Thatched cottage Old Warden

30-May-16 • peter.boon on Flickr

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Northill cottages

Sandy to Biggleswade

09-Oct-16 • moontiger on Flickr

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Manor Cottage

Sandy to Biggleswade Northill

09-Oct-16 • moontiger on Flickr

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Manor Cottage

Sandy to Biggleswade Northill

09-Oct-16 • moontiger on Flickr

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The Crown, Northill

Sandy to Biggleswade

09-Oct-16 • moontiger on Flickr

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Gracey window

Sandy to Biggleswade Church of St Mary the virgin, Northill

09-Oct-16 • moontiger on Flickr

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Pretty stile

Sandy to Biggleswade Church of St Mary the virgin, Northill

09-Oct-16 • moontiger on Flickr

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Sandy to Biggleswade or Circular walk

Greensand Ridge Walk along grassy tracks, woodland trails, and 2 pretty villages with pubs - Northill and Old Warden

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.

Updated: Fri, 07-Dec-18

Date # Post
Wed, 27-Dec-17 8

Wednesday Walk - Sandy to Biggleswade or Circular

Length: 19.6 km (12.2 mi) [26.1/16.3 for the circular walk]
Ascent/Descent: 146/140 m; Net Walking Time: ca. 4 hours [5 ¼ for the circular walk]
Toughness: 3 out of 10
Take the 10.22 train from King’s Cross to Peterborough (Finsbury Park [Victoria and Piccadilly Lines] 10.28, Stevenage 10.47), arrives Sandy 11.08.
Return trains: 15.54, 16.20, 16.54, 17.19, 17.57, 18.32 etc. (from 43 minutes journey time, trains leave Sandy 4 minutes earlier). Buy a Sandy return ticket.

This Bedfordshire walk, although leading through an area of large arable fields, is no slogging through crops or over ploughed land . The walk is mainly flat and before lunch mainly follows the Greensand Ridge Walk. The route is a mix of attractive broad grassy tracks along field edges and woodland trails. Along the way you will see a number of information boards telling you about the animals, trees and plants you may see around you. Binoculars are useful as the area is rich in bird-life and a healthy population of muntjac deer and brown hares. You visit two lovely villages – Northill and Old Warden – which both have excellent pubs. Just after lunch follows a short climb into Warden Warren woods. There are no stiles on the main walk or the long circular walk back to Sandy.
Lunch: The Crown in Northill (5.3 km/3.3 mi) or The Hare and Hounds in Old Warden (12.1 km/7.5 mi, food to 14.30). Tea: Various options, recommended is the Surfin' Cafe .


For walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files click here. t=swc.264
hi,
I have been on a number of these walks with friends before, but haven't joined the SWC group before. I was thinking of joining this walk on the 27th, but would be joining @ Finsbury Park instead of King's X

I was just wondering if anyone else was planning on doing this walk, so I can try and connect on the train
There will be walkers, no doubt.
Weather is looking a tad on the soggy side :/
Id really like to come too so am hoping the rain clears off a bit
the rain's supposed to peter out at the time we're supposed to start walking, i.e.: no excuses!
Hearts leapt with excitement on the train out as somewhere around Welwyn the ground started to have snow cover, apparently thick enough to survive the thaw for a few hours. But somewhere north of Stevenage the white magic disappeared again.
So the 8 walkers (incl. 2 exiles from the Capital Walkers) were left with just some shlush on the ground and more of the stuff still falling. The precipitation did peter out after an hour or so, so the weather can be best described as wet start then dry with a bracing wind. As the write up promises, there are no stiles and only one arable field crossing, but plenty of woods, tree lined tracks and water filled gravel pits with birdlife and a few pretty villages and churches. We had some far views of snow covered hill sides, and late on a snowy field in the middle of a wood.
Lunch we had at the second pub, The Hare and Hounds, and the reviews of the food ranged from 'average' to 2/10 (admittedly the pheasant stood no comparison with last Saturday's offering at The Old Swan, but 2/10 is probably a bit harsh). Anyway, we made it to Biggleswade in time to just miss the 16.20, so settled in for tea at the Surfin Cafe, to catch the 16.54 stopping service.
Sun, 18-Jun-17 2

Beautiful Bedfordshire and the country's poshest bedsit!

Download walk 264 Sandy to Biggleswade

Length 19.5km (12.2m); toughness 4/10;
or complete the loop from Sandy back to Biggleswade for a 26.1km (16.1m) walk ; toughness 5/10
Trains
09.22 London Kings Cross (09.27 Finsbury Park) arriving Sandy 10.16

Return Trains from Biggleswade at xx:20 past the hour. Buy a day return to Sandy.

This stile-free Bedfordshire walk was inspired by the weekly Country diary in the Guardian newspaper where, from time to time, a nature writer, Derek Niemann writes about the flora and fauna around Sandy. Although this is an area of large arable fields there is no slogging through crops or over ploughed land . The walk is mainly flat and before lunch generally follows the Greensand Ridge Walk . The route is a mix of attractive broad grassy tracks along field edges and woodland trails.
You will be too early to eat at The Crown at Northill. (01767 627337) as you will only have done a quarter of the walk when you reach this attractive pub but it still makes a lovely stop for a short break.
Your recommended lunch pub is The Hare and Hounds, Old Warden (01767 627225). When you reach here you will have done over 60% of the walk and so probably in need of refreshments! The pub has an extensive main menu and puddings.
Around 400m before the Hare and Hounds there is the lovely Abbey Church of St Leonards which is a fine spot for a picnic lunch.
After lunch you have the opportunity to visit two Landmark Trust properties which are just off your route. The very posh Queen Anne summerhouse is well worth a look.
See here for further details about the walk and click on the downlad walk tab for full walk directions.
T=3.264
Only 2 for this walk, perhaps because of the very hot sunny day. A long walk with big skies and big fields. Having foundered on this walk before, it was handy that my walking companion was none other than the walk’s author, who kindly guided me most of the way. All I had to do was follow the white hat bobbing in the distance. A bit like GPS only with a real person. I had hoped he’d carry my bag as well but no, apparently that was stretching things too far (not his EXACT words, you understand).
Between us we managed to iron out the vague bit where I had got lost before. And get this – it wasn’t my fault. It WAS vague. But that’s all sorted now.
The village of Northill very pretty – we rested by the duckpond and watched a baby moorhen. Then on to Old Warden . The church there is astounding with ornately carved box pews, paintings, a balcony and other stuff. And a Norman tower. The pub was friendly. Neither of us ate but I partook of the cider, which was deemed to be good. Then, on to Biggleswade and the Surfing Café as recommended by the author.
We got the 16:20 train.

Sun, 09-Oct-16 12

A Bedfordshire ramble

SWC Walk 264 Sandy to Biggleswade
Distance 19.5km (12.2m); toughness 4/10; mainly flat. The walk is stile free.
Trains: London Kings Cross 10.20 (Finsbury Park 10.25) Sandy 11.06
Return trains from Biggleswade at xx:19. Buy a day return to Sandy
This Bedfordshire walk was inspired by the weekly Country diary in the Guardian newspaper where, from time to time, a nature writer, Derek Niemann , writes about the flora and fauna around Sandy. Although this is an area of large arable fields there is no slogging over ploughed land . The walk is mainly flat and before lunch generally follows the Greensand Ridge Walk . The route is a mix of attractive broad grassy tracks along field edges and woodland trails. Just after lunch following a short climb into Warden Warren woods you have the chance to do a couple of short “there and back” detours along permissive paths to see two refurbished Landmark Trust properties; Queen Annes’ Summerhouse and the Keepers Cottage. (The paths to these properties are only open from 1 April to 31 October.) In October the tree colour is particularly vibrant.
Refreshments
The Crown Northill. (01767 627337) You will only have done a quarter of the walk when you reach this attractive pub but it makes a lovely stop. You should reach here about 12.30pm. There is an extensive menu including good vegetarian options. However it will be a long stretch after lunch but you can stop at the next pub for a break and refreshments. There is seating by a pond for picnic lunchers
Hare and Hounds, Old Warden (01767 627225) 8 miles into the walk for a late lunch or a refreshment stop.
For late picnic lunchers the Abbey Church of St Leonards about 500m before the Hare and Hounds is a lovely spot.
The Surfin Café in Biggleswade is a recommended tea stop. Open until 5pm.

Here are full pdf walk instructions and further details about the walk including an option to complete a long circular walk back to Sandy for fast walkers a distance of 26.1km (16.3m)
12 on this walk, including one who first walked with SWC in 1997 and was doing a walk for the first time in a few years. The weather was w= fine and generally sunny with one short shower in the afternoon.
This gentle amble looked lovely in the autumn light and has many fine trees, particularly oaks, which unfortunately were not showing much leaf colour and will now probably not do so until November. Three stopped for lunch in Northill and a couple stopped to visit the Church of St Mary Virgin. The rest of us continued on to Old Warden enjoying the mix of woodland trails and huge open vistas along bone dry paths.
Six of us had sandwiches at the Abbey Church of St Leonard which is well worth a visit as it has some fascinating wooden carvings including a serpent along the back of a seat, something I've never seen before. We stopped at the Hare and Hounds for a warming hot drink and one ate there. After lunch we climbed a hill into Warden Warren and took a permissive path through the wood for a look at the Landmark Trust property, Queen Annes Summerhouse where a couple were in residence.
We continued at a fair pace and reached Biggleswade station to catch the busy 16.19 back to London. (I had just enough time for a quick tea and cake at the Surfin Cafe.)
People were complimentary about the walk but there are a couple of places where the instructions need clarification and will have to be re drafted. I hope no one was inconvenienced by this.
an excellent day out in vibrant company.

Nature Watch: 50 varieties of tree at the Green in Biggleswade. Also spotted; a small muntjac and a common shrew.