|17 June||Berkhamsted||Booking open – 1 place remaining|
|8 July||Downe and Cudham||Booking opens 21 June|
|22 July||Downe and Cudham||Booking opens 21 June|
|12 August||Stour Valley Way||Booking opens 26 July|
|26 August||Stour Valley Way||Booking opens 26 July|
|9 September||Woldingham||Booking opens 23 August|
|23 September||Woldingham||Booking opens 23 August|
Thursday June 10 2021 and Thursday June 17 2021
10.5 miles / 16.80 km
This circular walk starts close to Berkhamsted castle and climbs north along a dry chalk valley to reach Berkhamsted Common. At this point we head north-west along the edge of the Chilterns until we reach Tom’s Hill. From here there are expansive views over the Vale of Aylesbury as we descend into the village of Aldbury.
After passing Aldbury village green with is mediaeval stocks and duck pond, there is a steep climb up to Aldbury Common and the grounds of the Ashridge Estate. We stop for lunch close to the Bridgewater monument, before following the perfectly straight track known as Prince’s Riding for almost 2 km in the direction of Ashridge House. Passing the house to the north, we enter the delightfully named Golden Valley, which we follow to Cromer Wood from where we climb back up to Berkhamsted Common. Once clear of the golf course we traverse Berkhamsted Hill before descending back to our starting point at the castle.
▷ Walk itinerary
Thursday 8 July 2021 and Thursday 22 July 2021
Downe & Cudham
11.5 miles / 18.60 km
Booking open from mid-day 21 June until mid-day 22 June
Travel goes via London Bridge Rail Station. Return unlikely before 5 p.m.
The morning section is fairly leisurely, with a route that starts at Petts Wood Station and follows suburban streets until we join the London Loop heading for Farnborough. After crossing Farnborough churchyard, the Loop leads us into High Elms Country Park, through ornamental gardens and alongside a golf course before emerging into farmland. Soon after we reach a junction of paths, where we follow a track into the village of Downe, with its historic core of flint cottages, two pubs and a 13th-century church. This is where we pause for lunch.
The afternoon is longer and more strenuous. Shortly after leaving Downe village, we walk past Down House, which for 40 years was the home of Charles Darwin, before heading south-east towards the village of Cudham, where we experience the first of three quite stiff climbs.
From the delightful mediaeval church at Cudham our route heads north-east through farmland and woodlands to reach Foxberry Wood. We now turn and head generally east, descending the steep Stubbs Hill before climbing up the other side of the valley to Rushmore Hill. We are now on our final section, as we continue across two abandoned golf courses to reach Knockholt station and the end of the walk.