If you go down to the woods today you’re in for a big surprise, for the walking map has led you so far astray you wouldn’t believe your eyes. This is what we found when we embarked upon what should have been a relatively straightforward walk up to Coombe Hill, the highest point in the Chilterns and a fine view point. Our starting point was Wendover, a charming, picturesque town a few miles south of Aylesbury. The town contains everything we might have hoped for: thatched houses, a chocolate shop, an aviation gallery, bookshop, antiques shop, a fine clutch of hostelries and a canal.
Our walk commenced the far side the railway line and bypass, heading through fields before taking a sharp right up a reasonable incline towards the woods. It was around here we believe we missing the path we needed to take, heading too far up the path and then deciding to head left. Unfortunately the GPS on the iPhone was not playing ball and we were unable to work out just where we were in comparison to the somewhat rough map of the walk we had. We continued for sometime through pleasant enough woodland before reaching habitation. This definitely looked wrong.
Having rebooted the iPhone the GPS told us we were in Dunsmore, a hamlet at the far end of the wood to where we needed to be. At this point we were only a half-hour from sunset, however having gained some directions for a local we returned with a new confidence into the wood. The path did unfortunately turn rather muddy yet we continued and eventually prevailed, emerging onto the hillside, almost exactly at the point of sunset.
Despite being a rather grey and cloud day a red glow was visible over the opposite hills and there was enough light to take in the fine surrounding countryside. Views of Chequers to the left and Aylesbury to the right were two of the highlights which made the effort worthwhile.
Fortunately, given the rapidly fading light, we returned to Wendover on the easy, direct route, which runs straight and true (more or less) back to the train station and home.