Ashridge Boundary Trail
This walk gives walkers complete immersion in the Chiltern Hills. Expect to see dear, red kites, and other wildlife as well as stunning views from Ivinghoe Beacon, the highest point of the trail.
Park anywhere along the driveway once you turn into the Ashridge Estate. There is a car Park just SE from the Bridgewater Monument, from where the trail starts Tring train station is 2.8km away, a short taxi ride from the estate.
|When to do|
April - September
Yes, at the Ashbridge Estate.
The route is marked the entire way with small green circular signs, showing a white footprint and ‘Ashridge Boundary Trail’. They will appear frequently on short wooden posts or gates you need to pass through, so if you haven’t seen one in a while stop and check the map!
Start at the Bridgewater Monument and take the wide trail directly to your right, marked ‘Duncombe Terrace Mobility Track’. This is where you will see the first marker for the Ashridge Boundary Trail.
After 2.6km you will reach a fork in the path. Take the smaller trail heading down to the left.
Pass through the gate and continue downhill as you start to leave the woodlands behind and approach open fields ahead!
Keep to the same trail until you reach the end of the fence on your left. Turn right, uphill, and follow the sign to Ivinghoe Beacon. Do not pass through the wooden gate at the top of the hill, instead continue on the narrow trail to the left. Cross the road with care, and continue straight all the way to the trig marker at the top of Beacon Hill. Expect high winds here even on the sunniest of days!
From the trig point take the path to your right, passing through two wooden gates and turning right to continue through the third. Turn right upon reaching the T-junction at the bottom of the hill. When you reach the next wooden gate, pass through it and take the first trail on your left along the field edge until you reach another wooden gate. Pass through this gate also. This portion of the pathway leads you through a small section of dark woodlands, then up steep steps into a farmyard.
Follow the trail across the farmyard and through the fields opposite. Cross when you reach the road, and pick up the trail again on the other side.
After half a mile you will reach a junction of 4 trails. Take the first trail on the left, and follow it until you reach the road.
After you cross the road, follow the trail for almost a mile as it meanders along the golf course until you reach another road. Cross this road as well and pick up the trail on the common, opposite.
After almost a mile you will reach a stile in a field. Cross over the stile and continue into the next field until you reach a T-junction. Turn right, uphill, along the field edge with the fence on your left. Turn left at the top of the hill and pass through the wooden kissing gate into the woods. After exiting the woods walk for a mile straight ahead on the same trail, crossing over another stile at the halfway point.
Exit the field through the metal kissing gate, walk briefly over the farm driveway, and exit through the metal kissing gate on the other side. Follow the trail downhill between two fences, until you reach the road via the gate at the bottom left corner of the field.
On the other side of the road the trail continues to the right, but if you turn left you will reach the Alford Arms Pub and Frithsden Vineyard in less than 5 minutes. These two places offer plenty of libations!
After a quick break continue across the road, turn right, and pick up the trail about 25m on your left. Walk uphill to the right, and after almost 1 mile enter between two fences to reach the road. Cross the road and walk between the fences opposite to reach the golf course.
Follow the path along the right side of the golf course until you reach another road. Cross over and follow the trail diagonally across the course to the right. Continue with the fairway on either side of you for another half mile, until you enter the woods at the end of the course. Watch out for stray balls!
Continue for another mile in the same direction, going straight at both of the junctions you come across. When you reach the junction at the next farm, turn left through the wooden gate on the farm driveway. Head through the second wooden gate, and pass diagonally through a small field.
Go through the metal kissing gate and continue on the same trail for the next half mile until the trail turns into a driveway.
Follow the driveway down, then up, and pass through the wooden kissing gate at the top. Continue uphill between two fences with the field on your left.
Turn right after rounding the corner at the top of the field, and walk diagonally across the flat field in front of you toward Northchurch Farm.
Enter the metal kissing gate and walk along the driveway, past the cottages on your left. Exit the driveway via the wooden gate. After about 25m turn right through a patch of ferns, and continue into the woods until you reach another road.
Cross this road and continue downhill before you go uphill again. Soon you will reach a trail junction. Turn left along the driveway, and then turn right just before the farm gates. The trail weaves in and out of the woods for the next half a mile, most of which is uphill.
Turn right when you reach the fork in the path. You will pass through a patch of ferns, across another trail, then across another track. Take the right-hand fork as you enter the woods, briefly travelling along the edge of the common before returning into the woods again.
Turn left at the next fork, then merge right onto another trail. Stay on this trail through the woods. Before finishing at the Bridgewater Monument, you will cross over one more road and one more trail.
Carry enough food and water for the entire day and start early in the morning to allow yourself enough time to finish in daylight. The weather changes quickly in the Chilterns, so prepare for all seasons even if the weather report tells you otherwise!
If you still have some energy left at the end of the trail, you can climb the 172 winding steps to the top of Bridgewater Monument for stunning views of the Estate. On clear days you can even see London, 48.3km away! Open weekends and bank holidays, 12-4pm, April – October, small donation required.
The Brownlow Café next to the monument is a great place to rest and relax. It is open 8-4 in the winter, 8-6 in the summer, and is outdoor seating only.
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