Side Valley in Barton Hills

Side Valley in Barton Hills

SWC Walk 229 Leagrave to Harlington

12-Oct-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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The route up Warden Hill

The route up Warden Hill

SWC Walk 229 Leagrave to Harlington

12-Oct-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Galley Hill, from Warden Hill (II)

Galley Hill, from Warden Hill (II)

SWC Walk 229 Leagrave to Harlington

12-Oct-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Serrated Down, Barton Hills

Serrated Down, Barton Hills

SWC Walk 229 Leagrave to Harlington

12-Oct-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Sharpenhoe Iron Age Hillfort Site, from near Harlington

Sharpenhoe Iron Age Hillfort Site, from near Harlington

SWC Walk 229 Leagrave to Harlington

12-Oct-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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The Lea, close to its source

The Lea, close to its source

SWC Walk 229 Leagrave to Harlington

12-Oct-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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The Lea, in Limbury Meads

The Lea, in Limbury Meads

SWC Walk 229 Leagrave to Harlington

12-Oct-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Leagrave to Harlington walk

Meadows, solitary North Chiltern hills, ancient woodlands, steep chalk escarpments, 2 Neolithic hill forts, Barton Hills (chalk downs), and the hill top village of Harlington.

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
Sat, 11-Feb-17 10

Saturday Walk - Leagrave to Harlington

SWC Walk 229 - Leagrave to Harlington
14.4 miles/23.1km

An exploration of the northern end of the Chilterns - chalk downs, ancient hill forts, woodlands and meadows.

You can cut this walk to 10.5 miles by taking a bus from Barton-le-Clay to Luton, the service runs roughly every hour.

Trains: Take the 9:24 Bedford service from London Blackfriars (9:34 St Pancras), arriving at Leagrave at 10:14. There are 4 trains an hour back from Harlington (xx08, xx24, xx38, xx54). Buy a return ticket to Harlington (Beds).

Lunch: The village of Hexton is 6.3 miles/10.1km into the walk - The Raven of Hexton (01582 881209) is the village pub, and The Lavender Tea Room also serves light lunches. After 10.5 miles or so you will reach Barton-le-Clay, a much larger place with a range of eating options.

Harlington has two traditional old pubs on Sundon Road - The Carpenters Arms and The Old Sun.

Click here for full walk details.

T=swc.229
Is anyone going on this walk tomorrow?
sure. barton hills: not to be missed. best downs north of the river
Absolutely glorious walk and views with a flutter of snow dusting the hills till lunch.
...so it was, wasn't it?...
8 (incl. 1 first timer) got off the posted train in snow flurries and temperatures just above zero. We quickly embarked on the urban bits to get out of Leagrave (=Luton North) and then up the first ascent of the day: Warden Hill, then on to Galley Hill. The pace was good, despite the snowy surface, and we reached Hexton just after noon, having just before been caught by 1 walker off a later train (deliberately chosen as it provided him with a better connection from his SE London home).
After a quick lunch at the ever efficient Raven, on we marched along grassy field boundaries to the star of the show: Barton Hills, truely stunning downs with a very steep and slippery ascent (by now temps had risen enough to turn any soil into gooey mud), its curving hillocks and great views from the top, with the highlight being as always the springs gushing out of the chalky hill flank.
Onwards through Barton le Clay, where we were all surprised to bump into walker number 10, leaving Pete's Place (a cafe), just as we passed it.
She had taken a train 45 minutes earlier, cheekily taken a taxi to get past the urban bits and then extended the walk to Pegsdon Hills (2nd best downs north of the river). The late starter had left us by then to pursue a different route from Barton Hills via Sharpenhoe Clappers, seeing that he "doesn't come out walking this far north very often, so might as well do two walks in one outing".
Fair enough. We met him again in the pub in Harlington.
A pleasant tea and cake stop was had at the cringe worthy assortment of bric a brac stores that is The Olde Watermill.
The rest of the route was a bit dreary today, admittedly, as the warmer temps meant that all the field boundaries were very muddy indeed. And that's what the rest of the route from Barton onwards is, basically: field boundaries (plus one large arable field, cue massive mud agglomerations on boots).
3 off to the pub, the rest straight to the station.
Sun, 13-Nov-16 11

Sunday Walk 1 – Views from the North Chiltern hills

Extra Walk 229 – Leagrave to Harlington (with Shortcut I)
Length: 17.3 km (10.7 miles). Toughness: 4/10

10:08 Bedford train from St Pancras (Kentish Town 10:12, West Hampstead Thameslink 10:17, etc), arriving Leagrave at 11:02. Buy a return to Harlington.

South Londoners can pick up this Thameslink train at East Croydon (09:34), Blackfriars (09:58), etc.

Trains back from Harlington (one stop further out on the same line) are half-hourly, at 20 & 50 minutes past.

When this walk was last posted on a Saturday a few off us spotted the magic word ‘shortcut’, caught a later train and enjoyed a leisurely walk while the main group were whizzing round the full course. Although apparently missing “the best part of the walk” (the Barton Hills) I wasn't disappointed with the splendid views which this variation offers, along the delightfully-named Sharpenhoe Clappers. I remember a good-value lunch pub in Streatley (after 9 km) and another nice pub in Harlington for refreshments at the end.

With sunset at 4:15pm there won't be enough time to do the full 23 km walk in daylight (unless you catch an earlier train). However, if you forget to break off from the main walk after 6 km then Shortcut II would come to your rescue later on.

You'll need to print the walk directions from this pdf document. T=swc.229.a
Nine off the train and we picked up another two who had caught different trains near the end so 11 in all. Weather sunny.
Nice walk with friendly lunch pub but the best is after lunch with excellent views from the Clappers. Route finding in the woods after lunch can be tricky with drifts of leaves often obscuring the paths before you tackle a steep stepped descent. (Perhaps a few too many route options given here?) Five of us had a drink in the excellent pub near the station before enjoying the almost "supermoon" in the cloudless sky. We met up with those who had gone for an earlier train after theirs had been taken out of service.
Sat, 18-Apr-15 9 Leagrave to Harlington
Sat, 24-May-14 4 Leagrave to Harlington