Wendover Woods and Cobblers Pits, Chilterns

A varied walk climbing to a hillfort in Wendover woods with beautiful views over Aylesbury Vale. Return by the peaceful Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal.

Technical sheet No. 29246415

A Wendover walk posted on 10/12/22 by Chiltern Society. Last update : 16/03/23
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h40[?]
Distance Distance : 11.35 km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 149 m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 151 m
Highest point Highest point : 273 m
Lowest point Lowest point : 120 m
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Chiltern Hills
Location Location : Wendover
Starting point Starting point : N 51.762245° / W 0.743082°
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Road to the woods


Start: Wendover Library car park, High Street, Wendover (HP22 6DU). Grid ref: SP 868 077

(D/A) From the car park entrance, turn right down the High St to the mini roundabout by the Clock Tower. Turn right along Tring Rd for over 400m to a pedestrian crossing just after Manor Rd on the left.

(1) Turn right up Colet Rd, first left into Barlow Rd and then straight ahead along Beechwood Lane.

(2) At the end of the lane bear right uphill on a wide track for 40m to a major crossing track. Cross it and climb the very steep path into Wendover Woods (A). At the top of the hill the path meets a major track, the Hill Fort Trail.

(3) Turn left along the major track for about 80 meters to an information board on the right. It is worth taking time to explore the Boddington Hill Fort (B). After exploring, leave the information board behind and take the main track directly ahead. Stay on it for nearly 1km to reach the Information Point near the Cafe in the Woods, where refreshments and toilets are available.

(4) Turn left in front of the Information point/parking pay station towards the car park. Turn right before you reach the car park, walking to the right of the road to the exit road. Cross the road.

(5) You can visit the highest point in the Chilterns from here, though it can be difficult to find. If you want to skip it, turn left and follow the instructions from the Waypoint (6).

''To visit the high point, turn right along the road walking wood-side of the fence between woods and road. Ignore the first path on the left that leads to a picnic area. As the road turns right, bear left into the woods and follow the path to the stones marking Haddington Hill the highest point in the Chilterns (C). Return to the road and turn right."

(6) Continue past the entry barrier and along the tarmac entrance road for 500m. Where it dips down to the left, take a path leading off right past a wooden barrier into woodland and follow it for 200m to a crossing footpath. The path to the right is not well marked, so be alert.

(7) Take the right-hand path up to a gate and into a field. Cross the field to the left of a triangulation point (concrete pyramid) to a stile in the corner of the field. Cross a driveway to the road, turning left for 10m before taking the wide track off to the right. Walk parallel with the car park.

(8) Shortly past the end of the car park take the footpath sharp left, initially between wooden barriers. Descend the hill for 500m to a fork. Bear left towards the golf course clubhouse. Cross the course following the white post markers and a square white sign. Go through a gap in the hedge and follow the path directly ahead between hedgerow and field down to a gate and the B4009 Upper Icknield Way.

(9) Taking great care, cross the road to the pavement on the other side and walk uphill to the road to Wendover Woods. (An option in June is to visit the Aston Clinton Ragpits (D) to see the orchids.) Turn right through a kissing gate and follow the path as it winds downhill through woodland and Cobblers' Pits (E) to the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal (F).

(10) Go through a gate, turn left and follow the canal towpath for 1.6 km to Halton village (G). Cross the road and take the towpath on the opposite bank (H). Continue along the canal for 2.5km to the canal head.

(11) Take the slope up to the road (Wharf Road). Turn left to return to cars parked in Tring Road or, to return to the library, turn right and walk along the pavement to a T-junction at the Aylesbury Road. Turn left to the Clock Tower roundabout and turn right up the High Street to return to the car park. (D/A)

"We hope you have enjoyed your walk. Please remember to rate the walk and add comments. We are interested in how we could improve the instructions or the route and would like to hear about any issues with paths on the walk."

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 130 m - Wendover Library
1 : km 0.61 - alt. 137 m - Colet Road
2 : km 1.23 - alt. 167 m - End of Lane - Wendover Woods
3 : km 1.76 - alt. 249 m - Boddington Iron Age Hill Fort - Boddinggton Hillfort
4 : km 2.67 - alt. 271 m - Information Point
5 : km 2.78 - alt. 273 m - Exit Road - Haddington Hill
6 : km 3.16 - alt. 272 m - Entry barrier
7 : km 3.93 - alt. 262 m - Footpath right
8 : km 4.43 - alt. 261 m - Car park
9 : km 5.66 - alt. 161 m - B-road
10 : km 6.38 - alt. 128 m - Wendover Canal
11 : km 10.71 - alt. 123 m - Canal Head
D/A : km 11.34 - alt. 128 m - Wendover Library

Useful Information

Start & finish: Wendover Library car park, High Street, Wendover (HP22 6DU). Grid ref: SP 868 077

Parking: Wendover Library car park or free roadside parking in the Tring Road area.

Local transport: Bus 50 runs between Aylesbury and Halton all week. Bus 55 runs between Aylesbury and Chesham on Mondays to Fridays. Wendover is also served by main line trains to Marylebone and Aylesbury.

Food & drink: The Café in the Woods in Wendover Woods. There are plenty of cafés and pubs in Wendover.

Terrain: Good paths with one steep climb. Care needed on one descent on wet chalk and slippery tree roots.

Find more walks and information at Chiltern Society here.

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

(A) Wendover Woods cover 325 hectares and are a mixture of coniferous and broadleaved trees. Owned by the Forestry Commission, the site is very popular for many outdoor activities. It belonged to Alfred de Rothschild and was heavily felled during WWI to support the war effort.

In 1919 it was sold to the Air Ministry who replanted it with conifers. It was then passed to the Forestry Commission who planted beech, spruce, larch and pine.

(B) Boddington Iron Age Hill Fort area was rescued by Chiltern Society volunteers from being at ‘high risk’ to ‘low risk and stable’ by clearing undergrowth and small trees to create an open woodland area.

(C) Haddington Hill is the highest point in the Chilterns at 267m. It's marked by a set of stones and a plaque.

(D) Aston Clinton Ragpits is an old chalk pit managed by Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust. This hidden reserve boasts 10 species of orchid and over 25 different types of butterfly.

(E) Cobblers'Pits is a small mixed wood of yew and box. The Chiltern Society recently took over the management of this disused quarry from Bucks County Council.

(F) The Wendover Arm: The 6.7 mile long Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal was constructed in 1799 to carry water from the springs and streams in the Wendover area to feed the Tring summit locks. It had problems from the start with leakage. The middle section became dry so the water was piped. The Arm is currently being restored by the Wendover Arm Trust.

(G) RAF Halton & The Rothschilds: The walk along the canal passes RAF Halton. The Halton Estate was owned by the Rothschild family and at the outbreak of WWI they offered land to Lord Kitchener for military training. After Alfred de Rothschild's death in 1918 the estate was purchased by the War Office for £112,000. It's now the RAF's centre for recruit and airman training.

(H) The Wides is a broad part of the canal formerly used to turn full-length boats round. It’s now a haven for wildlife.

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