Kensworth and Pitston Hill circular walk

Yesterday I did my longest local walk yet, a circular route from my home in Kensworth to Pitstone Hill and back. This was an extended version of the circular walk that I have done to Ivinghoe Beacon a few times. I roughly measured the distance on my maps as about 16 miles, but as I was walking at a good pace for almost 6 hours I suspect it was a bit longer.

I deliberately kept my camera in my rucksack, rather than hung round my neck, as I didn’t want to be stopping every few minutes to take photos. I only took it out twice, to try to photo some wildflowers – one of which, Annual Wall Rocket, was new to me. I really enjoyed walking without the stop/start of taking photos – it felt much less tiring to be able to walk at a constant pace without numerous halts, and at the end of the walk I felt no more tired than on the many 12-mile walks I’ve done in recent months (and this was a pretty warm day, too).

From Kensworth I took the path across to Dovehouse Lane, then the path along the edge of Holywell and on to reach a road near Studham church. I then continued on the bridleway across the Gade Valley to Hudnall, bearing half-right to reach Little Gaddesden. I continued on into the woods of Ashridge, where I deviated from my normal route that takes me to the Beacon by going leftish to reach the Monument.

I went downhill to Aldbury, then followed the usual path across the golf course (where I saw Grass Vetchling, but it was blowing about too much to get a photo) and on through the woods of Aldbury Nowers to Pitstone Hill. I continued on along the Ridgeway, downhill and across a lane by a car park and then the long steady climb up Steps Hill and on to Ivinghoe Beacon. I saw Pyramidal and Common Spotted Orchids, Lady’s Bedstraw, Sainfoin, and Yellow Rattle.

From the Beacon, I followed the Icknield Way, heading through a wood and steeply uphill to Ward’s Hurst Farm, where I turned left. This was a steady descent at a very gentle angle, through some sheep pastures and then down the lengthy drive from Hog Hall to Dagnall. I saw a Red Kite over part of Whipsnade Zoo near Dagnall, as I made my way steeply uphill to Whipsnade Golf Course. I crossed several fairways, then followed the zoo fence for a mile or more as I made my way to Whipsnade. I then took the path through Whipsnade Heath (lots of Dark Mullein here again this year), and turned right to reach my home again.

Comments are closed.