Thursday, June 13, 2024

Thursday13th June Great Linford walk led by Tony R

16 walkers met at the Stonepit Field car park in Milton Keynes to start the walk at 10.15. We walked across Stonepit Field to join the Swan's Way, which was the old railway track from Newport Pagnell to Wolverton. We walked past an old station with its raised platform to reach Grafton Street. Here we turned left and left again to reach Wolverton Windmill where we had a water stop and many removed their outer layer.

The group at Wolverton Windmill

We left the windmill and crossed the Grand Union canal by means of the Millennium Bridge. To the left we could see the canal crossing Grafton Street by means of the famous aqueduct however we followed the canal in the opposite direction. We walked along the canal towpath for about 3/4 of a mile. We then left the towpath and turned into Joan's Piece, an area of woodland recently acquired by the Park's Trust.
After about 600 yards we left Joan's Piece to rejoin the canal towpath, but almost immediately left it through a gate into Stanton Low Park. We followed the path cut through the grass to the ruins of St Peter's church where we stopped for a coffee break.

In the ruins of St Peter's church

We left the church and continued to walk through the park until we reached the surfaced track which we crossed to lead  back to the canal. We rejoined the towpath for just over a mile passing many parked narrow boats, some being worked on until we reached a footbridge near the Gifford Park pub. We crossed the footbridge to bring us into another meadow with cut paths. We followed the signpost to Great Linford to reach the Marsh Drive which we crossed to enter into Great Linford Manor park. We saw the giant horseshoes before stopping at the wooden sheep.

The walkers and the sheep.
We then walked down to the ponds where we found benches to have our picnic. Several mallards visited in the hope of titbits, but were sadly disappointed. On the other side of the ponds we saw several vehicles drive into the park to help the setting up of a food festival to be held that evening. Unfortunately we had to depart to make our way past St Andrew's church and the "quarry" back to the canal and hence the car park, passing the half stone circle on the way. Everyone said how much they enjoyed the walk as it was a new area to most of them. The distance was measured as just over 6 miles with no mud and no stiles. Thanks to Ruth for helping me reccy the walk. Tony R.

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