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This Week's Walks - Archive

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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, 27 September 2015

Sunday walk 2 The northern Chilterns - Pilgrim Country

Harlington Circular SWC walk 230
17.3 km 10.7 miles. Toughness 4/10
Can be lengthened to 15.2 miles, toughness 6/10, by finishing in Flitwick.

Dust off your blunt pointy hat with the big buckle and come visit the landscape of Pilgrims Progress. The author was a native of Bedfordshire and parts of this walk follow the John Bunyan Trail across the Sundon Hills and the wonderfully named Sharpenhoe Clappers. The “Delectable Mountains” were inspired by these hills, visible from his gaol cell when he was writing.
After the celestial splendour of Pulloxhill, your alternative ending returns you to the temptations of Harlington. On the way, you  pass Bunyan’s Oak, where he used to preach, and where he was arrested.
Of course, pilgrims, there’s nothing to stop those of sterner stuff doing the long main walk to Flitwick - and those of slightly softer stuff shortening that to 13.8, 13.3 or 11.9 miles.
As far as I know, all options avoid the Slough of Despond.

Trains Get the Thameslink (Bedford direction) from Blackfriars at 9:24 or St Pancras at 9:34. (This train stops at a number of stations on its way through London including East Croydon 8:56, Kentish Town 9:38 West Hampstead  9:42). Arrives Harlington at 10:32.
4 trains an hour return to London.
From Harlington; xx:02, xx: 18, xx:32, xx: 48.
From Flitwick; xx:14, xx:28, xx: 44, xx: 58. (Bold trains go further south, through East Croydon.)
A return to Harlington will do for the circular but a return to Flitwick, the further station, costs no more and covers both endings.
The circular and some (but not all) main walk options take you to The Cross Keys, Pulloxhill, (01525 712 442).
Two later pubs in Westoning are useful only to the main walk, particularly if taking shortcut 1.(see notes)
Harlington has two pubs: The Carpenters Arms (01525 872 384) and The Old Sun (01525 877 330)
Flitwick offers plenty of options for any taking the main walk, and there is an earlier recommended stop in Steppingley (see notes)
Walk Directions here
The circular uses the “alternative ending in Harlington”


Thomas G said...

n=2 w=sunny_initially_then_with_some_clouds
2 walkers off a later train, as the posted one was missed. And as we didn't encounter any other SWC folk at the lunch pub, 2 is probably the grand total for this walk. We waked the full walk ending in Flitwick.
A fine day for this walk with plenty of far views off the hills into the Bedfordshire plain all morning, with some acceptable fare at The Cross Keys in Pulloxhill and later a very good olive oil tart and a bevvie at The French Horn in Steppingley rounding off a less enterprising but very relaxing afternoon.

Thomas G said...

n=4 I've learned today, there were 2 further walkers, off the posted train, but as they were only equipped with an OS map (no printed directions, no route map, no gpx) all they did was go straight to Pulloxhill for lunch, w/o going up Sundon Hills or Sharpenhoe Clappers...and then back the same way.