Sundon Hills, the Sharpenhoe Clappers, a Neolithic hill fort, hill top lunch pub in Pulloxhill, and Flitwick ancient woodland.
|Length||24.5 km (15.2 mi), of which 6.4 km (4.0 mi) on tarmac or concrete. Cumulative ascent/descent: 366 and 379 m. For a shorter walk, see the walk directions.|
|OS Maps||OS Landranger Map: 153 (Bedford & Huntingdon) and 166 (Luton & Hertford) OS Explorer Map: 193 (Luton & Stevenage). Harlington station, map reference TL 034 303, is 11 km north of Luton and 92 m above sea level, Flitwick station, map reference TL 034 349, is 5 km north of Harlington and 79 m above sea level. Both are in Central Bedfordshire.|
|Toughness||5 out of 10|
|Walk Notes||The central attraction of this North Chiltern walk in Central Bedfordshire are the Sundon Hills, steep rolling downlands affording fantastic views over the surrounding plain, out north to the Greensand Ridge, and east to the classic steep chalk escarpment of Sharpenhoe Clappers, which is passed through as well. At Sharpenhoe one of the largest Neolithic hill fort sites in the South East is walked through, with good views east to Barton Hills, followed by a steep descent into the plain below. Further fine views of Pegsdon Hills further east along the Chilterns follow from the route through rolling grassy fields to the quiet hill top lunch destination of Pulloxhill. The afternoon route is less energetic, but not without interest, and leads through the gently rolling plain to the finish through ancient Flitwick Wood into the centre of Flitwick.|
|Transport||Harlington and Flitwick stations are on the Thameslink line to Bedford, stopping at East Croydon, Elephant & Castle (or London Bridge), Blackfriars, City Thameslink, Farringdon, St. Pancras International and West Hampstead Thameslink. Journey times from St. Pancras to Harlington are from 42 minutes Mon-Fri (four trains per hour), 44 minutes Sundays (half-hourly) and from 48 mins on Sundays.
Flitwick is one stop further along the line and journey times from there are from 48 minutes Mon-Fri (4 trains per hour) and 49 to 51 minutes weekends (half-hourly). Buy a return ticket to Flitwick.
Saturday Walkers’ Club: Take the train closest to 9.30 hours.
|Walk Options||Two Shortcuts are possible, the one pre-lunch cuts 3.1 km and 58m of ascent/descent, the one post-lunch cuts 2.2 km and 25m of ascent/descent. Using either Shortcut reduces the rating to 4/10, using both gives a rating of 3/10.
An Alternate Ending at Harlington saves 7.3 km (4.5 mi) and 46m/59m of ascent/descent respectively and makes for a circular walk of 17.3 km (10.7 mi) length, again with a 3/10 rating.
Bus 200 (Biggleswade – Flitwick) stops at Pulloxhill, the lunch destination (Mon-Sat only, about every two hours, last bus early afternoon).
Bus 42 (Bedford – Dunstable) stops at Westoning, the late lunch destination, and connects to Flitwick or Harlington stations (Mon-Sat only, regularly, last bus on Sat: early afternoon).
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Out (not a train station)
Back (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from wwww.walkingclub.org.uk