Tring to Wendover and back


Mum and I decided to go for a walk from Tring to Wendover via the Ridgeway, and then back by a different route. We'd previously walked from Tring to Wendover along the canal, but walking along the top should be quite different; also, we were promised an impressive swathe of autumn colour.

Ridgeway to Wendover

The Ridgeway actually goes directly past the station, bypassing Tring itself, so it was quite convenient to start. At the station we encountered a massive horde of people who looked like walkers, but I guess they were going the other way, because we didn't see them again.

Autumn colour already! And we'd only been walking ten minutes.
1/180 at f8, 12mm, ISO200 51°47′31″N 0°37′59″W

The path led over a major road using a tall pedestrian bridge, which is unusual because it's actually built to slope from one side to the other. Looking back, we could see hills in the distance: these are the ones just before Ivinghoe Beacon, which we walked to on another occasion, and we could also see the Bridgewater Monument from that walk.

The main road and (about eighteen hundred years later) the canal and railway all come through Tring because it's the lowest point in the Chilterns: between those hills, and the ones we were starting to climb.

Looking back and down across the bridge.
1/350 at f8, 22mm, ISO200 51°47′26″N 0°38′8″W

After that the route led us past funny-named country lanes (The Twist; probably not named after the Chubby Checker hit), some farmland, and woodland. Since this is the Ridgeway, most of it was at least vaguely toward the higher slopes.

Pretty tree in Bull's Wood.
1/250 at f8, 10mm, ISO200 51°46′55″N 0°39′13″W
Gadmore Lane's not that silly a street name, but I liked their moss / rust.
1/45 at f8, 19mm, ISO200 51°46′31″N 0°40′16″W
Pavis Wood and more autumn colour.
1/180 at f8, 10mm, ISO200 51°46′13″N 0°41′4″W

At the edge of one of the woods (beside an arable field, easily reached by jumping a ditch where the fence had collapsed) we found some old abandoned animal pens of some kind.

As ruined buildings go, this wasn't much, but it was dark and concrete and falling apart with wire-mesh fences and old rusted electrical fittings hanging off the ceiling, and that has to count for something. Actually I thought it was a little bit creepy.

Looking in from the entrance and through the building.
1/8 at f8, 10mm, ISO400 51°46′6″N 0°41′16″W
Entrance showing two levels. You could possibly get to the upper floor from a ramp at the other side, but we didn't try it.
1/30 at f8, 20mm, ISO200 51°46′6″N 0°41′16″W

After passing a huge radio mast, the route took us past some non-ruined farm buildings and a bunch of agricultural machinery... toward more woods.

Looking through the open wall of a barn.
1/90 at f8, 22mm, ISO200 51°46′3″N 0°41′24″W
Autumn colour, yet again, in Hale Wood.
1/250 at f8, 10mm, ISO200 51°45′25″N 0°42′7″W
A less colourful tree in Hale Wood.
1/90 at f8, 22mm, ISO200 51°45′15″N 0°42′27″W

Finally we descended and then followed a lane into Wendover.

Past this building (Wendover House School). DIF? IDF? Who writes I with a cross through the middle? I do that with 7s, but... Anyway, nice brickwork. It had the date (1735) on another wall.
1/500 at f8, 55mm, ISO200 51°45′27″N 0°44′15″W

We sat in the churchyard to eat lunch, then went into Wendover and looked around it again; there's still not much there. They do have a chocolate shop though; we bought a very small box of chocolates as a present for somebody. (Sorry, somebody! We had to pick one which wouldn't get crushed in Mum's backpack.)

To Tring

Leaving Wendover through its large ex-council estate, we took a route to the north, aiming to reach the actual town of Tring this time.

The hill we were going to climb, featuring yet more autumn colour.
1/180 at f8, 22mm, ISO200 51°45′55″N 0°43′49″W

I had hoped we would see some of the military airbase beside the hill, and we did, but it was entirely devoid of any interest whatsoever from that direction. No runways, no secret torture flights taking off, no nothing. Just dull-looking accommodation blocks. Rather disappointing.

But! Still more autumn colour.
1/30 at f8, 22mm, ISO200 51°46′47″N 0°42′45″W
Descending from the woods toward Tring, we passed a newly-ploughed field. I like the way it looks like a desert or something.
1/350 at f5.6, 250mm, ISO400 51°47′3″N 0°41′37″W
Fields near Tring.
1/180 at f8, 14mm, ISO200 51°47′10″N 0°41′3″W

Tring itself appeared a fairly nice town, although we didn't see that much of it. We decided it was too early for a meal and we'd get a snack (cup of tea, for Mum) and head to the station, and I said 'There must be a Costa's or something'; at which point the couple walking in front of us turned around and said 'yes, it's right there'. It was about twenty metres ahead. I'm not sure whether this is a demonstration of my psychic powers, my poor observation, or the disturbing prevalance of national coffee chains. All three?

Anyway we walked the last couple of miles to the station, by which point it was getting dark, and got there just in time for our respective trains. The end!

All images © Samuel Marshall. All rights reserved.