11 April 2020. Above is the start of the walk along the side of the Grand Union canal, lovely virtual willow trees!
After 15 minutes we cross the canal and follow the road up then down before entering Northchurch Common, taking a footpath uphill through a nice wooded area.
You will probably catch a glimpse of some virtual deer in these woods.
The footpath climbs up for 15 minutes before swinging round to the left to descend again with a line of tall trees to the left and the open area of Aldbury Common to the right.
At the bottom we pass through a few trees to join a small road for 100 yards or so, passing Norcott Hall then reaching a stile.
When we actually did the walk three weeks ago, the large area on the far side of the stile was a sea of mud with absolutely no way round. Ugh!
The path continues on to cross an open grassy area at the back of a rather large and luxurious dwelling called Tom’s Hill House.
I believe the house owners use this area to land their own helicopter! – I seem to remember once seeing it there.
After passing through another wooded area we descend a steep path to a quiet road that soon leads to the Greyhound Inn overlooking Aldbury Pond, where we stop for a lovely virtual lunch.
After lunch we climb back up to the woods of the National Trust area of Ashridge Estate.
You will probably see a lot of virtual Spanish bluebells, soon to be followed by the English variety.
The path follows the Chiltern Way, soon passing a line of very tall ancient Beech trees which I’m sorry to say were in very poor condition three weeks ago, they all appear to be dying, such a shame.
Shortly after this we go through a virtual kissing gate, cross a field where there are always some beautiful horses, and descend into Alpine Meadow.
The notice board here has pictures of various types of wildlife that apparently inhabit the meadow.
After climbing back out of the meadow we follow the path through a wide grassy area with lovely views, before joining a side road that leads back to the station, passing the ancient remains of the Norman motte and bailey Berkhamsted Castle – see https://www.berkhamstedcastle.org.uk
Some of us will probably walk pass the station and walk into Berkhamsted for a cup of virtual tea before taking the train home.