Feb 242013
 Posted by at 12:59

  2 Responses to “Christmas 2012 Supplement – West Wycombe walk”

  1. Dear Sir, If I may, I’d like to take you up on the description of your
    Hellfire Caves, West Wycombe, Bucks walk which I did on 17 Feb. You
    desribe it as “6 miles Easy woodland and farmland tracks”. First
    there was a very steep descent from the Dashwood Mausoleum to West
    Wycombe, quite a long uphill haul from W Wycombe up to Great
    Cockshoots Wood, followed by a fairly steep at first descent towards
    Chorley Farm and finally an extremely steep ascent from the valley
    back up to Hearnton Wood. So I felt your description was somewhat
    misleading, albeit the tracks themselves were good. I can read maps
    and I admit I hadn’t properly read the contours but for anyone who
    enjoys walking who doesn’t read maps who is dependent on a written
    description and who may not be very young or not as strong a walker as
    you clearly are, the descents and ascents on this walk could be
    regarded as quite a trial. Indeed we met some not so young people on
    the steep descent from Hearnton Wood to Chorley Farm and they were
    really struggling with their footholds. And if there are problems of
    this kind, it can take longer to complete such a walk – and miss the
    train! However, it was a very lovely walk landscape-wise so we did
    enjoy it but I found it a challenge in places.
    Yours sincerely
    Jean Chippindale

  2. Dear Jean,

    Thank you very much for drawing this to my attention. I have checked my records, and the original article I wrote and sent to the Times did not contain the word ‘easy’. The Times Online version doesn’t contain it either, but the paper version does. So I’m afraid it must have been added without my knowledge by a sub-editor just before the paper was published.

    I’m very sorry that you – and others, evidently – were misled, and I will forward your email to the Weekend Section to see if they can throw any light on the matter. I’ll also post your email on my own website, so that anyone thinking of doing the walk will be aware of its grade – which I’d describe as ‘moderate, with a couple of stiff climbs/descents’.

    With good wishes,


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