This section is 17 miles (27.2km) long. A map of it, and a route profile that gives an indication of the amount of up and downhill, can be downloaded below.
Dominated by fine beech woodlands for which the Chilterns are justly famous, this countryside however offers more than just trees.
Up and Down!
This section is the most undulating with several climbs in and out of valleys and is therefore the most strenuous part of The Ridgeway, but being southern England it's not that tough! It starts out gently enough, with a few miles on the level broad track of the ancient Icknield Way at the bottom edge of the Chilterns scarp. Along this section it crosses the M40 via an underpass where the motorway slices through the Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in a deep cutting. After it leaves the Icknield Way The Ridgeway strikes across fields and over Lodge Hill to Princes Risborough. From there the terrain starts seriously to undulate as theTrail climbs in and out of valleys before finally descending to the small attractive town of Wendover.
Beeches and Nature Reserves
One minute you may be walking up a sheltered slope amongst the tall, straight, grey trunks of beeches and the next you'll have emerged into some fine unimproved chalk grassland boasting a great variety of wild flowers and insects with tremendous views across the Vale of Aylesbury.
Agriculture is varied with crops grown in places, and sheep, cattle and horses grazed elsewhere. Many places are in fact nature reserves managed by Wildlife Trusts and the National Trust where the sheep and cattle are essential elements of the management to ensure the traditional chalk grasslands remain free of scrub and rich in wild species. The woodlands, too, are not just places for leisure as many are managed commercially for their timber.
Towns and villages
You're never far from settlements, although the woodlands tend to screen them from you so it's easy to feel you're away from the bustle of life. There's a choice of villages or small towns to venture into for refreshments and to enjoy the local vernacular architecture of brick and flint common to the Chilterns.