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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.

Blog Archive

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Saturday Walk - Leagrave to Harlington

SWC Walk 229 - Leagrave to Harlington
14.4 miles/23.1km

An exploration of the northern end of the Chilterns - chalk downs, ancient hill forts, woodlands and meadows.

You can cut this walk to 10.5 miles by taking a bus from Barton-le-Clay to Luton, the service runs roughly every hour.

Trains:  Take the 9:24 Bedford service from London Blackfriars (9:34 St Pancras), arriving at Leagrave at 10:14.  There are 4 trains an hour back from Harlington (xx08, xx24, xx38, xx54).  Buy a return ticket to Harlington (Beds).

Lunch:  The village of Hexton is 6.3 miles/10.1km into the walk - The Raven of Hexton (01582 881209) is the village pub, and The Lavender Tea Room also serves light lunches.  After 10.5 miles or so you will reach Barton-le-Clay, a much larger place with a range of eating options.

Harlington has two traditional old pubs on Sundon Road - The Carpenters Arms and The Old Sun.

Click here for full walk details.

T=swc.229

4 comments:

Peter Gibson said...

Is anyone going on this walk tomorrow?

Thomas G said...

sure. barton hills: not to be missed. best downs north of the river

Pia said...

Absolutely glorious walk and views with a flutter of snow dusting the hills till lunch.

Thomas G said...

...so it was, wasn't it?...
8 (incl. 1 first-timer) got off the posted train in w=snow-flurries and temperatures just above zero. We quickly embarked on the urban bits to get out of Leagrave (=Luton North) and then up the first ascent of the day: Warden Hill, then on to Galley Hill. The pace was good, despite the snowy surface, and we reached Hexton just after noon, having just before been caught by 1 walker off a later train (deliberately chosen as it provided him with a better connection from his SE London home).
After a quick lunch at the ever efficient Raven, on we marched along grassy field boundaries to the star of the show: Barton Hills, truely stunning downs with a very steep and slippery ascent (by now temps had risen enough to turn any soil into gooey mud), its curving hillocks and great views from the top, with the highlight being - as always - the springs gushing out of the chalky hill flank.
Onwards through Barton-le-Clay, where we were all surprised to bump into walker number n=10, leaving Pete's Place (a cafe), just as we passed it.
She had taken a train 45 minutes earlier, cheekily taken a taxi to get past the urban bits and then extended the walk to Pegsdon Hills (2nd best downs north of the river). The late starter had left us by then to pursue a different route from Barton Hills via Sharpenhoe Clappers, seeing that he "doesn't come out walking this far north very often, so might as well do two walks in one outing".
Fair enough. We met him again in the pub in Harlington.
A pleasant tea and cake-stop was had at the cringe-worthy assortment of bric-a-brac stores that is The Olde Watermill.
The rest of the route was a bit dreary today, admittedly, as the warmer temps meant that all the field boundaries were very muddy indeed. And that's what the rest of the route from Barton onwards is, basically: field boundaries (plus one large arable field, cue massive mud agglomerations on boots).
3 off to the pub, the rest straight to the station.