Sharpenhoe Clappers and Smithcombe Hills

Sharpenhoe Clappers and Smithcombe Hills

The hill top beech wood on the Clappers is thought to have been an Iron Age Hill fort, and the chalk grasslands on the slopes below are important for many species of butterfly. The area comes alive in the summer with the sound of skylarks.

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

This area lies off Sharpenhoe Road, reached from the village of Streatley on the A6 between Luton and Bedford.
There is a small car park at Sharpenhoe Clappers, on the road between Streatley and Sharpenhoe, signposted from the road.

Access and General Information

Access Information:
Surface Types: You will walk across surfaces ranging from hard and firm with no stones greater than 5mm in size, to grass or uncultivated earth paths without any ruts.
Linear Gradient: This is a hilly area with many gradients ranging from steeper than 1:6 to 1:18 or less.
Cross Falls: Again, there are many crossfalls ranging from 1:9 or steeper, to 1?26 or less.
Width Restriction: There are no restrictions less than 1000mm.
Steps: There are 11 steps on the slope towards the A6 with a maximum step height of 160mm.
Barriers: There are 8 kissing gates with a restriction of less than 1000mm and 7 1-way opening gates with a width of greater than 750mm.
Refreshments: There is a pub, The Lynmore, in the village of Sharpenhoe.
Public Toilets: None recorded.
Picnic Tables: None recorded.
Seats: There is one seat at the site.

Further Information

The hill top beech wood on the Clappers was planted between 1830-1840 on the site of a mediaeval rabbit warren once thought to have been an Iron Age Hill Fort and designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

The SSSI chalk grassland on the slopes is important for many species of butterfly including the Chalkhill Blue.

The sheep grazed open grassland areas on Sharpenhoe Hill come alive in the summer with the sound of skylarks and are also open to walkers.


The National Trust and Bedfordshire County Council own and manage sites across The Chilterns in South Bedfordshire. The partnership continues to enhance and interpret countryside sites and improve access for all. With support from the South Beds Association of National Trust Members.

For information, contact:
The National Trust
Dunstable Downs Countryside Centre
Tel: 01582 608489

For emergencies, contact:
The National Trust Bedfordshire, Properties Estate Office
Tel: 01582 873569

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