The walk from Wendover to Whiteleaf Hill above Princes Risborough is an absolute joy. It largely tracks the Chiltern escarpment skirting Chequers, passing through beechwoods and offering many rewarding views.
Wendover station is easily reached from London Marylebone on Chiltern Railways.
A fine place to stay in Wendover is the Red Lion Hotel; a very comfortable inn with a charming old lounge bar and restaurant. The town has quite a few restaurants, cafes and even its very own Rumseys Chocolaterie.
The Ridgeway National Trail rises up from Wendover train station through Bacombe Hill, a nature reserve of increasingly rare chalk downland. Here in June right beside the path the wild orchids are plentiful. Green woodpeckers are commonly seen and heard here.
After a steady climb you reach the monument at Coombe Hill, a wonderful viewpoint from which you can look over the Vale of Aylesbury and back over Wendover to Boddington Hill and on in the opposite direction towards Beacon Hill.
The Ridgeway path leads on into Goodmerhill Wood a very fine old stand of Chiltern beechwoods full of nesting birds and carpeted by bluebells in spring and dotted with foxgloves in summer.
Its a very pleasant walk then through the Prime Minister’s country residence Chequers before regaining the heights of the Chilterns again. Theres been a house here since at least the 1100’s.
Pulpit Hill is the site of another iron age fort similar to those found at Boddington Hill and Ivinghoe Beacon.
Its pretty much downhill then to (how fortunate!) The Plough at Cadsden, a great traditional English pub to stop for lunch at.
The last long climb through Giles Wood to Whiteleaf Hill is a pleasure every step of the way and as ever the view is more than worth it.
The Whiteleaf Cross carved into the chalk hillside is best seen as you go down towards Princes Risborough.
Of course from Risborough you could get the train back to London having spent a wonderful day in the Chilterns. Or better still load up with supplies before continuing along the Ridgeway…