Pete's Walks - Coombe Hill and the Hampden Monument (page 1 of 3)

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

Google map of the walk

I did this walk of about 7.9 miles on Thursday, 9th May 2024. It was a new route for me, and most unusually it was a figure-of-eight rather than circular.

I parked in the car park at Coombe Hill (Grid Reference SP SP 852063) and started walking about 9.50am. I went through the gate by the entrance to the car park into the National Trust land on top of Coombe Hill. Three paths go off in different directions from the gate the middle path is the most widely used one, going straight to the monument on top of the hill, but I took the path going left, fairly close to some gardens on my left, with an open area of gorse and other bushes to my right. After a few hundred yards I came to a metal kissing-gate in the fence on my left. I went through it into a beech wood I was now on the route of the Ridgeway, which Id be following for almost a mile. The path weaved its way between the beech trees until I came to a road (the car park where Id started was along it to my left) where I turned right and went downhill for a hundred yards or so. I then turned left, back into the woods (now Linton's Wood).The path was initially close to a field on my left, but then moved further into the wood, which at some point became Goodmerhill Wood. Every hundred yards or so there were signposts with the white acorn sign depicting the Ridgeway National Trail the path was very clear today (and pretty muddy), but when the ground is covered in autumn leaves, the frequent signposts here are invaluable. As always it was a pleasure to walk through a beech wood like this - the fresh green leaves were almost dazzling. After half a mile or so, the Ridgeway came to a wide track, where it turned right, soonn heading fairly steeply downhill.

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The Ridgeway, after I turned left

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The road on Lodge Hill

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The Ridgeway in Linton's Wood

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The Ridgeway in Linton's Wood

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The Ridgeway in Goodmerhill Wood

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The Ridgeway in Goodmerhill Wood

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The Ridgeway in Goodmerhill Wood (I turned left roughly where the track disappears from view)

When a bridleway crossed the path I turned left, leaving the Ridgeway. I very quickly came to a path junction where I took a permissive path forking right from the bridleway, which ran fairly level just inside the bottom edge of more woodland (it soon became Chisley Wood). After a few hundred yards it brought me to the lane that runs from Buckmoorend (to my right) towards Little Hampden. A footpath started on the other side, going slightly left and rising gently up a slope through Hengrove Wood (another unofficial path went straight on, but it's not shown on the OS map and there was no sign saying it was a permissive path). I fairly soon reached a path junction, where I turned right and dropped a little way downhill through the wood. At the bottom of the slope I turned left when I met the unofficial path I'd seen earlier, the merged paths then turning immediately right. After one or two hundred yards I came to another path junction, where I turned left.

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The permissive path along the bottom of Chisley Wood

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The permissive path along the bottom of Chisley Wood

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The permissive path along the bottom of Chisley Wood

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The footpath on the other side of the lane from Buckmoorend

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The path after I turned right in Hengrove Wood

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The path in Hengrove Wood

I followed the path very gently uphill through Hengrove Wood for a third of a mile or so. I went straight on where a white arrow pointed right down a track (this isn't shown as a right of way on the OS map), and again straight on a little later when a yellow arrow pointed to a path going sharply right (that is a public footpath, one I've walked frequently that goes past Dirtywood Farm). The path now curved left. When it left the wood, the path continued uphill beside the wood and then a hedge on the right. Near the top of the slope, at a field corner the path switched to the right of the hedgerow. Shortly after entering another wood, the path ended when it met a bridleway where I turned right. I then turned right again, to stay on the bridleway where a footpath came in on the left (the OS map seems to show the path I'd been on joining the bridleway just after this right turn). The bridleway soon reached Little Hampden, where I continued straight ahead on the lane through the village.

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The path in Hengrove Wood after I turned left

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The path in Hengrove Wood after I turned left

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The path in Hengrove Wood after I turned left

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The path continuing from Hengrove Wood

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The path continuing from Hengrove Wood

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The bridleway into Little Hampden after I turned right and right again

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The lane through Little Hampden