The Ridgeway section of this trail (after step 4) can be very slippery after heavy rain or in icy conditions.
Total steps: 8
Total steps: 8
Near car park, grid ref: SP851062
Starting from the National Trust 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, and through a gate. 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 waymarkers along the route.
About 60m after the picnic area you’ll see an entrance to a woodland area on your right-hand side, this was once a play trail, but it has recently been returned 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 rejoin 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.
Follow the gravel track around to the left. Soon, panoramic views over Aylesbury Vale open up on your right. Continue along the track until you reach the monument
As you reach the Boer War Monument, you have reached the highest viewpoint 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 on the view of Aylesbury and walk towards an orange waymarker 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.
You’ll 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 partly hidden in the trees at a one o'clock direction to your path ahead. In the distance, just above Chequers, you can see Pulpit Hill, another place in our care.. Carry on along the path following the orange waymarkers.
You’ll 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.
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 waymarker 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 rejoin the path back to the car park.
Near car park, grid ref: SP851062
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