Date: Friday 18th May 2018
Index: South Area
Map: Go to OS Map
Coombe Hill is an excellent viewpoint across Aylesbury vale, and allows views: from Whitehorse Hill and the Lambourn Down in the west; across the hills around Oxford and the eastern Cotwolds in the north-west; Banburyshire and south Northamptonshire to the north; and to the north-east across north Buckinghamshire to the Greensand Ridge in Bedfordshire. It also gives a panoramic view of HS2 as it crosses Aylesbury vale from Wendover to Quainton.
From this view point it will be possible to watch the construction of HS2 scour a path across the vale, skirting the town of Aylesbury, and then disappearing between the Waddesdon and Quainton hills – as shown in the panorama along the route below (note, the images are at a slightly skew angle so that the HS2's route moves in a roughly straight line from the top-left to the bottom-right of the panorama):
Use the slider to move the view from side to side.
Waddesdon Hill is on the very left of the panorame. Note, for comparison, when the panorama is fully to the left, the small white and blue strip in the centre of the image is a train on its way from Princes Risborough to Aylesbury.
Shifting the panorama to the left, HS2 will emerge from behind Waddesdon Hill and then run over the low point between Waddesdon Hill and Quainton Hill – the next hill along with the transmitter masts on top.
Below Quainton Hill you can see an extensive spread of development. This is Aylesbury Vale, the new extension of the town to the north of Aylesbury. You can clearly see Quarrendon Fields Wind Farm with its single, 1.5 megawatt/87 metre diameter wind turbine.
Just below and to the right of the wind turbine is Aylesbury town centre – the brown concrete tower block of Buckinghamshire County Council visible in the centre.
HS2 follows the edge of the developed area of the town nearest you. The white complex of buildings below the tower block is Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Stoke Mandeville village is below the hospital, separated by some flat green fields. In the panorama HS2 goes through the green space on the side of the village nearest to you.
There's a usefully placed circuas big top in the panorama. Just below that, and the white warehouse roof to its rights, you can see a thick hedgerow marked with white hawthorn trees in flower streching from Stoke Mandeville towards Wendover – this is the Chiltern Line.
HS2 gets progressively squeezed between the Chiltern Line and the line of pylons as it approaches Wendover.
You can see the railway bridge across the straight line of A413 Wendover bypass road. From there the pylons will have to be moved to allow HS2 to pass between the road and the line of the pylons as it passes Wendover.
Wendover can be seen on the right-side of the panorama – where the footbridge takes the path from Thornton Crescent towards Wellwick Farm.
Coombe Hill will be one of the best viewpoints to see the massive scale of the engineering required to create HS2. As it crosses Aylesbury vale the amount of bridges and viaducts required to cross waterways and connect roads will entail a string of large structures that will significantly change the view northward from this point.