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Jay Walking

The Ridgeway: Tring to Ivanhoe Beacon

I met a friend at St Pancras and we headed to Euston to catch the train to Tring, it was a short journey and we were there around 11 pm, the station was quite busy with walkers and one person carrying a paraglider on his back. The route went past the station so we set off along the road, which we soon headed away from, following a large family of Asian people. Somehow we missed the sign and kept walking for about a kilometre in the wrong direction. My friend had seen the sign but presumed I knew what I was doing, which is a fatal mistake to make.

Path enclosed by trees on both sides
Ashridge a National Trust run woodland

We were soon back on the right path and we were soon heading uphill through some woodlands to Albury Nowersm, continuing along the chalk ridge via Pitstone Hill. There was no chance of getting lost again, even with my poor navigational skills as we could see Ivanhoe Beacon in the distance and even if we could not have there were a lot of people around. The day was warming up and we had both removed some layers of clothing as we headed on. A descent brought us to a road crossing and a branch of the Ickneild Way Trail a route we were intending to continue after reaching the beacon.

View from the top of Ashridge looking West showing distance hils and woodlands
Looking new North towards Ivanhoe Beacon

From the road it was about 2.5 km to Ivanhoe Beacon, we headed up Incombe Hole, an impressive coombe and saw a number of birds of prey including a Red Kite and maybe a hawk of some sort. My friend is a minor ornithology enthusiast and pointed out skylarks and other birds he knew as we walked. I bored him with my knowledge of geology. We crossed another branch of the Ickneild Way Trail just below the final ascent to Beacon Hill and soon we were there. It was quite busy it up there with a few groups having picnics and one person flying a remote controlled airplane with a level of skill I had not seen before, he was making the plane do loops and at one point was flying along upside down. We sat down and had a rest, and reflected on the route, I had enjoyed it and could see why it was so popular. There are some problems with transport at either end and also breaking up the route into easily doable days but it was a fine walk, I had really enjoyed the later stages due to the varied landscapes and the wonderful weather we had enjoyed.

Bridleway Heading into the distance and Ivanhoe Beacon in the far distance
View from the top of Ivanhoe Beacon showing cloudy sky

Once we had finished eating and talking we stood up and set off down the hill which the start (or end) of the Ickneild Way which was going to occupy us for the rest of the day.