Moneybury Hill, Ringshall, Near Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, HP4 1LT
This is a lovely area of woodland with numerous footpaths, a large green space, meadow, a pond and a play area for the kids. If your family are Harry Potter fans you might be interested to know the Whomping Willow was actually a tree in Ashridge and for Star Wars fans there are rumours that the latest movie was recently being filmed on Ivinghoe Beacon which is part of the estate.
They have a large herd of deer and they’re surprisingly easy to spot if you go off the main path. Most holidays they have a trail for children for an additional fee. Ashridge is a popular place, particularly when the weather is good, but most people tend to stick to certain areas so if you go away from those main paths then you can get away from everyone. There are so many great trees for climbing around here, including just off the main paths, and they’re nice and easy to clamber around on.
There are plenty of accessible paths but it is a woodland and it does get muddy up there. They have a mobility buggy you can hire now if you need it. You can only use it on certain paths. The Christmas Pudding trail in 2017 was particularly bad – Middle child does love to get messy. If you’re going to be going off the main motability trails with a baby then I’d recommend you use a baby carrier instead. Also, not all of the walks are circular. One of the most popular is actually linear – if you follow it to the end you come onto a road. We normally get a certain distance and turn back. It is a long trail though so you can easily walk for over an hour with little people before turning back.
The tree stump play area is fantastic. It’s just old stumps but the kids love it; they can clamber around safely to their hearts content. Keep an eye out for the carvings in the tree stumps – they’re very cool.
During summer weekends you can climb the monument if you want. There are a LOT of steps but the views up there are phenomenal (as long as you have a head for heights). This is chargeable unless you are a National Trust member but it’s a nominal fee.
In the visitor centre there is an exhibition area which provides hands-on exhibits about wildlife for the kids.
There is a cafe on site. It does get very busy but the scones are MASSIVE and very nice. After a nice long walk and you’ve earned one!
Entry – Free
Parking – Free, on-site, but can get busy
Toilets – In the visitor centre
Food – Cafe on site. Did I mention the scones??
Rating – 5 / 5. We are regular visitors.