Part of today’s post comes from Ivinghoe Beacon, which featured in my last post – ‘At the Third Visit’. For more information on the Beacon, click on the link above to read the Wikipedia entry. Situated on the edge of the Chiltern Hills, which stretch across parts of Herts, Bucks and Beds counties, there are superb views from the Beacon to the North over a vast low-lying area towards Leighton Buzzard (and ultimately Milton Keynes), and closer at hand towards Tring, Luton and Dunstable, and the Dunstable Downs.
The underlying rock here is Chalk as you can see in the first image of the Beacon showing the walk from a parking lot over easy ground leading to the top of the Beacon. It’s a place we visit several times a year. To stand on the top of a hill and survey the land below has always been a delight for me. When I was a boy, which is over half a century ago, my father and I would come here on a Saturday sometimes from our home in Rickmansworth near the end of the Metropolitan Line and sit on the top of the Beacon and listen to the Skylarks overhead. A visit to this spot always brings back happy memories of childhood.
Ivinghoe Beacon is a popular spot for flying radio controlled Model Aeroplanes. The Ivinghoe Soaring Association fly their planes from here and on a good day there will always be planes in the air. And not only model ones, because Ivinghoe Beacon is very close to the flight path for commercial aircraft approaching Luton Airport.
And then there is a third type of plane to be found in the air. About five miles from the Beacon, land at the foot of Dunstable Downs is home to the London Gliding Club. If you sit on the edge of Dunstable Downs you will look directly down onto the Gliding Club.