Spectacular Countryside just a short way from London

Time Out Country Walks near London (Risborough to Wendover)

Walk 52

This walk is easy to follow, being mainly along the Ridgeway and is very much uphill and downhill, but not strenuously so. The way is predominantly through high beech woods and chalk downlands, including the Grangelands Nature Reserve and has views out from Coombe Hill over the Vale of Aylesbury and surrounding counties. The walk ends by descending into the pleasant old town of Wendover.

The town of Princes Risborough derives its name from the Black Prince who in 1343 was lord of the manor.

This area was first settled by farmers in neolithic times, around 4,000BC, and was defended by a line of hilltop forts linked by the broad Icknield Way which can be traced from Dorset to Norfolk and on this walk survives as the narrow Ridgeway. Remains of such forts can be found on Pulpit Hill and Coombe Hill.

Whiteleaf Cross, carved into a hillside, is thought to commemorate a victory over the Danes.

Chequers, the prime minister’s country retreat, was given for this purpose to the nation by Lord and Lady Lee of Fareham in 1921. Lady Mary Grey, sister of Lady Jane Grey, was imprisoned in Chequers in 1566 and the house was later owned by a grandson of Oliver Cromwell.

Wendover‘s name comes from the Anglo-Saxon ‘wand’ (winding) ‘ofer’ (bank). In 1600, the town had one pub for every 50 inhabitants. Wendover became the property of the crown and was given by Henry VIII to his wife Catherine of Aragon. It had John Hampden as its MP during the five parliaments leading up to the Civil War. He was one of the MPs whose attempted seizure by Charles I led to the Civil War.

Ridgeway sign