Pegsdon and Deacon Hills

A circuit from Pegsdon, through the Pegsdon Hills Nature Reserve to Deacon Hill with its ancient earthworks. Return past a mature beech wood and Knocking Hoe reserve.

Technical sheet
No. 6347490
A Shillington walk posted on 13/03/21 by maxmarengo. Update : 15/03/21
Calculated time Calculated time: 1h45[?]
Distance Distance : 3.27mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 325ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 338ft
Highest point Highest point : 571ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 233ft
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Chiltern Hills
Location Location : Shillington
Starting point Starting point : N 51.959112° / W 0.373805°
Download : -
Pegsdon Hills

Description

(D/A) Head along the old road towards the B655 Barton Road. Cross it and enter the Pegsdon Hills Nature Reserve through the gate opposite. Take the path straight ahead uphill, climbing steadily across the field. Go through a gate and continue, now with a fence on your left. As you near the top of the hill, the fence curves left and
views open up.

(1) Where the fence turns sharp-left, follow it and shortly after pass left through the fence then turn right and continue along the top of the slope, now to the left of the fence. Pass through a gate and continue straight ahead climbing steadily across open grassland. Head to the Deacon Hill trig point.

(2) From the trig point, bear right and follow the steep path downhill. As you near the bottom of the steep part of the slope, take the gate through the fence on your left. Cross the meadow to a stile near the left edge of the woods you can see over the B-road.

(3) Cross stile and B-road and take the bridleway running along the left edge of the woods.

(4) You emerge from the trees at a path junction above Knocking Hoe nature reserve. Turn sharp left on a broad, grassy footpath alongside the reserve. Follow the footpath left and later right along field edges. The path descends to a lane.

(5) Turn left on the lane, walk through Pegsdon village then turn left when you reach a T-junction to return to the start.(D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 285ft - Pegsdon
1 : mi 0.77 - alt. 571ft - Fence
2 : mi 1.37 - alt. 541ft - Deacon Hill
3 : mi 1.69 - alt. 413ft - B655
4 : mi 2.07 - alt. 417ft - Knocking Hoe
5 : mi 2.71 - alt. 233ft - Lane
D/A : mi 3.27 - alt. 276ft - Pegsdon

Useful Information

Terrain: Good grassy paths or broad dirt tracks. One long steady ascent and steep descent. One stile and 6 gates
Start & finish: An old road west of Pegsdon SG5 3JS TL118301
Food & drink: The Live and Let Live pub in Pegsdon. None on route
Maps: OS Explorer 193, Chiltern Society 26
Parking: Turn off the B655 Barton Road towards Pegsdon and Shillington and take the first left to park in the old road. If full, there may be other spaces in the village. If the pub is open and you plan to use it you may also be able to park there

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

(1) Pegsdon Hills and Hoo Bit Nature Reserves are part of the Deacon Hill SSSI and belong to the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust. They are one of the jewels of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and have some of the most stunning views in the area. Look out for birds such as red kite, buzzard, fieldfare, grey partridge, lapwing, meadow pipit, redwing, skylark, turtle dove, wheatear and yellowhammer. You may also see brown argus, dark green fritillary, green hairstreak and small heath butterflies, and glow-worms, as well as plants like autumn gentian, fragrant orchid, milkwort, rock rose, common spotted orchid, cowslip, eyebright, harebell and wild thyme. The Wildlife Trust has reminded us that there are livestock on their Reserve at Pegsdon all year round; signs are posted round the site giving instructions to protect animals and aid conservation management.
(2) Deacon Hill is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a fine example of chalk downland. On the slopes there are medieval cultivation terraces, known as strip lynchets.
(4) Knocking Hoe is a National Nature Reserve which contains large populations of rare plants, including such chalk downland varieties as rock rose, dwarf thistle, clustered bellflower, lady’s tresses and hoary plantain. There are also large populations of pasque flower, fleawort, burnt-tip orchid, as well as the very rare spotted catsear and moon carrot.

Other walks in the area

End of the Chilterns : Pegsdon Hills & Little Offley
distance 9.5mi Vertical gain +758ft Vertical drop -741ft Durée 5h00 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Shillington - Bedfordshire

This is a surprisingly hilly walk for this general area, being the northern end of the Chilterns AONB, mostly through rolling farmland, with some wonderful views across the flatlands of south Bedfordshire to the north, especially if the air is clear. Most of it is along the edges of/through fields, along grass & hard-surfaced paths & tracks. There are two tree-covered 'alleys'. It passes a large late-Tudor manor house. You will walk part of the Icknield Way & visit Pegsdon Hills Nature Reserve.

distance 4.98mi Vertical gain +407ft Vertical drop -417ft Durée 2h40 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Hexton - Hertfordshire

Starting from Hexton this walk on the borders of Befordshire and Hertfordshire includes the attractive downland between Telegraph and Deacon Hills and a section of the Icknield Way.

distance 11.76mi Vertical gain +610ft Vertical drop -623ft Durée 5h55 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Hexton - Hertfordshire

The northern end of the Chilterns almost seem to be a geological afterthought as they straddle the Bedfordshire Hertfordshire border. Starting from Hexton this walk offers mile after mile of beautiful countryside with the hilltops steeped in ancient history.

distance 11mi Vertical gain +525ft Vertical drop -538ft Durée 5h30 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Hexton - Hertfordshire

Starting from Hexton this walk on the borders of Befordshire and Hertfordshire offers mile after mile of beautiful countryside with the hilltops steeped in ancient history. The route includes sections of the Icknield and John Bunyan Ways.

distance 6.86mi Vertical gain +259ft Vertical drop -262ft Durée 3h25 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in St. Paul's Walden - Hertfordshire

This Hertfordshire walk mainly uses old green lanes to go through a varied landscape of fields, woods and hedgerows to arrive at the Holt and then by footpaths to Cuckolds Cross. After that there is a section of larger arable fields where you join the Hertfordshire Way to reach Whitwell, an expanded village with an interesting older centre. The final leg passes through a rare breeds farm and The Bury, birthplace of the late Queen Mother.

distance 6.94mi Vertical gain +200ft Vertical drop -200ft Durée 3h20 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Haynes - Bedfordshire

Only a short distance from Bedford, this is really a delightful rural ramble in the home country of John Bunyan, starting on open uplands, descending to the plain surrounding Bedford and finishing through a stretch of woodland reserve. (The latter only in spring through autumn; in winter a longer alternative must be taken.) There is opportunity for refreshment near the end of the walk. It could be combined with walk 1130.

Ampthill and central Bedfordshire
distance 8.35mi Vertical gain +446ft Vertical drop -417ft Durée 4h15 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Ampthill - Bedfordshire

Starting near the site of Catherine of Aragon's house arrest and venturing into the surrounding areas. You'll see some lovely rolling countryside with views to the Chilterns and across Marston Vale to Bedford. The walk takes in a variety of environments : farmland, woods, an ancient meadow, parkland with Capability Brown landscaping, the ruins of a Jacobean/Classical mansion and memorials to Catherine of Aragon and the men of the Bedfordshire regiment who trained in the park and died in WW1.

Great Gaddesden from Jockey End
distance 5.13mi Vertical gain +226ft Vertical drop -240ft Durée 2h35 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Great Gaddesden - Hertfordshire

This short Hertfordshire walk explores the pleasant countryside to the south east of Jockey End and follows the Hertfordshire Way to descend into the Gade Valley and the village of Great Gaddesden. The return route leaves the valley following the Chiltern Way for the return to the start.

For more walks, use our search engine.

The GPS track and description are the property of the author.