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 2, from Woburn to Ampthill, passes through the attractive Deer Park in Woburn and ends in the historic centre of Ampthill.
Woburn is situated in South-West Bedfordshire, between the M1 and the A5, just south-east of Milton Keynes. There is parking in Park Street (opposite St Mary's Church).
The walk starts in George Street in Woburn. The route ends on Bedford Street in the centre of Ampthill.
Length: 10 miles (15½ km)
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: The steepest linear gradient is steeper than 1:6 between points 5 and 6 on the map, from the top of Jackdaw Hill and also from Sandhill Close (point 6) to St Michael's Church. There are gradients of between 1:6-1:9 after point 5 (the path to Southview Farm). There are also gradients of between 1:10-1:13 and 1:14-1:17 along the route.
Cross Falls: The steepest are 1:9 or steeper between point 5 and 6 (the approach to Southview Farm), and on the woods on top of and on the descent from Jackdaw Hill. There is also a cross fall of between 1:6-1:10 between the two lakes in front of Woburn Abbey. Elsewhere, there are cross falls of between 1:7-1:15 before Wakes End Farm and Maltings Spinney (point 3).
Width Restriction: There is a ‘V' shaped squeezer stile at the entrance to Ampthill Park which has an opening measuring from 250mm at the bottom, to 450mm at the top, with a 620mm high stepover. There is also a bridge between the Deer Park and Eversholt (point 1) with a width restriction of 940mm, and a bridge at Dove Cottage, Brook End (point 2), with a width restriction of 920mm.
Steps: The maximum step height is 270mm (5 steps between Ossory Farm and Ampthill Park. There are also 3 steps with a maximum step height of 210mm and 5 steps with a maximum step height of 230mm between the Deer Park and Eversholt.
Barriers: There are five kissing gates with a restriction of less than 1000mm, 4 kissing gates with a restriction of between 1000-1500mm, one staggered barrier with a minimum restriction of less than 950mm, 1 one-step stile, 6 two-step stiles, and 6 one-way opening gates with a width greater than 750mm. (NB: the one-way opening gate between the Deer Park and Eversholt is only 730mm wide.) See also the squeezer stile mentioned in the ‘Width Restriction' section above.
Refreshments: There are various pubs, shops and cafés located in Woburn. Refreshments are also available at Woburn Abbey (admission charges may apply). Eversholt has one pub, The Green Man. There are two pubs in Lidlington (The Green Man and The Royal Oak, plus a general stores. There are a range of pubs, shops, restaurants and cafés in Ampthill town centre, 800m from the Greensand Ridge Walk.
Public Toilets: There is a public toilet in Woburn in Duck Lane (accessed off George Street or Leighton Street). They are also located in Ampthill Park, adjacent to the football ground at the western end of the park, 500m from the walk route.
Picnic Tables: There are tables at Millbrook playing field and in Ampthill Park.
Seats: There are 13 seats in the village of Woburn, one at Woburn Abbey, 13 in Eversholt, 4 in Millbrook and 8 in Ampthill Park.
Please note: Parts of the walk can be very muddy during winter/early spring, especially on the path leading into the Deer Park from Ivy Lodge (after point 1 on the map).
1 Taking care, cross George Street and turn right and walk along the pavement for 275m. At Ivy Lodge, turn left through the metal kissing gate into the Deer Park. Follow the waymarked path through the parkland, passing Woburn Abbey
Leave the Deer Park via the kissing gate and follow the waymarked path to an iron gate on a road. Please take care to re-latch the gates when entering and leaving the Deer Park.
2 Turn left along the road and walk into Eversholt village. Bear left, passing St. John's Church and the cricket field on your left, before turning right into Brook End. After passing Dove Cottage turn left across a bridge and immediately turn right to follow the field boundary. Turn left onto the bridleway and follow to New Water End.
3 Cross the road and follow the track opposite through the woodland. On leaving the woodland, continue to follow the waymarked bridleway past Wakes End Farm and across Cobblers Lane. Continue straight ahead until turning right at the corner of Mailings Spinney to follow the path to the footbridge over the M1.
4 Follow the waymarked path to Holt Plantation before turning left to the A507. Turn right past Flying Horse Farm and after 110m cross the road with great care. Follow the waymarked cross-field path, turn right along the road for 20m and take the footpath on the left.
5 Turn left along the road past Southview Farm and then turn right along a farm track. Passing Jackdaw Hill House on your left, follow the waymarked route through the woodland. Bear right around the back of the pond before turning left to follow the waymarked path between the golf course and Millbrook Proving Ground.
6 At the road turn right and then right again along Sandhill Close. Turn left to pass St. Michael's Church and follow the waymarked route along the lane. At the top of the lane bear right and follow a farm track.
7 Continue past Ossory Farm, follow a narrow, meandering footpath. At the junction of footpaths, turn left for 55m and then right and walk up steps, through the woodland and over the Ampthill New Tunnel. Pass through a metal kissing gate and follow the waymarked path through Ampthill Park, passing Katherine's Cross and the war memorial on your right. Continue on the path to Bedford Street..