Pete's Walks - Kensworth to Pitstone Hill and back

If you are considering walking this route yourself, please see my disclaimer. You may also like to see these notes about the maps.

Google map of the walk

This is one of the longest local walks that I do (17.75 miles according to Google maps), and in fact this was only the second time that I had done the walk. It is basically an extension of my Kensworth-Ivinghoe Beacon walk, taking in Aldbury and Pitstone Hill. Unfortunately it was a very grey day, so I didn't take too many photographs - I didn't intend putting the walk on this web site, so there are long stretches of the walk with no photos. If I ever do this walk on a sunnier day, I'll probably put a more detailed write-up of it on this site.

From Kensworth, I took familiar paths to Holywell and Studham, then continued on to cross the Gade valley to reach Hudnall and Little Gaddesden.

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The path across the Gade valley, heading towards Hudnall and Little Gaddesden

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Looking south along the Gade valley, in the direction of Great Gaddesden

From Little Gaddesden I made my way to Ashridge, and followed a wide bridleway through the woods that took me to the Bridgewater Monument.

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Bridleway through the woods of Ashridge

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I liked the colours on this tree bark in Ashridge

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The Bridgewater Monument, Ashridge

From the monument I took a bridleway downhill through the trees to Aldbury, and continued on across a golf course to reach Aldbury Nowers. It was then a pleasant woodland walk to reach Pitstone Hill.

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View southeast from Aldbury Nowers

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Ivinghoe Beacon (left) and Steps Hill from Pitstone Hill

From Pitstone Hill, my route followed the course of the Ridgeway national trail, over Steps Hill to Ivinghoe Beacon.

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The car park for Pitstone Hill and the Ridgeway path ascending Steps Hill

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From Ivinghoe Beacon, looking along Gallows Hill to Whipsnade Downs (the White Lion on the hillside is at Whipsnade Zoo)

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The top of Ivinghoe Beacon, looking out over the Vale of Aylesbury

From Ivinghoe Beacon, I headed downhill and through another large wood before climbing steep steps to reach Ward's Hurst Farm. I was now following the route of the Icknield Way.

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Entrance into the woods on the way to Ward's Hurst Farm

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View across Dagnall and the Gade Valley, from  Ward's Hurst Farm

Sadly I seemed to give up on photos altogether at this point. I descended to Dagnall, then climbed steeply to Whipsnade golf course. I followed the zoo fence back to Whipsnade, and returned to Kensworth via Whipsnade Heath.

It was a great walk for spotting birds - Red Kite, Raven, two Buzzards, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted WoodpeckerFieldfare, Long-tailed Tits, Song Thrush, Yellowhammer and Jay. It was a really good (and tiring!) walk, the grey photos really don't do it justice. Hopefully I'll do it again on a sunnier day sometime.