Pete's Walks- Pitstone Hill and Wigginton (page 1 of 4)

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 circular walk of about 11.6 miles on Sunday, 21st June 2015.  It was a repeat of my Pitstone Hill and Wigginton walk (Walk 4 of my Chiltern Chain Walk), but in the opposite (clockwise) direction - I chose this route because I wanted one that passed through lots of meadows and grassland where I'd be able to see plenty of butterflies and wildflowers (especially orchids).

I started walking from the Pitstone Hill car park (Grid Reference SP 955149) at about 10.55am, crossing the lane and following the Ridgeway towards Steps Hill. When I reached a path crossroads at the foot of Steps Hill, I spotted a Dark Green Fritillary butterfly which kindly allowed me to take its photograph. I turned right here, initially following a fence on my right with a grass and scrub covered slope on my left - I soon spotted another couple of Dark Green Fritillaries. When the path curved slightly left and started to go uphill, I looked for orchids in the grassy area on my right - there were certainly many Common Spotted orchids and Pyramidal orchids here, but not as many as I'd expected and they were all probably a week away from being in full flower. The path continued between bushes to reach a stile, then carried on uphill through trees to reach the track that runs from near Ivinghoe Beacon to the Bridgewater Monument at Ashridge. I turned right, to head to the top of Clipper Down.

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Following the Ridgeway towards Steps Hill

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Dark Green Fritillary

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The path going right from the foot of Steps Hill towards Clipper Down

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The path going right from the foot of Steps Hill towards Clipper Down

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The track from Ivinghoe Beacon to Ashridge near the top of Clipper Down

Just before reaching the kennels on Clipper Down, I took a path forking right. Over a stile, it followed some trees on my right, then continued downhill through a very large grassy meadow. Here I saw a large number of Fragrant Orchids, but again few were fully in flower. Over to my right, I could see Aldbury Nowers and Pitstone Hill which I'd reach at the end of my walk. At the foot of the hill, I went over another stile and down a short grassy track to reach a surfaced track or drive. I followed this left for about a hundred yards, then took a path going half-right across a corn-field. The path continued straight across a second corn field to reach a bridleway, where I turned left.

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The path descending from Clipper Down

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The path descending from Clipper Down

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Looking left towards Aldbury Nowers

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The path descending from Clipper Down

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The path near Duncombe Farm

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The same path continuing across the next field

The bridleway led steadily uphill into the woods of Ashridge. Towards the top of the slope I reached a fork where I went right to continue along the bridleway which had now levelled off (the left fork leads towards the Bridgewater Monument). The bridleway passed a cottage on the right, then entered the woods again as it contoured round below where the Bridgewater Monument stands.

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The bridleway heading up to Ashridge

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The bridleway heading up to Ashridge

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At this fork, I stayed right to continue on the bridleway - the path going left heads towards the Bridgewater monument at Ashridge

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The bridleway contouring round below the Bridgewater monument

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The bridleway contouring round below the Bridgewater monument