Euston Line Stations
Several stops on the route out of London Euston offer great walking opportunities. Famously, Tring station appears to have been constructed entirely with walkers in mind, being no-where near the town itself!
The line running out of Euston is the West Coast Main line, currently run by Avanti West Coast. However we are intrested in the trains which stop at the smaller stations and are run by London Northwestern Railway. The rail line runs close to the Grand Union canal through the Chilterns, meaning that you can do easy walks between several stations using the canal. In addition, several of these stations can be used for walks to or from the Underground to Chesham or Chalfont & Latimer. Wendover, on Chiltern Railways, is another option.
Although close to the M25, Kings Langley offers some good walking routes. You could walk along the canal – either the 6.5km back to the Watford Metropolitan line station, or a similar distance to Hemel Hempstead.
If you want to head out of the valley, you could take this 10km walk put together by the Hertfordshire branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England.
Another alternative is to walk to or from Chalfont & Latimer Underground station. Details of a walk from ‘Out of the Loop’ are here.
Hemel Hempstead is a new town with a particularly exciting roundabout (known affectionately as 'the Magic Roundabout'). The station is a good 1.5km from the town centre, so there is a bit of a walk if you need the facilities on the way. However, the station is well located for the Grand Union Canal and you can easily walk along the canal to Berkhamsted (5.7km), Tring (12.3km) or just wander around Box Moor.
Other options include a circular walk up into the hills west of the town, such as this 10.6km circular walk via Bovingdon. Alternatively, from Bovington you could link up with Chesham Town Council’s ‘Ashley Green Forts and Fighters’ walk and head on to Chesham tube station.
Berkhamsted is a pleasant town to walk from. The train service is good - often with four trains an hour taking around half an hour from Euston. You can walk past the Norman castle frequented by William the Conquerer and up into the beautiful National Trust owned Ashridge Estate.
The station is right next to the Grand Union Canal. Walking North West (away from London) gives you a 7km walk to Tring station or 5.8km back to Hemel Hempstead.
#6: Birkhamsted Circular
An excellent 13.6km circular walk that crosses Berkhamsted Common and goes up into the Ashridge Estate. You can extend the walk as far as 27km if you want to, or do an intermediate walk by ending at Tring railway station or dropping down to the canal and walking back to Berkhamsted. Walk details with thanks to Chiltern Conservation Board.
The National Trust publish a series of walks around the Ashridge Estate. Sadly the National Trust has a complete blind spot when it comes to protecting the environment and only design walks with car drivers in mind. Nevertheless, the Ashridge Estate boundary trail passes close to Berkhamsted station, so you could pick it up from there.
Looking down on Tring station from the footbridge, seeing its five platforms and the frequent trains from from London terminating there, you would imagine that the station serves a small city. Turn around, however, and the station appears to serve nowhere at all. The metropolis of Tring (and its nearly 12,000 people) is two and a half kilometres away from the station (local landowners objected to it getting any closer). The station is perfectly located, however, for walkers – whether you want to visit the National Trust’s Ashridge Estate, walk along the Grand Union canal or over the hills to Chesham, Great Missenden or Wendover. There are no toilets on the station though, and no shops nearby.
Probably the number one walking destination from Tring station, however, is Ivinghoe Beacon. Another National Trust site, it is 233 meters above sea level and gives commanding views from the edge of the Chilterns over the Aylesbury Vale. Ivinghoe Beacon is on the Icknield Way, a pre-Roman trackway running from Norfolk to Wiltshire and said to be one of the oldest 'roads' in Britain. It is also the starting (or end) point of the Ridgeway National Trail which runs a full 140km (87 miles) to Avebury in Wiltshire.
Tring is a great starting point for lots of walks:
Grand Union Canal – the station is only a couple of hundred metres from the canal and so makes a great starting point for canal walks. If you come out of the station and turn left (towards the town) you will come to the canal. From there you could walk the 7km back to Berkhamsted station, or 13.5km to Hemel Hempstead. Aylesbury (15km away) is another option, but most of this walk is in the Aylesbury Vale, rather than the Chilterns.
Wendover – the 15km walk from Tring to Wendover along the canal is a lovely one – and very easy to follow. Simply turn left out of the station until you reach the canal in few hundred metres, turn right onto the canal and walk North for 3km until you reach Bulbourne. Here the 11km Wendover branch departs from the main canal on the left. You can follow that to Wharf Road in Wendover and the station is 1km further on. You can read a more detailed description of the route (written from Wendover to Tring, here).
Chesham – a walk over the hills to Chesham makes a beautiful route. I don’t have detailed directions yet, but you could go up into the hills using these instructions, then head to the village of Cholesbury, before going down into Chesham.
In addition, there are a whole series of circular walks that you can enjoy from Tring station. Many of the walks take you north and east up to Ivinghoe Beacon and into the Ashridge Estate:
This 16.3km circular walk from Saturday Walkers Club takes you to Ivinghoe and Ashridge. As always with their walks the website gives a detailed description of the walk, and all the other information that you might need.
A similar 16km Ivinghoe Beacon circular is from the Chiltern Conservation Board.
If you are looking for a shorter circular, you could try this 6.5km walk into the National Trust Ashridge Estate.
There is one different circular, this 10.5km walk, which heads west over the other side of the valley into the Woodland Trust’s 250 acre Tring Park which boasts ancient woodland and rare chalk grassland.