Pete's Walks - Shorter Ashridge Walk (page 1 of 2)

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 roughly 5.5 mile circular walk on Saturday, 27th October 2012. This was a repeat of my Shorter Ashridge Walk, although I deviated slightly from the route on the map at one point on Northchurch Common. I'm still suffering from pains in my left leg, having had some adjustments made to one of the orthotics (special insoles) that I need to use, but I felt OK to do this short local walk. It's always good to see the autumn colours at Ashridge around this time of year!

The car park by the Bridgewater Monument was full when I arrived just before 10.30am, so I parked at a smaller car park a little way back down the drive to the Monument. I had to walk a little way up the drive towards the Monument, before turning left on a footpath heading south through the woods. I soon saw my first Fallow deer of the day, a buck with antlers, which ambled across the path ahead of me and then remained surprisingly close to the path as I went by. Further on, there were about 50 more deer in the large pasture stretching between the path and the Ringshall-Northchurch road away to my left.

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The Bridgewater Monument, Ashridge

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The footpath going south from the drive to the monument

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The footpath going south from the drive to the monument

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The footpath going south from the drive to the monument

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Deer in the large field between the footpath and the Ringshall-Northchurch road

A little further on I crossed a lane going to Aldbury. A few deer then ran across the path in front of me, and I could see a larger number still in the trees to my right. At a path crossroads I deviated from the route shown on my Google map by turning left and continuing until I reached the edge of  a huge grassy expanse on Northchurch Common. Here I turned right along the edge of the trees, with the open grass area stretching away to my left. On reaching a corner I continued ahead, through another section of woods and then through a more open area with a small valley now on my left.

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The path approaching the lane to Aldbury

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The path continuing south of the lane

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After I turned left, to the huge open grass area on Northchurch Common

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Going south along the edge of the huge open grass area of Northchurch Common

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Going south along the edge of the huge open grass area of Northchurch Common

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Northchurch Common

The path then entered trees again and curved left, to follow the southern edge of Northchurch Common. I had occasional glimpses right over a valley where I could see part of Northchurch. This next section is usually good for seeing deer, but there were too many other walkers about today (most unusual for this path). However as I crossed the drive to a house (named Gorselands on the OS map) I did hear a buck bellowing in the distance.

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Near the southern edge of Northchurch Common, near Norcott Hill

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Path along the southern edge of Northchurch Common

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Looking out south towards Northchurch

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Path along the southern edge of Northchurch Common, just after crossing the drive to Gorseside's