Ashridge Estate is a 2,000 hectare (5,000 acres) area of the Chilterns Hills. The estate has beech and oak woodlands, commons and chalk downlands. These very different landscapes each support a rich variety of wildlife, including carpets of bluebells in spring, rare butterflies in summer and the fallow deer rut in autumn. Miles of footpaths and bridleways give you plenty of space to explore. The National Trust have managed Ashridge since 1926 and it is still a working estate, continuing 3000 years of tradition. Discover more about the wildlife and the estate’s management in the visitor centre next to the Bridgewater monument, with an interactive discovery room. A wide range of activities and events for all the family take place throughout the year. Photo credit: Deer near monument - Sarah Murtagh.
Facilities – at a glance
- Parking onsite
- Parking nearby
- Facilities: Disabled parking, mobility vehicles available
- Accessible toilets
- Open all year
- Opening Times: Estate open all year. Visitor Centre open 10-5 or dusk if earlier. Cafe open Mar-Oct, 8-6, Nov-Feb, 8-4. Monument opening is weather dependant please see website
Also in the area
About the area
As Hertfordshire is so close to London, many of its towns have become commuter havens. St Albans, less than 19 miles (30km) from the capital, has retained its distinctive character, along with many historic remains. The Roman city of Verulamium is situated in a nearby park, and excavations have revealed an amphitheatre, a temple, parts of the city walls and some house foundations. There are also some amazing mosaic pavements.
The abbey church at St Albans is thought to have been built on the same site where St Alban met his martyrdom in the 3rd century. The abbey was founded in 793 by King Offa of Mercia, and contains the saint’s shrine, made of Purbeck marble. Lost for years, it was discovered in the 19th century, in pieces, and restored by the designer of the red telephone box, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. The abbey also contains some wonderful medieval wall paintings. Nicholas Breakspear was born in St Albans, the son of an abbey tenant. In 1154 he took the name Adrian IV, and became the first, and so far only, English pope. Another famous son of Hertfordshire was Sir Francis Bacon, Elizabethan scholar and Lord High Chancellor, born in Hemel Hempstead in 1561.
Places to Stay
Restaurants and Pubs
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