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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, 9 January 2016

Saturday Third Walk

SWC Walk 230: Harlington to Flitwick (Harlington Circular Option) – A Bedfordshire exploration of the Sundon Hills, the Sharpenhoe Clappers and a Neolithic hill fort with a hill top lunch

Length:  10.7 miles

Difficulty:  4 out of 10

Train:  Take the 9:38 Thameslink Bedford train from London Blackfriars, arriving in Harlington at 10:33.  Return trains are frequent – the most suitable options are at 17:08; 17:24; 17:38; 17:54; 18:08; 18:24; 18:38; 18:54; 19:08; 19:24; 19:54; 20:24; 20:54; 21:24 and 21:54 (there are some later options as well).  Buy a day return to Harlington.

This walk explores some of the northern Chiltern hills in Bedfordshire.  The main attractions are the Sundon Hills (steep rolling downlands with fantastic views of the surrounding plain), the Greensand Ridge and the steep chalk escarpment of the Sharpenhoe Clappers.  The hope being that this combination of features may not be too muddy....  It also features one of the largest Neolithic hill fort sites in the Southeast before a late lunch in a quiet hill top village. After lunch, it is a short and more relaxed route across the plains back to Harlington.   More information on the walk and the instructions can be found here

The recommended lunch pub is the Cross Keys (01525 712 442) in Pulloxhill (about 7.5 miles into the walk).  A booking for 8 has been made at 1:30 – please adjust as appropriate, if need be.  Tea and other restorative beverages and snacks can be had in Harlington at the end of the walk – some recommendations are the Carpenters Arms and the Old Sun (both on Sundon Road).

Enjoy the walk!


Walker said...

9.48 St Pancras

Walker said...

n=11 on this walk, including one who got a slightly later train and caught up with us at lunch. Weather w=cloud-with-some-sun-and-rain-only-at-end - ie much better than forecast. Mud no more than might be expected on any walk - slippery in places but not squelchy.

This was a very pleasant walk, particularly along the ridge in the morning, which had excellent views and ended in the very atmospheric Sharpenhoe Hill Fort. Descending from it one half expected the lunch pub to materialise, but in fact it was quite a way across the valley to another low ridge before we had that pleasure. During this section, to everyone's great surprise, the sun came out for quite a time, and it was perhaps luxuriating its unaccustomed rays that made us miss a [!] in the directions, occasioning a backtrack of some several hundred metres. There was then something of a mad dash to get to the pub before it stopped serving food at 2pm (a deadline strictly observed: our later train person was refused food at 2.10pm)

After lunch some of us did a variant whereby we stayed on the main walk route (nice views and nice road walking) and then joined the alternative route to Harlington at a later stage. Only now, as darkness fell, did the rain start for about the last mile or so to the very cosy tea pub (which did nice puddings).