Walking the Chiltern Hills
Friday 18 – Sunday 20 October 2013
(2 nights) (B grade: 8 miles daily)
from £274 half board
Two days exploring the beautiful Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, one of the finest landscapes in the country, at its magnificent best in autumn. The gently rolling hills are swathed in magnificent beech woodlands and chalk downland and provide a haven for wildlife including the spectacular red kite. In the valleys charming villages with traditional brick and flint cottages nestle around medieval churches.
- varied, relaxed and expertly-crafted guided walks in one of England’s most loved areas of outstanding natural beauty, led by two friendly, experience, professional and enthusiastic guides
- a comfortable, English country inn offering stylish en-suite accommodation, excellent food and real ale; good country pubs for lunch – a highlight of our days out!
- a very warm welcome with a complimentary glass of good cheer; the congenial company and camaraderie of friendly walkers, comprising a mixture of singles, couples and friends
- short commentaries and poems on route highlighting features of special interest, natural and man-made, to provide insight into the area’s history, culture and habitats• an enhanced sense of well-being that a few days of peace, fresh air, exercise, scenic beauty and close contact with nature gives you, leaving you refreshed, relaxed and restored
What to Expect
Grading of Walks: The routes are suitable for anyone of average fitness, able to walk around 8 miles on varied terrain for up to 5 hours, interspersed with short commentary stops and a longer break of approximately 1 hour for lunch. As the name implies, hills are to be expected with ascents and descents from time to time.
Accommodation: Recently refurbished, the Lambert Arms is an original coaching inn situated just 15 minutes from Oxford at the foot of the Chiltern Hills. Immaculate, modern, bedrooms complement the classic pub interior described by Alastair Sawday as having “wooden floors, warm walls, leaded windows, crackling fires in three period fireplaces, big lamps and chunky candles on darkwood tables”. Facilities include a fitness suite and treatment rooms. The restaurant has been awarded a coveted AA rosette and is listed in the Michelin Guide. See www.lambertarms.com.
Price per person: for 2 nights: £274; single supplement £45 per night for single occupancy of spacious double rooms (there are no single rooms)
- Welcome meeting with complimentary glass of wine
- Stylish and spacious en-suite accommodation
- Award-winning 3-course dinners, using local ingredients from imaginative menus
- Full English breakfasts to set you up for the day (AA breakfast award
- Two full-day guided walks
- Mini-bus transport on both days
- Commentaries on features of historical and general interest along the way
- Pub lunches
- Optional teas
- Drinks and items of a personal nature
- Gratuities (optional)
Meet your fellow walkers at our welcome meeting at The Lambert Arms. A briefing will follow before savouring a memorable dinner together in the hotel’s award-winning restaurant.
After a short minibus ride, we set out on one of the great classic walks of the Chilterns, incorporating the National Trust’s Coombe Hill at 850 ft, one of the highest points on the Chilterns with many delightful woodlands. The undulating route passes Chequers, the Prime Minster’s country residence, before we descend into the charming village of Wendover for lunch.
Striding along the very ancient and famous Ridgeway after lunch, we marvel at breathtaking views unfolding over the Vale of Aylesbury, arguably the best in the Chilterns. Here, in clear weather, the line of the Cotswolds is clearly visible ahead as well as the Chiltern escarpment stretching away to Ivinghoe Beacon and Beacon Hill. Finally we descend to the pretty village of Ellesborough with its distinctive church tower to our awaiting minibus for a 15-minute ride back to all the creature comforts of the Lambert Arms. (8 miles)
Today, our minibus drops us at the perfect English village of Bledlow, complete with an 18th-century manor house and Norman church, all nestling at the bottom of the Chiltern scarp. There is a definite feeling of remoteness on this peaceful, hilly, but not particularly strenuous walk. We cross a classic Chilterns landscape of rolling hills, beech woods and dry valleys with superb views throughout. Over the scarp we descend to Radnage and its medieval church, for centuries the centre of village life.
After lunch at The Boot, we cross Bledlow Ridge to climb Lodge Hill. Isolated and magnificent, a jewel among hills with views stretching to distant horizons. Then we crunch through deep amber beech woods, clothed in autumn colour, to finally descend back down into Bledlow, the perfect end to a perfect walk. (8 miles)
By rail: regular trains from London Marylebone stop at Haddenham and Thame Parkway with onward travel by taxi (15 minutes).
By coach: Oxford Tube from Victoria Coach Station stops at Lewknor, 15 minutes walk from the Lambert Arms
By road: The Lambert Arms is situated 500 yards from Junction 6 of the M40. Total mileage from central London is 49 miles with a journey time of approximately 1.25 hours. Ample car parking. We may be able to arrange car-sharing or taxi-sharing if required.
Please note that we reserve the right to change the above itinerary if circumstances dictate.
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Thanks for a great weekend. Everything was good – the walking, great views, wonderful autumn colours, soft light, unbelievable weather, congenial company and the best guides – what more could we have asked for. You have delivered again. Well done.—
Thank you for yet another great weekend. Great fun and lovely people. I am still recovering from the beauty of this wonderful world.—
Thank-you very much for the glorious weekend. We both thought it all went very well indeed. Great walks with wonderful views and wonderful weather, nice hotel with good food, and good company. A great success all round as usual. Looking forward to next year already.—