but it’s been raining quite a lot recently, so I had numerous giant puddles to contend with.  It felt cold at first, but in fact it was perfect weather for walking as I soon warmed up.

After getting away from the residential part of Princes Risborough, I took a right turn and soon found myself going up quite a steep hill through a small area of woodland.  The steps leading up, and the misty day, created a bit of an “enchanted forest” atmosphere.

Even after leaving the forest, the air seemed to become mistier and mistier.

I reached the pub, The Plough at Cadsden, at about 11.15.  If I’d got there a bit later, it would have been a lovely place to have lunch.  They also have accommodation available.

Later on I passed by Chequers, the Prime Minister’s country house.  I could tell I was near the estate because the signs started to change.  Usually, in the countryside, you get pretty little signs like this…

…But around Chequers, there are lots of signs like this.

That’s us told, then.

Anyway, I’m amused that a Right of Way goes through the estate, and actually goes right across the driveway.  I walked past one of the largest CCTV cameras I’ve ever seen.  It may have thought it was watching me, but I was watching it too.  Maybe it was watching me watching it.

The highlight of the walk was Coombe Hill, with its monument and lovely views.  I stopped there for lunch.

From there, it was a gentle downhill walk to Wendover.  I did consider continuing on to Tring, but I wasn’t sure if I could make it before sunset so I didn’t take the risk.  Wendover is full of signs opposing the high speed rail link.  As if it wasn’t bad enough that the government are about to sell off all the forests, there are also plans to plough a new railway line right through the countryside.  Unsurprisingly, there is a huge opposition.  There’s more information on the Chiltern Society website.

I’m so glad I finally managed to get out for a proper walk.  There’s only one or two more sections of the Ridgeway left to complete now.


About Karen

One foot in front of the other
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2 Responses to The Ridgeway: Princes Risborough to Wendover

  1. Gayle says:

    Yay! for getting out for a walk – and you picked a good day for it by the looks. So, only a couple of sections of the Ridgeway left. What next?

  2. Karen says:

    Heh – looks like you've been getting muddy this week too.There are lots of named paths in the Chilterns that can be walked in a day or two, but I think the next big project could be the South Downs Way, possible in sections again like the Ridgeway. I'd love to do the Great Glen Way at some point, but that requires a lot more planning.

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