There’s been a village here since before Domesday. Great Hampden is hidden away, three miles west of Great Missenden and, judging by today’s fog, is likely to remain undiscovered for another thousand years. Little more than a collection of houses around the Hampden Arms the term ‘Great’ seems overdone! As is our custom, we park in the pub car park. The promise to return for lunch assuages Sue’s conscience long enough to get us out of the car park.
As we leave, the weak December sun burns through the mist and briefly the light is magical. Within a matter of minutes it’s obscured and the suffocating fog returns for the remainder of our walk, the sort that hangs droplets from spider’s webs and swallows sound. There are more hills on this walk than we’ve had for a while but it’s difficult to say anything about the views…there are none! The route takes in Little Hampden, the beautifully named Hotley Bottom, skirts Prestwood and passes the Hampden Monument before returning to Great Hampden.
In passing, the Hampden Monument is probably the only local claim to fame. It commemorates the refusal of John Hampden to pay King Charles’ Ship Tax, initiating a chain of events that led to a stand-off between an unelected leader and Parliament and eventually, Charles’ beheading. Watch out Mrs May!!
A 7.3 mile walk that took us 3 hrs and, on returning to the Hampden Arms, we have a pleasant lunch before returning home…and everyone is happy.
Distance: 7.3 miles; Difficulty: Moderate
Postcode for Satnav: HP16 9RQ
Great Hampden picture gallery-