Having driven along the A40 towards West Wycombe over the years I have often thought about the building with the golden ball you can easily see at the top of the hill. If you have ever driven that way yourself you must have seen it. What you can actually see is the Dashwood Mausoleum and behind that the church of St. Lawrence with it’s golden ball. The church was originally built in the 14th Century and was renovated by Sir Francis Dashwood in the 17th Century.
We parked our car at the Hell Fire Caves car park which is free to use and there is no time limit. It is situated at the end of the high street on the righthand side (clearly signposted). Feeling hungry we decided to have lunch before we tackled the steep hill.
We stopped at the George & Dragon Hotel where the roast pork was tasty and plentiful. Unfortunately they don’t serve crackling with their roast pork at the moment which was disappointing; hopefully they will update their menu to reflect this. It’s £13.95 which sounds expensive but it kept us full for the rest of day.
West Wycombe has just a handful of shops and the only one open on this particular Sunday was the Apple Orchard gift and homeware shop. This is a lovely shop in which to browse, and purchase, and is a myriad of rooms with creaking floorboards, low ceilings and a winding staircase. Definitely worth popping in here for Christmas gift ideas.
Our walk up to St. Lawrence Church was challenging as it’s such a steep hill, but well worth the effort, and it probably only took us 20 minutes or so. There are loads of footpaths heading off in all directions from the top so if you want a longer walk there is ample choice.
Graveyards aren’t usually our thing, funnily enough, but we found this one to be very interesting with headstones dating back hundreds of years. With so many lives lost in the Great War it must have had an enormous impact on the small village of West Wycombe.
Returning home we drove through Stokenchurch and then took the road down towards Marlow (to avoid the Wycombe traffic). We stopped off for a quick drink at The Tree Hotel in Cadmore End. This was a good find, with a mouth-watering menu of European and Indian cuisine; we’ll definitely be going back there.
If you fancy an afternoon stroll then head out to West Wycombe, you won’t be disappointed.