Come to High Wycombe for a wonderful circuit walk taking the sights of the local area.
Sometimes referred to as ‘Wycombe’ this large town might seem like an odd place to start your trek, but its wealth of options for food and accommodation will soon outweigh any worries that you might have. It can be easy to forget that High Wycombe is in the heart of the Chiltern Hills when you first visit. This is a town with a population of around 125,000 people, which is a convenient distance from London, but that’ll be the last thing on your mind whilst you walk around the urbane streets, marvelling at the historical buildings and wandering from cafe to cafe.
Named for the river Wye and the archaic term for wooded valley, ‘combe’, Wycombe’s rich history can be traced all the way back to 9th century when it was first recorded as ‘Wichama’. The oldest known structure within the town’s limits was a Roman Villa estimated to have been built at some point between 150-170 AD, the villa has been the site of excavations no less than three times, however there is no trace of it today.
Thanks to its leafy boroughs, handsome river and proximity to the Chiltern Hills, High Wycombe is a fantastic place to ramble around that offers some great diversions should the weather turn against you:
Where to Walk
Make High Wycombe your base for a fantastic three-in-one walk through the Chiltern Hills as described by the National Trust. This 8.7 mile walk is not to be undertaken lightly, however it does give you a fantastic look at the historical village of West Wycombe, as well as the lovely Bradenham and Hughenden Manor. This dog-friendly ramble will take anywhere from between 3-4 and a half hours, depending on your pace, and will require you to bring a map (OS Sheet 172). The route starts and ends at the car park in West Wycombe and takes in multiple rural attractions in the local area, perfect for a long afternoon’s ramble.
Where to Stay
There are a number of comfortable places to stay in High Wycombe, but if you’d prefer to stay outside of the main town then your first place to check will be The George & Dragon Hotel. This handsome historical pub offers a comfortable night’s stay in four poster beds with good en-suites. Head a little further down the road to stay at Dovecot Studio. This comfortable apartment is ideal for a small family or a couple who are looking for a ‘home from home’.
For something a bit more cheap and cheerful you can stay at Chris’s Motel, a ‘no frills’ place offering rooms for as little as £44 per night. If you’re a little under the weather you can always choose to stay at one High Wycombe’s highly rated hospitals, however the cost of varicose vein removal surgery there is no cheaper than anywhere else in the country.
Where to Eat
What to Do
One of the best things about this location is the variety of attractions that you’ll be able to find just a short walk away from the starting point in West Wycombe. The Hellfire Caves are certainly worth visiting for their rich, curious history, whilst this walk will also take you on a tour of other sights including Dashwood Mausoleum and National West Wycombe Park.