Friday, 20 January 2012

Pitstone Windmill to the Base of Pitstone Hill Rambling Success (Circular Walk) Friday Post Part 1

Today's post has 2 parts, depending what you fancy reading- I couldn't seem to get them o mesh properly into one post, so you get two today. If you want to read about my walk, you can stay on this bit, or if you'd like to skip to learn about the slings and arrows of making a birthday cake for a one year old (as I had to do last week), then you can find to that here. But for the walk, see below...

In which I manage to get to the base of Pitstone hill without being rained on, and enjoy some peace and quiet from a grumpy baby in the sunset and see some nice views.

Ordnance Survey: Explorer 181
Time: 60 mins
Distance: 2 miles

I will confess, this is one of those walks I forced myself to do. When the weather was good this week, I was busy doing other things (like taking the Chap for his MMR jab), and when it was bad I was free but stuck in the house. I was also supposed to go for a walk with a friend this week, but due to my general tardiness in looking at the bus timetables and communicating, it didn't happen. I hit 4pm on Thursday, and was pushed out of the house to wander about by a grumpy baby - if I put him down, he wanted to be picked up. I picked him up, he wanted to be down. He'd claim he was hungry, but refused all food offered. You'd take him out of his highchair, he'd cry at being hungry. I couldn't win. I went out.

Pitstone Hill viewed from the old quarry
I'm very glad I did, because it was sunset, and slightly sunny, and a very pretty time to go for a walk. Starting at Pitstone Windmill, cross the field, turn left at Vicarage Road, right down Church Road and across the old Quarry, left up to the roundabout, cross the road and over the stile into the wooded path at the base of Pitstone Hill as in my walk to Tring and my failed walk towards Bulborne and the Grand Junction Arms. The sky was clear, the weather cool but not too chilly, and the light made everything very pleasant.

Normally, I dislike January, and February is four weeks too long at the best of times. This year, it's so incredibly mild it feels like Spring, and I'm missing out on the winter blues. It also helped that the sun was shining. What I do like about this time of year, however, are the bare branches of trees against the sky. I love the way it looks.

Instead of turning right out onto the road through the kissing gate after 500m or so, I continued on the path bearing left and beginning to climb Pitstone Hill. One of the nice things about walking at this time of day is that you have a natural timer set against you with the sun going down. I watched the shadows start to climb up the side of the hill through the trees (As opposed to The Shadows, who do something quite different). After a gentle climb, a gate appears in the undergrowth to the right. Go through this and continue down a green lane along the side of the hill heading for Aldbury. As you continue, there are some nice views towards Tring, particularly at this time of the day. The sun had just set and the clouds had gone pink, although sadly my camera refused to pick it up too well. Pretty, though.

About 1k down this route, after it has turned into a untarmaced white road, you come to a place where a few paths lead off either up the hill or towards Aldbury. I followed another route- the signposted public bridle way off to the right. This leads you down onto Station Road. Turn right and follow the path, passing the turnoff towards the Grand Union canal and Tring to the left, and go through the kissing gate back into the woodland and the base of Pitstone Hill.

View of Pitstone Hill through the trees
From here, it is a case of retracing your steps back to the windmill. Whether or not you choose to lie on the floor and wave your legs in the air with your father like inverted loons when you get home is between you and your God.

 Things I Learnt

  • Walking as the sun is going down is not a disaster for you and a baby. It was good for encouraging me to keep a pace up, and also the sky was pretty.
  • I knew this one already, but a grumpy baby who treats the offer of breadsticks as if they are poison while in the house will happily eat all of them while being taken for a walk in the sling.
  • Waving your legs in the air is, apparently, hilarious.


  1. I'm being naughty at work.

    Yay for waving legs in the air! I snurked. Maboy has decided that everything requires a hands in the air 'woo' at the moment. Great when you ask him if he's been to the loo.

  2. 'After a gentle climb a gate appears in the undergrowth to your right...'
    Does this happen after every gentle climb?
    Do you have to mutter an incantation or wave a wand, or does it just happen?
    I think we should be told.

  3. I did suffer from a surfeit of text adventures in my youth, and you're right - it does bleed into my writing every now and again.

    I think the gate only appears after the gentle climb so long as you were wearing the gas mask when you picked up the ancient gorgonzola and used it to catch the mouse on the way to the elephant's graveyard...