Walks around Caddington


Introduction

These two walks allow you to enjoy the Chiltern countryside around Caddington. They take you across chalk downland to rolling countryside and ancient landscapes.


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
Caddington is close to the south west of Luton, off of Junction 10 of the M1.
Parking is available in Caddington mainly on streets close to the beginning of the walks.


Start/Finish Point
Both walks start from points near to All Saints Church, Caddington


Access and General Information
Length: The longest walk is 5˝ miles (9 km)
Time: 3 hours

Access Information:
Pending Update


Route Description

Walk 1 - BLOWS DOWN WALK
Length – 5˝ miles (9km)

3 hour gentle pace. Some short steep sections. Walk west on the Dunstable Road for about 300m from Caddington Green. Cross the road and take the footpath which runs northward alongside the allotments.

Walk 2 - CHAUL END WALK
Length – 6km

2 hour gentle walk. Some gentle climbs. Walk west on the Dunstable Road for just a few metres from the green. Cross the road and take Folly Lane northwards.


Points of Interest

1. BURY FARM
The site of the manor of Caddington dates from at least the 12th century. It had its own chapel, wine press and malt kiln, and was a very substantial farmstead.

2. CULTIVATED TERRACES
Otherwise known as strip lynchets or lince pieces, these earthworks date from about the 13th century. When there was a shortage of land on which to grow crops. The steep slopes were cut into a series of steps, which were then farmed. The remains of such terraces can be seen just north of Chaul End and on the slopes of Blows Down.

3. BLOWS DOWN
Because of its steep slopes, cultivation on the down has never been sustained for long. It is an important remnant of the area’s once extensive downs, a factor in Dunstable’s medieval wealth from the wool trade. Blows Down is now a site of special scientific interest (SSSI), and is home to a wide variety of rare plants and butterflies. It is the combination of constant grazing, poor chalky soil and no chemical additives, that has led to the formation of such a rich turf, look at it closely; you will be amazed at the variety of plants growing there.

4. SKIMPOT QUARRY
In the late 19th century, extensive chalk pits were opened near Skimpot. They were served by a railway siding and principally supplied a limeworks. The quarry closed before the second world war. In summer an abundance of wild flowers such as common spotted orchid, bee orchid and kidney vetch can be found.

5. SHIRE WAY
The footpath between Skimpot and Folly Lane lay, until 1897, along the County Boundary. Before then much of Caddington Parish was in Herts. The track was also known as Stanner’s Lane in the North and Winch Field Lane in the South.

6. COMMON FIELDS
Shire Way ran through North Fields, one of the large medieval open fields in the parish. These fields lay as pasture or arable grazed or cultivated jointly or in “common”. They were enclosed gradually with hedges and ditches from the 15th century, very little signs remain today of their existence.

7. CADDINGTON CHURCH
As in Kensworth, the Dean and Canons owned the church and were rectors of the parish. The present church All Saints was probably built in the 12th century, on the site of an earlier church. The tower and nave roof date from the 15th century.

8. BADGERDELL WOOD
Most of this wood is ancient (having been continuously wooded since 1600). Keep your eyes open in this area; it is very close to Luton, but surprisingly rich in wildlife.


Acknowledgements