Walking Routes in Bedfordshire

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River Great Ouse in Bedford

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 Bedfordshire Walks
Route NamePicDistanceDescription
Bedford to Sandy7 miles (12 km)This lovely route follows NCN routes 12 and 51 and the Bedford to Sandy way - an off road path perfect for walking or cycling. The ride is very flat with views of the Rivers Great Ouse and Ivel plus a spell through Priory Country Park the main highlights.
Also on the route is the National Trust owned Willington Dovecote & Stables - a Tudor stone-built stable, built for Henry VIII's 1541 visit
For more information on this route please click here
Chiltern Way124 miles (200 km)This is the original 125 mile circuit of the Chilterns AONB taking you through Hemel Hempstead, Chalfont St Giles, the edge of Marlow, Hambleden, Bix Bottom, Ewelme, the Ridgeway, Stokenchurch, Great Hampden, Aldbury, the Dunstable Downs, Sharpenhoe Clappers and Harpenden. The main attractions on the route are the series of delightful villages with their ancient churches, pretty village greens and fascinating museums. The Chilterns countryside is also beautiful with rivers, canals and the rolling hills to enjoy.
The walk is waymarked with yellow and white disc.
Clay Way11 miles (18 km)A lovely walk or cycle through the Forest of Marston Vale along the West Bedfordshire Clay Ridge . You start at Bromham, on the River Great Ouse, and head to Cranfield, passing through Hanger Wood, Astey Wood and Stagsden as you go. The final section then runs from Cranfield to Ridgmont Railway Station passing Holcott Wood, Brogborough Lake and Brogborough Hill.
There are some terrific views of the Vale, the Ouse Valley and Milton Keynes. The path mainly follows bridleways so is suitable for cyclists with a mountain bike or hybrid.
Cross Bucks Way24 miles (38 km)Travel from Stratton Audley in Buckinghamshire to Linslade, near Leighton Buzzard along the Cross Bucks Way. The route meanders through the Buckinghamshire countryside passing Hillesden, Winslow and Hollingdon before a pleasant waterside stretch along the Grand Union Canal takes you to Linslade.
Greensand Ridge Walk40 miles (64 km)A walk through Bedforshire, Buckinghamshire and Cambridgeshire from Leighton Buzzard to Gamlingay. The route follows a ridge of greensand which rises from the clay vales on either side.
You will pass through Woburn, Millbrook, Maulden and Sandy and some delightful countrsyside.
Harrold Odell Country Park3 miles (5 km)This park has two pretty lakes set in 144 acres of country park. It is located between Bedford and Northampton on the River Great Ouse near the villages of Harrold and Odell in Bedfordshire. You will find river meadows, a nature reserve, two picturesque lakes and a range of managed habitats. There is also free parking and refreshments in the Tea-Zels Cafe.
There are a number of well maintained walking paths around the lakes and through the nature reserve while cycling is permitted along the lakeside bridleway. The North Bedfordshire Heritage Trail also runs through the park so there is scope for continuing your walk if you have time.
Icknield Way Path110 miles (177 km)The Icknield Way Path starts at Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire and heads to Knettishall Heath in Suffolk along prehistoric pathways.
John Bunyan Trail77 miles (124 km)Follow in the footsteps of John Bunyan, the Puritan Evangelist and author of the book 'Pilgrim's Progress'. The walk visits many historic villages associated with Bunyan. It starts at Streatley and visits Sharpenhoe,Harlington, Westoning, Steppingley, Flitwick, Ampthill, Millbrook, Ridgmont, Cranfield, Bromham, Stevington, Pavenham, Oakley, Clapham, Bedford, Elstow, Shefford, Meppershall, Shillington, Hexton and Barton le Clay before returning to Streatley. There's some beautiful Bedfordshire countryside to enjoy including Sharpenhoe Clappers, the Barton Hills and views of the Chiltern Hills for much of the walk.
The walk is waymarked with a white disc featuring a silhouette of John Bunyan.
Kingfisher Way21 miles (34 km)This is a delightful walk along the River Ivel from Baldock to Roxton. You start off at the source of the river at Ivel springs, Baldock, and follow the river north through Stotfold, Henlow, Langford, Biggleswade, Sandy and Blunham.
Walk highlights are the series of pretty, riverside villages with historic churches and watermills. Wildlife lovers will enjoy the Henlow Common and Langford Meadow Nature Reserve at Langford. This 50 acre reserve is home to a variety of wildlife and consists of grassland, scrubland, native trees, bushes and a running stream.
Also of interest is the Warren Villas Nature Reserve where there is also a plethora of water loving wildlife. The reserve features an island lake, home to wintering wildfowl and in summer breeding terns. The reserve is on route and situated just to the north of Biggleswade.
Other highlights include the 17th century Henlow Grange and park which is now used as a health and beauty farm visited by the rich and famous.
Lea Valley Walk53 miles (85 km)A super walk with a series of delightful waterside sections along the River Lea. The walk runs from Leagrave, the source of the River Lea near Luton, to the Thames at Limehouse Basin, east London. You follow a riverside path for much of the way through, Luton, Hatfield, Hertford and Cheshunt with a swan emblem clearly waymarking the walk. The walk passes Nature Reserves, pretty riverside villages and also includes a section through the fantastic Lee Valley Park - London's largest open space.
Marston Vale Timberland Trail13 miles (21 km)A circular route through the beautiful Marston Vale in Befordshire. The walk passes Ampthill Park, Jackdaw Hill, Marston Mortaine and Stewartby Lake. The walk also visits the Engligh Heritage owned ruined house at Houghton, which is free to visit and commands excellent views of the surrounding area.
Milton Keynes Boundary Walk63 miles (101 km)Enjoy rivers, canals, woodland and beautiful countryside on this walk around the boundary of Milton Keynes.
North Bedfordshire Heritage Trail70 miles (113 km)A super circular walk around the North Bedfordshire countryside visiting twenty three villages, two country parks and around thirty public houses. The walk is often started at Bedford and then visits the following towns and villages: Biddenham-Bromham-Stagsden-Turvey-Carlton-Harrold-Odell-Sharnbrook-Riseley-Hatch End-Keysoe-Colmworth-Wilden-Roxton-Tempsford-Everton-Potton-Sandy-Northill-Cople-Ickwell-Old Warden-Willington.
Walk highlights include the National Trust owned Willington Dovecote and Stables (video below). This 16th-century stone-built dovecote and stable buildings are great for bird watchers with barn owls and kestrels regular visitors. Also of interest for birdwatchers is the RSPB run The Lodge Nature Reserve near Sandy and the delightful Harrold-Odell Country Park. Set in 144 acres, the Park's main features are two picturesque lakes.
The walk is waymarked with a blue and white disc.
Ouse Valley Way142 miles (229 km)Follow the River Great Ouse from the source at Brackley, Northamptonshire, to the mouth at The Wash at King's Lynn. You begin at Brackley and head to Buckingham, Milton Keynes, Olney, Bedford, St Neots, Huntingdon, St Ives, Ely, Downham Market before finishing at King's Lynn.
Priory Country Park3 miles (4.2 km)Explore 360 acres of lakes, meadows and woodland, in this park situated on the river Great Ouse in Bedford. The park includes the pretty Priory Marina and lake which are perfect for a peaceful waterside walk or cycle. National Cycle Network route 51 passes through the park so you can continue your cycle on the Bedford to Sandy cycle route. For walkers the John Bunyan Trail passes through Bedford if you wish to continue your walk.
Ridgeway Link7 miles (12 km)This is a walking path which runs from the Chilterns Gateway Visitor Centre near Dunstable to the Ridgeway National Trail at Ivinghoe Beacon.
There are splendid views of the surrounding area at the start before heading through Dunstable Downs, Whipsnade and Dagnall. You will also pass the excellent Whipsnade Zoo where you can view a number of wild animals from the trail. The path finishes on Ivinghoe Beacon with more splendid views to enjoy.
Rushmere Country Park3 miles (5.5 km)Explore 400 acres of lakes, ancient woodland conifer plantations, meadows and heath in this country park in Leighton Buzzard. The park has numerous pleasant walking trails and a number of family cycle routes but a cycling permit is required for the trails in the park (see the link below for more information).
The park also has an excellent new cafe and a visitor centre.
The Three Shires Way37 miles (60 km)The Three Shires Way is a long distance bridleway which runs between Tathall End in north-east Buckinghamshire and Grafham Water in Cambridgeshire. The route traces the outline of ancient trackways and passes through a beautiful rural landscape. Along the way it skirts several small, historic villages, meanders through remnants of ancient woodland, and has many spectacular views.
The route is (sometimes) signposted with the Three Shires Way logo and officially runs for 37 miles, though it's nearer 39 miles long if starting/finishing at the Grafham Water Car Park. I'd recommend cycling north to south (unless faced by a strong south or south-west wind), hence : Start at Grafham Water Car Park, Cambs : TL166680 Finish at Tathall End, Milton Keynes : SP820468 A circular route around Grafham Water is also available, which extends the total distance to almost 47 miles. It passes through Easton, Spaldwick, Covington, Shelton, Yielden, Knotting, Lavendon and Emberton before arriving at Tathall End. It is generally a quiet rural route, much of it on clay and very muddy at certain times of the year. Some parts are classified as a 'Byway Open to All Traffic' or a 'Road Used as a Public Path' (generally open April to October), and are therefore legally accessible by motor vehicles. These tracks can be very rutted indeed; a notable example is Forty Foot Lane. Beware! See http://www.ldwa.org.uk/ldp/members/show_path.php?path_id=478
Note : Mapped on the 1:25,000 series Mark Worthington November 2008
Two Ridges Link8 miles (13 km)This lovely, easy walk links The Ridgeway National Trail and the Greensand Ridge Walk.
You start on Ivinghoe Beacon, with terrific views of the surrounding area, and head towards Slapton where you join the Grand Union Canal taking you to Leighton Buzzard.
Woburn Park6 miles (10 km)This is a fabulous figure of eight walk through the beautiful Woburn Park in Befordshire. The walk takes you past tranquil ponds, pretty Orchards, the 3000 acre deer park and the magnificent Woburn Safari Park with its White Rhino, Elephants, Tigers and Black Bears. You'll also pass the splendid Woburn Abbey - a stunning country house which is the seat of the Duke of Bedford.





 Bedfordshire Walking Links
NameDescription
Chilterns AONBAll about this stunning area of protected countryside only a few miles north west of London. With rolling hills, magnificent beechwoods and charming villages it's a great place to explore.
Let's go BedfordshireMasses of information about walks, country parks, rides and nature reserves

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