SWC Walk 232 – Lidlington to Flitwick
Length: 22.0 km (13.7 mi) [shortcuts possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent: 350 m; Net Walking Time: ca. 5 hours
Toughness: 6 out of 10
Take the 09.13 London Midland train from London Euston to Birmingham New Street (change at Bletchley: arrives 09.49, departs 10.05), arriving in Lidlington 10.26.
It is also possible to reach the connection in Bletchley from South and West London on the following service:
Clapham Junction 08.39, Shepherd’s Bush 08.53, Wembley Central 09.07, Harrow & W’stone 09.12, Watford Junction 09.19, arriving in Bletchley 09.54
Buy a Lidlington return (any route) ticket, as the return from Flitwick is with a Thameslink service to St. Pancras (and stations to East Croydon, connect at Blackfriars for stations to Sevenoaks). Return trains: XX.04, XX.20, XX.34 and XX.50 hours (47 or 51 minutes journey time to St. Pancras).
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
, with some impressive views down into the Vale. Bedfordshire’s largest remaining heathland
is passed through en-route to lunch in 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.
For walk directions
, height profile
and gpx/kml files
Three shortcuts are possible, although they cut out some of the best parts of the walk:
SC I cuts 2.8 km (and Cooper’s Hill Heathland) in Ampthill; SC II cuts 680m and the visit to Houghton House; SC III cuts 1.1 km through King’s Wood.