Saturday, January 25, 2020

Pulloxhill Walk 25th January 2020 led by Lynn Wright 6.5 miles - 14 walkers

This walk was originally supposed to start from Silsoe, but unfortunately the Star & Garter pub there has closed. Lynn therefore decided to start from the Cross Keys in Pulloxhill. As the pub could only accept our booking if we finished before 2pm we decided to bring the walk start forward by half an hour to leave Toddington at 9 am & 9.30 am from Pulloxhill.
We started off by going through the chuchyard before descending  Rushymeade, an open area of ridge and furrow ancient farming, to cross the Barton Road.
We walked past Hillfoot Farm and some ancient moats before entering Silsoe. Here we past the old lock-up before turning left along the High Street. We stopped at the swings where there are several seats for our coffee break. We then rejoined the High Street which we left to pass Road Farm.

We then turned left in the direction of Wardhedges, but before reaching it we past the Beaumont Tree where a highwayman was impaled by a elm stake which eventually grew into the elm. (see plaque).
We then zigzaged through several fields to reach Sand Road before arriving back at the Cross Keys where 12 of us had lunch. The route can be seen on the map below which we walked in an anti-clockwise direction.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Thursday 23rd January. 5.25 mile circular walk on the lesser known paths of the Rushmere country park.  Led by Ruth. 19 ramblers.

This walk started at Great Brickhill and initially walked along the narrow lane towards Stockgrove, before turning onto a footpath through a few fields.

Some horses were present but gave us no trouble. We reached the quagmire after about a mile, but successfully negociated this, then set off across Rammamere Heath to stop brifly to look at the pipe line for aviation fuel.

We turned into the bridle path through King's Wood, passing some recently copiced small-leaved lime, and through an area of heather restoration, arriving at Stockgrove cafe for refreshments at 11.30am.

After a good break, we walked South through Baker's Wood to pick up the Voles way,, down hill and up hill, eventually coming out at the Giant's Chair. Through the Christmas Tree plantation and a valley back passed the Black pond.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Linda's Walk from Harpenden Station Saturday 18th January 2020   -  6 miles

16 hardy walkers arrived at Harpenden Train Station, some by train & some by car. We even welcomed Margaret, one of our London members to whom we are indebted to for these photos.

Eventually we all left the station and crossed the main road into Rothampstead Park.

We left the main track & walked across several rather damp fields before arriving at the Nickey Line, a disused railway track. Several walkers asked about the origins of the name.
However on investigation no definitive origin could be determined although several suggestions have been made over the years.

Linda gave us a short talk about the walk here.

Part way along the track we stopped for a coffee break before carrying on to a  very busy road junction where several kind motorists stopped to enable us to cross. We then skirted Redbourn before again crossing the road and entering a muddy ploughed field. Eventually we arrived at the edge of a golf course which in turn led to Redbourn Lane & hence back into Harpenden.
Soem of the walkers retired into the Costa Coffee shop whilst others returned to the train station to catch their train home.
A good day was had by all & thanks are due to Linda for organising & leading the walk. Route shown on map, walked in anti-clockwise direction                        

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Circular walk, Central Bedfordshiel Council, Jan 11th

Saturday 11th January Rushmere,   Footpath checking
This was the first of three routes that Central Bedfordshire Council publish as short circular walks, with a sketch map and directions.
18 ramblers met at the parking area at end of the Bridleway , Ruth armed with directions and a sketch map ready to lead the route,  Beryl and Yvonne with notebook and pencil ready to make notes.  It didn’t get off to a good start:  “look out for a footpath to the right and take the footpath”: did they mean the small unmarked path at the start? Probably not, according to the map. Or was it the later clear on with a prominent footpath sign? This seemed the most likely, but then we were not certain which was “cross the track and do not take the track that continues to the right”, Also, “continue into the woodland” was ambiguous as there was really no woodland!  However, there was a clear “keeping fence to the left”  so we confidently set off along a bridle way until we got to the kissing-gate entrance to Rammamere Heath. Here, we were clearly wrong, so after some debate, we retraced our path and this time tried going INTO Rammamere.   Back to the Kissing gate – this wasn’t right either!
By now it was 11am and we had only covered the first two instructions of the twelve on the route! So we set off directly for the Stockgrove café, had our break, then argued about which way to leave the café, many people chipping in. We decided to abandon the route-checking and to return to the cars more directly. That was much easier! We walked along the lake to the Heron Café, and after another short break and a peep at the herons, returned the most direct route passing Stockgrove Park House and we were back to the cars at 12.30.
On reflection,  decided to  delegate the route checking  to a smaller group of four, and to re-think the two future circular walks planned.  Keep an eye on the web-site.
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Saturday, January 4, 2020

2020 New Year’s Day Walk

On the morning of New Year’s Day 27 people, a mixture of Harlington village residents & members of Toddington Rambling Club & some who are both, assembled in the Harlington Village Hall car park for a walk to remove the excesses of the previous evening. We walked across Bury Orchard to Barton Road, crossed the road and carried on to where BW15 (Burrows Lane) descends to Willow Farm. There was some mud on this lane but it was soon left behind without problems. On reaching the Bottoms Rd we turned right and continued along it, sadly passing much fly tipping, until its junction with Sundon Rd. Here we turned left through a kissing gate and followed the path on the old trackway before climbing the steps to the chalk pits. We exited the pits by more steps and here stopped for our refreshment break, with wonderful views across the valley to Sharpenhoe Clappers. Standing here 2 days before I had witnessed a duck shoot being carried out in the wooded area below, near where Woodfield formally stood, this surprised me as I have never seen such activity here before.
Before we moved off Russell gave us an interesting talk about the shell craters in the chalk pit and their role in the second world war together with the locations of the army camps in the vicinity.
We then carried on walking to the edge of Sundon Hills Country Park car park where we crossed the road near 2 kissing gates before entering a sheep field with glorious views over Harlington. At first the sheep appeared to be missing but as we continued we came across them all huddled together in a large bunch. As we approached they slowly walked off wanting to be away from humans. At the end of the field we turned right to enter a wooded area and followed the track downhill to the bottom of the hills. We then walked parallel to the railway for a short distance and noticed the lack of trains on this day. We continued via the rear of Wood Farm to join Sundon Rd & hence walk up the hill to return to the Village Hall car park. The distance we walked in 2.5 hours was just over 4.5 miles.