Ashridge Estate and beyond, 3 hours of changing scenery

The Ashridge Estate and beyond walk provides a whole variety of scenery. Even when the weather is dull there is plenty to enjoy, great views, a lovely pub, a pretty village, woods and the Grand Union Canal. Three hours of healthy exercise in the English countryside.

The route is just over 8 miles (13 km) and includes over 1000 ft (304m) of ascent.

Start of the walk

Begin the walk at the Bridgewater monument on the Ashridge Estate (Moneybury Hill, Ringshall, Berkhamsted HP4 1LT)

Begin the Ashridge Estate and beyond walk at the Bridgewater Monument
Bridgewater Monument

Queen Elizabeth I sold the Estate to the Egerton family in the early 17th Century. The Egerton family and their descendants continued to hold the house and the land around until the property became part of the National Trust Portfolio.

The 3rd Duke of Bridgewater was the most famous member of the family. He became known as the ‘Canal Duke’. He built the first canal in Britain to connect his industrial interests in the Manchester area and the monument is dedicated to him.

Pitstone Common

Turn right at the monument and follow the path along the edge of the ridge and Piston Common. Much of the Ashridge Estate was designated common land and used for grazing land by the local villages. It is only in the last 100 years that the woodlands have developed.

The path on the Ashridge Estate and beyond walk
Path along Pitstone Common

Along this route you’ll encounter a sign for Bell’s Mound. The fenced area contains a 4000 year old burial mound. You’ll not find any difficulty walking along here as the path is wide and made of gravel.

As you proceed along this path you’ll get glimpses of the views beyond the trees.

A view on the Ashridge Estate and beyond walk
View from Pitstone Common

Continue along the path.

The path carries on with trees around you

When the path opens up in front of you turn left and behold a great view of the countryside around.

Another great view on the Ashridge Estate and beyond walk
A great view despite the cloud covering

The route descends.

Barley End

Follow the map as the route turns to the right and shortly afterwards to the right again. Shortly afterwards you’ll pass a well protected house with called Barley End.

A grand house on the Ashridge Estate and beyond walk
Barley End

Carry on past this beautiful house and turn right onto Stocks Road. You’ll walk along for a short way before you turn off to the left.

Hidden footpath

Be careful and use the map to know where the path leaves the road.

Up to Pitstone Hill

When you emerge through the hedge you’ll find a long path up the hill towards the Pitstone Hill and the Ridgeway.

Unfortunately it was an extremely overcast day when we walked this route otherwise the views would have been beautiful.

As you proceed along the ridgeway the path swings to the left and then enters a wooded area. Here turn turn sharp right and descend.

A descent on the Ashridge Estate and beyond walk
Descent from Pitstone Hill

This narrow footpath takes you down to Northfield Road. During the wetter parts of the year this section can be rather muddy.

Northfield Road

There is a verge here that will keep you off the actual road.

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The Grand Union Canal & Tring Station

Turn right at the footpath sign and continue through Honeysuckle Farm and over the Railway bridge

Crossing the mainline on the Ashridge Estate and beyond walk

Proceed along the track until you arrive at the bridge over the Grand Union.

Descend the slope and follow the canal.

Join the Grand Union on the Ashridge Estate and beyond walk
Join the Grand Union Canal

The canal looked extremely muddy and there were very few boats along the bank as we continued our journey on this section of the canal.

At the first opportunity leave the canal and rise up to Station Road. The road passes a set of terraces houses and Tring Station. The station which opened in 1837 sits 1 ½ miles outside Tring because of objections from the local aristocrats who owned land in the area.

Continue on, past the station on the pavement. Unfortunately the pavement runs out shortly before you need to turn off to the left and there is a short piece of road walking.

On to Aldbury

At the well signposted gate leave the road.

The path up towards Aldbury

Keep to the track, which is part of the Hertfordshire Way, as you climb the hill. At the top of the hill turn right and head on downwards.

Nearly at Aldbury on the Ashridge Estate and beyond walk
The path down towards Aldbury

You’ll soon see the tower of St John the Baptist ahead of you.

St John the Baptist church

Turn left when you enter the village towards the village green. This seemed like an awfully good place to quench our thirsts and we popped into the Greyhound Inn.

A great place to stop on the Ashridge Estate and beyond walk
The Greyhound Aldbury

We were warmly welcomed by the efficient staff. The pub is extremely popular during sunny weekends so if you want to eat I recommend booking in advance.

The final leg

Don’t have too much to drink at the inn because you will shortly need to climb back up toto the Ashridge Estate. Continue through the village and take the footpath to your right.

Exit the village

The route now rises quite steeply as you proceed. At the junction rejoin the Ashridge Estate and turn left, all the while continuing to climb.

The final climb on the Ashridge Estate and beyond walk
Back in the Ashridge Estate

At the top you’ll pass a National Trust cafe and then the Bridgewater Monument. Return to your car.

What Next?

If you enjoyed the Ashridge Estate and beyond walk there are other great walks to be found at Find a Walk – Britain.

Do you have a favourite walk? We are always looking for new walks that everyone can enjoy. Please go to Share your walk and find out how to add your favourite route to the web site.

Do you have a favourite walk? We are always looking for new walks that everyone can enjoy. Please go to Share your walk and find out how to add your favourite route to the web site.

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