Sunday 2nd July 2011
Toilets: Platform at Wendover Station; various cafes and pubs in Wendover; The Old Swan pub, Lee Gate; Cock & Rabbit pub, The Lee; Lowndes Park, Chesham; platform at Chesham Station.
Wendover is a very pretty place, and its tranquil calm is in serious danger of being destroyed by HS2, a new high-speed railway line which is proposed to slash right through the Chilterns, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There were posters and banners up all over the place. See here for more details.
After passing a pond, a wildflower meadow and St Mary’s Church, all of which would lose all notion of peace and quiet from this new railway, we headed south-east along the Chiltern Link, which followed the same route as the Ridgeway for a while.
It was a very hot day, and we were glad to take a turning off to the left into the lovely Barn Wood, with its big, shady trees.
Our chosen route then left the Ridgeway. We headed east and then south-east through more beautiful woodland, passing a trig point and going through Lordling Wood.
After about an hour and a half we reached The Old Swan Pub, where we made use of their huge garden. We had a couple of drinks and a delicious ploughman’s lunch, and stayed for over an hour as it was such a lovely place and the weather was so hot. It felt like a perfect country pub. When we left, they kindly refilled our water bottles.
Our route then headed south-west towards Lee Gate. There’s another pub marked there on my OS map; it was called the Gate Inn, and it’s now closed. In fact, it looked like it had closed quite a while ago. There was a notice up, saying that someone had applied for planning permission to convert it into a residential building. What an excellent building to live in.
We eventually did a big left turn to rejoin the Chiltern Link, and after a couple more fields reached The Lee, where we had a rest stop at its amazing village green. It was completely quiet and tranquil. On the corner was the Cock & Rabbit pub, with its associated Italian Restaurant. The only reason we didn’t eat there was because we’d planned to go for a more traditional pub lunch, hence the detour to the Old Swan.
The Chiltern Link then continued, thankfully, through some more woodland, before emerging onto a more exposed path. We followed a section called Herberts Hole. Half way along it we were just starting to get bored, when suddenly there were bright red fields everywhere. Enormous fields full of millions of poppies. I’d never seen that many in my entire life.
Upon arriving at Chesham, we bought some ice cream and sat in Lowndes Park, enjoying the sunshine.