Pete's Walks - Chiltern Heritage Trail

Post-walk comments

I would thoroughly recommend the Chiltern Heritage Trail. It was certainly one of the most enjoyable long-distance paths that I have walked, and I could well imagine that I will go back and do it again. Having been born and brought up in the Chiltern Hills I am probably somewhat biased, but I do think they are a marvellous area for walking. The rolling hills made for a lot of short ups and downs to keep the walking interesting, and the constant changing from woods to fields to pretty villages gave the walk plenty of variety. Most long-distance paths have some less interesting sections that are necessary to take you between the more enjoyable parts of the route, but there were no sections on the Chiltern Heritage Trail that I found to be dull at all. The whole route was very enjoyable. The only town walking was right at the start in Chesham, and this was by no means too bad as it largely followed the course of the river Chess. The section through Old Amersham was very brief, and I spread it over two days anyway. In any case it was no hardship to walk along the beautiful old High Street there.

There were lots of points of historic interest along the route, Little Missenden church and Cholesbury Camp being particular highlights of the walk for me. I suspect that the Quaker Meeting House would also be well worth visiting, I was really disappointed that it was closed and covered in scaffolding when I passed Ė Iím sure Iíll go back there even if I donít walk the Chiltern Heritage Trail again.

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Typical Chiltern scenery, between Ashley Green and Whelpley Hill (Day 7)

There were many attractive villages on the route of the Chiltern Heritage Trail. Some, such as Winchmore Hill and The Lee, I already knew from other walks but there were many that were new to me. Again, Little Missenden and Cholesbury were highlights, but I also liked Penn Street, Latimer, Chenies, Jordans and Ashley Green amongst others.

I did try to look out for the Millennium artwork along the Chiltern Heritage Trail, as indicated in the guide book. This did add another bit of interest to the walk. Unfortunately some of the artwork seemed to have disappeared Ė usually when the art took the form of a metal seat. I suspect that some of it has been stolen and melted down for scrap metal, which would be a sad reflection of the times we live in.

In short, I thoroughly enjoyed the Chiltern Heritage Trail, and think that Chiltern District Council should be congratulated on creating such a splendid route.