Iron-Rich Stream, Flitwick Moor

Iron-Rich Stream, Flitwick Moor

SWC Walk 231 Flitwick Circular

19-Mar-16 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Greensand Ridge from Wardhedges

Greensand Ridge from Wardhedges

SWC Walk 231 Flitwick Circular

19-Mar-16 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Wrest House and Garden Wall

Wrest House and Garden Wall

SWC Walk 231 Flitwick Circular

19-Mar-16 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Old St. Mary's Church, Clophill

Old St. Mary's Church, Clophill

SWC Walk 231 Flitwick Circular

19-Mar-16 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Ailesbury Mausoleum & Crypt, Maulden

Ailesbury Mausoleum & Crypt, Maulden

SWC Walk 231 Flitwick Circular

19-Mar-16 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Flitwick Moor

Flitwick Moor

SWC Walk 231 Flitwick Circular

19-Mar-16 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Flitwick Mill House

Flitwick Mill House

SWC Walk 231 Flitwick Circular

19-Mar-16 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Flitwick Circular walk

Tranquil Flit River, wooded fringes of Flitwick Moor, quiet villages, the De Grey Mausoleum, Wrest House and Gardens, the Greensand Ridge (views), and the heart of Flitwick Moor.

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
Wed, 14-Dec-16 15

Wednesday Walk - Flitwick Moor, the Greensand Ridge & Rolling Fields: Flitwick Circular (short)

This walk, originally planned for Dec 28, has been swapped with the original Dec 14 posting due to strike action.

SWC Walk 231a –Flitwick Circular (short walk)
Length: 17.3 km (10.8 mi) (longer walk possible, see below)
Ascent/Descent: 141 m; Net Walking Time: ca. 4 hours
Toughness: 2 out of 10
Take the 10.04 Bedford train from St. Pancras I’nal (lower level platforms) [West Hampstead Thameslink 10.11], arrives Flitwick 10.53. The train also calls at all the usual Thameslink stations from East Croydon (09.25) via Blackfriars (09.54) to Farringdon (09.59).
Return trains: up to 5 an hour (from 43 minutes journey time to St. Pancras).

For the full 24.4 km walk take the train an hour earlier, and meet the group at the lunch pub in Clophill, a rtn ticket for that train is £18,60, railcards don't apply.

This Central Bedfordshire walk just north of the easterly end of the Chilterns initially follows the tranquil Flit River along the shady wooded fringes of Flitwick Moor, one of the most important wetland sites in the south east of England, and then veers away from the river through a couple of quiet villages, en route passing the Grade I-listed De Grey Mausoleum in Flitton. This is followed by a stretch through rolling fields with views to the Greensand Ridge.
After lunch in Clophill it’s up on to the Greensand Ridge for a long stretch through and along Maulden Wood, at times with far views south to the Chiltern Hills. The highlight of the return route from Maulden to Flitwick is the passage through Flitton and Flitwick Moors, including a stretch along a narrow path through the very heart of Flitwick Moor.
Lunch is in Clophill, either at the The Flying Horse or the Green Man Italian Restaurant (both 7.2 km/4.5 mi) or at The Stone Jug (a little off-route, at 7.8 km/4.8 mi). For tea en-route (or late lunch) there is The White Hart in Maulden (12.3 km/7.7 mi, food to 14.30). For tea in Flitwick The Crown is recommended (700m from the station, but possibly closed for the afternoon when we get there), as is The Lounge Coffee Shop, just beyond the station (open to 17.30).
For walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files click here.
Next Week: SWC 5 Wadhurst Circular (via Bewl Water) 16.8 km 5/10 (longer version possible)
T=swc.231.a

aiming for the 9.00 train (arrives 9.42) to walk the full walk
Thinking of doing the full walk.
Planning to catch the 10 04 hrs train.
14 alighted from the posted train, to set out on the short version of today's walk, with the walk author one hour ahead doing the 15 mile "Full Monty" version, so that made 15, including one first timer.
Weather very mild and sunny with no rain. Some muddy paths beside the River Flit in the morning but nothing too bad, although in deep winter making progress in muddier conditions will be hard work. Our regular Wednesday walker and boatswain took us off piste later in the morning (too much chat and not enough concentration on the directions !!) but after some road walking we were soon back on route, across fields, and over the A6 road, into the village of Clophill and the Flying Horse pub, where the walk author was patiently
waiting for us short walkers to join him for luncheon. Just 3 of us partook of the fare on offer, served by friendly staff (although drinks took a while to arrive). Most of our sandwich eaters headed off before the diners were ready, although 2 did stay back, so 5 of us set out together on the afternoon leg, still in mild and sunny conditions. The section on the Greensand Ridge through Maulden Wood, with trees now bare but with a thick floor covering of colourful leaves, was particularly nice, followed by two nature reserves and the re appearance of the River Flit, before a final stretch over Flitwick Moor as the sun was setting. Tea or a pint for some in the Swan pub, next to the railway station, before we kept our appointment with the 17 00 hrs train back to London.
A walk of pleasant variety in mild and sunny conditions, lovely nature reserves, a good water feature, and the usual excellent mid week company, made it not too bad a day.
Sat, 19-Mar-16 17

Saturday Third Walk – A varied walk in an unfashionable county

Extra Walk 231 – Flitwick Circular
Length: 24.4 km (15.2 miles), with shorter option (see below). Toughness: 5/10

09:34 Bedford train from St Pancras (or City Thameslink 09:27), arriving Flitwick at 10:23.

Short Walk / Late Start Option: 17.8 km (10.7 miles), 3/10. This has a much shorter morning so take the 10:48 Bedford train from St Pancras (or East Croydon 10:08, Blackfriars 10:38, etc), arriving Flitwick at 11:37.

Trains back are at 04, 20, 34 & 50 minutes past the hour to 19:20, then half-hourly. Before 19:00 the 20 & 50 past terminate at City Thameslink.

A flurry of new Bedfordshire walks made their débuts in 2014 but haven't had many SWC outings since. In fact this one hasn't even been posted on a Saturday yet, so here's your chance to see if it's been unjustly neglected. It looks like a nice mix of river valley, rolling fields and quiet villages on the way out (plus several interesting buildings), and the Greensand Ridge, Maulden Wood and Flitwick Moor on the way back.

To fit all this in the main walk is well up to its author's preferred length, but he's slipped up by inserting a substantial short cut in the first half of the walk. I've chosen a late train for this option with the idea that the late starters will seek out the preferred lunch pub on the main walk (the Stone Jug in Clophill, “popular with ramblers and dog-walkers”) and meet up with the main group. Food is only served to 2pm but both groups should be there by 1.30pm. At the end of the walk you might be too late for Flitwick's coffee shops but there are a couple of pubs near the station, one described as “the perfect place for a last drink before heading home”.

You'll need to print the directions from this pdf document. T=swc.231
Sounds very promising. Thanks for putting this on.
Going.
17 overcast and mostly dry
7 walkers off the posted train for the full walk, one more descending the stairs to the platform to declare that there had been two other walkers off an earlier train, making it ten, and later 1 other overtaking the backmarkers, having missed the train through it departing from the Southbound platform at City Thameslink. The 2 early walkers were of the 'follow a line on a screen' variety (one of them anyway), and took the wrong turn where the out and back route intersect, resulting in them walking the majority of the walk in reverse, to much hilarity (they will claim that it opens up Wrest Park as a tea venue, but that's just an attempt to camouflage their error, don't be deceived).
At the lunch pub we met 5 short walkers, incl. the walk poster, meaning we had both SWC 'ghost walkers' on this walk: the one that often disappears w/o trace after lunch, and the one that often appears w/o former trace at lunch.
Then there was the one sandwiching long walker that popped in to the pub to proclaim that 'Christine' had arrived and they would now move on independently. So if 'Christine' is a real person, that makes it 17. Else 16.
As for the walk: some early drizzle was barely perceptible but real. Overcast for the rest of the day. Sun? None. Mud? None.
The morning part admittedly has some indifferent parts (most of which are better in spring and summer) and plenty of tarmac (which is why it's the morning part, and not the afternoon), but everyone seemed in good spirit at lunch, which was cheap but tasty in a friendly family run pub, The Stone Jug.
The afternoon part is more interesting, first along and through Maulden Wood, with some Chiltern Views and then through Flitwick Moor, which seemed to entrance everyone, incl. the SWC resident fungi expert, who gave us backmarkers some interesting insights into what we could see pathside.
One more drink at The Crown. 18.20 train for the slowcoaches, 16.04 for the fastest ones, so I hear...

Indeed the early birds caught tea and brownies and cut off, illegally I admit but then why change my lifelong habits, a boring triangle just before the glorious Wrest Park which was sadly closed due to a wedding. The hall and reception rooms are well worth visiting but the most splendid part is the glorious landscaped garden: full of sculpture and 'fake ruins', a deep bath etc. think Rome and you are almost there. And of course, don't ever forget the Cafe loaded with scrumptious cakes inclusive gluten free, which those who erroneously claim to have taken the right turn/route completely missed.

Remember, fellow walkers, there is no such thing in the SWC, or in life, as a right or a wrong route: as long as you are in the right company, have plenty to banter about, lovely vistas, loads of fresh air, no mud or rain IT IS ALWAYS THE RIGHT WAY TO GO. I for one had a splendid day.
I felt pleasantly surprised when I opened the travel supplement of The Guardian last Saturday which featured a large photo of one of the follies in the garden (to illustrate their offer of free English Heritage subscription if you join the Guardian). So one option would be to reverse the route, going clockwise instead, make it shorter by doing part of the shortcut and then going south east via Silsoe to WP. You would need at least 1 to 1.5 hour to visit the 90 acres of wonderful gardens and house properly ( house 30 min is plenty and if not EH member expensive). Just an idea for the landscaped garden and follies lovers amongst the walkers.
Look at english heritage.org.uk/visit/places/wrest park

I also noted that the Sunday walkers at Tonbridge were rescued by following a line on a handheld device. It's great if you have some walks stored up on the gps failing which you will have a map showing the paths provided you have the OS map on it. An old fashioned map also does wonders in case of cancelled trains, provided it covers the area of your station. Walking instructions on their own become suddenly quite worthless.
GPs: You can walk anytime, anywhere. What more could I desire!
Taking a "wrong" turn on a SWC walk is not a mistake; its an adventure. (The philosophy of Nicholas Albery, our founder.)
right turn, wrong turn and N. Albery apart...
I'm not a big buyer of routing walks specifically to lead past stately homes, sculpture parks, NT/English Heritage properties etc. to enable visits, unless the best route leads past them anyway, for the simple reason that in my experience only a very few walkers are actually interested, unless there's a decent cafe involved and it's close to the finish (which WP wouldn't be): the only walk I can think of where more than a handful of people turned up and paid up (rather than walk past) was the first two times we posted a walk past the Henry Moore Sculpture Park... But correct me if I'm wrong.
So in this case as the pub comes much too early if walked clockwise, and as the shortcut taken by the 2 on Saturday is actually a Private track, not a footpath, the walk will stay as is.
Generally though, there's nothing stopping any of you from asking in the appropriate place (the 'Walk Requests' section of This Weeks' Walks) for a special routing of a walk to be posted as a garden/stately home/sculpture park/birdwatching/airshow/nostalgia train/folk festival/morris dancing etc. pp. outing, part map led or otherwise.
I'm sure you'll find a walk poster happy to post it if there is deemed to be sufficient interest (me, for one).
What a relief to be in the good company of the great Nicholas. I am a great protagonist of adventures; life would be very dull without them and I am lucky enough to go on another one tomorrow, walking and camping in the desert.
Sun, 22-Mar-15 8 Flitwick Circular
Sun, 22-Mar-15 Flitwick Circular, with shortcut
Wed, 30-Jul-14 8 Flitwick Circular