Post-walk comments

After walking the original route of the Chiltern Heritage Trail in 2006 I wrote:

I would thoroughly recommend the Chiltern Heritage Trail. It was certainly one of the most enjoyable long-distance paths that I have walked, and I could well imagine that I will go back and do it again.

Well, I have gone back and done it again, and I still think its a very good long-distance path. I think it is very representative of the Chilterns, with alternating hills and valleys and lots of woods (especially beautiful beech woods). It passes through some attractive villages (Little Missenden is probably my favourite village in the Chilterns) and there are a number of sites of historic or other interest, such as Latimer House, Chenies Manor and the Quaker Meeting House at Jordans.

I think it is just as good in the anti-clockwise direction as clockwise. The only case I can think of where the views were inferior in the anti-clockwise direction was on Day 3, where the descent into the Misbourne Valley was through Chalfont St Peter, with far less attractive views than when the clockwise route descends into the valley near Old Amersham.

Picture omitted

The path going uphill from the Misbourne Valley, to Botterells Lane (Day 5)

I didn't bother to look out for the Millennium artwork along the Chiltern Heritage Trail, as indicated in the original guide book, because most of it had already disappeared when I followed the route in 2006. But at least two of them remain, the Lych Gate at Coleshill and the Chesham/Friedrichsdorf mural in Chesham.

In my post-walk comments in 2006 I said that the Chiltern District Council should be congratulated on creating such a splendid route. I suppose that still holds, although they soon seemed to lose interest in the project. The Chiltern Society (I'm a member, so feel free to suspect me of bias here!) should definitely be congratulated for re-invigorating the route, publishing an excellent new guide book and putting up new waymarks (I had hardly any issues with navigating the route). The minor changes they have made to the route of the Chiltern Heritage Trail are all improvements in my opinion - I don't know if any of the people involved read my journal from 2006, but at least two of the changes reflected comments I made about the old route (such as how complicated it was following the route through Cowcroft Wood, near Ley Hill).