The Best of Coombe Hill walk

Walking trail

This gentle circular stroll takes in the best Coombe Hill and has much to offer, from panoramic views across the Aylesbury Vale and Chequers, the country retreat for the serving Prime Minister. You will also see rare chalk grassland filled with wildflowers and butterflies during summer months. In the winter, this is the ideal walk if you are seeking some fresh air to blow away the cobwebs.

The walk is way-marked with orange arrows mounted on wooden posts at all major changes in direction.

The first half of this walk as far as the monument (points 1 - 4) is accessible by wheel chair or pushchair, but the second half is only accessible by foot. In this case return to the car park along the gravel path.


The Best of Coombe Hill walk map


Near car park, grid ref: SP851062


Starting from the NT information board (which includes a map of the route and is located on the left hand side of the car park), walk through the picnic area, through a gate and following a sign to the monument, turn right onto a wide gravel path, keeping the picnic area fence on your right. Look out for the orange way-markers along the route.


About 60m after the picnic area you will see an entrance to a woodland area on your right-hand side, this was once a play trail, but it has recently been reverted to a woodland habitat dominated by oak, larch and birch trees. This quiet wildlife haven is a good place to spot woodland birds, such as woodpeckers, and to search for unusual fungi in the autumn. (If you wish, you can enter the wood through a metal gate and then after 25 metres, turn left to follow a woodland path running parallel with the main gravel path. Turn left again after another 150 metres to re-join the gravel track at another gate.) Continue along the main gravel track with the fence and woodland on your right. On your left, there is more open grazing land with occasional oak trees, hawthorn, and gorse bushes.

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Oak woodland


Follow the gravel track around to the left. Soon, panoramic views over the Aylesbury Vale open up on your right. Continue along the track until you reach the monument.

The path to the monument at Coombe Hill


As you reach the Boer War Monument, you have reached the highest view point in the Chilterns, 260m above sea level. From here you have wide ranging views across the Oxford Plain: to the right you can see Wendover, straight ahead are Stoke Mandeville and Aylesbury, at the foot of Coombe Hill is Butlers Cross, to the left you can see Ellesborough church. Further to your left is the distinctive shape of Beacon Hill, with its clump of trees at its summit, Pulpit Hill, and the telecommunications mast at Stokenchurch. On a clear day you can see as far as Thame, Oxford and Didcot. In the far distance you may be able to see the edge of the North Wessex Downs beyond Didcot. To your right, you can also see a long section of the Chiltern Escarpment from Wendover Woods to Aston Hill and Ivinghoe Beacon. When you are ready to move on, turn your back to the view of Aylesbury and walk towards an orange way-marker disc on your right just in front of some bushes. You are now on the Ridgeway National Trail and the path turns from stone into a well-worn grassy/flinty track. Warning: this path can be very slippery after heavy rain or in icy conditions.

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Coombe Hill in Buckinghamshire


You will reach a slight rise in the path which gives you a moment to view Chequers, the Prime Minister's country retreat. It is the large house party hidden in the trees at a 1 o'clock direction to your path ahead. In the distance, just above Chequers, you can see Pulpit Hill which is another National Trust property. Carry on along the path following the orange arrows

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Chequers from Coombe Hill


You will see along your right hand side an excellent example of rare chalk grassland with its numerous mound-shaped anthills. Continue along the path until you reach a fence and woodlands ahead of you.

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Chalk grassland at Coombe Hill


Once you reach the fence line at the end of the path, turn left up a slight incline. Ignore the kissing gate on your right; this is where you leave the Ridgeway path behind. Keep going straight on weaving through trees and bushes roughly parallel to the fence on your right and ignoring any paths to the left. The orange way-marker disc on your right hand side will keep you on track.


At the large gate turn left past the picnic area and then turn right to re-join the path back to the car park.


Near car park, grid ref: SP851062

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The Best of Coombe Hill walk


The first half of the walk is on an even stone path all the way to the monument. After this the path follows part of the Ridgeway, a well worn grassy track with some undulations that can become slippy in bad weather. Dogs under very close control are welcome as the site is grazed by cattle throughout the summer months.

The Best of Coombe Hill walk

Contact us

The Best of Coombe Hill walk

How to get here

Coombe Hill, Nr Butlers Cross, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.
By train

The nearest train station is a 1.5 mile walk away at Wendover on the Chiltern Railways line. From here, follow signs for the Ridgeway. Walk over Bacombe Hill to get to Coombe Hill. You will come out at the monument, half way round the trail.

By road

Coombe Hill is in the heart of the Chiltern Hills, 3 miles drive west of Wendover and 5 miles drive east of Princes Risborough. From Princes Risborough head east towards Ellesborough. Carry on to Butlers Cross then turn right onto the Missenden Road. From Wendover head west towards Butlers Cross and turn left onto the Missenden Road. Drive for 2 miles up the hill until you reach the peak where you need to turn left up Lodge Hill. Drive for 1 mile up Lodge Hill until you reach the car park in front of you on a tight right hand bend.

By foot

Coombe Hill is on the Ridgeway long distance footpath. Please see OS map 181 for the appropriate section.

By bus

Nearest bus stop is opposite the Russell Arms Pub at Butlers Cross, redline route 321. From here, cross onto Missenden Road and walk 0.6 miles along the pavement, past the guide centre until you reach a bridleway sign on your left. Follow this onto Coombe Hill and either take the steep path in front of you to the top or turn left and zigzag up the side slope. Please note these routes are very steep and uneven.

By bicycle

Coombe Hill is on the 170 mile circular Chilterns Cycleway. Please note that no cycling is allowed on the trail but bikes can be pushed.

The Best of Coombe Hill walk

Facilities and access

  • Free parking
  • Picnic area
  • Several benches along the walking trail
  • No toilets on site. Nearest public toilets are in Wendover