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This trail takes in the two ancient hill forts of Pulpit and Whiteleaf Hill. Standing on top of either hill provides the wonderful views to the north and east that gave ancient settlements the security needed in uncertain times. Pulpit still has evidence of the ditch that would have surrounded its fortifications. Whiteleaf is crowned by a burial mound. A white chalk cross on the side of the hill can be seen from Princes Risborough.
This is a more complex route than its companion, Chequers Circuit and is designed as a more challenging option, taking in technical bridleways in the area. The route involves retracing your steps and riding small sections twice to include the best trails. This area is mud over clay and chalk with plenty of roots to add to the fun. In the wet, the mud and wet roots can make the going slow and slippery. When dry these trails can be very fast.
There are two sections on this route which increase its technical grade to 'moderate'. The descent from Cobblers Hill farm is steep and loose and the chalk can be slippery in the wet. The climb up Whiteleaf Hill is steep, rooted and unrelenting. Experienced bikers will love both sections!
As the route is complex, my descriptions assume that you are following a GPS.
Park in the CP in Wendover High Street.
1. Take the BW L up a steep chalk gully which widens as it climbs. Watch out for high speed bikes coming the other way!
2. At the top take a R to descend to the bottom of Coombe Hill.
3. Sharp left through the gate by the golf course.
4. There is a permissive path around the field opposite Chequers which avoids a section of road.
10. Look for an indistinct trail going L that descends to Pulpit Hill CP.
5. Take the trail through the gate across the scrub.
6. After crossing the road to pass the Plough PH on your R, the BW goes behind the pub CP to wind up Whiteleaf Hill. The climb becomes more technical after half way. Descend to Pulpit Hill CP.
7. Take the BW down the hill once again, this time passing the gate at 5 to descend to the bottom of the hill.
8. Go right along the busy road (or walk your bike along the footpath) until you find a residential layby.
9. The track goes straight up the hill in a long and sustained climb which passes the Hill fort on your R.
10. L to retrace your steps down the hill.
11. Take the trail R up the hill. Avoid the FP to singletrack through the gate taking the muddy BW through the field before winding your way through the woods to Hampden Common.
12. Take the trail going directly opposite the houses. Through the mud pit at the bottom of the hill before taking the steep chalky track opposite.
13. Turn right along the BW before emerging at the road junction.
14. Look carefully for the BW sign on your R pointing backwards and directing the route alongside a farmhouse. This descends steeply through the woods and into a loose chalk gully. This is probably the steepest BW in the Chilterns : ) Go around the field and climb up to the road and then back to Hampden Common.
12. Down the BW again to repeat this section.
13. L along the ridge this time.
15. Take the fork R to descend to the lane and back in to Wendover. There is also an option to take the BW to 2 and reverse your climb with the excellent descent down Bacombe Hill in which case watch our for bikers struggling up the other way!