A nice walk that you can do even if you are particularly fit and that you can easily reach from London. This is Coombe Hill in the Chilterns in Buckinghamshire. The walk goes around Coombe Hill and gives you beautiful views of the Aylesbury Valley.
In summer you will cross fields with grazing cattle, while in autumn you will have the opportunity to enjoy the rich colours of nature. Notice that these are chalk hills and under the ground you can see the unmistakable whiteness. This land and hill once belonged to the British Prime Minister’s summer home, Checkers. It is now managed by the National Trust. From the hill you can clearly see Checkers and its park.
A walk takes you to the top of Coombe Hill where there is a monument built in 1804 dedicated to the fallen of Buckinghamshire during the war in South Africa. The National Trust has all the details of this walk that are not difficult to follow. The walk takes about an hour and a half and is therefore doable even if you are not really fit. However, bring comfortable low shoes.
If you are coming from London and you don’t have a car, you can take the train from Marylebone station in London, in fact there is a line called Chilterns Railways Line which serves the Chilterns area. Get off at Wendover and from there follow the signs for the Ridgeway to get to Coombe Hill. Or take the Metropolitan Line to Amersham and buy a ticket to Wendover here. Take the train to Aylesbury, it’s only two stops and 13 minutes by train. There are two trains per hour so quite frequent.
There are several ways to get there from Wendover, in any case when you leave the station you have to cross the bridge over the main road and one of the two paths starts right after the bridge. In fact you will find a small path on the left just below the trasmission towers.
Cross the field and reach the houses then you can follow the instructions you find here. There are also alternative walks that cover a longer route. There are no detailed signs to Coombe Hill so you must have the instructions with you.
Once you’re back in Wendover, you can try Rumsey’s Chocolatiere, a pastry and chocolate shop inspired by the film Chocolat. The hot chocolate, cakes and chocolates are great too. If you prefer something else, there are three pubs not far from the station that also have food.
Things you might not know about Soho’s Wardour Street
Perhaps the most important street in the neighborhood, Wardour Street in Soho was once called Colmanhedge Lane and changed its name in honor of Sir Edward Wardour who owned land in the area and who managed to obtain fresh water for the street’s houses from a spring not far away from`sw12 Wardour Street was called Prince’s Street until 1878 when the whole street became the current street.
In this street there was the church of St Anne dating back to 1600 which was seriously bombed during the Second World War, now it is used as a community centre. Mystery writer Dorothy L Sayers is buried here.
Wardour Street is one-way street. At number 33 was the famous Flamingo club in the 50s and 60s, which became an important venue for the mods of the time. Oddly enough, the Flamingo didn’t sell alcoholic beverages.
The history of Wardour Street in Soho
The street also existed in medieval times but was developed, like many parts of Soho in the late 1600s and became a centre for building and selling furniture and antiques and in the early 1800s there were also many used book shops. Many houses were rebuilt in the early 1800s.
After the Second World War, Wardour Street in Soho became an area for movie distributors, nightclubs and live music venues. In this street was the legendary Marquee which was the place that launched dozens and dozens of musicians from The Rolling Stones, The Who, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin and The Sex Pistols, almost all of them played here in their early days It was located until 1988 at 80 Wardour Street in Soho. Jimi Hendrix only played once in 1967 after the success at the Monterey festival, the queue for tickets went all the way to Cambridge Circus!
For the first time you can visit Buckingham Palace’s gardens
For the first time, the famous Queen’s Gardens at Buckingham Palace will be opened. Normally only the Royal Family and those invited to the Queen’s parties can see them. The reason for this decision is that this summer there will be no traditional opening of part of the building because of the pandemic and to compensate they open the gardens.
Visitors will be able to wander the garden paths and experience the calm of this garden in the heart of London. You will see Horse Chestnut Avenue, the plane trees planted by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and the famous lake with its bee island of Buckingham Palace. You can also have a picnic on one of the lawns. The gardens will be open from 9 July to 19 September but there are also weekend tours in April and May. You can book your tickets here.
The statue remembering the children of Kindertransport
You might have seen the bronze monument at the entrance to Liverpool Street Station. You may not know what it is. The statue depicts the children of the Kindertransport which brought over 10,000 Jewish children from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland to the United Kingdom.
We can see a little girl sitting on a suitcase with a teddy bear in her hand. The boy to her right holds a satchel and a violin case. The older girl behind him looks away as they wait to be picked up and separated.
The names of the cities on a stretch of track behind them show the places of origin of the children: Cologne – Hanover – Nuremberg – Stuttgart – Düsseldorf – Frankfurt – Bremen – Munich, Gdansk – Wroclaw – Prague – Hamburg – Mannheim – Leipzig – Berlin – Vienna
Between December 1938 and September 1939, nearly 10,000 Jewish children arrived on Liverpool Street via the port of Harwich and the Netherlands. Following the attacks on synagogues and German Jews instigated by the Nazi government at the Kristallnacht from 9 to 10 November 1938, the British government allowed children under 17 to immigrate, provided they found a foster family and a benefactor willing to give a deposit of 50 pounds.
The first to come were nearly 200 children from an orphanage that had been burned down in Berlin. The German authorities allowed children to carry a suitcase and a bag, with no valuables and only a photo. No adult escorts and no train station farewells were allowed.
10,000 children were separated and ended up in different places in Britain and few saw their parents again, many of whom died in concentration camps. A good number of the children decided to stay in Britain at the end of the war.
Concerts coming up!
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