Village Secrets (Chiltern Walk)

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An invigorating 12km walk for a wet and windy afternoon; judge it right and you could be in the woods when it rains and romping across open downland when the sun is shining. Judge it even better and the ice cream van will be in the Coombe Hill NT carpark and they’ll be serving tea and cake in #Ellesborough Church. Get it wrong and you’ll be too muddy to go to the nearby pub when you stagger back to the Pulpit Hill carpark at Lower Cadsden. _____ The first part of the walk is along well-marked paths through dense mixed woodland; gloomy, muddy and a tad claustrophobic. Blink and you miss #Dunsmore – except for the chapel by the village pond. Built in 1897 (Victoriana meets pebbledash), the Church of the Resurrection fell into disrepair in the 1980s and was rescued by the village who now run and maintain it as an ecumenical place of worship. (Once home, I regretted my hasty dismissal of Dunsmore when I discovered Peter Jewell’s affectionate and gossipy history on the village website. Apparently, the village is haunted by a ploughboy who was struck by lightning – and Churchill’s detectives whiled away their time at The Fox pub during WW2 when their boss was at nearby #Chequers.) _____ Breaking out of the woods onto Coombe Hill makes all the sylvan slog worthwhile; the distant views, particularly after heavy rain, are quite spectacular. The path down from the forbidding Boer War memorial is very steep but soon eases. Even if they’re not serving teas at Ellesborough Church, do make the 50m detour to enjoy the rather lovely hilltop setting of this, the parish church for Chequers (I was told that Johnson has not yet worshiped here). Suitably refreshed, the route back to Pulpit Hill is open, nicely undulating, and a veritable showcase (according to the information boards) of Chilterns flora and fauna. _____ My approximate route is on [osmaps.ordnancesurvey.co.uk]. Find the starting point then click on Discover Routes and search for ‘Pulpit Hill to Coombe Hill via Dunsmore’. #autumnwalks #Chilterns #countrywalks #getoutside

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About Hannah

Author of literary historical fiction set in the First World War. Revising my first book, writing the next, seeking representation. Mountaineer, gardener, traveller, off-road runner. Africa, modern history, coffee, roses, films, book and unrealistic romance. NHS midwife in a former life.
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