We went in search of these wonderful wild flowers and were rewarded with carpets of them! Richard Nowells, took 38 of we GOC's, over 9 miles of some of the 5,000 acres which make up the Ashridge Estate, up there in the stunning Chiltern Hills, above Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire. It was a really good day, an excellent weather forecast got the numbers up, and it remained popular despite a Saturday walk for better transport links, and some late change in the forecast (meaning rain!) for the afternoon of the walk. Berkhamstead was only 30 minutes by rail from Euston. Within minutes we were marching onwards and upwards into the woods, and it wasn't long before we sighted our first Bluebell! And said Bluebells, in their droves, just went on and on! We were taken through ancient woodlands, saw stunning views over the Chilterns, and visited the sweet, ancient, very English village of Aldbury, with its duck pond and stocks. Lunch was under the massive Bridgewater Monument, built in 1836, dedicated to Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater. The Egerton family being the owners of the Ashridge Estate at the time.The Duke was famous as the originator of British inland navigation, the commissioner of the Bridgewater Canal - often said to be the first true canal in Britain, and the modern world. There was, as always, lots of good chat, on topics wide and diverse, goodness knows what a plank-athon was, but it came up as a suggested activity over our long, welcomed lunch break under the monument..... We never bored of even more Bluebells in our walk back to Berkamstead, though we were challenged by a passing rain shower. Back in Berkhamstead, some went for teas, while some went on to tour the ruins of the castle, then a beautiful short walk along the Grand Union Canal, to finish for beverages at the picturesque The Rising Sun pub beside the canal. Thanks Richard for an all round excellent day!
Enough from me, the pics tell the story!
(Pictures are my own unless otherwise stated)