Ashridge Estate circular
Start: Bridgewater Monument
Finish: Bridgewater Monument
Length: 10.95 km / 6.8 miles
Weather: Warm and sunny.
I wouldn't recommend doing this walk on Easter Monday as I did, the car park was heaving and the area by the Bridgewater Monument and cafe was swamped with families all eager to do the Easter Egg hunt.
A short walk down from the hoards at the Monument car park and you suddenly have the woods to yourself.
After leaving the woods, cross a couple of fields towards Clipper Down which is ahead of you.
Clipper Down with Duncombe Farm on the right.
Walking up the side of Clipper Down.
As you leave the woods on Clipper Down the views open up across the Ridgeway Path.
When you meet the Ridgeway Path, turn right and follow the path up Steps Hill.
At the top of Steps Hill, looking back along the Ridgeway Path and Pitstone Hill..
From the top of Steps Hill looking north-west.
Follow the Ridgeway Path down from Steps Hill and up Ivinghoe Beacon. The hill is an ancient signal point, which was used in times of crisis to send messages across long distances. It is also the site of an early Iron Age hill fort and is 233m high.
Looking from the top of Ivinghoe Beacon to Gallows Hill. The chalk lion on Dunstable Down can be seen in the background.
After descending Gallows Hill follow the path across a field towards Ivinghoe Hills.
Go through the gate and turn left.
The entrance to the Combe.
The steps that lead up to Ward's Hurst Farm
Walk through Ward's Hurst Farm and cross the road into the woods.
Turn left here and follow the main track passing Duncobme Terrace.
The path got busy with Easter Egg hunters the closer to the Monument I got.
The Monument was built in 1832 in memory of the third Duke of Bridgewater who once lived in Ashridge house. The Duke is described on the monument as 'the father of inland navigation'. There are 172 steps to the top and it is 33m tall.