Sunday, 3 November 2013

Wigginton to Wendover (The Ridgeway 2)

The Ionic portico in Tring Park

Having started this new walk project only last week, it was great to be able to continue so soon. We resumed the walk in Wigginton and quickly entered Tring Park, immediately taking a detour to investigate the Greek temple we could down see a track to the right. It was in fact just a portico which was once attached to a summer house.

We turned back to continue a along a very appealing tree-lined drive.

Soon a gap in the trees provided a view over Tring and the surrounding countryside. The mansion which presides over Tring Park is visible in the centre. The house dates back to the 17th century and was the work of no less a figure than Wren, but it was remodelled by the Rothschild family who acquired it in the late 19th century.

Leaving the park, we followed a road for a while through the hamlet of Hastoe and then entered the long, narrow Pavis Wood. It was the first of several very pleasant mainly beech woods.

Then it was across fields and touching the corner of Wendover woods we followed a long gulley, winding downhill.

 Soon we passed the impressive beechwood drive to The Hale, a house of 1743 according to Pevsner.

The track we were on led into Wendover and St Mary's church: early 14th century, but with the exterior mainly the result of restoration by G E Street in 1869. The churchyard with its large yews was very appealing.

From here we followed a stream into Wendover where we emerged near the charming Clock Tower of 1842. The sheets of wood stacked to its right do rather detract from its appearance.

Opposite is a building now called the Town House, but originally the Literary Institute of 1862.

Pevsner describes it as "neither good nor minor", but I think this is rather harsh. The gothic windows are very attractive, especially those to the left of the door.

Finally up the attractive High St for lunch at the Red Lion, a splendid old coaching inn, and back to the nearby car park.

Conditions: cloudy, but becoming sunnier.

Distance: 6.5 miles (11.8 covered so far).

Map: Explorer 181 (Chiltern Hills North).

Rating: four stars.

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