Pete's Walks - Variation on 'Four Hills Walk' (page 1 of 4)

If you are considering walking this route yourself, please see my disclaimer. You may also like to see these notes about the maps.

Google map of the walk

I did this 13.6 mile circular walk on Saturday, 9th April 2011.  The route was basically my 'Four hills walk' in reverse, but starting with an alternative route to Dunsmore (some of which was new to me).

After getting up slightly late, I set off from the car park on Coombe Hill about 10am. From the gate at the entrance to the car park, I took the middle path across an area of grass and bushes, then went through a small group of trees and turned right along a broad strip of grass to reach the tall Boer War monument. There were a lot of people here already (it was a beautiful warm Spring day), and after a couple of quick photos I rather hurried along the Ridgeway path northwards, in order to reach a gate ahead of a large walking group. Beyond the gate the path was quiet again, as I continued on over Bacombe Hill. After a second gate, I left the Ridgeway and kept to a parallel path further right, which I'd not walked before. This was on the edge of a broad strip of grass with a few small  trees, and ended at what was obviously a tumulus or burial mound (I checked on the map) where what had been a very gradually descending slope suddenly steepened ahead of me.

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Near the start of the path from the car park on Coombe Hill

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View from the Boer War monument on Coombe Hill, looking towards Aylesbury

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Beacon Hill, from Coombe Hill - I would return across the white path across the 'striped' field at the end of this walk

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Looking towards Wendover and Wendover Woods from Bacombe Hill

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Path on Bacombe Hill

I turned right at the tumulus, on a path (not shown on the OS maps) that soon entered trees and headed downhill quite steeply - I wanted to reach the long bridleway down the eastern side of Bacombe Hill, close to the start of a path down to the hamlet of Bacombe. More by luck than anything else, I scored a direct hit, the path from the tumulus ending at a gate across the bridleway from the stile where the path down to Bacombe starts. I crossed a large sloping  paddock diagonally (there was a Red Kite nearby), then followed the lane through Bacombe to the left for a short distance before taking a footpath on the right. Beyond the garden fences of Bacombe, this ran between the wooden fences of more paddocks, then crossed a corner of an empty pasture before rising uphill across an arable field to reach Coxgrove Wood.

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The path down to Bacombe

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The path to Coxgrove Wood

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Looking back from the edge of Coxgrove Wood

There were several Wood Anemones and Lesser Celandine in the wood, and I soon heard and then saw a Buzzard overhead. At a path junction I turned right, again entering new territory. The path soon left the wood and went slightly downhill across a field that was being ploughed. On the other side I crossed a bridleway and continued on a path along the edge of a small area of woodland - I wasted several minutes here, going back and forth, as the paths on the ground did not match those on the map and I couldn't get my bearings. In the end I just followed the path ahead, and when it emerged from the wood I worked out where I was and that I was on the right path after all. I spotted some Greater Stitchwort here, only the second I've seen this year. The path ran along a hedge on my left for a short distance, then I turned right in the next arable field to follow a hedge on my right to reach an unnamed wood. This was a very pleasant beech wood, so typical of the Chilterns, and I enjoyed following the path through it. the path then ran between fences and hedges a short way to reach the isolated hamlet of Dunsmore, where I turned left to reach the duck pond.

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The ploughed field beyond Coxgrove Wood

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The path to Dunsmore

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Path through the unnamed wood on the way to Dunsmore

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Path through the unnamed wood on the way to Dunsmore

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The path to Dunsmore

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The duck pond in Dunsmore