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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

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Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Midweek Day Walk - Berkhamsted Circular

A Chilterns Walk to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Berkhamsted

Ashridge, it's woods and college, the Bridgewater Monument and Arms, Golden Valley and Frithsden Beeches. 

A map led walk (A paper map of the route will be provided for all at the start of the walk)

Length : 16 km or 10 miles

Toughness :  3 out of 10

Getting there : Catch the 10:24 am train from London Euston to Berkhamsted. Trains here normally depart from platform 10 and there is a single window Ticket Office just before the platform barriers there.
If it's more convenient for you to catch an overground to Watford Junction, you may join the train there departing 10:41 am
Clapham Junction folk can catch the 9:39 am Milton Keynes train to Berkhamsted arriving there 10:32. There's a coffee kiosk in the station ticket office which may be able to offer a beverage whilst waiting for the Eustonites. 

Meeting point : Berkhamsted Station at 10:53 am

Tickets : Buy a cheap day return to Berkhamsted. 

Brief Description

I posted this walk in August last year at the time of a potential tube strike and remembered it was particularly nice despite earlier drizzle. Hopefully the weather will be better and there will be a few bluebells and other spring flowers in Ashridge forest as well.
The light lunch venue Brownlows can be a bit busy, but they're good at dealing with orders and will sometimes fast forward those just wanting a drink. There's a nice green and some woodland seats nearby for those with a packed lunch.  Walkers may also climb the 172 steps of the National Trust Bridgewater Monument also nearby (don't forget your NT card if you have one).
Details of the "Battle" can be found in the Visitor's Centre adjacent to Brownlows.
After luncheon, the walk continues towards Ashridge House then skirts Little Gaddesden.(where it's possible to divert to the Bridgewater Arms should the weather prove to be inclement.
Then it's on to Golden Valley (modelled by Capability Brown in the 1760’s),  Frithsden Beeches and back to Berkhamsted.

Just to confirm this will be a map led walk and maps will be provided.

Suggested Lunch stops

Brownlows CafĂ© t: 01442 851670

Or if the weather is inclement,

The Bridgewater Arms t: 01442 842408 (about 3km further on)

Suggested Tea stops

Here  t: 01442 300870 28/30 Lower Kings Road, Berkhamsted

... or for those wanting something a little stronger

The Crystal PalaceThe Boat and The Rising Sun can all be found to the southeast of the station.
The Rising Sun looks like the place to go for Real Ale enthusiasts and connoisseurs of fine lagers. All these Pubs have seating overlooking the Grand Union Canal.


OS Explorer : 181

Return train times

Trains return from Berkhamsted to Euston at 15 minutes intervals or thereabouts.
Trains to Clapham Junction are hourly at 39 minutes past the hour.


PeteB said...

n=9 on the advertised walk with a further 2 early starters doing a variation and visiting Dockey woods for some bluebell spotting. One further regular did a Tring circular. Weather w= glorious warm sun.

Excellent new walk across fields and through woods with the highlight being the afternoon stretch along the lovely Golden Valley which I have never walked before.

The walk needs a couple of tweaks: Brownlows does not really work as a lunch venue (it was packed!) and the Bridgewater Arms pub in Little Gaddesden is not as good as it used to be so a new route will try to incorporate a visit to Aldbury where there are 2 excellent pubs and a possible path across Aldbury Common avoiding the cafe.

At the end of the walk a small group of us basked in the warm sun outside the canal-side pub the Rising Sun which is well worth a visit.

A walk which would perhaps be at its best in May as the trails through the woods would be really muddy in winter and early Spring.

Marion said...

5 of us used the Bridgewater arms at Little Gaddesdon but waited up to 1 hour 20 mins due to the masses of OAPS enjoying a very reasonable set price lunch for £8.99. There were no tables inside but we enjoyed a large round table in the garden whilst we waited and waited. One of us waited for a salmon salad which was delayed for the lack of eggs then arrived with half the ingredients missing. Trip adviser reports confirm management incompetence so avoid if you haven't booked and arrived early as they just can't cope at present. After 3pm we set off but missed the path for Golden Valley and finished up on the golf course where several herds of deer were seen in great numbers running across the fairway. We then looked around the grounds of Ashridge College before picking up the footpath which takes the Golden valley route around the outside of the deer proof fence. This diversion cost us a lot of time and we arrived back at Berkhampsted just before 6pm. I caught the 6.39 to Shepherds Bush after enjoying a wonderful chocolate cake and tea in the all day restaurant just beyond the station where they bake their own scones etc. it was a shame to have the group splintered once again by so many variations in lunch options but we were glad to have a pub lunch in peace and tranquility avoiding the madding crowds.Lets hope the write up will stick to reliable pubs where we can book a table in advance now that the warm weather is coming.

Anonymous said...

Thoroughly enjoyed this lovely walk and managed to catch 1531hr. Although the Brownlow Cafe was rather busy,they were very efficient and the food arrived quickly and looked yummy.