Sara Randle, Senior Development Officer for the Cycle Chilterns project, takes us through a quiet little 14 mile circular bike ride in Hertfordshire and the Chiltern Hills, suitable for a wide range of abilities.
The Herts CMS (Hertfordshire Countryside Management Service) route 6 is sign posted anti-clockwise cycle route from Berkhamsted train station. Just opposite is Berkhamsted Castle which dates all the way back to Norman times and has direct links to the Battle of Hastings and William the Conqueror.
A gradual climb up New Road soon has you into the woodlands of the National Trust owned Ashridge Estate and as the scenery opens out into a grassy clearing the route passes by the stunning Ashridge House, a 19th century neo-gothic mansion.
It’s another short climb up to the village of Little Gaddesden with a small country pub, just right for a refreshment stop on a summer evening or you can head for Brownlows café next to the Bridgewater Monument and stop for tea and cake. There’s also an information centre with a whole host of guidebooks and leaflets detailing things to do, walks and cycle routes around the estate and in the local area.
Ashridge Estate also has a couple of signposted cycle routes starting from the café that take riders onto some rougher tracks through the woods out to Ivinghoe Beacon and views over the Dunstable Downs. These are mostly off-road and traffic-free and are perfect for a family cycling day out cycling or beginners.
Herts CMS route 6 stays on the road and takes the steep hairpin descent down into the picturesque village of Aldbury near Tring. The duck pond in the centre of the village is a popular photo spot for walkers and cyclists and the outdoor seating at the local pub gives a ‘chocolate box’ view.
The route then joins the Chilterns Cycleway and crosses the busy A4251, but is soon back on the small, twisty lanes that run alongside the A41. There’s a long descent down into Berkhamsted, avoiding the busy high street by taking a smaller parallel residential road before heading back to the train station to finish. The ride should take an average cyclist approximately one and a half hours.
The beauty of this route is that there are a number of possible start points and it can be done either way round. Ashridge Estate has plenty of car parking or you can start at Tring train station as both of the towns and stations are served by the main London to Birmingham train line.
A leaflet for Herts route 6 is available to download from the Chilterns AONB website and includes the slightly longer 18 mile Herts Recreational route 5 that starts in Tring in Hertfordshire and takes in the Tring Reservoirs and Long Marston. More cycle routes in Herts are available on our Cycle Routes page.
CTC Blog: A gentle ride through rolling Chilterns countryside
View Herts CMS route 6 on Map My Ride
Download Herts CMS route 6 gpx file
View Herts CMS route 5 on Map My Ride
Download Herts CMS route 5 gpx file