In the footsteps of Capability Brown

Walking trail

Discover The Golden Valley, a hidden gem of the Ashridge Estate, on this 4.3 mile walk. Designed by the famous ‘Capability’ Brown this masterpiece ranks amongst his finest works. Following historic rides and paths, this route takes you through the faded grandeur of Ashridge Park with stunning views of Ashridge House and the historic deer park. A shorter route is included if you would prefer to just visit the Valley. For this route we suggest you park at point 11 on the map.

Golden Valley at Ashridge Estate Hertfordshire


CB300 Map for Ashridge Herts


Ashridge Visitor Centre, grid ref SP 971131


With your back to the Bridgewater Monument, walk down what was originally part of Prince's Riding but is now known as Monument Drive, towards the B4506.


Cross over the (always busy) B4506 and head around to the left of the wooden fence that blocks your path. This ‘deer leap’ was part of the perimeter fence of the deer park, which you have just entered. Follow Prince's Riding all the way to the sign for Ashridge House, a short way before the metal fence.

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Princes Riding in the mist


Turn right onto the surfaced path around the golf course green. At its end, follow the rough track into the copse of trees ahead. Here, do take a minute to admire the ancient Sweet Chestnut trees. Follow this track along the boundary between the great lawn (often marked out as a sports field) and the wilder grass until you come to the tree-line in front of you.

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Part of a Brown copse


Leave the path that leads into the woods and keeping left, follow the tree line down the slope.


Be careful as you cross the road and bear right into the Golden Valley, walking along the valley floor.

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'Capability' Brown's Golden Valley


Turn sharp right here, almost turning back on yourself, and follow the path uphill. When this meets the road, turn left and continue along the road to the front of Ashridge House. Feel free to walk on the grass for safety.

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Ashridge House and the old park


Continue along the road in front of the house until you come to a right hand fork with a barrier across to stop vehicles. Nip around the barrier, following the purple ‘Bridgewater Monument and Visitor Centre’ sign. This rough track was once Thunderdell Drive, a grand private road for carriages and riders who were visiting the House.


If you are walking the short route, starting at Gaddesden Green car park - point 11 - turn right at the barrier. Follow the treeline round the Great Lawn to reach point 4. For the long walk keep straight on, up the track.


Where this path touches the corner of a field is one of the best places to see deer on the estate. Continue straight on.

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Deer rutting Ashridge Estate Herts


You have now reached Thunderdell Lodge: the black and white chequered gatekeeper's house, by the side of the main road. Notice the gates which would always have been closed to keep the deer in. Cross carefully and turn right following the path along the edge of the road until you reach the bottom of Monument Drive. Follow the drive back towards the Bridgewater Monument.


Ashridge Visitor Centre, grid ref SP 97874 12527

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In the footsteps of Capability Brown


Well-trodden footpaths, tracks and grassland which may be muddy in winter. Dogs are welcome, but must be kept under close control at all times to avoid worrying wildlife.

In the footsteps of Capability Brown

Contact us

In the footsteps of Capability Brown

How to get here

Ashridge visitor centre
By train

Tring train station 1¾ miles - from the station you can take a taxi or follow our walk at the bottom of this page. For Ivinghoe Beacon: Cheddington train station 3½ miles

By road

The entrance to Monument Drive and the Estate Visitor Centre is off the B4506 between Berkhamsted and Dagnall

To get to the Gaddesden Green car park, for the short route: from the main road at the visitor centre turn left in the direction of Ringshall. Take the right turning beyond Ringshall, signposted Little Gaddesden. Continue on this road until you pass a war memorial on the right, the car park is 20-30 metres further along on the right. Grid reference: SP998128 

By foot

The Ashridge Visitor centre is a short detour from the Ridgeway footpath at Ivinghoe Beacon.

By bus

Buses stop close to the end of Monument Drive. Buses stop in Aldbury village which is a ½ mile uphill walk and also in Tring, which is a 3¾ mile walk.

By bicycle

The Ashridge Visitor centre is close to the Chilterns Cycle Route and there are cycle stands at the centre.

In the footsteps of Capability Brown

Facilities and access

  • There are toilets and a non-National Trust cafe (outdoor seating only) at the visitor centre