Buckinghamshire walk around Edlesborough
PUBLISHED: 16:26 09 April 2018
Follow Steve Davison as he heads north to the village of Edlesborough for a walk in the shadow of the Chilterns, passing a memorial to a remarkable lady
This walk is based at the village of Edlesborough on the eastern edge of Buckinghamshire tucked below the Ivinghoe Hills, part of the Chilterns. From the village, which was known as Eddinberge in the Domesday Book, we follow the river Ouzel, which is little more than a stream at this point, for a while to reach Eaton Bridge; the river forms part of the boundary between Buckinghamshire and neighbouring Bedfordshire.
We then head through Northall, home to the Swan Inn, before heading south-west past Butler’s Manor, where you can still see the remains of a moat, to reach Ivinghoe Aston. A quick walk along the village street takes us past the aptly named Village Swan pub, saved by local residents from property developers.
The final leg of the walk heads north-east, with views of the Dunstable Downs ahead. On the way, keep a lookout for a memorial to Bridget Elizabeth Talbot – a woman of many achievements – who was born at Little Gaddesden.
During the First World War, she served with the Anglo-Italian red Cross and in 1920 she received an OBE for her work with the red Cross; she remained an active supporter of the organisation all her life. She invented a water-proof torch for lifebelts and was instrumental in getting this made compulsory, thereby saving the lives of many seamen. She also helped save a large swathe of the Chiltern Hills by heading a national campaign to secure the Ashridge Estate for the National Trust following the death of Earl Brownlow in 1921.
We soon pass the Church of St Mary the Virgin which stands on a small hill to the south-west of the village, affording a great view. The church, which is now cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust, dates by to the 13th century. Although it is normally locked, the key is available from the village shop and post office, and is usually open on the first Sunday of each month between May and September, between 2 and 4 pm. If you get the chance to see inside it is well worth the effort; there is some fine medieval woodwork including the chancel screen and some lovely Victorian wall paintings and stained glass.
From the church it’s a short walk back through the village, passing the former 16th century brick and timber barn on the way.
• Start/finish: car park at the recreation ground in Edlesborough (SP973194) at the junction of the High Street and Peeblemoor
• Map: OS Explorer 181
• Distance: 4.5 miles (7.3km)
• Terrain: Gates and stiles, fairly level paths and tracks, sections of country road/pavement
• Time: 2 hours
• Refreshments: Edlesborough – Heirloom Cafe (01525 229565); Northall – The Swan Inn (01525 220444); Ivinghoe Aston – The Village Swan (01525 223555)
1 (SP973194) - Exit the car park, turn right and then turn right along the High Street for 200m, with the park on the right and turn left across the road into Cow Lane; you can also reach this point by walking through the park, then exiting on the left and crossing the High Street. Some 200m further along the High Street is the Heirloom Cafe, with the post office a village shop a further 60m. Follow Cow Lane north-westwards for 600m, cross stile beside gate and keep ahead through the field staying beside the right-hand hedge following it as it swings right to a path junction at the field corner. Stay in the field and turn left, with a ditch – the river Ouzel – on the right. Cross the footbridge and follow the right-hand margin through the next field to join Eaton Bray road beside a Eaton Bridge.
2 (SP964203) - Turn left along the road towards the village; take care as there is no pavement for part of the way. At the T-junction turn right alongside the B440 to a junction just before The Swan Inn and turn left along South End Lane for 850m; later the Two ridges Link path joins from the right. Just before the cattle grid go through a kissing gate on the right and follow the right-hand fence, ahead through the field, soon passing Butler’s Manor (moat) on the left. Go through the gate and continue through field. Go through a gate, cross the footbridge and then through another gate. Keep ahead across field to the opposite side, passing under the power lines.
3 (SP952187) – Go through into next field and follow left-hand edge. Cross a stile at the corner and keep ahead, cross the footbridge and bear diagonally left to a track at Vine Farm. Keep ahead with a pond over to the right to join a road in Ivinghoe Aston. Cross over and turn left along the pavement for half a mile, passing The Village Swan pub on the way. After the last house, continue alongside road for 100m to a crossing track and turn left.
4 (SP956178) – Follow the track for half a mile, pass the memorial stone, and keep ahead to cross the footbridge in the bushes. Go straight on alongside the left-hand fence with Edlesborough church visible ahead, later passing under the power lines. Continue along the track (church on the left) to a road junction at Church End. Cross straight over and follow the High Street for 500m, passing the brick and timber barn on the way to arrive back at the junction with Peeblemoor on the right.
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