Little Gaddesden is a quintessentially English village with a village green, village hall and, this morning, a small huddle of people around the war memorial for the annual act of remembrance. Not much has changed round here in generations.
Starting out late morning we leave the Bridgewater Arms to walk north to Ringshall and after skirting Ringshall Coppice arrive at The Coombe with big, open views east as far as Dunstable Downs in the distance. The sun is out and the autumn colours look more vivid against a blue sky. Looking back at our pictures, there’s an awful lot of yellows and browns and most of our pictures are of trees…we need to get out more!
Having said that, there are plenty of people out. Perhaps Saturday’s rain means everyone is keen to make the most of Sunday’s good weather. The paths beyond are clogged with a slow crocodile of people walking from the Bridgewater Monument to Ivinghoe Beacon and back, many walking dogs (again!) and pushing buggies. We push on, keen to avoid looking like ‘day trippers’. We pass fellow walkers and acknowledge them with that knowing nod, as if to say ‘We’re in the same gang!’
A brief visit to the Beacon to take in the view and we’re heading back over the Ashridge Estate. We catch occasional views of Pitstone Hill and Aldbury Nowers through the trees to one side (we walked there with Hannah during the summer) and glimpses of Fallow Deer to the other. Most of the buggy pushing crowds are oblivious to both.
Walking down Monument Drive we eventually turn left, across the Ashridge Golf Course and back to the car. An 8.4 mile walk that took us 2hrs 50min.
(Postcode for Satnav HP4 1PD)
Little Gaddensden picture gallery