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The Rose and Crown and Ivinghoe Beacon

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The Rose and Crown and Ivinghoe Beacon
Author: Claire, Published: 13 May 2017 Walk Rating:star1 The Rose and Crown and Ivinghoe Beacon Walking Guide star1 The Rose and Crown and Ivinghoe Beacon Walking Guide star1 The Rose and Crown and Ivinghoe Beacon Walking Guide star1 The Rose and Crown and Ivinghoe Beacon Walking Guide star1 The Rose and Crown and Ivinghoe Beacon Walking Guide
Buckinghamshire, Ivinghoe
Walk Type: Hills, valleys and dales
The Rose and Crown and Ivinghoe Beacon
Length: 5 miles,  Difficulty: boot The Rose and Crown and Ivinghoe Beacon Walking Guide boot The Rose and Crown and Ivinghoe Beacon Walking Guide boot The Rose and Crown and Ivinghoe Beacon Walking Guide
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A 4.5 mile circular pub walk from The Rose and Crown in the village of Ivinghoe, Buckinghamshire. The Rose and Crown has been offering a warm welcome, a great pint and a memorable meal since 1690, so makes the perfect place for refreshments before or after your walk. The walking route explores the nearby Ivinghoe Hills, climbing high up to the exhilarating viewpoint of Ivinghoe Beacon. You will follow parts of The Ridgeway and Icknield Way paths, well-known for their claims as two of the oldest routes in Britain, with views of the village and the Pitstone Post Mill to enjoy along the way.

The route follows well-used paths, but the chalk surfaces can be muddy after periods of rain and the tops of the hills are very exposed so make sure you dress appropriately. The route has several moderate climbs and descents, and there is also one very steep descent from Ivinghoe Beacon (whilst this is not for the faint-hearted, it can be avoided by taking a detour along a quiet access road if you prefer). The route crosses several sheep pastures and the Ivinghoe Hills are grazed by free-roaming cattle, ponies and sheep, so take care with dogs. There are no stiles, but you will need to negotiate several kissing gates and pass alongside a cattle grid. (The bypass gate alongside this cattle grid was locked when we walked, so we had to cross the grid itself and lift our dog over the locked gate – the landowner assures us this has now been rectified but please be aware that this may re-occur). Allow 2.5 hours.

Ivinghoe village is located within the Aylesbury Vale district of Buckinghamshire, close to the border with Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. The walk starts and finishes from The Rose and Crown pub, on the corner between Vicarage Lane, Wellcroft and Ladysmith Road. There is roadside parking available along Wellcroft and Ladysmith Road but please park with respect for the local residents. Additional parking is available by the village green and church. Approximate post code LU7 9EQ.

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Walk Sections

Start to Middle Path Farm
Start to Middle Path Farm

Start point: 51.8375 lat, -0.6297 long
End point: 51.8338 lat, -0.626 long

Standing with your back to the pub’s front door, turn left long along Vicarage Lane. At the end of the lane, you will come to a T-junction with the main village road, with the church opposite and (coincidentally!) The Old Vicarage on your right. St Mary’s Church dates from 1220, but was set on fire on 1234 in an act of spite against the Bishop of Winchester. It was rebuilt in 1241.

Turn left along the pavement (taking care as this is very narrow in part), passing the churchyard across to your right and then the village allotments on your left. Just before you reach the traffic chicane, look right (about 2 o’clock) and you will have your first glimpse of the Pitstone Windmill (more about that later…).

At the road junction, ignore the side road left to Dunstable, instead cross over this side road with care to continue along the B488. Join the left-hand grass verge to pass a single white cottage, The Warren, on your left. Just 40 metres later, immediately before the next property (Middle Path Farm) you will see a waymarker on your left, marking the start of a footpath.

Middle Path Farm to Ridgeway
Middle Path Farm to Ridgeway

Start point: 51.8338 lat, -0.626 long
End point: 51.8286 lat, -0.61 long

Turn left through the bridle gate to join the footpath signed to The Ridgeway and Ivinghoe Beacon. Follow this narrow path with a fenced pasture on your left, a hedgerow on your right and glorious views of the hills you are about to climb ahead. At the end of this path, pass through the gate ahead to enter a pasture. (NOTE: You are likely to come across sheep or other livestock from this point).

Turn left and follow the grass track heading steadily uphill with a wire fence on your left. Part way up the field you may wish to pause and enjoy the views that have opened up behind, with the mill at its centre. Pitstone Windmill is thought to be one of the oldest post mills in Britain, dating back to at least the 1600s. It ground flour for the local villages until a storm in the early 1900s left it damaged beyond economic repair. It was donated to the National Trust in 1937 and has since been restored by volunteers.

When the fence on your left ends, simply keep ahead on the fairly obvious grass track. Towards the top of the field, the track swings left between two fences and you will see a pair of wooden farm gates on your right. Turn right to pass through the single bridle gate alongside these and follow the obvious grass path at about 11 o’clock. At the first subtle fork, keep ahead (the right-hand branch), still climbing gently. The grass track leads you to a crossroads of paths at a fence corner, marked with a four-way fingerpost. This marks the junction with the Ridgeway long distance path.

Ridgeway to Road Crossing
Ridgeway to Road Crossing

Start point: 51.8286 lat, -0.61 long
End point: 51.8372 lat, -0.6074 long

Turn left to join the Ridgeway, a grass path which leads you through a small dip and then begins to climb into the hills ahead. The track swings steadily left (with stunning views to your left) to reach a gate ahead. Do NOT pass through this gate, instead take the chalk path running immediately to the left of it (with a wire fence on your right).

Keep straight ahead across the grass (ignoring a gate to your right and a grass path to your left) to reach a black waymarker post for the Ridgeway. Go straight ahead, passing through a section of trees and scrub. Keep to the main path where you can, but you can use the side paths to avoid the worst of the mud if necessary. The paths generally converge at the end of the section of trees.

As you emerge into the open, keep ahead, heading downhill with a wire fence on your right. After about 100 metres, turn right through a gate (marked with a Ridgeway fingerpost). Follow the chalk path winding first uphill and then back down to reach a junction with a road.

Road Crossing to Ivinghoe Beacon
Road Crossing to Ivinghoe Beacon

Start point: 51.8372 lat, -0.6074 long
End point: 51.8422 lat, -0.6084 long

Cross over the road with care, pass to the right of the vehicle barrier ahead and you will see a metal fingerpost and a National Trust sign for the Ashridge Estate, both on your right. There is a choice of two chalk tracks ahead, 11 o’clock and 1 o’clock. Take the left-hand of these tracks (11 o’clock), signed as the Icknield Way to Ivinghoe Beacon.

Follow this chalk track undulating ahead and it will lead you directly to the summit of Ivinghoe Beacon, marked with a trig point and Ridgeway information board. Take time to enjoy the panoramic views. The beacon sits at 233m above sea level and marks the start of both the Ridgeway and Icknield Way. It was once an important signalling point, but today it is popular only for recreation. Scenes for the films Batman Begins and The Dirty Dozen were filmed up here. You may well come across model aircraft enthusiasts demonstrating their flying skills, although you will probably also see Red Kites putting these skills to shame!

Ivinghoe Beacon to Ivinghoe Aston
Ivinghoe Beacon to Ivinghoe Aston

Start point: 51.8422 lat, -0.6084 long
End point: 51.8513 lat, -0.6134 long

When you are ready to continue, stand at the trig point with the Ridgeway information board behind you. Turn left for a few paces to pass over the brow of the grass cliff. You will see a steep chalk path leading down the hill to reach the cattle grid on the road at the bottom. This cattle grid is your next destination. If the ground is dry and firm and you are confident with your footing, descend the steep footpath. If you would rather avoid this, you can retrace your steps back to the Road Crossing, turn right and follow the road down to the cattle grid.

Once you reach the road by the cattle grid, pass through the gate alongside the cattle grid to reach the T-junction with the main road. (NOTE: When we walked, this bypass gate was locked so we had to cross the grid, lifting our dog over the gate. The landowner assures us this access problem has been rectified, but please let us know if it re-occurs).

Follow the right-hand verge swinging right at the T-junction. Continue for just 30 metres, then cross over the road with care to turn left onto the footpath signed as the Two Ridges Link. Pass through the metal kissing gate to enter a sheep pasture and walk ahead, following the line of fence on your left. At the end of the first field, pass through the gateway (or kissing gate) ahead and bear left to follow the path running close to the left-hand fence line.

Continue over the brow of the rise and then downhill towards the bottom of the field. As you approach the fence line ahead, swing right (passing under the minor powerlines) and follow the bottom boundary of the pasture (with the fence on your left). In the far corner of the pasture, turn left through the kissing gate to enter a crop field. Turn immediately right and then left around the field edge. At the next field corner, follow the path as it begins to swing left then turn sharp right through the hedge gap to reach a path junction (with a metal fingerpost) at the edge of Ivinghoe Aston. There is a bench here, should you wish to take a break.

Ivinghoe Aston to End
Ivinghoe Aston to End

Start point: 51.8513 lat, -0.6134 long
End point: 51.8378 lat, -0.6297 long

To continue the walk, turn left to join the tarmac access drive (signed as a public bridleway). At the fork (by the gate for Crabtree Farmhouse), take the right-hand branch, a public bridleway lined with hedgerows and trees. Simply follow this pretty, green bridleway ahead for just over a mile, passing Crabtree Farmhouse, a lovely section of woodland and then the edge of Ivinghoe Golf Course along the way.

You will emerge to the end of Wellcroft. Keep straight ahead along this short residential road to reach the Rose and Crown on your left, for some well-earned hospitality.

Remember...the best way of following our walking guides is to use the iFootpath App (iOS and Android) where you will have all the information in the palm of your hand and see your exact location on the live map as you travel. You can also add comments, photos, ratings and track your own routes.

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network The Rose and Crown and Ivinghoe Beacon Walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2017 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


2 comments for "The Rose and Crown and Ivinghoe Beacon"

A new favourite walk. The dogs loved it, the views were stunning and the Rose & Crown a fantastic dog friendly pub. Great beers and if you visit at lunch time, sandwiches to die for.

By johnkees on 02 Jun 2017

Great walk but the footpath near the end (from walking under power cables to the bridle path by the farmhouse) can be tricky to find.

ADMIN RESPONSE: Remember to use the App's live GPS map to help with navigation.

By MsMagpie on 28 Jul 2017

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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