I used to be indecisive…

…but now I'm not so sure

walking The Ridgeway from Tring Station to Wendover

16 Comments

Keeping up the preparations for our Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge (next Saturday!) we went, last weekend, to walk part of The Ridgeway.

The Ridgeway is thought to be Britain’s oldest road, following the route used since prehistoric times by travellers, soldiers and herdsmen. It is 87 miles (139 km) long and runs from Avebury in Wiltshire to Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire.

Ridgeway finger post

We joined it near one end, at Tring Station, and walked the 8 miles to the small town of Wendover.  The weather was dull, but dry, when we left the house, however by the time we parked at Tring Station it was raining.  The forecast had said ‘showers’, which suggests to me that short periods of rain would be interspersed with dry bright spells, but this ‘shower’ lasted for almost the whole walk.  The photos I took don’t do justice to the views over the Chilterns, sadly.  If you could just imagine them with blue skies and sunshine, they will be much better.  🙂

Our walk started beside some fields and through some woodland, climbing steadily, until we came to a foot bridge built specially to carry The Ridgeway over the A41.

DSCF7204 (800x600)  The gentle climb continued and the views of the Chilterns and the Vale of Aylesbury were wide and sweeping (and would have been wider and more sweeping without the rain!).  A freight train was travelling north from London – you can just see the coloured containers in the centre of the photo –

mainline goods train

We walked along the edges of cornfields –

cornfield and view

Through some more woodland and then we were in Tring Park.  Tring Park is part of the estate which belonged to the Rothschilds, a well known international banking family, from 1872.  In addition to the lovely house (now a School for the Performing Arts) there were beautiful gardens and carriage drives and a large collection of  animals.  Emus, rheas, zebras and kangaroos roamed the parkland and in a specially built Zoological Museum there were many stuffed animals.  Sadly all that has gone now (the stuffed animals form part of the collections of the Natural History Museum), but the Woodland Trust is trying to restore some of the woodland and drives back to their former glory.  Trees have been cleared so that the view can be admired again and a lovely wooden bench has been installed so that you can sit and enjoy it (preferably on a sunny day rather than our damp day).

view to Tring Park

wooden bench

owl carving

We walked on through steep treelined paths

steep woodland path

..before coming out, into sunshine, near this lovely church in Wendover.

St Mary's Church Wendover

You can see how wet the ground had been by the steam rising off the road!

steam rising

The lychgate is lovely

lychgate

We walked into Wendover town, past the clock tower

Wendover clock tower

and then a short distance to a Chocolaterie, where we ordered cake and drinks.  I had a mocha drink (can’t go into a Chocolaterie and not have something chocolatey!) and this rather delicious walnut and coffee cake with raspberry coulis, which I think I deserved after my walk.

walnut and coffee cake

Another time I would like to walk more of The Ridgeway, hopefully on a brighter day when the views will be better.

 

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16 thoughts on “walking The Ridgeway from Tring Station to Wendover

  1. I saw your link on Jo’s and had to come over for a look. We walked the Ridgeway some years ago, backpacking and wild camping, although we did have one night at an excellent youth hostel, called surprisingly, the ridgeway hostel. We needed to dry out as the previous day had rained…

    It was a good walk, I really enjoyed it and the scenery changes quite dramatically half way through.

    I vaguely recognise some of those views in the pix.

    Good luck with The Three Peaks. I always fancied that, I’ve done Pen Y Ghent and Ingleborough, but not together. Can’t remember if I ever managed Whernside. Great scenery.

  2. Shame about the weather, Elaine! I’m walking down at Whitby today and so far it’s set fair. The odd shower doesn’t matter too much but mizzle is a pain, isn’t it?
    Are you all set for the 3 Peaks? It’s come around too soon, hasn’t it! I’ll be thinking of you next Saturday. It’s Michael’s birthday too. 🙂 Many thanks for the lovely share. I would like Wendover.

    • Constant light drizzle is bad – a short sharp shower followed by clear skies is much better! I am more or less set for the Yorkshire peaks, but I am going to try and fit in a long-ish walk one evening during the week. I hope I will be able to toast Michael’s birthday from the top of each of the 3 peaks! 🙂

  3. What a nice walk Elaine, shame about the weather. Wendover looks pretty and I’d happily share your coffee and walnut cake. Good luck with the 3 peaks – sooner you than me 😉

    • It would have been really lovely walk in the sunshine – so I might try it again another time when I know the weather is going to be better. Wendover is a very pretty town – with lots of opportunities for coffees and cakes! 🙂

  4. Beautiful photos – I’m feeling all nostalgic for England’s green and pleasant lands now. It’s a far cry from the scenery around here 🙂 Three Peaks sounds very tiring – I will be generous and offer to eat your cake for you at the finishing line.

  5. Pingback: Jo’s Monday walk : Seaham ‘Tommy’ | restlessjo

  6. How wonderful to walk where so many have been before…..imagine all the stories and lives which have moved along this ancient trackway…..would love to do this walk…..and that covered gateway is stunning 🙂

  7. I looked at your photos with special interest, having just read Robert Macfarlane’s “The Old Ways”.

  8. The weather you cant change but you can have fun anyway and you did!
    I suppose you had the track fairly much to yourself since other people would have looked at the clouds and stayed away.
    Love the little owl head carved into the bench! … and then I scrolled further and saw the beautiful stone entry part to the church, (drool)…and then the cake (you DID deserve it!) Yum, a treat makes up for the lack of sun 🙂

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