Berkhamsted to Tring via Toms Hill walk

31-Oct-20 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Berkhamsted to Tring via Toms Hill walk

31-Oct-20 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Canal

Tring to Berkhamsted via Toms Hill

05-Aug-20 • moontiger on Flickr

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Tree

Tring to Berkhamsted via Toms Hill

05-Aug-20 • moontiger on Flickr

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Rowan berries

Tring to Berkhamsted via Toms Hill

05-Aug-20 • moontiger on Flickr

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Another tree

Tring to Berkhamsted via Toms Hill

05-Aug-20 • moontiger on Flickr

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Inside The Boat (pub)

Tring to Berkhamsted via Toms Hill (only allowed in to order)

05-Aug-20 • moontiger on Flickr

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Tring to Berkhamsted via Tom's Hill walk

History

This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Updated: Sun, 09-May-21

Date # Post
Sat, 31-Oct-20 17

Saturday walk - Tring to Berkhamsted by a completely new route

Walk 366: Tring to Berkhamsted by Toms Hill T=3.366
Length: 15.5km (9.6 miles)
Toughness: 4 out of 10
10.03 train from Euston to Tring, arriving at 10.49 *
or
9.40 train from Clapham Junction to Watford Junction, arriving 10.20, to connect to the above train, departing WJ at 10.26
* Just missed the train at Euston? Get the 10.24, arriving Tring at 10.57

Buy a day return to Tring

*** Please meet outside Tring station (turn left on the footbridge), where we will rapidly split into groups of no more than six

For walk directions click here, for GPX click here, for a map of the route click here.

Back in the hot hazy days of summer, the midweek walkers debuted this walk, which takes a quite different route from any other Tring to Berkhamsted walks you may have done. It initially follows the Grand Union Canal, and then goes up into the woods of the Ashridge Estate. Famous last words, but I remember lots of firm-under-foot tracks on this section, overtopped by arching beeches, and I thought then what a good autumn leaf colour walk this would make.
A pub lunch, for those inclined or permitted to do such things, can be had at the Bridgewater Arms, the familiar lunch stop on the other Tring walks. In the afternoon you then get a close-up view of Ashridge College, the former grand mansion of the estate, and discover some WW1 training trenches in the woods. Descent to Berkhamsted is by a ridge with fine views (again, different from the one used by the book one walk). For tea, Berkhamsted has canalside pubs, or cafes in the High Street where you can get takeaways, if no outdoor seating is available.

Trains back from Berkhamsted are at 01, 24 (but 16.26), 30 and 46 past, taking 35 to 40 minutes
For Clapham Junction the easiest train is the 30 past, with a five minute change at Harrow and Wealdstone, taking 1hr 02 minutes. Otherwise the 01 past takes 1hr 09/12 minutes, with changes at Wembley Central and Willesden Junction.

I walked the second half of this walk last Saturday and the paths in the woods are very easy and now mostly covered with a layer of leaves so it is relatively mud free. However still recommend waterproof shoes for those stretches which have unavoidable puddles with the current rainfall. Wonderful sweet chestnut trees shedding their nuts as you walk along (be careful) you can then roast...Great walk.
Typo alert
Its the Bridgewater Arms, surely.
Ha! Classic case of the upper brain thinking one thing and the lower brain writing another. Corrected!
If travelling from Clapham Junction, you may prefer to change trains at Harrow and Wealdstone as you don't have to change platforms there, according to the currently advertised timetables. Best to check again nearer the time though, in case things change.
A lovely walk, but beware the locals near Berkhamsted: yesterday on a field edge path we met a man with dog and wife; we'd moved off the path to socially distance from oncoming people including them, and he came very close (dangerously so) and aggressively berated us for killing the crop (winter wheat), assuming I think we had no idea it was a crop that he'd forced us to walk on. We were left bewildered and badly shaken. By far the worst experience in 20 years of such walks beware of Berkhamsted.
It's a good one.
Very sorry you had such a bad experience. Interesting that you mentioned the wife after the dog, though.
For anyone interested in a longer walk in the area, I am planning to take the 9:24 train from London Euston to Tring and add a circuit out to Ivanhoe Beacon from Book 2: Walk 5 (Tring Circular) and pick up the main walk near the top of Tom's Hill....It should add about 5 miles to the route...
Ivinghoe

Ivanhoe is a novel by Walter Scott.
There was a brief flash of sunshine as we left Euston, raising our hopes, but it was raining steadily, not to say relentlessly, once we got to Tring and carried on doing so all morning. Nevertheless 12 assembled at the station, two of them having adventured into the northlands from Clapham Junction, and it later transpired there was a thirteenth, and one had got the slightly later fast train. Plus three got an earlier train so they could get even wetter by doing a longer walk via Ivinghoe Beacon. (What private griefs they had, alas, I know not that made them do this: they are wise and honourable and will no doubt with reasons answer you...). So, long story short, 17 in all, which ain't bad for a Chilterns walk on a day with a miserable weather forecast.

Before setting off two said they might just walk the canal to Berkhamsted. The rest of us followed the main walk route. Along the canal the shrubbery was getting a bit overgrown in places, narrowing the path: I hope someone will give it a clip over the winter. Once we got up to Toms Hill the autumn colour was glorious, the beeches a riot of gold and russet, the sweet chestnuts too. Back in the summer I had thought the walk would also have the advantage of dry tracks underfoot. Well, I was wrong about that, but it was more paddling than mud (though certainly a bit of both).

Approaching the Bridgewater Arms several sandwich eaters went....wherever sandwich eaters go in a torrential downpour. I tried my luck in the pub where I had joined four others already there. The pub was pretty empty, but they nevertheless put another group (ie not SWC walkers) right next to us. Otherwise the social distancing was scrupulous and the service very efficient, though being a Grinch I could have done without the Halloween costumes.... The three long walkers turned up a bit later and ate at a separate table.

Among other pressing topics, we discussed over lunch when or whether the rain might stop. It was thus a huge surprise when we finally emerged from the windowless gloom of the pub to discover bright sunshine. But oh my God there was a cold wind. Just for once I did not think I had brought too much clothing. The sun also had an annoying habit of sinking low behind the trees, but for the last ridge stretch into Berkhamsted shone glorious. So for the record very wet and then sunny and cold

In Berkhamsted there was a, shall we say, fin de siècle, last drink on the Titanic feel as we awaited a certain government pronouncement (future readers: about the second Covid lockdown). We went to the Boat pub, where all the layers again came in useful as we sat at an outside table demolishing a bottle of wine. Getting to the station, we discovered it had, of all things, a wine shop. Our duty to support small businesses being clear (Spend money: Save livelihoods!), we purchased another bottle and demolished that on delayed 6.12pm train back to Euston.
Wed, 05-Aug-20 22

Wednesday walk Tring to Berkhamsted via Toms Hill [new walk] - Grand Union canal, Ashridge Estate, Berkhamsted Common and World War One trenches

SWC 366 (new walk) - Tring to Berkhamsted via Toms Hill

Length: 15.5 km (9.6 miles) (Note: longer than originally posted)
Toughness: 3 plus out of 10


Meeting point: outside Tring railway station, main (south-western) entrance at 11 am

For those comfortable travelling on public transport outside of rush hour, complying with social distancing rules and wearing face covering, your recommended train is as follows:

London Euston: 10-24 hrs. Northampton service
Arrive Tring: 10-58 hrs

Return: Berkhamsted to Euston: four an hour, at or around 01, 23, 31 and 46 mins past the hour

Rail ticket: buy a day return to Tring


This is the inaugural posting of Elsa's latest walk, modest in overall length, and over varied countryside, woodland and open land, which should be attractive to those who enjoy a walk which incorporates plenty of variety with interesting sights without having to trudge mile upon mile - and with no steep hills to negotiate along the way.

Today's route through otherwise familiar south Chiltern countryside is completely different to our Book 2, Walk 5 Walk - Tring Circular or on to Berkhamsted, although after today's morning leg the walks do share the same recommended pub lunch stop, in the village of Little Gaddesden, The Bridgewater Arms. The pub is due to re-open Monday 27 July, viz in good time to sort out their Covid-compliance before our arrival - and diners should be able to participate in the "Eat out to Help out" scheme and save a few bob.

After lunch we walk through the grounds of the impressive international business school, Ashridge House, and then we wend our way to Berkhamsted Common to appreciate a bit of history - the Berkhamsted WW1 Troop Training Trenches. Soon after, the walk concludes at a canal-side pub, the Crystal Palace pub, which hopefully will be open to serve us post-walk drinks before our short journey, by car or train, back to central London.
T=swc.366
I think you will like Elsa's new walk. Directions are here: L=swc.366




I'm hoping to do this walk, but will be arriving from the North and the hourly trains don't fit in well. What I'm wondering is if you could divide in to groups of 5, if numbers permit, so that I can 'latch on' after I start (at 11.18). Failing that I'll just turn up and see how it goes!
Hi Mike, we will sort something out on the day.
I accidentally deleted Marcus' report so I'm reposting it for him.
"Twenty assembled outside the railway station and two joined us later, so that is 22. It was good to see the return of some regulars including SWC's resident "Rear Gunner" welcome back !
We enjoyed a lovely warm summers day with a pleasant breeze which prevented radiators boiling over: near perfect summer walking weather.
After the gentle introduction to today's walk the stretch along the canal we said hello to the lamas, who looked at us with quizzical expressions, before tackling Toms Hill, in pleasant shade. Onwards then through the Ashridge Estate and over the golf course and we were in Little Gaddesden where 10 of us dined in the garden of the Bridgewater Arms. With their participation in the 'Eat Out to Help Out" scheme and efficient operation of Covid security the pub's management did their best to give customers an enjoyable and inexpensive experience.
It was warmer when we set off on the afternoon leg but again, several sections of the walk were in the shade, and the breeze was still with us. We walked through the WW1 trenches on Berkhamsted Common and enjoyed views of the town as we descended to complete the walk. Finding the Crystal Palace pub closed up and looking a bit forlorn we set off eastwards along the canal to the next pub, The Boat, where 10 of us enjoyed post walk refreshments on the pub's verandah.
I believe most of today's participants liked this new walk perhaps one or two of you could add a comment to confirm or contradict this. Feedback is always appreciated even negative vibes !
I conclude my report by sending my own thanks to Elsa for writing this new walk."
The first bit was single file along an uneven section of towpath. When we turned off,I didn't spot the llamas, otherwise I might have dallied.
The ascent of Toms Hill was easier than I had feared. The Bridgewater wasn't too busy but Marcus had booked a table anyway. Service a bit slow but better than no service.
The directions were clear throughout they felt slightly vague along the front of Ashridge House but did the job and later, at point 21, someone had kindly mowed the field, rendering the 'clear path' invisible, but the directions got us through.
A grand day out.