Saturday 24 March 2018: Berkhamsted (Circular)

Our first Spring walk was foggy and felt quite autumnal but at least it stayed dry.  The walk was in the Chilterns, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and in Hertfordshire,  the county of opportunity.  After leaving the station, 9 Polyramblers were soon in the countryside, walking in a valley before crossing Frithsden Beeches and reaching the Golden Valley in the Ashridge Estate, well namedbecause it is lovely and must have beautiful golden colours in the autumn.   We walked along Prince’s Riding to the Bridgewater Monument.  It was built in 1832 in memory of the third Duke of Bridgewater who once lived in Ashridge house.  It is dedicated to ‘the father of inland navigation’ because the duke became famous for building canals during the Industrial Revolution.   We had lunch at the café – our first outside lunch of the year as orders are taken from a hatch and tables are outside.  We continued along the ridge through woodland and fields in Aldbury Common and descended towards the Grand Union Canal which we followed back to Berkhamsted.  A few people opted to go to the pub while the rest took a train home.