Memory of Louie
Chilterns 2006
21st September 2015 (Andrew Becks)

Albury, Ivinghoe Beacon and Ashridge

Start Pitstone Hill Car Park
Distance 7 miles (11.3 km)
Approximate time 3.5 hours
Parking Pitstone Hill - Alternatively Albury or Bridgewater Monument
Refreshments Pubs at Albury, tearoom at Bidgewater Monuments
Ordnance Survey Map Landranger 165 or Explorer 181

This outstanding walk starts in the picturesque village, proceeds along the Chiltern escarpment to Invinghoe Beacon – one of the highest points in the Chilterns – and returns through part of the magnificent woodlands of the National Trust’s Ashridge Estate. There are several climbs but the paths are in good condition and the route easy to follow, with superb views all the way

We started by crossing a road and climbing a stile across a large field. Climbing another stile and continuing through the next field. I was so excited at this point being in the car for over an hour I had to sniff and cock my leg up everything that was stationary. Keeping parallel to a hedge and a wire fence on the right, following Ridgeway marker posts on the edge of some woodland. We continued through the trees and on emerging from them headed downhill, by another fence on the right. Bearing left over a stile and down to the corner of the road. At this point I think that I must have still been very excited as I was shouted at when I tried to run straight across the road.

We crossed the road and followed the left hand one of the two tracks ahead up to the summit of Ivinghoe Beacon, marked with a trig point. (764ft high) Now the less said about the decent from Ivinghoe Beacon the better. The old Springer Spaniel should have known that I was a dog and not his bitch, but as Karen was holding my muzzle so that I could not bite, I could not warn him off. At least his master threatened to have his bits cut off this was some consolation.

When we got back to the road I was a little happier as the Springer was no where to be seen. We turned left along a pleasant path that initially kept parallel to the road on the left, later heading uphill between some trees to join a track. We turned right alongside some hedges on the right, then right along a track signposted Ashridge Estate, Restricted Access, Clipper Down Cottage only.

The next bit of the walk was through the beech woods of the Ashridge Estate, over 4000 acres of open grassland, commons and woodland belonging to the National Trust. We followed the track through attractive smelling woodland to Clipper Down Cottage, through a gate to the Bridgewater Monument after crossing a small footbridge and fighting a German Shepherd Dog.

Keeping ahead past the monument past the National Trust shop, information center and tea room, we turned right and followed a track downhill through yet more woodland. At the fork we turned right to the lower track to continue downhill to a road and after short distance to Aldbury village. We stopped here for a bite to eat, but I did not get too much of their human food. They didn't stay here long though as I think they were frightened off by the roaming mike and DJ from a local radio station. This was a shame as there were plenty of ducks on the pond that I was quite keen to get to know better.

Walking along the road in the Tring direction, passing the church, and then at a footpath sign posted Pistone Hill we turned right over a stile. Heading across to climb another stile to the left of a metal gate, we continued along the left hand edge of a field, by some farm buildings on the left. One of which had a couple of sheep dogs in but unfortunately Andrew would not let me go and play. Immediately after the farm we turned along a narrow enclosed path, climbed yet another stile, kept going ahead to climb another and continued along the path between wire fences

After climbing two stiles in quick succession and continuing across part of a golf course, following a fairly obvious grassy path and keeping in the same direction as before – a series of yellow way markers post aided Karen and Andrew in route finding, but I just ran around and played. Later we kept along the left edge of some trees and a hedge to go through kissing gate in the top right hand corner of field and then between some trees, bushes and scrub to a finger post at a path junction. Bearing left and then turning right up a flight of stairs, here joining the Ridgeway.

We followed the Ridgeway way marks over Pitstone Hill. Initially the route passed through woodland, but after climbing a stile I was again let of my lead as we continued over open down land with some fine views to the left over the Vale of Aylesbury. My main considerations however were of all the wonderful smells of bunnies and dogs I did not have time to take note of a view. The path then descended and curved gradually right, finally bearing left into Pitstine Hill Car Park

Memory of Louie

  • Chilterns 2006 (Date:2015-09-21 Author:Andrew Becks)