Short Walk: Distance 4 miles (6.44 km) Duration 2hrs Calories 600 (est)
Long Walk: Distance 6 miles (9.66 km) Duration 3hrs Calories 950 (est)
Just a 45 minute train ride from London Euston and a few minutes walk from Tring station you can enjoy the fresh air and fantastic views of the Chilterns countryside.
The Ashridge Drovers Walks follows typically Chiltern sunken lanes that criss-cross the area. This network of ancient green lanes would have been used over hundreds of years to move livestock from the villages of Aldbury, Ivinghoe and Pitstone to their common lands. This movement of livestock was called droving.
Much of these walks are through common land. Common land is unusual, insofar as the ‘commoners’ have rights to grazing and other activities, such as cutting turf, although they are not the owners of that land. There are very few commons left today. The three villages surrounding the Ashridge Estate, Pitstone, Ivinghoe and Aldbury, have their respective commons within the Estate. These three commons would have been clear of woodland as recently as one hundred years ago.
The commons within Ashridge were then used to graze cattle, sheep and pigs from the adjacent villages. Fuel for heating homes was also collected from the commons along with bedding for animals and heather and birch for making brooms. Most commons were heavily grazed and, over the centuries, lost their woodland cover except for a few large trees. There has been very little grazing in the last hundred years and, as a result, many commons have been re-colonised by woodland. What you see today is a mixture of open grassland, ancient trees and relatively new woodlands.
For more walks and rides in the Chilterns see the Chilterns AONB website.
Please be considerate in the countryside:
- keep to public rights of way, and leave farm gates as you find them.
- please keep dogs under close control and on leads where animals are grazing.
Not sure you’re ready to go paper-free? Here’s the OS map covering the tour area:
Chiltern Hills East (OS Explorer Map – 181) – Buy Now at Amazon