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.|
Three shortcuts are possible, although they cut out some of the best parts of the walk.
Taking any combination of shortcuts involving SC I reduces the rating to 3/10.
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.
After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
Out (not a train station)
Back (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
Mar-20 Thomas G
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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