Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard walk

The Greensand Ridge, River Ouzel and Grand Union Canal

History

This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Date Post # Weather
Sat, 20-Nov-21 Saturday Walk Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard - Three woods in the morning, Great Brickhill, Rushmere Park, the River Ouzel - then along the Grand Union canal to Leighton Buzzard 11 overcast and cloudy all day
Wed, 04-Nov-20 Wednesday Walk Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard - Back, Buttermilk and Duncombe Woods, Great Brickhill, Rushmere Park, the River Ouzel and the Grand Union Canal 7 largely sunny
Sat, 07-Mar-20 Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard 5 dry
Wed, 20-Nov-19 Wednesday Walk Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard - the Greensand Ridge, River Ouzel and the Grand Union Canal 10 mild with hazy sunny spells
Wed, 21-Nov-18 Wednesday Walk Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard - Back Wood, Great Brickhill, the Greensand Ridge and River Ouzel 7 sunny but somewhat chilly day
Wed, 25-Oct-17 Wednesday Walk: Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard - woods, the Greensand Ridge and the River Ouzel 7 sunny and unseasonably warm
Sat, 12-Aug-17 Saturday Walk – The Greensand Ridge and River Ouzel 12 light clouds and sun
Sat, 03-Jan-15 Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard 1
Sat, 09-Nov-13 Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard 7
Sat, 10-Dec-11 Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard
Sat, 06-Nov-10 Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard
Sat, 06-Mar-10 Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard
Sat, 14-Nov-09 Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard
Sat, 11-Oct-08 Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard
Sat, 13-Oct-07 Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard
Sat, 18-Nov-06 Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard
Sat, 20-Nov-21
Saturday Walk Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard - Three woods in the morning, Great Brickhill, Rushmere Park, the River Ouzel - then along the Grand Union canal to Leighton Buzzard
Book 1 Walk 41 - Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard

Length: 14.7 km (9.1 miles)
Toughness: 2 out of 10 Mostly level walking today
London Euston: 09-24 hrs West Midlands service to Northampton Watford Junction: 09-39 hrs
Arrive Bletchley: 10-12 hrs Change trains
Leave Bletchley: 10-20 hrs West Midlands service to Bedford
Arrive Bow Brickhill: 10-27 hrs
Return: Leighton Buzzard to Euston: 15-54, 16-09, 16-34, 16-54. 17-08, 17-34, 17-54, 18-08 hrs and later
Rail ticket: Buy a day return to Bow Brickhill
With a bit of luck we should catch the last of the leaf colour from the oaks and beeches in Rushmere Park, after lunch in Great Brickhill.
Leaving Bow Brickhill railway station we soon find ourselves in Back Wood, where many a SWC walker has got lost. It can also be muddy at this time of year, but no matter, if we can extricate ourselves from this maze we soon find ourselves heading through Buttermilk and Duncombe Woods, where the going is much easier. Lunch is taken in the village of Great Brickhill at the Old Red Lion pub, which serves good quality, honest pub grub in a comfortable setting.
After lunch we enjoy a leg through Rushmere Park, with its oak and beech trees, then we walk above the River Ouzel before crossing water meadows (hopefully not waterlogged today - if they are there is another route described in the Directions) to come out beside the Grand Union canal. An early tea can be taken here (the offerings in Leighton Buzzard are poor) at the Globe Inn. Then we conclude today's walk by walking along the tow path next to the canal all the way to Leighton Buzzard. The walk through town to the railway station is grim but fortunately it does not last long.
T=1.41
Walk Directions are here: L=1.41
  • 20-Nov-21

    11 of us on today's walk. It was overcast and cloudy all day , with the sun taking another day off, but no matter - it was very mild for the time of year, and pleasant for a late autumn day's walking. We were doing well in Back Wood, negotiating the tricky bits and on course to come up to the sequoia trees, when we were stopped by a shoot, linked to the Duke of Bedford's estate. An officious, rather rude shooter prevented us from continuing on our way along the public footpath through the woods as he said we would be encroaching on the shoot. Now whilst guns were seen stationed at their pegs, there was no sign of beaters and it looked as though the shoot was some way off from starting. But as we were "out-gunned", so to speak, we opted to make a strategic retreat and we took an alternative route onwards. Now the shoot organisers may well have obtained an official closure of the footpath for the day, but methinks if they had done so they should have displayed closure signs at the start of and along the footpath. Whilst some in our party took exception at this, the rest of us accepted the situation, and we continued on our walk, with a twisted smile.

    Back Wood for once was not too muddy, and conditions underfoot for most of the walk were good all day. We managed to get through Buttermilk and Duncombe Woods without being stopped and we arrived at the Old Red Lion pub in Great Brickhill bang on time for our luncheon bookings. 8 of us enjoyed a very good lunch, served with a smile, which always helps, whilst our 3 sandwichers opted to continue on their walk after their picnic. We did not see them again - I hope they enjoyed the afternoon leg of their walk.

    During the morning we did not see any other walkers or dog walkers - just the shooting party. But post prandial the route through Rushmere Park was busy with walkers, families out and dog walkers and it was so nice to see so many enjoying these lovely woods. So far I have not mentioned leaf colour. Well, we enjoyed the last of this year's glorious colour displays, above in the canopy on the trees and on the floor - for much of today's route. A delight.

    The enjoyable afternoon passed without incident and we arrived at the Globe pub shortly after 3 pm to take tea and refreshments before continuing along the canal into dreary Leighton Buzzard. A fast train took us back to London in no time.

    I believe all enjoyed today's autumn walk in very good SWC company - well, I certainly did.

Wed, 04-Nov-20
Wednesday Walk Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard - Back, Buttermilk and Duncombe Woods, Great Brickhill, Rushmere Park, the River Ouzel and the Grand Union Canal
Book 1 Walk 41 - Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard

Length: 14.7 km (9.1 miles)
Toughness: 2 out of 10 (upwards to 4 when very muddy)
London Euston: 10-15 hrs West Midland Trains service to Birmingham New Street
Arrive Bletchley: 10-49 hrs Disembark
Leave Bletchley on bus service to Bedford: 11-01 hrs
Arrive Bow Brickhill station: 11-10 hrs
Return

Leighton Buzzard to Euston: trains at 16-07, 16-34, 16-54, 17-07, 17-42, 17-55, 18-09, 18-34 and later
Rail ticket: buy an off-peak day return to Bow Brickhill
This is likely to be our last posted walk for a month or so as we enter another period of lockdown on Thursday 05 November. I am unable to attend the walk myself but a fellow walk poster should be in attendance to "officiate" in my place. I look forward to the resumption of SWC mid-week walks hopefully in December or soon thereafter.
We tend to avoid walks with replacement bus services, but today the "inconvenience" of a connecting bus at Bletchley only lasts for 9 minutes, so we will accept it today.
This is a short(ish), mostly woodland walk best walked at this time of year to enjoy some lovely late autumn leaf colour, particularly after lunch in Rushmere Park where the oak trees should be in full leaf colour.
After leaving Bow Brickhill station the route takes you up into, then down through, Back Wood, which is likely to be muddy to very muddy in places today. This wood is a bit of a pig all year round for slubberdub mud, so no bad thing when you extricate yourselves from it and make for the more genteel Buttermilk Wood. Onwards then through Duncombe Wood then along a track through farmland to the village of Great Brickill for lunch at the Old Red Lion pub, or for a picnic nearby. An alternative lunch stop on this walk comes in Rushmere Park - if its cafeteria is open today.
After Great Brickhill you have arguably the best bit of today's walk - the leg through Rushmere Park - an oak wood which should be in full leaf colour. Then you have a leg above the River Ouzel before crossing over water meadows to join the Grand Union Canal for an early tea stop at the Globe Inn. You then have a relaxing walk along the canal's tow path to the outskirts of Leighton Buzzard. The short walk from the town's bridge to the railway station is dreary but thankfully short: I am sure there must be some attractive parts to Leighton Buzzard but I have yet to discover them.
T=1.41
Walk Directions are here: L=1.41
  • 04-Nov-20

    6 at the station on a largely sunny day We had just congratulated ourselves on our neat, compliant number when, guess what. An awkward 7th turned up. So 7 . That was easily solved by dividing into 6 + 1 slow one. The 6 steamed off using their gizmos and whatnot. Not so the slow one, an aficionado of the written word, who grappled with the directions in Back Wood. And grappled and grappled and went up and down that bridleway more times than the Duke of York wondering “where is the T junction where you go right and then right again”? (Answer: there isn't one. There is a cross-paths where you go right. Full stop.) By now the others were well on the way to their sumptuous repast in the Old Red Lion and the slow one continued across the A5 and down Little Brickhill Lane using Mr Google. Then on past the Old Red Lion not realising he was now in the lead. Fshoom. This lead was maintained through Rushmere Park, despite going astray more than once. The others finally caught up with him at the exit where he had to quickly snap out of it and look like he knew where he was. After this it was plain sailing – just follow the others, innit.

    The Globe had shut at 2:30 so no 'tea'.

    A nice walk. The others did 9 miles, I did about 12.There was mud.

  • 05-Nov-20

    The directions in Back Wood at point eleven, which confused Mr Tiger, now corrected. The paths changed after the tree felling and path destruction a couple of year's ago.

  • 05-Nov-20

    Yay!

Sat, 07-Mar-20
Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard
CW1 Walk #41 - Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard
Length: 14.7km (9.1 miles). Toughness 2/10.

Catch the 10:15 train from London Euston, (changing at Bletchley arr.10:50, dep. 11:01) arrives Bow Brickhill 11:08. Buy a day return to Bow Brickhill.

Return from Leighton Buzzard xx:07 xx:34 xx:54 (fast)

T=1.41
  • Anonymous
    08-Mar-20

    5 of us got the delayed train from Euston alas alack to find that the train at Bletchley had already gone so we got two cabs to the start of the walk.

    2 set off ahead and were never seen again.

    The walk was predominately a flood plain so I guess that this was the muddiest walk and no sign of flowers though loads of growth.

    To our chagrin the lunch pub was closed due to a private function but we discovered a cafe

    https://www.greensandtrust.org/tree-tops-cafe

    in the park only say 2 k further on and it was very good with a large selection of dishes at reasonable prices. Being goody-goodies we all had salads, excellent and large. It is a charity as well so great to support it. Treetops cafe is by the Rushmere Park car park if you need to find it in future and all the locals (hundreds of them) seem to know it.

    We had 5 k to do after our lunch and one of us got the 16.34 whereas 2 of us missed it by moments and then the next train was cancelled and then the one after that was delayed and hey presto we waited near on an hour for our train back to Euston.

    At least two of us will be using Resolver to claim back our fares

    https://www.resolver.co.uk/

    part of https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/site/resolver/

    I have used it before for train and air fares and it has been great for both.

    dry

    Good fun but hard work for a crassulent chap

Wed, 20-Nov-19
Wednesday Walk Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard - the Greensand Ridge, River Ouzel and the Grand Union Canal
Book 1 Walk 41 - Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard

Length: 14.7 km (9.1 miles)
Toughness: 4 out of 10


London Euston: 10-15 hrs West Midlands service to Crewe and Rugeley Trent Valley
Arrive Bletchley: 10-49 hrs Change trains
Leave Bletchley : 11-01 hrs Bedford branch line service
Arrive Bow Brickhill: 11-08 hrs

Return

Leighton Buzzard to Euston: 16-34, 16-54, 17-07, 17-34, 17-55 and 18-09 hrs

Rail ticket: buy a day return to Bow Brickhill


The start of this walk is the same as for Bow Brickhill to Woburn Sands (Book 1 Walk 17), that is , the route takes you up into Back Wood, which in winter can be muddy (of the slubberdub variety).
Once out of these woods the walks are totally different, with today's walk taking you through more woods (Buttermilk Wood then Duncombe Wood) on the level (and dryer underfoot) then through a farm until you head down a road into the village of Great Brickhill, where you stop for lunch at the Old Red Lion pub, which serves good, honest pub grub. There are wonderful views from the pub's back garden terrace, but it might be a bit nippy to dine on the terrace today, so you might prefer to have lunch in the comfy indoor seating area by the bar or in the spacious restaurant cum dining area.
After lunch the walk continues through Rushmere Country Park, where you should be able to enjoy the last of this autumn's leaf colour, either from foliage still on oak and beech trees, or from carpets of leaves underfoot. This leg of the walk at this time of year is quite lovely. Onwards then to exit Rushmere Country Park to pick up the Greensand Ridge for a while. You then walk on a track above the River Ouzel before dropping down at Corbetts Hill farm to cross water meadows, which can be soggy in winter. You now head up a bank to join the Grand Union Canal, for a relaxing canal-side walk all the way into Leighton Buzzard. At the start of your canal-side walk you come to the Globe Inn, your suggested tea stop (there are slim pickings in Leighton Buzzard). On reaching the town you encounter the only duff bit of today's walk - the mercifully short leg through the town's suburbs to the railway station.
This walk does not get many postings - so do enjoy it today.
T=1.41
Your Walk Directions are here: L=1.41


  • 21-Nov-19

    A reasonably good weather forecast attracted 10 to attend today's walk between Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire.

    It was mild with hazy sunny spells and a gentle breeze in the afternoon, making for very pleasant, late autumn walking conditions.

    Back Wood early in the walk was muddy, as anticipated, but otherwise mud levels were very manageable all day, and it was mostly dry underfoot.

    5 of us dined at the Old Red Lion pub in Great Brickhill. A table was reserved for us by the friendly staff in the cosy bar area, close to the fire, and we enjoyed our meals, washed down with some excellent draught beer. One sandwicher joined us for a coffee at our table as the other four sandwichers set off on with the afternoon leg of the walk.

    Said afternoon leg was a delight today: the last of this year's lovely leaf colour was highlighted by the sun shining through the oak and beech trees in Rushmere Park and along the Greensand Ridge. We found the water meadows of the river Ouzel to be neither soggy nor too muddy before we joined the Grand Union Canal. Just along the canal the luncheoners met up with the sandwichers at the Globe Inn as the latter were preparing to leave after enjoying a refreshment stop: it was nice to say hello to them before they set off along the canal. Three of us luncheoners stopped for tea at the excellent, friendly Globe before we in turn set off along the canal at a steady pace, now in failing light. The dreary suburbs of Leighton Buzzard were quickly negotiated and the 16.34 hrs train for Euston was pulling in at the platform as we arrived at the railway station.

    I believe we all enjoyed today's walk - I certainly did.

Wed, 21-Nov-18
Wednesday Walk Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard - Back Wood, Great Brickhill, the Greensand Ridge and River Ouzel
Book 1, Walk 41 - Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard

Length: 14.7 km (9.1 Miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10


Either:
London Euston: 10-13 hrs Birmingham New Street service
Arrive Bletchley: 10-49 hrs Change trains
Leave Bletchley: 11-01 hrs Bedford service
Arrive Bow Brickhill: 11-08 hrs

Or (suggested for senior railcard holders)
London Euston: 09-49 hrs Birmingham New Street service
Arrive Bletchley: 10-23 hrs Change trains, then have a coffee in the station foyer caff
Leave Bletchley: 11-01 hrs Bedford service
Arrive Bow Brickhill: 11-08 hrs

Having missed the connection at Bletchley at least twice in recent years due to the late running of the Euston service, these days I always take the earlier train. But if you take the later train all is not lost if you miss the connection at Bletchley as the taxi fare to Bow Brickhill station will not break the bank. However, if you are one of SWC's cheepos unwilling to contribute to the taxi fare, best not start your walk at Bletchley station as routes out of town are mighty dull.

Return: Leighton Buzzard to Euston: (F) = fast service: 15-59, 16-34, 16-53(F), 16-59, 17-33(F), 17-59, 18-33, 18-53(F)

Rail ticket: buy a day return to Bow Brickhill

This is a late autumn favourite walk of mine between Bucks and Beds as often the woods (particularly the oak woods after lunch) can still be a blaze of colour.

Paths in Back Wood at the start of the walk are gradually recovering from horrendous damage caused by forestry operations two years ago. Your way is now navigable, albeit it can be muddy in places. Then you enjoy legs through the less muddy Buttermilk Wood and Duncombe Wood before you pass through a farm then out onto roads which descend to Great Brickhill, where you stop for lunch at the Old Red Lion, which seldom disappoints. If the weather temperature permits, the outdoor seating area is pleasant with nice views. Indoor seating near the bar is cosy and there is also a restaurant area. If more than four of you wish to dine it's best to 'phone ahead with numbers: your e.t.a is 12-55 hrs. Tel: 01525-261715.

After lunch you follow Greensand Ridge marker discs through oak woods, passing signs to Rushmere Park. Your way descends to Rushmere House, then you follow a bank in woodland, to go up a field before dropping down to follow a broad track with the River Ouzel down below you on your right. At Corbetts Hill Farm the main route takes you down to water meadows, which in winter can be water logged. Should this be the case, an alternative, dry route is shown in the Directions. Otherwise you cross the meadows and arrive beside the Grand Union Canal. Your come to your tea stop, the Globe Inn on your left. After tea you enjoy a relaxing stroll beside the canal for a mile plus before you arrive in the centre of Leighton Buzzard. The walk to the railway station does not excite, but this is the only dull bit on the entire walk.
T=1.41
Walk Directions here: L=1.41


  • David
    21-Nov-18

    7 walkers showed up on what turned out to be a sunny but somewhat chilly day . Two walkers caught the earlier train out of Euston, which was packed, possibly because it was the first off-peak departure of the morning, but perhaps also because of the Warner Brothers studio/Harry Potter tour for which Watford Junction station is the point of assembly. The other five walkers caught the later train which, happily, arrived at Bletchley on time. A cautionary note: one of our number purchased tickets on the train and had to pay £14 rather than the correct £11.90 (senior return fare from Boundary Zone 6). There's a moral there somewhere. The walk itself was a mixture of skirting round fields, crossing stiles and walking through woodland. There was some mud, which was generally not problematic, though one of two uphill stretches were a touch slithery. Five of the walkers arrived at the Old Red Lion pub in Great Brickhill after an hour and a half of walking. I'm not sure whether the other two turned up later. I had to press on towards Leighton Buzzard after a quick drink. Others might like to comment on the food. At Corbetts Hill Farm, I chose discretion over valour and opted for the wet weather diversion rather than risk possibly waterlogged meadows. There was some road walking towards the end, but a pleasant stretch along the Grand Union Canal. I caught the slightly late-running 14.34 train back to London

Wed, 25-Oct-17
Wednesday Walk: Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard - woods, the Greensand Ridge and the River Ouzel
Just to mention last Thursday's walk - Crowhurst to Battle - was the last of the "extra" mid-week walk postings for the time being. Mid-week walkers may recall we introduced these extra walks in February 2017 after a period post New Year when Wednesday walks attracted upwards 20 walkers, which some thought was too many. The extra walks helped even out the mid-week demand and numbers for a while, but of late numbers attending both the Wednesday and alternate Tuesday and Thursday walks have dropped off, so it's time to park the extra walks. You may have noticed some of the draft walks for future Tuesdays and Thursdays have "disappeared" from the walk postings. My apologies if anyone was hoping to go on these walks - they will be rescheduled for another time.


Book 1, Walk 41 - Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard

Length: 14.7 km (9.1 miles)
Toughness: 2 out of 10 (more when the going is muddy)

London Euston: 10-13 hrs Birmingham New Street service
Arrive Bletchley: 10-49 hrs
Leave Bletchley: 11-01 hrs Bedford service
Arrive Bow Brickhill: 11-08 hrs

Return: Leighton Buzzard to Euston: 33, 53 (fast) and 59 mins past the hour

Rail ticket: buy a day return to Bow Brickhill

This lovely woodland walk is particularly nice in late autumn, when leaf colour is near its best. In order during the morning you pass through Back Wood, Buttermilk Wood and Duncombe Wood before you arrive in Great Brickhill for lunch at the homely Old Red Lion pub which serves good, honest pub grub.
After lunch you walk through an oak wood before you walk above the River Ouzel, then cross a water meadow to reach the Grand Union Canal and your suggested tea stop on the canal, the Globe Inn.
Your homeward leg is to follow the canal tow path all the way to Leighton Buzzard, after which it is a short walk through the town to the railway station.
If you like woods, this is a walk for you.
T=1.41
Walk Directions here L=1.41
  • Anonymous
    21-Oct-17

    Going. Thanks for putting it on.

  • Marion
    24-Oct-17

    Thank you Marcus for all your hard work organising the Mis-week walks. The reason why numbers may have fallen off is that the mid-week walkers generally prefer the established walk format and an inexpensive fare i.e. not too long or multiple options so we can walk together. Forking out £20 for a train fare just to get on a walk does not suit those on a budget any more than really expensive lunch stops do. Also the weather has been rather variable of late.

    Posting experimental first walks with limited directions does not suit walkers who need to be assured that they have companions and can get back to London at a reasonable time. Those of us with time off during the week need to know that the walks are on a particular day. Having the occasional option of a Tuesday or Thursday may not fit with ones established work or social commitments.

    Whilst I appreciate the need for new walks to be tried out perhaps we could avoid Wednesdays if there is no other choice of walk please.

  • Anonymous
    24-Oct-17

    Using Meetup as a way to further advertise the group is a great idea. However, a would-be new recruit having a quick look at the Meetup page (and keep in mind there are a huge number of hiking groups on that platform)might think only 1-3 people ever turn up on our walks. I suggest that under 'Welcome' on the first page an estimate of numbers be given: 8-30, for example. I realise a similar estimate can be found on the SWC site, but some would-be newbies will never make it that far, and be lost to those groups who lift our walks, often without acknowledgement. Having photos of walks with people walking (from the back to preserve anonymity, if need be) will also help. Younger people expect this. Thanks.

  • 24-Oct-17

    It is only worth resorting to Meet Up (which costs money, btw) if numbers are short. I would argue our weekend walks are well enough attended. We don’t want to have groups of 40 which make finding space in lunch pubs difficult. As for midweek walks the point of having two a week was because it was felt TOO MANY came on them when there was one a week (though on the few occasions I came - I must admit I am not a midweek regular - group sizes seemed fine).

    Regarding photos of walks with people in, I put some on our Facebook page. But no one else did, so I stopped doing so.

    I believe our advice for we members already has information about typical group sizes.

  • Anonymous
    25-Oct-17

    Totally agree with everything Marion has said ,it is offputting to fork out on expensive fares etc.. walking should be an inexpensive activity! well said M

  • Anonymous
    25-Oct-17

    Many thanks to Marcus for another great day.

    Woods, weather and company were brilliant.

  • 26-Oct-17

    In transit at Bletchley, as we waited for the train to Bow Brickhill, we just about managed to separate the 7 SWC walkers from a London based group of French Ladies, 8 of whom were doing our walk. During the course of the morning we met up en route although once we left Back Wood we never saw them again. As their leader was using one of those hand held gps jobbies I hope she didn't get her group too lost in the woods. Our written walk directions and the OS Explorer maps are so much better...... and bring back the quill pen......

    It was sunny and unseasonably warm , infact a glorious late autumn day. Said Back Wood was muddy in places but passable (this time last year it was impassable due to the forestry tree felling works churning up the paths). Onwards then through Buttermilk and Duncombe woods with some nice leaf colour to Great Brickhill where four of us enjoyed excellent lunches at the walker friendly Old Red Lion pub: and being able to sit outside at this time of year enjoying the lovely view from the pub's terrace was an unexpected treat and a bonus. Our three sandwich eaters joined us for a drink before we set out on the afternoon leg of the walk, with leaf colour in Oak Wood and in Rushmere Country Park nearing its best for the season. For once the water meadows just before the Grand Union Canal were not waterlogged and we made it safely to the Globe Inn, where we stopped for tea. A leisurely stroll beside the canal took us into Leighton Buzzard (not the prettiest of towns) and then to the railway station - where the "fun" began. All trains to and from London were at a standstill following an incident just before our arrival - someone hit by a train near Harrow and Wealdstone. We were advised by helpful staff at LB station to seek an alternative route back to London - and here we struck lucky. We managed to hire the last available taxi (with seats for seven passengers, no more) to the outskirts of Luton at a reasonable price. A slowish, but comfortable train then took us to St Pancras, where we went our separate ways home, and grateful to make it back to London given the circumstances.

    Notwithstanding the end-of-walk excitement, I believe all enjoyed the walk, its variety and lovely leaf colour.

    And delightful company, of course.

  • 26-Oct-17

    In response to comments 2 and 5, it just shows how impossible is the task of the walk poster to please everyone, let alone anyone.

    For some time we have used Wednesday walks to test drive new walks. My current fellow walk poster, who goes to great trouble, time and personal expense to devise new walks for the SWC (with limited thanks), once in a while posts a new walk on a Wednesday. For my part I am biased towards posting Book 1 walks as it helps me keep them updated. As for cost, train fares are train fares, and we try to post most walks with an after 10 am start, to enable travel cards to come into play. The comments on expensive lunches are puzzling: some Wednesday walkers will only come on a walk with a gourmet, up-market lunch stop: they are sniffy over pub grub.

    As I said, it is impossible to please everyone: walk posters just do their best to strike a balance between short, medium and long walks, close to London (which incites complaints over traffic noise) or a bit further out - and shock horror, the train fare is more.

Sat, 12-Aug-17
Saturday Walk – The Greensand Ridge and River Ouzel
Book 1 Walk 41 – Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard
Length: 14.7 km (9.1 miles). Toughness: 2/10

10:13 Birmingham New Street train from Euston, changing at Bletchley (arr 10:49, dep 11:01) and arriving Bow Brickhill at 11:08. Buy a return to Bow Brickhill.

South Londoners could take a chance on the direct (but slow) 09:10 Milton Keynes train from East Croydon to Bletchley, due to arrive there just in time for the connection at 10:54.

Return trains from Leighton Buzzard to Euston are at 33 & 59 minutes past the hour, plus an hourly non-stop service at xx:53 (to 17:53). The direct trains back to East Croydon are at xx:24.

One of our regular walk posters sends his apologies so here's a last-minute suggestion for a third walk, described in its Introduction as “short and straightforward”. It tends to get posted in winter when seasonal tree work in Back Wood can make this early part of the walk heavy going; it should be less muddy in summer (despite this week's rain) and it would be helpful to have some feedback on current conditions.

You'll need to print the directions (with details of the suggested lunch and tea places, etc) from the Bow Brickhill to Leighton Buzzard Walk page. T=1.41
  • 12-Aug-17

    12 on this Bucks stroll with light clouds and sun . The Bow Brickhill blackberries were found to be tasty and a few walkers consumed one or two of their 5 a day on the hoof.

    The last time I did this walk there was a high squelch factor and the final fields before the Grand Union a real challenge. Not so today in this gently undulating pleasant woodland and meadowland stroll. OK the A5 is a pain to cross but it's one carriageway at a time with a clever gap in the crash barriers for walkers to navigate through. The fields before the canal were completely dry with (new?) boardwalks in places for the rainy seasons.

    All met up for tea at the Globe on the Canal and agreed Marc's cheesecake was the best pudding on offer with the Crumbles coming a close second. Several puddings came under attack from other walkers (you know who I mean!).

    The sun shone for the final section down the canal and we all caught the non-stop train back to the great Wen from LB. All in all a great day out and a good (mud free) time of year to do this walk

  • Anonymous
    15-Aug-17

    We did this walk on Saturday 12 August ( 12 of us ) and had no problem at all with paths churned up by tree works. I was pleasantly surprised by the joy of the terrain after the storms on the previous Wednesday and I expected it to be a ' bit muddy ' but there was little mud and when there was it was easily passable.

    A good walk with lovely woods.

    Muddy Waters