The Chequers - Route 3

A long walk, involving a steep climb up the Chilterns Escarpment.

Technical sheet
No. 4989557
A Watlington walk posted on 10/02/21 by The Brakspear Pub Trails. Update : 11/02/21
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h35[?]
Distance Distance : 6.7mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 538ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 515ft
Highest point Highest point : 853ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 344ft
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Chiltern Hills
Location Location : Watlington
Starting point Starting point : N 51.647395° / W 1.007001°
Download : -

Description

(D/A) Coming out of the pub, turn left along the road and walk past the schools on your left. Where the road turns right, go slightly to the left along a small turning towards Rainbow Nursery. The allotments are on your right; the path then narrows and turns to the left. When you reach the field, turn right. Walk along the field margin to the recreation ground, and past the sports pavilion on your right hand side. Keep walking straight on, between a fence and the football pitch. When you reach the trees near the road (B4009) turn left, following the treeline until you are about at the end of the football pitch, where there is a small path on the right leading through the trees to the road.

(1) Turn left on to the road. When you reach the road junction; turn right onto Station Road heading towards Pyrton Field Farm. Shortly after the large house on your left is the site of the old Watlington Railway Station. Continue straight ahead for 1100 metres until you reach the junction with the Ridgeway long distance trail.

(2) Turn left. Follow the Ridgeway trail for about 2.5km. The track runs between hedgerows and for much of the way is beneath trees, offering glimpses towards the Chiltern escarpment. After about 2km you will emerge from the trees onto a broad grassy track, and you will see the motorway up ahead where it cuts through the Chilterns. As the grassy track starts to head downhill slightly look out for a gate on the right hand side, slightly hidden in the hedge.

(3) Go through the gate into a field and head towards the next gate which leads into a small woodland. The path winds through scrub before opening out among beech trees. When you reach a kissing gate, go through the gate then turn left and walk straight along edge of the grassy field, ignoring the wooden gate on the left. This path leads up into a valley and to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve. The path climbs gently along the side of the valley, beneath power lines, and then the path turns to the right before reaching a large gate on the left. Go through the gate and walk up the very steep hill under trees. At the top of the hill go through the metal gate and walk along the right hand side of the field until you reach another gate which leads on to a road, with a large water tower ahead.

(4) Turn right on to the road. After a short distance there is a stile on the right hand side; this leads into a grassy field. The path goes slightly to the left across the field; head towards the point where the coniferous trees meet the broadleaved trees. You will reach a stile which leads over a track and down the hill beneath trees and then emerges on to chalk grassland pockmarked with ant hills and full of wild flowers in spring and summer. Great views as well. Bear left at the bottom of the hill towards a gate.

(5) Go through the gate and follow the path round to the right. This path meanders along the base of the Chiltern escarpment with woodland to the left and a fence and fields to the right. The path continues to a gate in some woodland; continue through the gate and the path becomes a track through an area of grassland and scrub. After a short while the track bears to the right, but the path goes straight on down a little hill.

(6) This leads to a gate where you turn right on to Station Road. Follow Station Road back the B4009 and follow the out bound route back to The Chequers. (D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 348ft - The Chequers
1 : mi 0.38 - alt. 374ft - Shiburn Road
2 : mi 1.29 - alt. 436ft - The Ridgeway
3 : mi 2.84 - alt. 486ft - Gate
4 : mi 3.67 - alt. 843ft - Christmas Common Road
5 : mi 4.31 - alt. 571ft - Gate
6 : mi 5.14 - alt. 495ft - Station Road
D/A : mi 6.7 - alt. 348ft - The Chequers

Useful Information

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

Watlington Station – Opened in 1872, this was the terminus of the single track Watlington and Princes Risborough Railway. There had been plans to extend the line to Wallingford, but this never happened and the line was closed to passengers in 1957 and to goods in 1961.

Chalk Grassland – The Chiltern Hills offer many remnants of the once extensive chalk grassland, rich in summer wildflowers including pungent thyme and marjoram and delicate orchids. Look out for the large ant hills and for the beautiful marbled white butterflies.

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