Monday 7 July
We departed the excellent campsite ( apart from internet signal - humpff ) mid morning, and headed for Ivinghoe Beacon which used to be an Iron Age hill fort. This is within the National Trust area called Ashridge which is of natural beauty with great views to all sides too. Tony lugged his body and rucksack up a very steep hill to the top and I pushed my bike + luggage up a long and steep road also. My journey after that was all downhill to our destination village of Little Gaddesden which took less than an hour in total.
Tony conquered the Beacon summit, but alas the peace and quite was shattered by a school party of ungrateful teenagers who definitely did not appreciate all that was around them.
The Whipsnade Safari Park lion could be seen carved into the chalk in a hill not far away. From the Beacon he walked along the ridge and into the Ashridge Estate ( National Trust ) where he came upon the Bridgewater Monument dedicated to the Canal Duke the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater.
After having walked a whole 3 miles he felt the need for sustenance and so purchased a large mug of hot chocolate and a home made granola bar from a cafe and relaxed in the sun. After having suitably revived himself he then continued down the Princes Riding towards Ashridge Business College which by shear coincidence happened to be built upon an Augustinian Monastery of the 12th century. From then until now Ashridge house has had a chequered history and boasts the longest frontage of any house in England - around 300 metres.
Passing past the front of the house his walk returned to the woods once more and eventually to rendezvous with me, this time on a bench on part of the village green.
Tonight we were staying at the 1st Little Gaddesden Scout Group hut, very kindly offered to us by Tim the Group Scout Leader. We arrived to an un-locked door and a welcome note from Tim, that started, Tony, Welcome to 1st LG Hotel!! - I got weepy ( again ) and declared my love for humanity, well of some humans as not all had been so generous and accommodating.
Tony cooked tea within the outside porch and we dined on the banquet of……yes noodles again, this time sitting down at a table on proper chairs. O it’s the little things in life that make you smile. We then proceeded to wash up and ………use a t-towel to dry our pots…..what luxury!!
|The Whipsnade Lion|
|The Bridgewater Monument|
Distance 7 miles
Total since Helmsley - 342.75 miles