The Greensand Ridge Walk is Bedfordshire's premier long distance walk. The route spans the county for a total of 40 miles, following the greensand ridge. The walk is an ideal introduction to the history, landscape and wildlife of this part of the county. Section 3, starting in the busy Georgian town of Ampthill, takes you through Church Meadow and Maulden Wood, both Sites of Special Scientific Interest. The route also passes through Clophill and by Chicksands Wood, one of the largest ancient woodland sites in the county.
Ampthill is about 8 miles south of Bedford on the B530 and 1.5 miles north of Flitwick, on the junction of the A5120 and A507. There is a large car park in Ampthill Park and several car parks in Ampthill town centre.
The walk starts in Bedford Street in Ampthill. The walk ends at Deadman's Cross, on the A600 near to the village of Haynes.
Length: Length: 8.8 miles (13½ km)
Time: 4 hours
Surface Types: You will walk across surface types ranging from hard and firm with no stones larger than 5mm, to hard and firm with some loose, variable sized stones, to grass or uncultivated earth paths with and without ruts and mud, to farmland.
Linear Gradient: Sections of the walk between Maulden Church and the A6 (points 4-5 on the map) have gradients of steeper than 1:6, and some sections with gradients of 1:6-1:13. Between the A6 and Clophill there are two steep slopes with gradients greater than 1:6. At Great Lane (point 5), there is a gradient of 1:6-1:9. Approaching Pedley Wood, there are gradients of 1:6-1:9.
Cross Falls: There are sections with cross falls steeper than 1:9 - the path from Maulden village to Maulden Church, from Maulden Church to the A6, between the A6 and Clophill. Between Haynes and Deadman's Cross (point 6), there are also several cross falls of 1:9 and steeper.
Width Restriction: There are two ‘squeezer' type stiles in the field before entering King's Wood (point 2 on the map). These have a maximum opening of 700mm at the top, decreasing to 200mm at the bottom. The bridge on the approach to Pedley Wood has a width restriction of 690mm.
Steps: There are 19 steps with a maximum step height of 170mm leaving Maulden Churchyard. These can be avoided by using a short, steep ramp (>1:6) to the car park. There are 9 steps with a maximum height of 190mm as the path leaves the A6. There are 12 steps with a maximum step height of 160mm in the woods on the approach to Clophill. In Old Kiln Lane, there are 11 steps with a maximum height of 200mm and two steps with a maximum height of 310mm.
Barriers: There are three narrow staggered barriers in Maulden Woods with a width restriction of 420-450mm. There are 11 kissing gates with a restriction of less than 1000mm, 5 staggered barriers with a minimum restriction of less than 950mm. There is one one-step stile and 4 two-step stiles. There are three 1-way opening gates with a width of greater than 750mm and two 2-way opening gates with a width of greater than 750mm.
Refreshments: Ampthill has a range of pubs, cafés, restaurants and shops. There are two pubs in Maulden, The White Hart and The George, and a shop and a post office. Clophill has one public house, the Stone Jug. Haynes has several pubs (The Greyhound and The Red Lion (also a restaurant)). Garden Centre. There is also a pub, The Crown, in Station Road and a shop on the A603.
Public Toilets: Located in Ampthill Park, adjacent to the football ground at the western end of the park, 500m from the walk route.
Picnic Tables: None recorded.
Seats: There are 10 seats in Maulden Churchyard and 7 at Haynes recreation ground (250m from the route).
1 From Bedford Street follow the path along the top of the ridge towards Houghton House. At the
farm buildings turn right and follow the track behind the barns to King's Wood.
2 Turn right and follow the field boundaries down the hill to King's Farm, across The Brache, and into
Maulden. Turn left and follow George Street for 260m, turning left to the church before The George public house.
3 Walk through the churchyard and then turn left, through the church car park, into Church
Meadow. Follow the waymarked route to Maulden Wood. Follow the southern edge of the wood past a round thatched cottage and the Forest Lodge to the A6.
4 Cross the dual carriageway with care and follow the signs downhill before turning left up the steps into an area of woodland. Follow the waymarked path until you reach Back Street in Clophill. Turn left and follow the road for 250m before turning left at the bend into The Slade. Walk up this road then branch to the right towards Kiln Farm. At the farm, turn right into Old Kiln Lane, walk past an orchard and then turn left to follow Kiln Lane.
5 At the T-junction turn right into Great Lane and then, after 100m, turn left on to the path leading to St. Mary's Church. Turn left at the church and follow the track towards Pedley Wood Farm. Before reaching the farm turn left off the track and follow the waymark signs around to the edge of Chicksands Wood. Follow the wood edge, or take the permissive path through the wood, to the road at Appley Corner.
6 Turn left and follow the road for 430m before turning right onto the bridleway past Hill Farm to the road. Turn left and follow the road for 90m and then turn right onto a grass track, bearing right across the field to Deadman's Cross.