Chiltern Walks: Watlington Hill Circular

Start / Finish: Watlington Hill NT Car Park, Watlington, OX49 5HS
Distance: 3.6km / 2.2 miles
Ascent: 104m
Duration: 1 hours 45 mins at at leisurely pace
Other Routes Touched: The Ridgeway
Map: OS Explorer Map Active (171) Chiltern Hills West, Henley-on-Thames and Wallingford
See also: National Trust Watlington Hill

Maybe it was the clear, sunny winter’s day, but I think I’ve found my new favourite short walk in the Chilterns. Judging from how packed was the car-park when we arrived, this is clearly a popular place. When we left at lunchtime it was overflowing with cars lined up along the road. From the car-park take a clockwise / Westerly direction and you’ll soon get great views to the North. After half a mile the trail descends steeply to Hill Road where you’ll turn left onto the Ridgeway. Follow the Ridgeway for about a quarter-mile then left a left through a gate and follow the path through the fields at the foot of the hill. The route hits a T-junction in the path at the end of the field. Take another left here and follow the path gradually ascending all the way back to the car-park.

We went to the Fox and Hounds, a 2 minute drive away on Christmas Common, for a post-walk Sunday Lunch. Its well worth the diversion as its a quaint old place with great food and service.

If you’re heading back via the M40 there’s also the Shirburn Hill Trigpoint and Bald Hill, the Oxfordshire Historic County Top within 5 minutes drive of Watlington Hill or the pub

Richard gowerComment