'Capability' Brown's Golden Valley

Golden Valley at Ashridge Estate Hertfordshire

The Golden Valley is one of the finest areas of the Ashridge Estate, and is a nod to its aristocratic past. Originally not a valley at all, this feature was built by celebrated landscape architect 'Capability' Brown between 1759-1768 to highlight the impressive grounds of Ashridge House.

Improving Ashridge

Lancelot 'Capability' Brown got his nickname for supposedly announcing that sites had 'great capability'. He strongly believed that Ashridge House's grounds would benefit from a narrow valley, so set to work designing one.

Lancelot 'Capability' Brown's Golden Valley at Ashridge Estate
'Capability' Brown's Golden Valley

A grand design

The Golden Valley is considered one of his greatest projects not just due to the impressive view, but also due to Brown's clever design. Due to the sloping and gentle bends at first glance it looks like the valley goes on endlessly, when in reality it only stretches a short distance.

Golden Valley arcing round the great Lawn at Ashridge House
Ariel view of the Golden Valley at Ashridge Herts

Seeing is believing

Regardless of season, the Golden Valley offers a spectacular vista. Three hundred years after the birth of its architect, it remains very much as Brown intended it - soft undulating slopes along a wide grassy path. Perfect for a leisurely stroll in the sunshine. Be sure to glance backwards as you get to the northwestern end of the valley - this is considered one of the best views