Pete's Walks- Ivinghoe Beacon (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 mile circular walk on Saturday, 1st June 2013. Unfortunately, it seems most likely that the virus I had back in February was Glandular Fever, and I probably won't fully get my strength back for some months. So I'll just be dong the occasional shorter walk for the time being.

I started walking just after 1.30pm. From the car park for Pitstone Hill, I crossed the lane and followed the Ridgeway towards Steps Hill. On reaching a path crossroads at the foot of the hill, I turned right and continued beside a fence before gradually heading upwards into the woods of Ashridge. As I reached a stile, I saw my first Sanicle of the year. At the top of the slope I turned right again, along the track from near Ivinghoe Beacon to the Bridgewater Monument in Ashridge. After about a quarter of a mile I reached the kennels on top of Clipper Down.

Picture omitted

The path from the Pitstone Hill car park, heading towards Steps Hill (Ivinghoe Beacon is the leftmost hill in view)

Picture omitted

The path to Clipper Down

Picture omitted

The path to Clipper Down

Picture omitted

The view from Clipper Down towards Aldbury Nowers

I continued along the track past the kennels for maybe another quarter mile or so, before turning left at a path crossroads. The new path led through the trees and soon curved right. At another path junction I went a few yards right to reach a road (from the Beacon to Ringshall, away to my right). I crossed the road and followed the drive to Ward's Hurst Farm. I followed the waymarked route that went left and then right as it passed through the farmyard (diverted since the latest OS map was printed), then turned left at a path junction on the far side of the farm. This new path was part of the Icknield Way.

Picture omitted

The track to the Bridgewater Monument, Ashridge, just after the kennels on Clipper Down

Picture omitted

The start of the path from the track to the Monument to Ward's Hurst Farm

Picture omitted

Approaching Ward's Hurst Farm

The path soon entered the woods again, and descended steeply down a flight of wooden stairs with a hand rail. This part of the wood was carpeted with Wild Garlic or Ramsons - when I saw it here for the first time just a few years ago, there were only a handful of plants. At the bottom of the slope, the path continued ahead for a short while, close to a field on the right, then forked half-left and soon entered an area of conifers (the spooky bit of the wood, I always think). Beyond the conifers, the path broadened and continued for some time through a deciduous section of the wood.

Picture omitted

Masses of Wild Garlic (or Ramsons) in the woods near Ward's Hurst Farm

Picture omitted

The path  from Ward's Hurst Farm, near the top of the steep descent

Picture omitted

The path from Ward's Hurst Farm, about to enter the area of conifers

Picture omitted

The path from Ward's Hurst Farm

Picture omitted

The path from Ward's Hurst Farm

Just after the path left the wood via a wooden kissing-gate, I forked half-right (leaving the Icknield Way) and followed a track through the grass to reach the end of a line of trees. Through another gate I continued along a line of trees and then across a large corn field, all the time walking parallel to the ridge from Ivinghoe Beacon to Gallows Hill over on my left.

Picture omitted

Just beyond the woods, where I turned left

Picture omitted

The path running parallel to Ivinghoe Beacon and Gallows Hill

Picture omitted

The path running parallel to Ivinghoe Beacon and Gallows Hill