Pete's Walks - Pitstone Hill and Grand Union Canal (page 1 of 3)

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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 8.5 mile circular walk on Saturday, 2nd November 2013. It was a cut down version of my Pitstone Hill and Wigginton walk (Walk 4 of my Chiltern Chain Walk), done in the opposite (clockwise) direction and shortened simply by following the towpath of the Grand Union Canal from Cow Roast to Tring Station.

I started walking shortly after 11am. I had deliberately started very late, as I'm still not fully fit and only wanted to walk for about 3 hours with a short lunch stop in the middle. From the Pitstone Hill car park, I crossed the lane and followed the Ridgeway towards Steps Hill, with a fence on my right. At the foot of Steps Hill I turned right at a path crossroads, following the path beside another fence on the right, then climbing gradually uphill between trees and scrub. The path then went over a stile and continued uphill through trees to reach the main track between Ashridge and Ivinghoe Beacon. I turned right and followed the track for a few hundred yards, then took a path forking right just before the track reached the kennels on Clipper Down.

The path from the Pitstone Hill car park, heading towards Steps Hill (Ivinghoe Beacon far left)

 

The path from the foot of Steps Hill heading towards Ashridge

 

The same path, just before it meets the main track from Ashridge to Ivinghoe Beacon

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Heading along the track towards Ashridge

 

On Clipper Down (just before the kennels) where I forked right to descend the hill

The path went steadily downhill through  a couple of empty pastures, soon with a good view ahead towards Aldbury. The path curved left to reach a gate, beyond which a short track led to the drive to Duncombe Farm. I followed this left for a couple of hundred yards to where a path crossed it. Here I went half-right, following tractor tracks across a ploughed field, before continuing across a smaller field. On the far side of that field I turned left on a bridleway which was soon rising up the wooded slopes of Ashridge.

Descending Clipper Down

 

Looking right, towards the woods of Aldbury Nowers (that I'd pass through near the end of the walk)

 

The path from near Duncombe Farm heading towards the wooded slopes of Ashridge

 

The bridleway heading towards Ashridge (I always remember this massive Ash tree here)

 

The bridleway going up the slope towards Ashridge

Near the top of the slope, the bridleway bore slightly right and levelled out (a footpath continued ahead, leading almost directly to the Bridgewater Monument). The bridleway passed some cottage gardens on the right, and followed the cottages' drive for a few yards. When the drive turned left, the bridleway went straight on, continuing to contour along the wooded slope (now just below the Monument, out of sight up to the left). I heard and then saw a Long-tailed Tit here. After a few hundred yards the bridleway ended on the main track from the Monument to Aldbury, where I turned right. After a hundred yards or so I kept right at a major fork, the track now steepening as it descended through the trees to reach a road in Aldbury, where I turned right for a few yards to reach the village centre by the pond and stocks.

The bridleway now contouring along the slope, passing the gardens of a couple of cottages

 

The bridleway continuing to contour along the slope, now just below the Bridgewater Monument at Ashridge

 

The bridleway continuing to contour along the slope, now just below the Bridgewater Monument at Ashridge

 

This is where I joined the main track descending from the Bridgewater Monument to Aldbury (I then forked right just before where the people are)

 

The track descending to Aldbury

 

The track descending to Aldbury

Part 2 of this walk

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