Pete's Walks - Ashridge Estate Boundary Trail (page 1 of 3)

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

I did this 16 mile circular walk on Saturday, 19th March 2011.  Click here to see a rough map of the Ashridge Estate Boundary Trail (but only if you have already read my disclaimer and notes regarding maps). This is a route very close to my home in Kensworth that I have walked several times before (see here). The weather forecast predicted a very sunny day, so I had considered going down to Cookham to do the next bit of the Berkshire Loop of the Chiltern Way. However I felt  a little tired in the morning, so didn't fancy driving all the way to Cookham and chose to do this local route instead.

I started walking at 9.30am, having parked in the small car park where the Ashridge estate Boundary Trail crosses the Ringshall-Berkhamsted road. Across the road a path runs through a small belt of trees between garden fences and part of Ashridge Golf Course. it continues on through some woodland and then crosses the drive to Ashridge House to reach the start of Golden Valley. This is initially an attractive strip of grass with woods either side, but as the valley deepens it reaches an enormous pasture.

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The path beside part of Ashridge Golf Club

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Golden Valley

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Looking back along Golden Valley

On eventually reaching a crossing fence, with Golden Valley Farm visible ahead, I turned right and followed the fence uphill. near the top of the slope I turned left with the fence, soon reaching the end of the huge pasture and entering a small wood. The route continues along a hedgerow, occasionally with good views along the valley towards the village of Nettleden. The path then crosses part of another pasture to reach a stables (not marked on the map), where a path goes right, leading down towards part of the village of Frithsden.

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View towards Nettleden

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Looking back along the Golden Valley - Ashridge House is just peaking out from the trees, top left

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The path down to Frithsden

I went right for a few yards along the road, then took the path on the other side that headed through Great Frithsden Copse (I went through the neighbouring Little Frithsden Copse just a few weeks ago on this walk, Potten End and Little Gaddesden). Beyond the copse, the path ran between garden fences either side of a residential road in Frithsden, to reach part of Berkhamsted golf course. I turned right, following a pleasant path between trees with a fairway on my left.

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The path through Great Frithsden Copse

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The bridleway beside part of Berkhamsted Golf Course

I crossed a minor road, then crossed another fairway of the golf course, the path then continuing through a belt of trees between two fairways. The path then ran through part of Berkhamsted Common - beyond a major path junction (where I usually go half-right to reach Frithsden Beeches) the path ran along a broad grassy strip with attractive woodland either side. I passed close to the isolated Brickkiln Cottage on my left, the path continuing through woods with a huge meadow nearby on my right.

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The bridleway through Berkhamsted Golf Course

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The bridleway continuing through Berkhamsted Common

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The same bridleway, a little past Brickkiln Cottage

When I reached Coldharbour Farm, I turned right. the path ran through a small meadow with a large, overgrown pond, then  followed a track 9and some telephone wires) for some distance along the left edge of a very large arable field, with more woods over to my right. The track eventually went down into a small valley, the footpath continuing up the opposite slope alongside another hedgerow, then crossing a large flat area of grass (possibly a polo pitch, I think) to reach Northchurch Farm (where I spotted my only Red Kite of the day).

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The path from Coldharbour Farm

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Approaching Northchurch Farm

Beyond the large farm and stables complex here, I took a path going right into an attractive area of open woodland. I soon reached the Ringshall-Berkhamsted road again, where I crossed over and after another hundred yards or so reached a private drive. I followed this downhill to the left - I often see Fallow deer here, but today I saw a Muntjac instead.

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Just past Northchurch Farm

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The private drive on Northchurch Common