Walking

Walking trail

Bridgewater Monument to Pitstone Windmill circular

Walking trail

This walk links two great reasons to visit the Ashridge Estate - the Bridgewater Monument and our ancient postmill. You could make it a day out for the whole family. It includes some spectacular views across of the Chilterns and the Vale of Aylesbury, especially if you get the chance to climb the monument.

Please note that this route does include some walking on the road and may not be suitable for families with young children as, in places, crossing can be difficult and there are no verges (see particularly points 4 and 9).

Pitstone Windmill Ashridge Estate Herts

Map

Ordnance survey map of Bridgestone Monument to Pitstone Windmill trail

Start:

The Bridgewater Monument, car park, grid ref: SP97001310

1

Stand facing the Bridgewater Monument. This 33-metre-tall tower was erected in 1832 in memory of the Third Duke of Bridgewater, also known as the 'Canal Duke' because of his role in starting the canal-building boom of the late-18th and early-19th centuries. To the right of the Monument there are two paths. One goes straight ahead and down the hill behind the monument. The other, to the right, follows Duncombe Terrace along the contour towards Ivinghoe Beacon. Take Duncombe Terrace following a well-surfaced path and signs for mobility vehicles. Follow this path for approximately 1 miole (2km) through woodland until fields begin to appear on your left and you pass a house on your right (this is not the shooting lodge which you will pass on your left). At the house go through a gate and turn left onto a track. Continue to follow the track as it bears right away from the house.

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Bridge over ancient drovers track at Ashridge Herts

2

After approximately 200m you will come to a footpath marker. Turn left off the track, following the boundary trail, onto a footpath which descends gently down the hill and through a gate emerging into a more open landscape. You will find fields to your left and chalk grassland to your right. The fields are separated from the grassland by a thin wire fence. Follow the path to the corner of the field in front of you. When you reach the field continue ahead following the fence line, and keeping it, to your left.

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3

When you come to a point where two paths form a crossroads, marked by a signpost, continue ahead in the direction signed Ivinghoe. Pass through the gate into a more defined field and continue ahead following footpath signs and the line of a hedgerow, keeping the hedge to your right. When you arrive at gate in the corner of the field go through it and onto a narrow track which seems to be within the hedgerow. Follow this track to the road.

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A view of Ivinhoe Beacon on the Ashridge Estate Herts

4

When you reach the road, turn left. CAUTION: this is a very busy road with limited visibility. There is a verge on the left side of the road which you can use but it is uneven so take care. Cross the road where you feel comfortable and continue until you come to the National Trust car park which is near a very tight bend in the road. Cross the car park and go through a gate at the back. You will now be able to see the Pitstone Windmill very clearly. Follow the path directly towards the windmill.

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1627 date carved into wood at Pitstone Windmill

5

On leaving the Windmill continue across the field to the opposite side to which you entered. When you reach the edge of the field turn left and follow the field margin to the road.

6

Cross the road and turn left. CAUTION: this is a very busy road, there is a verge on the right side of the road but it is uneven in places. Following the road you will eventually come to an opening into a field to your right. Turn in here and then turn immediately left following a narrow track with bushes on both sides. Follow this track as it bends right. Go over a style and continue ahead on the footpath. The footpath winds up hill through bushes following a road, which you can glimpse to your left, before arriving at the edge of a field. When you arrive at a gate go through into the field. Please make sure that if you have a dog it is on a lead and under control as this field is often used for livestock.

7

With your back to the gate go straight ahead passing in front of the hill to your right. Keep an eye out to your left for the National Trust’s Pitstone Hill car park. When you meet the track which comes from the car park and goes up the hill turn right towards the hill. You do not need to climb the hill itself but can take the left fork and walk around the contour, keeping the hill on your right, if you prefer. This lower route soon bears right and begins to run parallel to a fence. Follow the fence to its corner where you will find a sign post.

8

Follow the sign left through the gate into the field. The path skirts the edge of the field for approximately 100m before bearing left across two fields divided by a rough track. When you reach the tree-line beyond these fields turn left and walk around the edge of the field until you come to the road.

9

Turn right and follow the road until you meet a substantial wall to the left and a signpost to your right.

10

Turn left following the sign indicating the Bridgewater Monument. Go through a gate into a stable yard. Keeping the stables on your left cross the yard and continue straight ahead onto a track. Ignoring farm tracks to the right and left you will eventually come to a fork marked by footpath signs.

11

Take the right fork following the purple arrow. The path climbs uphill into woodland. Follow this path until you come to another fork. This time take the left option past the ‘No Horses’ sign. Continue straight ahead through a clearing until you come to a well surfaced track. Turn right onto the track which will bring you back to the Bridgewater Monument.

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End:

The Bridgewater Monument, car park, grid ref: SP97001310

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Bridgewater Monument to Pitstone Windmill circular

Terrain

Mostly good paths but some steep sections and some paths across ploughed fields. There is also a small amount of walking on busy roads. Dogs welcome, but must be kept on a lead at all times as the walk passes through grazing areas for cattle and sheep.
Bridgewater Monument to Pitstone Windmill circular

Contact us

Telephone: 01442 851227
 
Bridgewater Monument to Pitstone Windmill circular

How to get here

Address
Bridgewater Monument, Ashridge Estate, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire HP4 1LX
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.

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

By foot

The visitor centre is a short detour from 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.

Bridgewater Monument to Pitstone Windmill circular

Facilities and access

  • Toilets and café (outdoor seating only) at our visitor centre beside the Bridgewater Monument