Houghton House, frontal view (II)

SWC Walk 232 Lidlington to Flitwick

14-Nov-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Cooper's Hill Nature Reserve (III)

SWC Walk 232 Lidlington to Flitwick

14-Nov-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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War Memorial near Cooper's Hill, Ampthill (II)

SWC Walk 232 Lidlington to Flitwick

14-Nov-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Ailesbury Mausoleum & Crypt, Maulden (I)

SWC Walk 232 Lidlington to Flitwick

14-Nov-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Path through Flitwick Moor

SWC Walk 232 Lidlington to Flitwick

14-Nov-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Undulating Route up to the Greensand Ridge

SWC Walk 232 Lidlington to Flitwick

14-Nov-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Undulating Route up to the Greensand Ridge (II)

SWC Walk 232 Lidlington to Flitwick

14-Nov-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Lidlington to Flitwick walk

Marston Vale, the Greensand Ridge, mixed woods and open parkland, heathland, historic Ampthill, ruin of Houghton House, views into Marston Vale, and a narrow path through the heart of Flitwick Moor.

Length 22.1 km (13.7 mi), of which 4.3 km (2.7 mi) on tarmac or concrete. Cumulative ascent/descent:309 and 295 m.
OS Maps OS Landranger Map: 153 (Bedford & Huntingdon) OS Explorer Map: 193 (Luton & Stevenage) Lidlington station, map reference SP 989 391, is 14 km east of Milton Keynes and 62m above sea level. Flitwick station, map reference TL 034 349, is 15 km north of Luton and 79m above sea level. Both are in Central Bedfordshire.
Toughness 5 out of 10
Walk Notes This Central Bedfordshire walk starts in Marston Vale with an undulating ascent up the (Bedfordshire) Greensand Ridge, mainly through mixed woods. It then follows the waymarked Greensand Ridge Walk to open parkland in Ampthill, now with impressive views down into the Vale. Bedfordshire’s largest remaining heathland at Cooper’s Hill is passed through en route to Ampthill’s delightful historic centre. From there it’s back into the park and on to the picturesque ruin of Houghton House, again with commanding views into Marston Vale. After a stretch through ancient King’s Wood the walk leads to Maulden, at times with panoramic views south to the Chiltern Hills, before finally descending from the Greensand Ridge.
The route to Flitwick is then entirely flat and leads through a couple of moors, including a captivating stretch along a narrow path through the very heart of Flitwick Moor, one of the most important wetland sites in the south east of England.
Transport Lidlington station is on the (Mon-Sat only) Marston Vale Line, requiring a change from either the West Coast Main Line at Bletchley, or from the Midland Mainline/Thameslink line at Bedford. Flitwick station is on the Thameslink line. Journey times are from 67 to 83 mins from St. Pancras or Euston. The return from Flitwick to St. Pancras takes about 50 mins. Buy a Lidlington return (any route) ticket. Note that the fastest Bedford services from St. Pancras are usually East Midlands trains departing form the upper level platforms, and that Zone 6-extensions are not valid on those trains.
Walk Options

Three shortcuts are possible, although they cut out some of the best parts of the walk.

  • SC I cuts 2.8 km, 49m ascent (and Cooper’s Hill Heathland) pre-lunch in Ampthill (lunch is in Maulden);
  • SC II cuts 680m, 17m ascent and a visit to the picturesque ruin of Houghton House;
  • SC III cuts 1.1 km and 24m ascent through King’s Wood.

    Taking any combination of shortcuts involving SC I reduces the rating to 3/10.
    Taking any combination of shortcuts excluding SC I reduces the rating to 4/10.

    Frequent buses leave Ampthill from near the recommended lunch pubs to either Flitwick or Harlington stations. Some services also stop in Maulden outside The White Hart.

  • Lunch and Tea

    Plenty of lunch options in Ampthill or Maulden. See the pdf for details.
    Plenty of tea options in Maulden or Flitwick. See the pdf for details.

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    Start MK43 9NR Map Directions Return to the start:

    Finish MK45 1AJ Map Directions Travel to the start:

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    Help

    National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234

    Version

    Mar-20 Thomas G

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    Walk Directions  

    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