On a dark, damp and dull day in December we set off to discover somewhere in Buckinghamshire we hadn’t visited before. Such is our dedication to you, our readers, that we continued with our plans to visit the highest viewpoint in the Chilterns, or in fact Buckinghamshire, on the most depressing of days. Coombe Hill stands at 260 m above sea level.
In true British style we soldiered on, through wind and rain, to visit the monument at the top of Coombe Hill. Built in memory of the 148 men of Buckinghamshire who gave their lives in South Africa during the Boer War of 1899-1902, it stands tall and proud. No doubt the conditions these brave men faced were a million times worse than the miserable weather we were facing and we were glad we had made the effort.
Coombe Hill monument was originally built in 1904. In 1938 it was badly damaged by a lightning strike and was rebuilt later that year. In 2010 a full restoration took place which included replacing the bronze tablet that lists the names of all 148 men lost. With views allegedly reaching as far as the Cotswolds we could only imagine how good they were. Our view today was hardly further than the end of our noses! Thankfully the yellow blooms of the gorse bushes meant we could at least take one photograph that had colour in it.
It took us about 30 minutes to drive to Coombe Hill from Wooburn Green, firstly along the A355 Beaconsfield-Amersham road and then along the A413 Amersham-Aylesbury Road. We turned left towards Dunsmore, up the single track lane to Lodge Hill which takes you to the Coombe Hill spacious free car park on the righthand side. There is a noticeboard halfway down the car park, on the lefthand side, showing various walks in the area. Due to the weather we only walked to the monument which was a brisk 10 minute walk. We passed a lovely picnic area and a play trail where children can get back to nature climbing on all sorts of natural wooden obstacles.
We shall be returning to Coombe Hill on a sunny day. It was definitely worth the visit though, especially as we stopped off for the most delicious lunch at The Russell Arms in Butlers Cross on the way home.