Pitstone Hill and Wigginton walk

Further to my post yesterday, I’ve now realised that the captions under many of the photos on my web site are not being displayed by the Firefox browser. Very annoying – not sure if its a bug, or whether I’m using a feature of Microsoft Frontpage that Firefox no longer supports. I’ll have to investigate further, and report it if it is a bug. It’s because the captions have a font colour of ‘automatic’ – I really don’t fancy editing them all (there’s literally hundreds of them!) and changing the font colour to black.

Today was another day of grey overcast skies. I’m getting a bit fed up with them – I want to photograph some of my local walks and put them on my web site, but I really need nice days with bright blue skies to do it. As the photos I took on Monday’s walk confirmed, everything looks so dull and drab under heavygrey skies.

Anyway, to today’s walk. I set off to do Walk 4 of the Chiltern Chain Walk again, but ended up by varying the route slightly. I set off from the car park near Pitstone Hill just after 9.30am. It only took an hour and a quarter to go over Pitstone Hill, pass Tring Station and go on to Wigginton – I was progressing far more quickly than when I last did the walk because I wasn’t stopping to take photos. Another hour and a quarter and I’d descended back down to Cow Roast, climbed uphill to Tom’s Hill and reached the edge of Aldbury.

At this point I decided to extend the walk, otherwise I’d be back at my car by 1pm. So I took the route of the Chiltern Way that rises steeply uphill into Ashridge, then turned left along a level bridleway that eventually joined the main path from Aldbury to the Bridgewater Monument. From the Monument I took another bridleway that ran through the woods for about a mile. Not far from Ringshall, I picked up the route of the Ashridge Estate Boundary Trail. I soon stopped to eat my lunch on a fallen tree, then followed the Trail past the small Ringshall Reservoir, and through a succession of sheep pastures to reach Ward’s Hurst Farm. I followed the farm drive to a road, crossed over and followed a path through the trees to reach the main track from the Monument to Ivinghoe Beacon.

I headed towards the Beacon, soon passing the dog kennels at Clipper Down. Soon after I forked left on a good path that headed easily downhill to reach a path junction with the Ridgeway, where I turned left and was soon back at my car.

This was a shorter walk than usual, only taking about 4 hours. It was very pleasant, despite the constant grey skies, but I didn’t see anything in the way of wildlife today at all – no interesting birds, no animals at all (except some Alpaca on a farm!) and not many wildflowers. It’s been noticeable how few butterflies have been flying on these grey days. I enjoyed having the flexibility to vary my route, and enjoyed the section through Ashridge from the Monument that I hadn’t planned on walking.

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