History of The Shoulder of Mutton and Wendover
The Shoulder of Mutton dates back to the 18th century, and in common with many buildings in Wendover it has Grade II listed status. Once known as The Railway Hotel, this handsome country pub is at the heart of community life in the town. The pub is the starting point for the ‘Coombe Hill Run,’ a 6km endurance run held annually over a course of steep hills. Legend states that a local Wendover boy does not become a man until he has completed the course. Once part of the Prime Minister’s nearby country estate of Chequers, Coombe Hill is a popular beauty spot now managed by the National Trust, with stunning views overlooking the gently rolling landscape of Aylesbury Vale.
Standing on the brow of the hill on Pound Street, The Shoulder of Mutton is on the ancient Icknield Way, a prehistoric trackway that follows the chalk escarpment across southern England from Norfolk to Wiltshire. A popular leisure trail today, the Icknield Way Path runs through scenic Chilterns landscapes and villages around Wendover, connecting with the equally ancient Ridgeway track north of the town at Ivinghoe Beacon, a prominent Chiltern Hills landmark and nature reserve.
The majestic landscape, pretty hamlets and rolling hills of the Chilterns have always made this area popular with walkers and outdoor enthusiasts. There are over 1,200 miles of public footpaths through this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and an abundance of rare wildlife, including soaring Red Kites, once extinct in England.
Wendover itself is an attractive tourist destination, an unspoilt Buckinghamshire town just 35 minutes from London. Surrounded by quiet country lanes and hamlets, the original settlement centred around the 13th century flint-built church of St Mary’s, a Grade II listed building, but the medieval town centred around the High Street and the striking red-brick Clock Tower, also Grade II listed, built in 1842 as a market hall and gaol. Among the quiet streets of timber-framed buildings, a short walk from The Shoulder of Mutton, there is a row of beautiful black and white thatched cottages known as Anne Boleyn’s Cottages, reputedly a wedding gift to Anne from Henry VIII. The Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal, built in 1793 but no longer navigable, heads north from the town through Halton to Tring, offering picturesque canalside walks.
After a day spent exploring the area, The Shoulder of Mutton is an ideal spot to re-fuel with family and friends. Serving pub meals from an extensive menu with plenty of traditional favourites and seasonal specials, this delightful 18th century Chilterns inn offers a warm welcome every day of the week throughout the year. A popular venue for tasty Sunday lunches, this historic pub restaurant also offers a wide range of fine wines and cask ales, bar snacks and Costa coffee.
You can find The Shoulder of Mutton at the top of Pound Street, next to Wendover Station. For satnavs use the postcode HP22 6EJ.