Ivinghoe Beacon at Ashridge Estate

Ivinghoe Beacon with a view through the hills Ashridge Estate

Although Ivinghoe Beacon is not the highest point on the Ashridge Estate, it is definitely the best place to enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

Bronze age

As you walk across this windswept landscape look about you for signs of the past. There has been human activity on this site since the Bronze Age. You may be able to make out the outline of the remains of an Iron Age hill fort on top of the beacon. Bronze Age burial mounds can be seen throughout the area – all are Scheduled Ancient Monuments.

Centuries of farming

You can see many deeply rutted 'cattle drovers' paths and cross-ridge dykes throughout the Ivinghoe Hills. Our ancestors farmed this landscape for centuries and the cattle and sheep you see here today are a continuation of that process. The animals create the right conditions for wild flowers and butterflies to thrive.

Prehistoric past

Further south towards Incombe Hole you can see the work of our ancestors at the prehistoric earthwork, Grim's Ditch. Ivinghoe Beacon is the end of the Ridgeway National Trail which starts at Overton Hill on the Marlborough Downs in Wiltshire.

How far can you see?

Admire the far-reaching views over several counties, follow the pathways in spring and summer and you will see lots of wildflowers and butterflies that thrive in the chalk grassland. There are rare orchids, the delicate pasque flower and even rarer butterflies such as the rapidly declining Duke of Burgundy.

Site of Outstanding Natural Beauty

The Ivinghoe and Pitstone Hills are designated as a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) for its very special wildlife. The whole area falls within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).