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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

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Sunday, 9 October 2016

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)

1 comment:

PeteB said...

n=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.