Sunday 2 June 2019: Wendover/Coombe Hill Circular

Eighteen walkers met at Wendover Station to begin our walk along the ridgeway joining the Icknield way and culminating in lunch at the Go Apes café in the depths of Wendover Woods. Wendover Woods is the habitat of the rare Firecrest the smallest bird in Europe which nest in the Norway Spruce. It is also the highest point in the Chilterns (265 m). We left Wendover High street to walk through a park alongside a stream past a church and on to the Ridgeway National Trail. We toiled our way up a long hill through woodlandwhich a month earlier would have been covered in Bluebells to reach Hale Lane which we crossed to re-join the Ridgeway National Trail to enter Wendover Woods. We followed Gruffalo signs before arriving at our lunch stop, The Go Ape café. It was a humid day and most of us enjoyed an ice-cream before starting our walk back. As we passed the church on the outskirts of Wendover a sign appeared advertising cake and tea. Most of us could not resist the temptation to sit on the lawn for a delicious slice of cake and cup of tea for just £3. We returned to Wendover Station where a few of us left to catch their train back, we then started on the next section, a circular walk up the Coombe Hill Memorial. Geoffrey decided to take a short cut by driving to the Coombe Hill Memorial Car Park!  The rest of us walked steadily uphill through ancient Beech Woods where we eventually reached the car park and enjoyed amazing views of the vale of Aylesbury and Chequers before reaching the Coombe Hill Monument, memorial to the Men of Buckinghamshire who fell in the Boer War and erected in 1904. It was unfortunate that the walk leader came out of the woods further down the road to the car park than she had intended which resulted in a number of interesting direction discussions! However, this did not detract from a beautiful walk which I will repeat for myself next year to enjoy the bluebells.