It turns out that the principle of delayed gratification is over-rated! There are two great views on this walk. One from Coombe Hill and one from Whiteleaf Hill. We had a long walk planned and the weather was supposed to get better by mid-day. I intended to keep the views for the second half of the walk. Of course, doing this means the climbs are left to the end…
A couple of short climbs early on, Little Hampden and into Hampdenleaf Wood. The remainder of the first 7 miles is pretty flat. We arrive at Coombe Hill and one of the best views in the Chilterns. On a good day you can see as far as the Cotswolds and the Malvern Hills. Today is much less crowded than our last visit but the weather is not as good. My plans for later views and good weather at Whiteleaf Hill are not looking hopeful and I break the news of a big hill coming up. It doesn’t go down well!
We pass Chequers again, for the second time this month. There is something particularly British about being able to walk across your Prime Minister’s front lawn (although the route now is much further from the house than it used to be). However, there are enough threatening signs and CCTVs to leave you in no doubt as to the consequences of wandering from the straight and narrow. We obediently keep to the path, pausing only to provide a cheerie wave for the cameras.
And so to Whiteleaf Hill. In reality the climb is not hard, just long. I think being at the end of an 12 mile walk the psychological effect is magnified. Once again, there is a commentary most of the way up and the view from the top is good but would have been so much better on a sunny day. Conclusion: I think this walk would be better in the reverse direction and, should you not want to walk, both views can be reached by a short walk from the car park (Coombe Hill, Whiteleaf Hill).
Whiteleaf Hill picture gallery (more pictures on Flickr):
Distance: 12 miles ; Difficulty: Difficult
Coordinates for Satnav: N51° 43.495′ W0° 48.536′