The Linslade Loop


Introduction


This is a pleasant circular walk which for some of the time takes you along the Grand Union Canal and River Ouzel to the south of Leighton Buzzard.


How To Get There By Passenger Transport

BY BUS Telephone Bedfordshire Bus Information Line : 01234 228337, 8.30am 5pm open 5 days a week or Travel Line 0870 6082608.
BY TRAIN For timetable information, please telephone National Rail Enquiries 08457 484950. Click here for the National Rail Enquiries website


How To Get There By Car

Leighton Buzzard lies to the north of the A505, about 8 miles to the west of Dunstable. Linslade is immediately to the west of Leighton Buzzard.
Parking is available at the Memorial Park in Mentmore Road.


Start/Finish Point

This circular route starts at the Mentmore Road Playing Fields.


Access and General Information

Length: 4 miles (7.2km)
Time
Access Information:
Surface Types: You will walk across surface types ranging from hard and firm with no stones larger than 5mm, to hard and firm with no stones greater than 10mm, to hard and firm with some loose, variable sized stones, to grass or uncultivated earth paths with and without ruts and mud, to cultivated ground (farmland).
Linear Gradient: There are linear gradients steeper than 1:6, of between 1:6-1?9, between 1:10-1:13, betwen 1:14-1:17 and 1:18 or less. The gradients of steeper than 1:10 are generally less than 10m long. There is one short steep bank of greater than 1:6 up to the large field before the bypass.
Cross Falls: There are sections with cross falls of 1:9 or steeper, of between 1:10-1:15, between 1:16-1:20, between 1:21-1:25 and of 1:26 or less. The sections of greater than 1:10 are generally no longer than 10m in length. There is a continuous cross fall of 1:9 and steeper for 175m on the cultivated path across the large field before the bypass.
Width Restriction: There is a width restricition of 770mm on the bridge across the river after leaving the canal.
Steps: There are 27 steps on the ramps at the bridge over the canal, 5 steps of the bridge across the river and 9 steps on the bank leaving the bypass. There is a maximum step height of 260mm.
Barriers: There are 2 kissing gates with a restriction of less than 1000mm, 2 one-step stiles, 1 two-step stile, 3 one-way opening gate with a width greater than 750mm and 1 staggered barrier with a minimum restriction greater than 950mm.
Refreshments: All facilities are available in Leighton Buzzard.
Public Toilets: None recorded.
Picnic Tables: There is one picnic table at the children's play area near to the start of the walk.
Seats: There are seats in the memorial gardens, at the recreation ground and the children's play area, all close to the start of the walk. There is one seat where the disused rail track crosses the canal.


Route Description

Walk away from Mentmore Road past the pavilion and along the playing field boundary, passing the children's play area on your left. Go through the gate and cross the canal footbridge. With the canal on the right, walk along the towpath, away from the town. Continue along the canal, under the bypass, walking between the canal and the river, and past Grove Lock.

Leave the canal by crossing a yellow waymarked stile in the hedge (it is just after the canal sign Braunston 48 miles and about 100 yards before the bridge at Church Lock). If you prefer a break at this point you can sit comfortably at Church Lock.

Cross the stile and bearing slightly to the left, walk over the field and cross the river by the footbridge. Turn left and follow the river for about 400 yards. Cross the field diagonally to the hedge boundary. You are now half way round the walk.

A black waymark in a hedge gap on the right leads over a stile into a large field. Walk right for about 20 yards, but if the footpath across the field is not marked, turn left and walk at 12 o'clock across the field towards the pylons and the boundary fence. The quarry works should be on your right and about 400 yards away. At the boundary fence, a black way-mark shows right along the green track and across a stile onto the bypass.

Cross the bypass with care, then cross straight over a stile and after 20 yards turn right. Go along a farm track with a car depot on the left. Turn left at Grovebury Farm and continue down to Grovebury Road. Cross the road and turn right. Continue for 200 yards to Grundfos Pumps. Immediately after Grundfos Pumps turn left along a disused railway track, into Mentmore Gardens which leads back to Mentmore Road. Turn right and after about 300 yards you will be back at the car park.


Acknowledgements

This is one of a series of walks produced by the Leighton Buzzard Group of the Ramblers' Association.