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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.

Blog Archive

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Chiltern ridge and fabulous bluebell woods

Tring Circular
Length: 16.3km (10.1 miles) Toughness: 4/10

After following the Chiltern ridge as far as Ivinghoe Beacon, with superb views all the way, the route follows woodland tracks and paths to the lunchtime pub and then onwards to the Bridgwater Monument before descending to tea in Albury. More information about features of interest on the route can be found on the walk’s Introduction page.

After leaving Ivinghoe Beacon, a short cut direct to the Bridgwater Monument saves a couple of miles walking but cuts out the lunchtime pub so you’d need to lunch at the Ashridge Estate visitor centre next to the monument if you opt to do this. There is an optional extension, mainly across fields, to finish the walk at Berkhamsted, where there are plenty of tea places. This adds 4.3km to the length.

Although a variant of this walk was posted as recently as May Day, only 4 walkers were able to do it on a Tuesday, so no apologies are necessary for posting it again now, as it passes probably the most spectacular bluebell wood in the south-east, Dockey Wood, which no-one should miss (see para 33 of the directions). So popular is it that the National Trust were charging visitors an entrance fee during the last two weekends, but not this one.

After lunch, a slight diversion at para 51 will lead you to another superb bluebell wood, Flat Isley. You can also visit this wood by following the directions starting at para 77 if you are taking the ‘Short Cut from Ivinghoe Beacon to the Bridgwater Monument’ (para 66). The two woods are quite near each other and, if armed with the Explorer map, you could easily take in both woods if you are doing the short cut.

The recommended lunch stop is the Bridgwater Arms (01442 842408) in Little Gaddesden. As always on a Sunday, reserving a table is advisable. If doing the ‘Short Cut’ you can lunch at the National Trust’s Brownlow CafĂ©, next to the Bridgwater Monument. This is also a possible tea stop, as are the pubs in Albury, for those doing the main walk. There are plenty of places to take tea in Berkhamsted.

10:01 Northampton train from Euston, arriving Tring at 10:36.

Return trains are at xx:35 (fast) and xx:14 (slightly slower). All trains call at Berkhamsted 5 minutes after Tring.

You will need to download the Walk Directions.



Walker said...

As of Sunday 6 May, Flat Isley was looking wonderful. This is a huge bluebell wood, though that may not be apparent when you first approach it from the main walk route: go a good 150 metres in for the full effect.

The first mile and a half or so (as far as the road) of the Berkhamsted extension was also awash with bluebells today. I have never seen them looking so good.

Will all this last another week? Who can say. But I saw no sign of decline today and the Ashridge woods traditionally come out a week to ten days later than those in Kent or Surrey.

Just to whet your appetite further, approaching Berkhamsted I was serenaded for an HOUR by a cuckoo, the biggest amount of cuckoo song I have heard since I was a child. Obviously I am hoping that by next Sunday he has met a lady cuckoo, some poor dunnock couple have a hungry adopted chick and the cuckoos are on their way back to Africa. But you never know.

Anonymous said...

Talking about cuckoo - I did a Islip circular yesterday and spend most of my time around the Otmoor RSPB. Was lucky in a way as I saw a cuckoo singing and also flying around. In fact while walking round the reserve and hides I heard a turtle purring, lots of sedge warblers and other types of warbles singing their hearts out. Also plenty of black cap birds too. Best of all was a little tern was spotted in of the hides.Bird of prey especially hobbies and marsh harriers were spotted. Very hot day indeed and trains were packed with shoppers for Bicester. Thought some of you might like an update on wildlife if you are doing future walks around Islip.


Walker said...

You SAW a cuckoo? Gosh. And a turtle dove too. I am very jealous.

MoonBrain said...

What time is the suggested train for this walk?

Anonymous said...

I counted n=12 walkers in total, one of whom arrived lat and met us in the pub. All but 1 did the longer version. Only a few were eating in the pub, nonetheless it was busy with a wait of about 45 minutes. The rest had their own lunch nearby (St. Peter and St. Paul's church was a few minutes detour but made a lovely picnic spot). The weather was w=dry_warmer_and_sunnier_as_the_day_went_on. A very nice walk and a good tea at The Valiant Trooper in Aldbury.