Saturday, October 29, 2022

Saturday 29th October. St Katherine's Way, 4 miles, led by Beryl and Sharon

 This walk follows half of the St Katherine's way, starting near Steppingly. We walked around the newly planted woods towards Centre Parks, where we had a detour to watch the variety of breeds, sizes, builds and coats at the micro-pig farm. We were just there at the right time - food! and we enjoyed watching the excited grunts and squeals as they trotted through the mud for their pig nuts. 


Next, a conveniently placed log was turned into coffee break part one, 


then we walked to to Steppingly where to our delight, we found the church open for a 'holy halloween', serving coffee, savoury snacks and cake. They are raising money for a toilet. Sadly, many of us had not brought our money with us, but those that had enjoyed their early lunch, and three had a tower tour: a legacy gave money to restore the six bells, which had been silent for at least 60 years, to full circle ringing.  The ringing chamber, shiny new bells and the tower rood were greatly admired. 


Finally, the walk ended by a stroll through Flitwick Wood. 

The church is holding another open coffee morning in December and it is planned to visit this for a planned lunch stop, incorporating both a longer yomp to do the whole 8 miles, and a shorter 4 mile stroll, timed to arrive at the church at lunch time. Look out for the December programme.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Cranfield, 5 miles, 6 ramblers led by John

This was a lovely change from our usual areas.  The walking from Cranfield to Bourne End was full of interest, passing footpaths through grass-land, a hundred acre wood and fields. John has lived in Cranfield all his life and made this a really interesting walk with his local knowledge. 


Once at Bourne End John told us about the history of some of the cottages. One dated back to 1600’s and he knew the owner, a 94 year old lady. The garden was lovely with a river and a bridge.  Another of interest was an old rambling building that was having an extension. Or had it been damaged by a fallen tree? It was hard to know.  Another property was owned by a 60 year old woman that still did all her own drilling, sowing and harvesting of her fields.
But the most fascinating was the manor house.  This was once owned by Split Waterman, the world speedway champion rider.  He was rather wealthy but not all his money came from motor bike riding! In 1965 there was a gold bullion robbery at a London bank and the ingots disappeared. The remains were found at the Manor House: Waterman had been melting them down on a bonfire in the spare land in front of an outbuilding, packing the gold into the chassis of his Triumph Herald and taking them to Europe! Not all was recovered. 

Later we were treated to some amazing views, 20 miles in each direction. To the East we could see the transmitter on the horizon and the Cardington hanger: to the North the wind turbines at Stagsden and to the West right over to the transmitter at Potton.
Finally we walked through a farm. There was extensive landscaping going on: a new road, diggers levelling the ground, huge piles of stone, a newly dammed lake. We were even more amazed at the cleanliness of the site: brand new silos for wheat which we were told went to make Weetabix, tanks of fertiliser, clean farm machinery in immaculate sheds, clean hardstanding without a trace of mud. John told us that he is friends with the farmer and has known him since he was a boy.  We do hope for some more walks in this area in future.


Sunday, October 23, 2022

22nd October 2022 Cople 7.5 Miles

This walk had 5 walkers
After two days of rain, thunder and lightening I expected plenty of muddy fields but the sun shone and the ploughed fields, which I thought would be dreadful, were not too bad after all.
Our walk started at All Saints Church in Cople, which dates back to 1450.
Eileen, Graeme, Tony Roberts, Tony Price and myself set off in sunshine along Northill Road passing the site of The Old Manor House.
Passing beautiful cottages along Water End Lane before turning off into the country across our first ploughed field, which really wasn’t as bad as I had expected. 

Tony P, Tony R, Sue, Eileen & Graeme
We found a perfect tree trunk for our coffee stop overlooking the vale to Cardington Hangers.

Three wise men & two lovely ladies

Tony P & Graeme looking at the dome, actually a reservoir cover

Following our tree lined path until we turned right onto Northill Road past Sheerhatch Wood then stopping to take in the views across the vale.
We came to a dome on Northill Road protected by cameras and well fenced off. Ideas please! Observation Dome. Satellite observatory. I found it clearly on Google maps.
At Oak farm we turned off onto a tree lined bridleway for nearly a mile. Crunching over the autumn leaves and stopping to sit on a tree trunk to take in the views.

Tony R and Graeme taking in the world, in the sunshine, under a beautiful tree.
Eventually walking over ploughed fields we found two large concrete blocks where we sat in the sunshine having our lunch. 
Walking on through an avenue of trees where we saw several bird boxes and newly planted trees leading onto a gated meadow, either side of which the autumn colour of leaves on the trees and bushes was beautiful. The meadow is full of cowslips in spring. Passing through a gate to find the pond to our left was looking so much better after all the rain compared to when we did our reccy.
Passing Wood End Farm, dating back 1850s, set in beautiful grounds with a moat and fantastic views. We then came through a gate onto Water End Lane, with hedges either side back into Cople. - Sue

Track of walk, walked in clockwise direction.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Thursday 20th October - Turvey walk led by Brenda

This 7 mile walk had 7 walkers
Meeting at Turvey, on what turned out to be the wettest day of the year so far, we made our way through the village and out into the fields and tracks, joining the north Beds heritage trail, before turning off towards Great Oaks Wood, where a break was taken under the trees, trying to shelter from the relentless rainfall.

Tony P, Sue, Cathy, Kate, Tounn, Neal & Brenda in the rain.
Walking through New Barns farm, we made our way onto Carlton and Emmaus village, where we had intended to stop for lunch, but as we were all soaked through we decided on a quick stop for refreshments, before continuing our way onto the Ouse valley way and heading back towards the end of the walk in Turvey.

Track of walk, walked in anti-clockwise direction

Monday, October 17, 2022

Saturday 15th October Stagsden walk led by Lynn

This walk had only 4 walkers
We started from Stagsden Church and walked through what looked like someone's front garden to find a footpath.across a field. We walked past and through several woods all displaying wonderful autumnal colours where we saw a spindle tree. 

The spindle tree whose fruits were formally used to flavor beer before the advent of hops
We carried on to cross the Northampton Road. Another field followed before some road walking through Bromham where we encountered a strange object at the end of a hedge.
The face in the hedge.

We left the road to enter Bromham Park and hence found our way to Bromham Mill where we had refreshments.

Bromham Mill

We left the mill, crossed the main road & followed the John Bunyan trail alongside Hanger Wood to the Bedfordshire golf course which we crossed in order to make our way back to Stagsden Church.
An enjoyable day well led by Lynn who disappeared into the farm shop at the end of the walk.

Track of walk, walked in clockwise direction.


Thursday 13th October Westoning walk led by Maureen & Malcolm

This 5 mile walk had 12 walkers
Walking through the village we made our way onto  the Sampshill Rd that led us up to Upper Sampshill farm,  Passing through the farm we carried on and through Portobello farm,
Unfortunately a slight deviation to our intended route had to be taken, when we came across a stubborn bullock blocking our path.
Safely on the other side of the hedge, we stopped for a well deserved coffee break

Carrying on towards Pulloxhill hill, we encountered feeding time for the sheep in the fields as we passed through.  Then over some recently lightly ploughed fields we arrived at the water tower.

Some road walking led us down towards and past Higham Bury, where we encountered a group of walkers from Crouch End, part of the U3A, before rejoining the Sampshill Rd and making our way back to Westoning for the end of a throughly enjoyable walk, that started out on a cold misty morning and ended in a lovely sunny day.

Track of walk, walked in anti-clockwise direction.

Monday, October 10, 2022

Thursday 6th October. Kensworth walk led by Tony Price

This 7 mile walk had 7 walkers
Leaving the gateway centre we joined the track through the woods next to the golf club, leading us round towards the working quarry with good views over Blow’s Downs

Tony P, Neil, Sue, Tony R, Cathy with Chris & Torunn on the bench
Walking onto Kensworth church where we stopped for our coffee break in the morning sunshine.
It was then off through the fields up to the village making our way towards the sawmill on the outskirts of the village.
Passing on the paths around Holywell, we carried on for a well deserved picnic stop at the church in Whipsnade.

Chris, Sue, Tony P, Cathy, Tony R & Torunn
 Walking past the Whipsnade tree cathedral we joined the sunken path that led us up to Bison hill, with great views over the vale of Alyesbury in front of us.

Tony P, Cathy, Sue, Torunn, Chris, Tony R & Neil
Continuing along the top of the downs, we made our way back to the gateway visitor centre and the end of a very enjoyable walk, on a nice bright sunny but at times windy day.

Track of walk, walked in clockwise direction.