Pete's Walks - Hudnall Common, Dagnall and Ashridge (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 walk of about 8.9 miles on Sunday, 25th October 2015. It was a repeat of the Hudnall Common, Ashridge and Dagnall walk I did in April 2013, but in the opposite direction (anti-clockwise).

I parked at the small car park on Hudnall Common (Grid Reference TL 006127) and started walking about 10:30am. I went a few yards along the edge of the common, next to the lane on my right, then turned left onto a bridleway. This crossed a large grass area that was almost flat, then started to descend into a valley (it becomes the Gade valley, the river running through Hemel Hempstead). The common was now wooded, and almost straight away I heard a Fallow buck bellowing in the trees over to my left. Then I spotted another Fallow buck at the bottom of the steep and muddy section of the bridleway that I was on. I felt that I was at a safe distance, so managed to take a photo of that one. I then spent a few minutes trying to get photos of the larger buck making all the noise - I saw him chase off two other large bucks, and there were several does and young bucks gathered near him. The buck at the bottom of the slope had wandered off now, so I continued on my way, but keeping a wary eye on the deer over to my left. After the muddy slope the bridleway descended much more gently. At one point it came very close to the road that bisects Hudnall Common, and it was clear that most people (and horses) went left here to cross the road and take the path on the opposite side. But I continued down the bridleway, which now became rather overgrown, to reach the road after another 100 yards or so.

The bridleway across Hudnall Common

 

Fallow buck, Hudnall Common

 

Fallow buck, Hudnall Common - this was the one making all the noise

 

The bridleway descending through Hudnall Common

 

The bridleway descending through Hudnall Common - this is the last section which was rather overgrow

I turned left and went back up the road, before turning half-right on the path I'd just seen. This climbed back up the other side of the common, again the hillside being wooded. Before long I heard another bellowing buck, and it sounded a little too close for comfort. I couldn't see it in the trees on my left, though I saw a few of its attendant does. I was now close to a path fork - I checked the map, and had to keep left. I went on quietly by, but was soon past the deer and came to another flat grassy area of the common. The path continued across this, then briefly entered trees again before ending on a private drive on the edge of Hudnall.

The path on the other side of the road, going back up through Hudnall Common

 

The open area on that side of Hudnall Common

 

I went a few yards right, then took a path starting on the left. This went past a garden and then along the right edge of a paddock. It then continued for several hundred yards alongside a hedgerow on my right, with a very large field stretching away to my left. The path then crossed a meadow or paddock (half-way across there was a nice view to the right, to where the valley on that side reached the Vale of Aylesbury), to reach Little Gaddesden church. I passed by the churchyard on my right, then went straight on along a footpath when the drive from the church went left. The clear path soon entered a paddock, and continued on in a straight line through a sequence of paddocks or pastures until it reached a gate next to a road in Little Gaddesden.

 

The start of the path from Hudnall to Little Gaddesden church

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The path from Hudnall to Little Gaddesden church

 

The path approaching Little Gaddesden church

 

Looking right from almost the same spot as the previous photo, towards Dagnall and the slopes of Whipsnade Zoo, with part of the Vale of Aylesbury beyond

 

The path continuing from Little Gaddesden church

 

The path continuing from Little Gaddesden church - the path ends just left of the house with the red roof

 

Part 2 of this walk

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