I’ve spend a lot of time over the last year and a bit walking in and around Berkhamsted. Some Berkhamsted buggy walks I found by hunting online, others by trial and error. I’ve lifted the buggy and the baby over gates more times than I care to remember, and the day we went up a hill so steep it took two of us to push each buggy? I’m putting that one down to experience!
Below are a selection of our favourite Berkhamsted buggy walks. Do you have a favourite buggy walk? Add the details in the comments, we’d love to test some of your favourites.
Ashridge Estate Buggy Walk
The Ashridge Estate is a large area of woodland and downland, located just outside Berkhamsted. Ashridge Forest is one of our favourite local outdoor areas. There are so many different places to explore, many of these are best accessed with a baby carrier. There are however some short Berkhamsted buggy walks that are great for days when you prefer to take the buggy. Both of the walks described here are easy strolls with a buggy.
Location: Ashridge Visitors Centre, HP4 1LX
Parking: Lots of free parking available, on busy days you may need to park a little walk from the visitors centre.
Cafe: Yes. The cafe at the visitors centre sells cake, cooked breakfasts and plenty more. There are lots of highchairs available. There is plenty of space to picnic on the surrounding grass if you prefer to bring your own food.
Baby changing facilities: There is a baby changing room round the back of the visitors centre. On really busy days it’s worth knowing that you can walk post the main toilet queue to get to the baby change.
Route One (2 miles): Dunscome Terrace
The first buggy friendly walking route at Ashridge is a there and back walk, along the accessible path. Stand facing the monument with your back to the drive. The accessible path starts in the corner of the green, at about 2pm if you were facing 12 on a clock face. Ignore the path just to the left of the accessible path, the surface on this route rapidly becomes quite potholed and bumpy, it’s not great for a buggy.
Dunscome Terrace is a partly surfaced trail. It is suitable for a buggy walk at any time of year, though it can get a little muddy in wet weather. There is plenty to see along the walk. You will pass over a wooden bridge across an ancient path, worn into a ditch by people taking their animals to graze on Pitstone Common. The wooden lodge on the left side of the path is a replica of an old shooting lodge that burned down in the 1980s. The lodge is now used as a suitably scary location for the Ashridge Estate Halloween Trail (details of events at Ashridge available here). Further along, a large log bench has fantastic views over Aldbury and Pitsone Hill. This is a great place for a photo, before continuing a little further before turning round and retracing your route back to the visitors centre.
Route Two (Less than 1 mile): Meadley’s Meadow
This circular walk follows a flat firm path around the outside of Meadleys Meadow. To access the route in an anti-clockwise direction walk past the cafe, following the path past the woodland play area. Continue following the path round to the left, keeping the Meadow on your left. There are dens dotted around the route which are great for toddlers to explore. Keep following the path until you return to the car park.
This walk also passes the site of the Books in the Woods Outdoor Playgroup (https://www.facebook.com/groups/BooksintheWoodsHerts/). This is a welcoming informal outdoor playgroup which takes a different children’s book as its starting theme for exploring the natural environment each week. The group meets on a Friday morning at 10am, if you’re going to come along there is a map of the exact location on the facebook page.
Berkhamsted to Tring Buggy Walk
Location: Start from Berkhamsted Train Station HP4 2AR, or anywhere close by
Parking: 4 hours of free parking is available at the Canal Fields Car Park
Cafe: The route takes you past Waitrose which has a cafe, or treat yourself to fish & chips at Berkhamsted Fish Bar at the end of your walk.
Baby changing facilities: Waitrose has baby changing facilities. Neither train station does.
Distance: About 4.5 miles one way (get the train back)
If you’re feeling more energetic, this walk follows the canal from Berkhamsted station to Tring station. It’s one of our favourite Berkhamsted buggy walks, we can walk from home and the toddler loves the train ride. The canal path runs the whole way, switching sides of the canal across the bridge at Dudswell. The path starts surfaced, but as you head out of the town it can become wet and muddy, so this walk may be best avoided after lots of rain. This walk also involves a few steps, a couple on the canal path at Cow Roast, and more coming off the canal path to get to the train station in Tring, and down onto the platform at the station. It’s quite possible to bump the buggy up the steps, or carry the buggy if you’re feeling particularly energetic.
Detour to the donkeys
On a good day there’s lots of wildlife to be seen, with swans, ducks and herons regularly seen. There is also a little detour you can take to see miniature donkeys, sheep and more. Just before you reach the bridge at Dudswell there is a wooden gate into a permissive access field. Not for the faint hearted, accessing the field from the canal does involve going over a wooden bridge which is only a smidgen wider than a buggy, but some careful negotiation and you’re into the field.
Wave bye to the donkeys and return to the path, following the canal towards Tring. When you reach the road you will need to cross the canal over the pretty bridge, before picking up the canal path on the other side. There are often more donkeys to be seen in the fields along this stretch of the canal. The walk continues past Cow Roast Marina. Cow Roast (originally Cow Rest) was where cattle were rested on the drive from Wales and Hereford to the London markets.
On reaching Tring, watch out for the steps which take you up to the road to Tring Station. A short train journey back to Berkhamsted completes this circular route.
Tring Park Buggy Walk
Tring Park covers over 150 acres. There are large areas of grassland and pretty woods which are carpeted with bluebells in the spring.
Location: Access option one from behind the Natural History Museum (HP23 6AP), or option two from just off Highfield Road (HP23 6EB).
Parking: A reasonable amount of street parking is available at both locations. The overflow car park at the Natural History Museum may also be used when it is open.
Cafe: Not in the park, however there are lots to choose from in Tring. The cakes in Black Goo are massive, and well worth the detour there afterwards.
Baby changing facilities: Not in the park.
Option One: Access from Tring
One way into the park is to follow a public footpath from Tring via a footbridge over the A41. The footbridge has very gentle steps up and down along the length of the circular ramps, which it is quite possible to navigate with a buggy. Our first outing to Tring Park was one of those occasions where the buggy ended up going over the gate. However the inaccessible kissing gate has now been replaced with buggy friendly gates, and access into the park is now much easier.
There is no set route around the park, and there are many different routes you can take your buggy. The surface is mostly grass, so this walk is best done during dry weather. There are often cows grazing and red kites flying overhead, exploring the different areas of the park with your buggy is a great way to spend an hour or two.
Option Two: King Charles Ride
After you’ve parked your car, followed the tarmaced road into Tring Park. You’ll want to turn right onto a forest track, and follow this until you meet the Ridgeway National Trail which runs across the top of Tring Park. Detours to the right are possible to see the summer house and obelisk. For the main walk turn left onto the wide flat path which continues along the top of the hill. There are great views over the park and Tring beyond from this path.
Follow the path until you see a wooden parkway on your left hand side, pass under this and follow the path through the natural play area and den building area. Follow this path until you rejoin the first forest track you took, and retrace your steps back to your car.
College Lake Buggy Walk
College lake is an old quarry, now converted into a nature reserve. A great option for a Berkhamsted buggy walks at any time of year, it does get a little muddy in wet weather. The route is mostly flat, with a couple of gentle slopes.
Location: College Lake, HP23 5QG
Parking: Free parking, suggested donation of £3
Cafe: Yes, the cream teas come highly recommended.
Baby changing facilities: Yes
Distance: About 2 miles
Pass through the visitors centre, and you immediately find yourself on this beautiful circular walk. Turn right and follow the path down the slope, taking in the fabulous views over the lake. The route is easy to follow and passes an outdoor theatre, bird hides, farm machinery and lots more. A short detour behind the outdoor theatre brings you to some woodland carvings. There are benches dotted along the walk if you want to sit and enjoy the scenery, watching the birds, butterflies and other wildlife. No dogs are allowed at this venue.
Are you looking for a Berkhamsted family photographer? Click here to see details of our family photoshoots.